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Henry Cabot Lodge’s personal copy of reservations of Treaty of Versailles, c. September 1919

Based on the deep and resonant isolationist sentiment among many Americans, some members of Congress opposed the League of Nations because they feared U.S. entanglement in international affairs. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, prepared a series of 'reservations' or modifications to the Treaty of Versailles in an effort to reflect these concerns.


…the United States declines to assume…any obligation to preserve the territorial integrity or political independence of any other country…

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.

Henry Cabot Lodge’s personal copy of reservations of Treaty of Versailles, c. September 1919 Henry Cabot Lodge’s personal copy of reservations of Treaty of Versailles, c. September 1919  …the United States declines to assume…any obligation to preserve the territorial integrity or political independence of any other country…

Promoting International Peace

The Treaty of Versailles, negotiated at the end of World War I, included provisions for a League of Nations—an international organization to promote peace. Although President Wilson campaigned aggressively for U.S. participation, some members of Congress firmly opposed involvement, and the U.S. Senate did not consent to ratify the treaty. Not until 1945, with the creation of the United Nations after World War II, did the U.S. join an international organization to promote cooperation and peaceful resolutions of conflict.