BREAKING THE HEART
OF THE WORLD
"The League was defeated in the United States, not because it
was a League of Nations, but because it was a Woodrow Wilson
league, and because the great leader had fallen and there was no
one who could wield his mighty sword." THOMAS W. GREGORY ( Wil-
son's Attorney General), January 23, 1925.
THE SCENE was Washington, the hour was noon, the day was November 19, 1919 -- one year and eight days after the Armistice. The Senate of the United States, with galleries packed and long lines standing out in the corridors, was convening to vote on the treaty.
The country was weiry of debate; the Senate was even more weary. Several days earlier Senator Ashurst of Arizona, a Democrat, had loudly objected to further palaver. They had all made up their minds; further talk was just "making mud pies." "For God's sake," he cried, "let us all keep our mouths shut andvote, vote and only vote." (Applause in galleries.)
Last-minute maneuvers had already taken up a part of the morning. The Democrats had just met together in secret caucus, and Wilson's letter, now being published in the newspapers, was read to them. Their great President had asked them to vote down the Lodge reservations, and they would follow the leader. He had taken 'from their shoulders the grave responsibility of having to make this decision themselves.
The Republican "irreconcilables" had their final hour in court. Brandegee condemned the "pipe dream" of the League, and declared that he would consider himself as a "candidate for a madhouse" if he were to vote for it. Borah conceded that sooner or later the pact would no doubt be approved, with