What events led to the US Senate to not ratify the treaty ending WWI?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The United States Senate didn’t ratify the Versailles Treaty ending World War I. As a result, we had to negotiate separate peace treaties with the Central Powers.

The main sticking point in the Versailles Treaty was the issue regarding the League of Nations. The charter of the League of Nations required member nations, if needed, to take action if the League of Nations decided this was necessary to resolve a dispute. Henry Cabot Lodge had serious concerns about this requirement. He led a group of U.S. Senators who wanted President Wilson to make changes to this part of the Versailles Treaty. These senators didn’t want to have our country take action that could harm the United States if it wasn’t in our best interests to do this. President Wilson refused to negotiate changes in the treaty. As a result of neither side being willing to compromise, the United States Senate didn’t ratify the treaty.