Henry Cabot Lodge Sr. (May 12, 1850- March 9, 1925) was the 29th President of the United States of America. As President, and as senator from Massachusetts, he was a noted imperialist who helped to forge the American Empire, and laid the foundations for the Imperial States of America.
Lodge, who was always known as "Cabot", was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of John Ellerton Lodge and Anna Cabot. His great-grandfather was former Senator George Cabot. Lodge grew up on Boston's Beacon Hill after spending part of his childhood in Nahant, Massachusetts. Coming from a wealthy, privileged background, Lodge was isolated from the working class, and came to support a conservative world view.
In 1872, he graduated from Harvard College. After traveling through Europe, Lodge returned to Harvard where he became the first student of Harvard University to graduate with a Ph.D. in Political Science. His teacher and mentor during his graduate studies was Henry Adams; Lodge would maintain a lifelong friendship with Adams. Lodge wrote his dissertation on the ancient Germanic origins of Anglo-Saxon government.
On 25 June 1871, he married Anna "Nannie" Cabot Mills Davis. Cabot and Nannie had three children, Constance Davis Lodge (b. 6 April 1872), the noted poet George Cabot Lodge (b. 10 October 1873) and John Ellerton Lodge (b. 1 August 1876), an art curator. He also graduated from Harvard Law School in 1874 and was admitted to the bar in 1875. In 1880-1881, Lodge served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Lodge represented his home state in the U.S House of Representatives from 1887 to 1893 and in the Senate from 1893 to 1917.
In the U.S senate, Lodge was a Republican who became the most prominent conservative senator. He backed the gold standard and vehemently opposed populists such as Williams Jennings Bryan. But Lodge was most well known as an early advocate of imperialism. He supported U.S intervention in Cuba, and voted for the Spanish- American war, saying that the people of Cuba could be liberated and the U.S could " stop the horrible state of things in Cuba". After the success of the Spanish-American war, Lodge supported the annexation of the Philippines, and chaired a committee that oversaw them. When Theodore Roosevelt came into power, the two men occasionally came into conflict. Although Lodge opposed Roosevelt's progressive reforms, he was closely allied with him on matters of foreign policy. Lodge introduced bills to expand the U.S military. When Roosevelt asked Congress to annex Cuba in 1906, Lodge, who had wanted this for years, quickly passed a bill that permanently made Cuba part of the United States. Lodge effectively served as senate majority leader, and helped defeat the 17th amendment and various progressive legislation.
Lodge supported William Howard Taft for President, and was deeply disappointed when William Randolph Hearst was elected due to Roosevelt running as a third party candidate. He led the opposition against Hearst, who he castigated as an immoral and corrupt demagogue. When World War I broke out in 1914, Lodge pressed for intervention on behalf of the Entente. The U.S entered the war in 1915, but fought in Central American against Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, and German submarines. Lodge was disgusted with Hearst's management of the war, and his reluctance to commit to the European Western Front. Thus, he decided to run for president. As the effective leader of the Republican Party, he managed to overwhelm opposition within his party. He balanced the ticket by nominating William Borah as Vice President. Lodge ran against Hearst by accusing him of being weak and indecisive. Hearst could not claim that he kept the U.S out of war, or that he ran the war effectively. With Lodge well financed by business interests, Hearst was defeated with an electoral vote count of 306-225.
When Lodge was inaugurated in March 1917, Guatemala was under U.S occupation, Mexico City had fallen, but much of Mexico remained unpacified. Lodge kept a significant number of troops in Mexico to quell the resistance, led by Pancho Villa. To permanently solidify American control, Lodge asked Congress to annex Guatemala, Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Haiti, though only Guatemala was annexed. Lodge decided to launch a full scale invasion of Colombia to permanently seize control of the nation. Starting from U.S held Panama, the U.S marched south, while a second expeditionary force also headed to Bogota from the recently captured ports of Cartegena and Santa Maria. Using trench warfare, and occasionally jungle warfare, the Colombian army slowed American progress. But, the Americans being more numerous and better equipped were able to push through their lines. The Colombian army was decisively defeated at the Battle of Salgar, and crushed in the Siege of Bogota in August. The remnants of the Mexican army fell at Nayarit in September, where the U.S surrounded and massacred them.
Lodge continued war time programs started under the Hearst Administration, including the Committee on Public Information. Controversially, he continued these programs after the war, though their powers were reduced.
Lodge could now focus on the war in Europe. Limited numbers of American troops had been sent to Europe in 1916, who fought under British command. Lodge doubled the number of American troops in Europe in April, who were under the command of Colonel Eaton. But with the war winding down in Central America, Lodge could afford to focus American efforts on Europe. He sent three million battle hardened troops to Europe, who wasted little time in training. The war proceeded very slowly, and many Americans suffered in trench warfare. But when Entente troops seized control of the Sedan Railroad, the Germans lost their supply lines. On August 9th, 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm called for a ceasefire. As the Central Powers collapsed, Lodge sent Secretary of State Charles Fairbanks to Versailles in order to negotiate a peace. The U.S supported the reparations forced on the Central Powers, and rarely challenged Britain and France. Lodge was eager for more territory, and wanted territory formerly belonging to the Ottoman Empire. The Middle East and Anatolia was soon split among the allies. The U.S ratified the Treaty of Versailles. Though Britain and France took most of the richer territories, Fairbanks was able to secure a mandate for Armenia and the Hejaz. Troops stationed in Europe were immediately sent to re-inforce these territories. Armenia was desperate and starving, and required only food and aid. But the Hejaz was far more controversial, since it contained the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina. This eventually prompted the Great Muslim Revolt of 1920, but this largely affected the British, who quelled the rebellion. The Americans were forced to hold back Ghazi warriors.
Lodge was a firm supporter of the White Russians during the Russian civil war. Not only did he allow White Russians to establish a base in American-held Armenia, and the recently conquered territories of Azerbaijan and Georgia, but he sent thousands of troops to Siberia to aid the White Russians. Eventually, a treaty was signed establishing a coalition government between the royalists and the Socialists, while the Bolsheviks continued a rebellion.
But Lodge was more focused on America's backyard. The United States occupied practically all of Central America. Against loud democratic opposition in congress, Lodge passed through bills that made the occupation permanent. Mexico was annexed in 1918, after crushing a rebellion led by Pancho Villa. The Dominican Republic and Colombia were annexed in 1921, Haiti in 1922, Nicaragua in 1923, and Honduras in 1924. Lodge presented these annexations as the natural conclusion to manifest destiny. He did not believe it imperialistic, saying he was bringing civilization to Central America. To solidify U.S control of Central America, Lodge signed the Treaty of Montreal with Britain. The Treaty of Montreal ceded British Honduras, British Guyana, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas and the Virgin Islands to the U.S, all of which were quickly annexed. The treaty also established a form of alliance with Britain, promising material aid, though not military aid. Lodge also formed an alliance with Greece. Costa Rica, surrounded by the U.S and its protectorate, Panama, agreed to become a U.S protectorate in 1924, as did El Salvador. The United States now controlled all of North America south of the 48th parallel.
Lodge had been re-elected against James Cox by a narrow margin.Lodge ran on the basis of the American Empire he had created, shunning the democrats' anti-war stance. Lodge promised that his free-market policies, and the new resources in the colonies, would create a post-war boom. Lodge was well funded, which carried him to victory. The economy did boom towards the end of Lodge's presidency, which began what was known as the Roaring Twenties. Wild spending and changing pop culture dominated the era. Lodge was growing old during this time, and his administration ran the country for him. Lodge supported his Secretary of War, Leonard Wood in the election of 1924, but did little campaigning. Lodge suffered a stroke shortly after Election Day, and was taken home to Massachusetts. He could not attend Wood's inauguration and died shortly after of a relapse, on March 9th, 1925. He was buried in ceremony, and was mourned as a national hero.