Lodge, Henry Cabot

views updated May 21 2018

Henry Cabot Lodge

Born July 5, 1902
Nahant, Massachusetts
Died February 27, 1985
Beverly, Massachusetts

American diplomat and U.S. ambassador
to South Vietnam in the mid-1960s

Henry Cabot Lodge served as America's ambassador to South Vietnam from mid-1963 to mid-1964, and again from mid-1965 through 1967. During his first stay in Saigon, Lodge helped convince the U.S. government to support the coup that removed President Ngo Dinh Diem (see entry) from power. After resuming his ambassadorial duties in 1965, Lodge's low opinion of the South Vietnamese government remained unchanged. But his strong anti-Communist beliefs made him a firm supporter of continued U.S. military involvement in Vietnam.

Member of a prominent political family

Henry Cabot Lodge was born on July 5, 1902, in Nahant, Massachusetts. He was raised in one of New England's most distinguished and powerful Republican families. In addition, his grandfather—and namesake—Henry Cabot Lodge (1850–1924) had been a U.S. senator and one of President Theodore Roosevelt's closest friends and political allies.

After earning a degree from Harvard University, Lodge worked in the newspaper business for several years, dividing his time between the Boston Evening Transcript and the New York Herald Tribune. In 1932 the young Republican won election into the Massachusetts legislature. He served two terms from 1933 to 1936 before moving on to the U.S. Senate.

Upon joining the Senate, Lodge became known as one of the Republican Party's steadiest conservatives. In 1942 he won reelection to the Senate, but two years later he resigned in order to serve in the U.S. Army in World War II. He was stationed in Europe until the war ended in 1945. When Lodge returned to America, he quickly regained his seat in the U.S. Senate. But in 1953 he lost his first election, falling to future president John F. Kennedy (see entry), a Democrat.

After losing his Senate seat, Lodge served his country as ambassador to the United Nations (UN) for much of the 1950s. Appointed U.S. representative to the UN by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1953, he remained in that position until 1960. At that time, Republican presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon (see entry) chose him as his vice-presidential running mate. Nixon's decision to select Lodge was widely praised. The Massachusetts Republican was known as a well-spoken and knowledgeable politician whose firm anti-Communist beliefs would appeal to voters. But once again, John F. Kennedy foiled Lodge's political ambitions. Kennedy and vice-presidential running mate Lyndon B. Johnson (see entry) narrowly defeated Nixon and Lodge to win the White House.

The November 1960 election defeat disappointed Lodge, but it did not hurt his career. In fact, his reputation remained so strong that in 1963 President Kennedy asked him to take over as America's ambassador to South Vietnam. Lodge accepted the position, which gave him considerable power over the flow of American aid to President Ngo Dinh Diem's (see entry) regime.

Ambassador to South Vietnam

When Lodge arrived in South Vietnam in August 1963, its government was engaged in a struggle for political survival. The nation had been created nine years earlier, after Vietnam defeated its old French colonial rulers to gain independence. But the 1954 Geneva peace agreement that ended the French-Vietnamese conflict created two countries within Vietnam. North Vietnam was headed by a Communist government under revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh (see entry). South Vietnam, meanwhile, was led by a U.S.-supported government under Diem.

The Geneva agreement provided for nationwide free elections to be held in 1956 so that the two sections of Vietnam could be united under one government. But U.S. and South Vietnamese officials refused to hold the elections because they feared that the results would give the Communists control over the entire country. When the South refused to hold elections, North Vietnam and its allies in the South—known as the Viet Cong—launched a guerrilla war against Diem's government. The United States responded by sending money, weapons, and advisors to aid in South Vietnam's defense. Despite this assistance, however, some American analysts expressed concern that Communist guerrilla activities and Diem's unpopularity among his own people might soon push the South to the point of collapse.

Lodge conducted an intensive study of the situation in South Vietnam when he took over as ambassador. He quickly decided that President Diem's corrupt and repressive government would never be able to gain widespread support from the South Vietnamese people. In fact, Lodge adopted such a negative view of the Diem government that he joined some other U.S. officials in calling for a change in leadership in Saigon. "We are launched on a course from which there is no respectable turning back: the overthrow of the Diem government," Lodge declared in an August 29, 1963, cable to U.S. secretary of state Dean Rusk (see entry).

In the fall of 1963 Lodge was secretly contacted by several South Vietnamese military officers. Aware of America's unhappiness with Diem's administration, they asked Lodge if the United States would support a coup (pronounced koo; a military overthrow of the government). Lodge urged President Kennedy to support the coup, and after several weeks of uncertainty, the Kennedy administration extended a promise not to interfere with the generals' scheme. On November 1, the military plotters successfully seized power from Diem. They executed Diem—an action that reportedly upset the Kennedy administration—and installed a new government.

Lodge expressed regret about Diem's death. But he also maintained that the coup was the only practical alternative available to the United States and the South Vietnamese generals. "In this country, it rarely occurs to anyone that an election is an efficient or appropriate way to get anything important accomplished," Lodge remarked in a February 1964 report. "The traditional way of doing important things here is by well-planned, well-thought-out use of force."

Supporter of limited U.S. involvement in Vietnam

In the months following Diem's removal, Lodge repeatedly expressed support for decisive military action against North Vietnam. He encouraged President Lyndon Johnson (who succeeded Kennedy after his assassination in November 1963) to authorize air strikes against North Vietnam. The ambassador argued that an effective bombing campaign would raise spirits in the South and hurt morale in the North. Lodge also favored "covert operations"—secret spying and sabotage missions—into North Vietnam.

Still, Lodge urged the Johnson administration to limit its involvement in the war. He thought that America should help the South develop military strategy and create programs to increase popular support among the peasants. He also approved of U.S. military and financial aid packages to South Vietnam. But he believed that the United States should not take on the primary responsibility for actually fighting the war. He warned against sending American ground troops into Vietnam. The ambassador worried that such a step might drag U.S. forces too deeply into the war or trigger a military response from the Communist governments in China or the Soviet Union.

In June 1964 Lodge resigned as ambassador to South Vietnam in order to work on the presidential campaign of Republican Governor William Scranton of Pennsylvania. He was replaced by General Maxwell Taylor (see entry). But Scranton failed to get the Republican nomination, and Lodge resumed his duties as ambassador in June 1965.

Returns to Vietnam

When Lodge returned to Saigon as U.S. ambassador, he worked on "pacification" programs designed to increase popular support for the South Vietnamese government among ordinary citizens. In addition, he lobbied the Johnson administration to increase the level of bombing against North Vietnam. But Lodge privately expressed little confidence in the nation's future. He continued to hold a very low opinion of South Vietnam's political and military leadership. Moreover, he argued that U.S. military strategy in Vietnam was too impatient and did not pay enough attention to political and economic issues in the country. "We could have done something [else] that cost less, took longer and would have had lasting results," he insisted in The Ten Thousand Day War.

Lodge stepped down as ambassador to South Vietnam in 1967, but he remained active in international politics. He served briefly as ambassador to West Germany (now part of the united Federal Republic of Germany) and also represented the United States as "ambassador-at-large." In March 1968 Lodge and other respected advisors—collectively known as the "Wise Men"—counseled President Johnson to scale back U.S. military operations in Vietnam. Moreover, they urged Johnson to find a way to gracefully withdraw from the war, which had become a source of tremendous pain and anger in communities all across the United States. Johnson reluctantly followed their advice and called a halt to the three-year-long Rolling Thunder bombing campaign against North Vietnam. One year later, President Richard Nixon made Lodge the head U.S. representative in peace talks with North Vietnamese negotiators. But the talks failed to produce an agreement, and the United States remained in Vietnam for another four years before a treaty was finally reached.

In 1970 Lodge was named special U.S. envoy (diplomatic representative) to the Vatican, the government of the Roman Catholic Church in Italy. He served his country in that capacity until 1977, when he retired to his home in Massachusetts. Lodge died on February 27, 1985.


Blair, Anne E. Lodge in Vietnam: A Patriot Abroad. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.

Hammer, Ellen J. A Death in November: America in Vietnam, 1963. New York: Dutton, 1987.

Lodge, Henry Cabot. As It Was: An Inside View of Politics and Power in the '50s and '60s. New York: Norton, 1976.

Lodge, Henry Cabot. The Storm Has Many Eyes: A Personal Narrative. New York: Norton, 1973.

Maclear, Michael. The Ten Thousand Day War. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1979.

Miller, William J. Henry Cabot Lodge. New York: Heineman, 1967.

Prochnau, William. Once Upon a Distant War: David Halberstam, Neil Sheehan, Peter Arnett—Young War Correspondents and Their Early Vietnam Battles. New York: Times Books, 1995.

Lodge's Message Supporting a Military Coup

When Lodge became U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam in mid-1963, he quickly determined that the Saigon government headed by President Ngo Dinh Diem (see entry) was doomed to fail. For this reason, Lodge urged the Kennedy administration not to oppose a proposed military coup that would remove Diem from power. On October 25, 1963, Lodge sent a message to U.S. National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy (see entry) in which he explained his belief that a coup might help the South resist North Vietnam and its Viet Cong allies. Following is an excerpt from that message:

We should not thwart [stop] a coup for two reasons. First, it seems at least an even bet that the next government would not bungle and stumble as much as the present one has. Secondly, it is extremely unwise in the long range for us to pour cold water on attempts at a coup, particularly when they are just in their beginning stages. We should remember that this is the only way in which the people in Vietnam can possibly get a change of government. Whenever we thwart attempts at a coup, as we have done in the past, we are incurring very long lasting resentments, we are assuming an undue responsibility for keeping the incumbents in office, and in general are setting ourselves in judgment over the affairs of Vietnam. Merely to keep in touch with this situation and a policy merely limited to 'not thwarting' are courses both of which entail some risks but these are lesser risks than either thwarting all coups while they are stillborn [still being considered] or our not being informed of what is happening . . . . In judging proposed coups, we must consider the effect on the war effort. Certainly a succession of fights for control of the Government of Vietnam would interfere with the war effort. It must also be said that the war effort has been interfered with already by the incompetence of the present government and the uproar which this has caused.

One week later, a group of South Vietnamese military generals executed Diem and seized power over the country. But the generals proved unable to maintain their hold over the country. Instead, the coup ushered in a period of even greater political instability in Saigon, as nine different governments took power over the following two years.

Henry Cabot Lodge Jr

views updated Jun 11 2018

Henry Cabot Lodge Jr.

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (1902-1985) was a patrician, elitist, pragmatist, and moderate Republican politician whose career as congressman, senator, ambassador, and presidential adviser added prestige to his already famous family names.

Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. (he dropped the junior in 1956) was born July 5, 1902, in his parents' summer home beside the rocky shore at Nahant, Massachusetts. The circumstances of his birth could not have been more fitting for the scion of several of America's oldest and most prestigious families. Through his father, George, he inherited the legacy of George Cabot, who seized fame and fortune as a highly successful privateer during the American Revolution. His grandfather—and namesake— was none other than U.S. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge (Republican from Massachusetts), President Theodore Roosevelt's closest personal friend and political adviser. Through his mother, Mathilda Elizabeth Frelinghuysen Davis, he was related to even more congressmen, senators, and cabinet members. That Lodge perpetuated and enhanced this line-age of wealth and power was a matter of no small achievement, even granted the advantages bestowed on him by birth.

Lodge's father, a published poet, died when Lodge was seven years old. Although young Lodge graduated in the bottom half of his class at the Middlesex School, he excelled at Harvard, where he majored in Romance languages— French, German, and Latin. He joined the Republican and Conservative clubs and the Fox dining club, rowed crew, and graduated cum laude in three years.

After working several months as a reporter for the Boston Transcript, Lodge took a tour of Europe armed with letters of introduction from President Coolidge, Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, and others. He interviewed heads of state, such as Mussolini in Italy and Poincare in France. Upon his return he resumed his career in journalism with the Transcript and later with the New York Herald Tribune. As a reporter and heir of the Lodge political legacy he continued to meet the notable people of the day. In December 1928 Lodge and his wife, Emily E. Sears, began a trip around the world which, in terms of the people he met, was more like that of a head of state than that of a private citizen.

Choosing a Political Career

Back home Lodge gave more attention to politics. He did not share the prevailing Republican view that success in business was a prerequisite to govern, and he was critical of Hoover's handling of the Depression. He also pursued his career as a reserve officer in the U.S. Army, which he had begun in 1924. In 1932 he campaigned successfully for a seat in the Massachusetts general court and published The Cult of Weakness. This was a collection of essays in which he echoed the Social Darwinism of his grandfather by calling for "a return of government principles which will recognize the rights and welfare of the strong against the weak." He also advocated military preparedness, economic self-sufficiency, and government dominated by "a set of professional politicians of the highest quality, " rather than by the pressure of minority groups and special interests.

Despite his opposition to the prevailing New Deal philosophy, Lodge upset the popular Democratic governor James M. Curley for a seat in the U.S. Senate in 1936. He was re-elected by a landslide in 1942, but then he became preoccupied with World War II. In 1943 he toured both the European and Asian fronts, and in February 1944 he resigned his seat in the Senate to go on active duty with his reserve unit, the 1st Armored Cavalry. He served as an aide to Gen. Jacob L. Devers and was his interpreter when the German Army Group G surrendered in 1945.

Less than a year later Lodge won a special election and returned to the Senate. There he plunged into foreign affairs, serving on the Foreign Relations Committee and allying himself with the powerful Sen. Arthur Vandenberg (Republican, Michigan), who supported U.S. involvement in the United Nations, the Truman Doctrine, and the Marshall Plan. Lodge also tried to change his party's domestic policies. In a widely read Atlantic Monthly article of March 1950 entitled "Modernize the G. O. P." he rejected his earlier views by rebuking his cohorts for their image as a "rich man's club, " which was "a haven for reactionaries."

Mixed Success at Presidential Politics

The following year he put his new ideology into action by joining forces with Gov. Thomas E. Dewey and others to draft Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower as the Republican presidential nominee. The front-runner at the time was Sen. Robert A. Taft (Republican, Ohio), and although Lodge succeeded in nominating and electing the popular "Ike, " he alienated the "mossbacks, " as he called the conservative faction of his party. He spent so much of his time on Eisenhower's campaign at the expense of his own that he lost his Senate seat to John F. Kennedy. Consequently, Eisenhower first appointed Lodge head of his transition team and then as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, which made him a cabinet member.

Lodge's years at the United Nations were eventful, and he maintained a high profile as a major figure in such dramatic crises as the Suez Canal and Hungary in 1956. His high visibility was also a result of his bare-knuckle responses to Soviet attacks. When Nikita Khrushchev toured the United States in the autumn of 1959 Lodge acted as his escort. All this publicity made him a strong contender for the vice-presidential nomination the following year, and Richard Nixon did choose him over several others. Lodge proved a popular campaigner, by some accounts drawing larger crowds than Nixon.

After the Republican defeat by a narrow margin, Lodge joined TIME as a consultant. Several months later he was asked by Secretary of State Dean Rusk to head the Atlantic Institute, a non-profit organization to promote Euro-American cooperation. From this experience came Partnership for Progress: A Program for Transatlantic Action (1963). When Lodge presented a copy to John F. Kennedy shortly after its publication, the president asked him to serve as U.S. ambassador to South Vietnam. Lodge arrived in Saigon in August 1963 and quickly persuaded Kennedy that the U.S. commitment to the Diem regime should be curtailed or withdrawn. When Lyndon B. Johnson became president, he, too, relied heavily on Lodge's advice.

An effort was made to draft Lodge for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968. Despite winning the New Hampshire primary as a write-in candidate, decisively out-polling both Barry Goldwater and Nixon, Lodge did not resign his position, return to the United States, or actively campaign. Consequently, the boom for his candidacy collapsed, after which he did resign and return.

He did not actively campaign for the Goldwater ticket. Thus he did not alienate President Johnson, and six months later L.B.J. asked Lodge to return to his old post in Saigon. He endorsed Johnson's troop escalation and bombing of the North, but he did not believe in an exclusively military solution. "If you win the people over … the war is over."

Lodge hailed the election in September 1966—and the 80 percent turnout—as a significant indicator of American progress. He also promoted various collective efforts for a political solution in Vietnam. After the collapse of several international attempts to find a political solution in Vietnam, Lodge left Saigon in June 1967. After a year as ambassador-at-large he accepted an appointment as ambassador to West Germany. The next year President Nixon made him his personal representative, first to the Paris meetings on Vietnam and then to the Vatican, which he visited occasionally until 1977.

A Changed View of Republicanism

During these years he published two memoirs, The Storm Has Many Eyes (1973) and As It Was (1976). Both of these works reveal the changes that had occurred in his thinking since his first publication 40 years earlier. On the Republican Party he said, "In becoming a Republican, I thought I was joining something affirmative, evolutionary, and idealistic which demanded sacrifice and generosity— not a party which said no to all proposals for change." On U.S. foreign policy he advocated collective security—a noticeable move away from his earlier and inherited isolationism—but he still showed signs of his old elitism by calling for policy-making by knowledgeable insiders. As for the United Nations, he thought that the ten elected seats in the Security Council should be rotated among the larger states and that Japan should be a permanent member.

On the domestic front Lodge spoke fervently of the merits of drafting presidential candidates. This, he thought, would greatly increase the peoples' trust in government by reducing the influence which special interests had over the process. He also endorsed the idea of limiting senators to two terms (12 years total) and representatives to three terms of four years each (12 years total). Overall, he maintained his near obsession with the need for America to be and to stay strong, and he meant a good deal more than missiles and Marines. He meant, as he told the West Point graduating class of 1959, the strength which comes from living in terms of a code based on the spirit "which wants above all to get the job done; which does not ignore danger but refuses to take counsel of its fears (and) which is (not) interested in getting the credit for what has been achieved, or in getting the perquisites of rank." In short, a code based on "selflessness and striving." Hence, it is not surprising that Lodge kept physically fit all of his life and spent his final years occasionally lecturing at colleges near his seaside home in Beverly, Massachusetts, not far from where he was born.

Further Reading

The bibliography on Lodge is extensive. In addition to his own works—Cult of Weakness (1932), The Storm Has Many Eyes (1973), and As It Was (1976)—which are the best source for his own thinking, the most extensive biography is William J. Miller, Henry Cabot Lodge (1967), but it excludes the last 15 years of his life. For a relatively full account of Lodge's U.N. years see Seymour M. Finger, Your Man at the U.N. (1980). □

Lodge, Henry Cabot, Jr.

views updated May 29 2018

LODGE, Henry Cabot, Jr.

(b. 5 July 1902 in Nahant, Massachusetts; d. 27 February 1985 in Beverly, Massachusetts), U.S. senator; ambassador to the United Nations (1953–1960), South Vietnam (1963–1964 and 1965–1967), and West Germany (1968–1969); Republican candidate for U.S. vice president (1960); special envoy to the Vatican; and chief negotiator at Vietnam peace talks in Paris.

Lodge's parents were George Cabot Lodge, a poet, and Mathilda Elizabeth Frelinghuysen (Davis) Lodge. When George Cabot Lodge died in 1909, his family was taken in by his father, Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr., who was a U.S. senator from Massachusetts from 1893 to 1924. Lodge was the oldest of three children. His younger brother John Davis Lodge eventually became governor of Connecticut. As children, Lodge, called "Cabot," and his siblings were taught their responsibility to use the privileges given them by wealth and high social standing in service to their nation and its people.

Lodge's education was haphazard but broad, including schooling for two years in Paris. He attended preparatory school at Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts, graduating in 1920. He then attended Harvard University, finishing his course work in only three years, taking a year off, and then graduating in 1924 with a degree in Romance languages. On 1 July 1926 he married the daughter of a physician, Emily Esther Sears; in later years they had two sons. That same year he joined the U.S. Army Reserve.

From 1923 to 1925 he worked as a reporter for the Boston Transcript, until accepting a job for the New York Herald Tribune, where he was primarily a political reporter until 1932. His January 1930 article "Our Failure in the Philippines" in Harper's suggested that the United States was misgoverning the islands. His 1932 book Cult of Weakness argued that American pacifism was weakening American foreign policy. That year he was elected to the General Court (assembly) of Massachusetts, then reelected in 1934. In 1936 he was elected to the U.S. Senate.

In the Senate he proved to be a moderate on domestic matters, supporting President Franklin D. Roosevelt's efforts to enhance the minimum wage and establish a fiveday workweek for American wage earners. In 1939 he not only supported Social Security but also tried to amend the law to increase the size of payments to the elderly. On matters of foreign policy, he favored a buildup of the U.S. military and favored the draft. Although he was opposed to U.S. membership in the League of Nations and in 1940 opposed aiding the British in World War II, in 1941 he supported Roosevelt's Lend-Lease program of American ships to Britain.

He was still in the U.S. Army Reserve when the empire of Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, drawing the United States directly into World War II. He took a leave of absence from the Senate and saw combat as an officer in America's tank corps in North Africa. He was promoted to major, then was sent to the United States to report to the government on what he had observed. His return to duty was blocked in July 1942 by the Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson; Stimson believed that Lodge could better serve his country in the Senate.

Lodge soon became restive, and in February 1944 he resigned from the Senate and was sent to Italy to become deputy chief of staff of America's Fourth Corps, leaving the army on December 1945 as a lieutenant colonel. In 1946 he was reelected to the Senate. His experiences in World War II had convinced him that America needed to be actively engaged in foreign affairs, and he became an advocate for the United Nations. President Harry S Truman appointed Lodge as a delegate to the United Nations in 1950.

It is possible that by 1952 Lodge had tired of being a senator, devoting little time to his own campaign. Instead, he focused on getting Dwight D. Eisenhower elected president of the United States. John Kennedy defeated Lodge for the Senate seat, but Eisenhower won the presidency. He then appointed Lodge as America's ambassador to the United Nations and gave Lodge cabinet rank. Lodge served in the United Nations from 1953 to 1960.

In 1960 the Republicans nominated Lodge for vice president of the United States, with Richard Nixon the nominee for president. Lodge's indifferent campaigning indicated that he had lost his enthusiasm for elective office. He and Nixon lost the election by a very narrow margin to John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and Lodge's political career appeared to be over. After the election he took a job with the Atlantic Institute, an organization that promoted international cooperation.

In 1963 President Kennedy appointed Lodge to be America's ambassador to South Vietnam. When Lodge arrived in Saigon, capital of South Vietnam, the nation was in turmoil. The North Vietnamese were making military inroads into their neighbor; a Communist-inspired insurgency called the Vietcong was trying to make South Vietnam into an independent Communist state; and South Vietnamese dictator Ngo Dinh Diem was stripping opponents of their legal rights. Periodically a Buddhist monk would publicly burn himself alive in protest of the Roman Catholic Diem's restrictive policies. Lodge soon realized that Diem could not remain in power much longer and that Diem's policies were driving South Vietnamese citizens to support the Communists. In late summer 1963 South Vietnamese military officers organized a coup against Diem, and on 1 November 1963 they took action. Diem telephoned Lodge and asked whether the United States would help him. Lodge suggested he should flee while he could. Diem said that he would resist, and he was gunned down in his car soon thereafter.

Kennedy was assassinated on 22 November 1963, and Lodge told the new president, Lyndon Johnson, that South Vietnam would surely fall without considerable aid from America. Johnson foresaw the whole of Indochina falling into Communism if South Vietnam fell, and at the urging of Lodge and others, he considered committing American troops to the war. In 1964 Lodge left his post as ambassador.

In the meantime, the New Hampshire presidential primary was held. Friends and Lodge's brother urged voters to write in Lodge's name rather than vote for the leaders in the race, Nelson Rockefeller and Barry Goldwater. Lodge's victory was stunning; he had not even campaigned or shown any interest in running. Yet, he truly had had enough of campaigning, and he declared himself uninterested in becoming the president, even though he seemed likely to win the Republican nomination if he wanted it.

In 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson, fresh from being elected president, reappointed Lodge ambassador to Vietnam. Lodge believed that a Communist takeover of South Vietnam would be a catastrophe for the South Vietnamese people and for their neighbors throughout Indochina. Thus, he was in favor of America's commitment of troops to the ground war, and he worked hard to coordinate cooperation between the American and the South Vietnamese armies. Part of his labor involved an intense effort to prepare the South Vietnamese to carry on the fighting themselves without American help; there were numerous examples of exceptional courage on the part of South Vietnamese soldiers. Yet, the continued corrupt behavior of the South Vietnamese government was discouraging. By the time he left his post in 1967 he was changing his mind about what could be done in South Vietnam, and in 1968 he concluded that the Vietnam War was unwinnable.

From 1968 to 1969 Lodge served as ambassador to West Germany, normally an enjoyable posting, but he spent much of his time laying the groundwork for a negotiated settlement of the war in Vietnam. In the United States, President Johnson withdrew from the race for reelection in favor of his vice president, Hubert Humphrey. In November 1968 Richard Nixon narrowly defeated Humphrey. In 1969 Nixon made Lodge America's chief delegate to the Paris peace talks for the Vietnam War. Although Lodge had been a brilliant negotiator in the United Nations, he made little headway with the intransigent delegates from North Vietnam, who argued over every petty detail, even the shape and size of the table where the delegates were to sit. Lodge soon left the peace talks, and he was appointed to be envoy to the Vatican by Nixon in 1970, a post he held until 1977. Thereafter, he lived in retirement in Beverly, Massachusetts. Lodge died of congestive heart failure following a lengthy illness. He is buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Americans of all political persuasions admired Lodge as a statesman who served his country well in war and peace. As a senator, he helped to guide important social legislation through Congress. As an ambassador to the United Nations, he helped the United States establish itself as a great power in foreign affairs. In South Vietnam he miscalculated the difficulties America would encounter if it intervened, contributing to the disaster that followed after he left. By selflessly serving two Democratic presidents, Kennedy and Johnson, he sacrificed his chances of ever becoming president of the United States, had he wanted to.

The largest collection of Lodge's papers belongs to the Massachusetts Historical Society. Lodge's memoirs, The Storm Has Many Eyes: A Personal Narrative (1973) and As It Was: An Inside View of Politics and Power in the '50s and '60s (1976), are frank accounts, especially regarding the blunders behind the Vietnam War. Anne E. Blair, Lodge in Vietnam: A Patriot Abroad (1995), tells of Lodge's efforts to save South Vietnam from Communism. A good obituary is William E. Smith, "A Brahmin's Life of Service," Time (11 Mar. 1985).

Kirk H. Beetz

Lodge, Henry Cabot

views updated May 29 2018


Henry Cabot Lodge helped write the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890 (15 U.S.C.A. § 1 et seq.). He was an enthusiastic supporter of the spanish-american war of 1898 and advocated military power as the United States' best tactic for peace. He believed firmly in the principles of the monroe doctrine, by which the United States sought to protect nations in the Western Hemisphere from European intrusion. Although he opposed strong control by the federal government, he believed that in some circumstances moderate government regulation was essential to prevent socialism. Lodge was a conservative Republican U.S. senator from 1893 to 1924. He successfully fought to defeat U.S. entry into President woodrow wilson's newly proposed league of nations at the end of world war i. He chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 1918 to 1924 and influenced U.S. foreign policy in the first quarter of the twentieth century. He also was a prolific writer, most notably of a series of biographies, and the grandfather of Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., a Republican senator in 1937–44 and 1947–53.

Lodge was born May 12, 1850, in Boston. The families of his father, John Ellerton Lodge, and mother, Anna Cabot Lodge, were wealthy and of high social standing. Lodge graduated from Harvard in 1871, and married Anna Cabot Mills ("Nannie") Davis the day after his graduation ceremony. He attended Harvard Law School from 1872 to 1874, and in 1874 made his first entry into politics as a delegate to the Republican state convention.

Lodge taught American colonial history at Harvard for a year and then turned to writing, producing a biography of his great-grandfather, a colonial history, and various magazine articles, among other works. He was an editor on the International Review magazine for four years, and wrote a set of books called the American Statesman Series, on george washington, Washington Irving, and daniel webster, among others.

In the late 1870s, he wrote articles on election reform, gave an Independence Day address, and served two one-year terms in the Massachusetts General Court. In 1883 he chaired the Republican State Central Committee and met theodore roosevelt, with whom he would remain close friends throughout his life.

Lodge was elected to the House in 1886, where he served for six years. He chaired the House Committee on Elections, sponsored the Federal Elections Bill, and introduced a bill prohibiting entry into the United States by illiterate

immigrants (later vetoed by President grover cleveland). In 1890 Lodge helped write the sherman anti-trust act, the first federal law to control growing centralization of economic power by monopolistic corporations.

In 1893 Lodge entered the Senate, where he served until his death in 1924. As a senator he was a strong supporter of the Spanish-American War, in which two of his three sons served. He supported U.S. imperialism during the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. In 1902 he helped persuade Roosevelt to appoint oliver wendell holmes, jr., to the U.S. Supreme Court; Holmes's fundamentally new approach to the judicial process—which rejected the notion of legal principles as absolutes—changed U.S. law. Also in the early 1900s, he sponsored a child labor law (May 28, 1908, ch. 209, 35 Stat. 420) in Washington, D.C., and an american federation of labor law mandating an eight-hour workday. In 1906 Lodge worked on Roosevelt's Food and Drug Act (ch. 3915, 34 Stat. 768).

From 1918 to 1924, Lodge chaired the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and was the Senate majority leader. He also worked adamantly to foil President Wilson's efforts to establish the League of Nations. Lodge disliked both the policies and the personality of Wilson.

Wilson attempted to link the passage of his League of Nations with the signing of the peace treaty that would officially end World War I. Lodge attacked this approach, accusing Wilson of jeopardizing the peace process for the sake of his project. Lodge also was chief among Wilson's critics for two other actions. In an era in which presidents rarely left the country, Wilson traveled to Europe to make a highly publicized case for his League of Nations. Although he was well received by the Europeans with whom he met, the trip was not favorably viewed by many in the United States. Second, he took with him a small group of men that included only Democrats.

In 1919 Lodge addressed the Senate about the "crudeness and looseness of expression" of the proposed League of Nations. He cited a direct conflict between Wilson's league and the Monroe Doctrine, which he said dictated that "American questions be settled by America alone." He also questioned whether the United States could follow up on some of the promises outlined in Wilson's proposal, and cited a potential loss of U.S. control over immigration.

Lodge and two other men crafted a declaration listing their objections to the proposed League of Nations, the primary ones involving congressional rights. Lodge then circulated the declaration through the Republican senators seeking signatures of support, a process called a round-robin, and received thirty-seven signatures, more than enough to indicate strong support for the declaration. Lodge led a lengthy debate on the Senate floor, followed by hearings in which a variety of representatives from around the world were allowed to testify on a broad range of topics. Witnesses spoke, for example, on Irish independence, which had little relevance to the League of Nations but which took time on the floor. Lodge also read the entire text of Wilson's proposal, which took two weeks to complete, in order to wear down Wilson and his supporters and to encourage a deadlock.

Ultimately, Congress did deadlock on the issue, and the U.S. public decided the fate of the league with the November 1920 presidential election, when James Cox, the Democratic candidate, lost to warren g. harding, who opposed the league.

"Let every man honor and love the land of his birth … [but] if a man is going to be an American at all let him be so without qualifying adjectives; and if he is going to be something else, let him drop the word American from his personal description."
—Henry Cabot Lodge

In his last years, Lodge returned to writing and spent time with his family. He died November 9, 1924, at age seventy-four.

further readings

Garraty, John A. 1953. Henry Cabot Lodge: A Biography. New York: Knopf.

Lodge, Henry Cabot. 1902. Fighting Frigate and Other Essays. New York: Scribners.

Henry Cabot Lodge

views updated May 23 2018

Henry Cabot Lodge

Henry Cabot Lodge (1850-1924), American political leader, was one of the important Senate foes of the League of Nations.

Henry Cabot Lodge was born in Boston of parents from distinguished families. He received a bachelor's degree at Harvard, where he also earned a law degree and a doctorate in philosophy. From 1873 to 1876 he was assistant editor of the North American Review, which published his doctoral thesis, "The Anglo-Saxon Land Law." Subsequently he wrote several readable, but decidedly partisan, histories and biographies. Meanwhile he served two terms in the Massachusetts Legislature and was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1886.

As a congressman for 6 years and a senator for 30, Lodge was a curious mixture of reformer and conservative. He was intelligent, informed, and agile, but he lacked warmth and spontaneity. His letters reveal a man as calculating in the small things as in the large and predisposed to read the meanest motives into others. Yet he had an overview, and though he assiduously cultivated his constituents' interests, he also fostered the national interest as he understood it.

Lodge was a strong and consistent supporter of civil service reform, the protective tariff, and "sound" currency. Partly because he hoped to build up the Republican party in the South, he tried to protect the African American man's right to vote through the so-called Force Bill of the 1890s. Though always solicitous of legitimate business interests, he helped draft the momentous Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. He supported most of the other regulatory measures of the Progressive era, including the Pure Food and Drug Act. In 1906 he drafted the "pipe line amendment" to the Hepburn Act, which put private oil lines under the supervision of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

In common with other imperialists, Lodge believed that American expansion was necessary for economic progress. "Commerce follows the flag, " he exclaimed. "The great nations are rapidly absorbing …all the waste places of the earth.… The United States must not fall out of the line of march." Accordingly, he gave vigorous support to a strong navy, territorial acquisition, and power politics. He endorsed President Grover Cleveland's hard line against Great Britain in the Venezuela crisis of 1895, trumpeted for the annexation of Hawaii, became a leading advocate of war in 1898, and urged annexation of the Philippines at the end of the Spanish-American War. Thereafter he consistently supported the assertive Caribbean policy of his friend Theodore Roosevelt. When he served as one of the American representatives on the Alaskan Boundary Commission of 1903, his partisanship was especially rank.

Though Lodge had considerable knowledge of international law and tended to cloak his words in moralistic phraseology, he was governed by an absolute and often shortsighted commitment to American material interests. He first broke with President Woodrow Wilson over Wilson's refusal to be sufficiently aggressive (by Lodge's standards) toward Mexico. Then, from 1915 to 1917, he chafed over Wilson's neutrality policies and reluctance to arm the nation for war against Germany. Lodge believed that Germany, if victorious, would compromise American commercial interests in Latin America and elsewhere and would supplant Anglo-American culture throughout the world.

Lodge's successful fight against the Versailles Treaty and League of Nations Covenant in 1919 and 1920 was doubtless intensified by his personal disdain for Wilson and his fierce partisanship. But basically Lodge was moved by his fear that the League would compromise American sovereignty. Thus in 1922 he opposed American membership in the World Court even though it was urged by the Republican president, Warren G. Harding. Lodge died in 1924 at the age of 74, survived by a son and daughter.

Further Reading

Useful for Lodge's early years is his own Early Memories (1913). There is much rich material in Henry Cabot Lodge and Theodore Roosevelt, Selections from the Correspondence, 1884-1918(2 vols., 1925). Since Lodge changed many of the letters for publication, however, the book is best used in consultation with the standard biography by John A. Garraty, Henry Cabot Lodge (1953). Other studies are William Lawrence, Henry Cabot Lodge: A Biographical Sketch (1925), and Karl Schriftgiesser, The Gentleman from Massachusetts: Henry Cabot Lodge (1944).

Additional Sources

Lodge, Henry Cabot, Early memories, New York: Arno Press, 1975, 1913. □

Lodge, Henry Cabot

views updated May 09 2018

Lodge, Henry Cabot (1902–1985), senator and diplomat.Born in Massachusetts, Lodge was the grandson of the Massachusetts senator for whom he was named. Elected to the U.S. Senate in 1936 and 1942, he resigned in 1944 to go on active duty in Europe with the Second Armored Division. Lieutenant Colonel Lodge received several combat decorations. Reelected to the Senate in 1946, he lost his seat to John F. Kennedy in 1952. Lodge served from 1953 to 1960 as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and was the Republican nominee for vice president in 1960.

President Kennedy named Lodge ambassador to South Vietnam. When Lodge arrived in Saigon in August 1963, members of South Vietnam's armed forces were plotting the overthrow of President Ngo Dinh Diem. Lodge tried unsuccessfully to get Diem to remove his unpopular brother, Ngo Dinh Nhu, from the government, and the ambassador concluded that Diem was politically doomed. On 1 November 1963, a coup toppled Diem's government and led to the murders of Diem and Nhu. Lodge emphatically denied subsequent allegations in The Pentagon Papers (1971) and other accounts that he authorized or encouraged the coup on instructions from Washington. The embassy had knowledge of the plot, he admitted, but not of its timing and details, especially the murders.

Lodge resigned as ambassador in June 1964 to participate in the Republican presidential nomination process, but he returned to head the U.S. Embassy in Saigon July 1965–April 1967. From June to December 1966, he engaged in Project Marigold—secret but futile talks through Polish intermediaries to explore a negotiated settlement with North Vietnam. In March 1968, Lodge was part of the group of elder statesmen, the Wise Men, who advised Lyndon B. Johnson not to send more troops to Vietnam. He was a delegate to the Vietnam peace talks in Paris in 1969 and served as ambassador to Bonn and the Vatican before retiring in 1977.
[See also Pentagon Papers; Vietnam War: Military and Diplomatic Course.]


Henry Cabot Lodge , The Storm Has Many Eyes, 1973.
Ellen J. Hammer , A Death in November: America in Vietnam, 1963, 1987.

David L. Anderson

Lodge, Henry Cabot

views updated May 21 2018

Lodge, Henry Cabot (1850–1924) US political leader and historian. He represented Massachusetts in the House of Representatives (1887–93) and the Senate (1893–1924). A friend of Theodore Roosevelt and a conservative Republican, he supported the establishment of a powerful army and navy. As Senate majority leader and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee (1918–24), he led the successful opposition to US membership of the League of Nations.

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