Benedict Arnold: Hero or Traitor Assignment

Benedict Arnold: Hero or Traitor Assignment Words: 452

Benedict Arnold was highly regarded as America’s greatest Revolutionary general. Due to his high rank on the battlefield it seemed most unlikely that Arnold would retreat to the other side. “Arnold has betrayed us. Whom can we trust now? ” asked George Washington who felt that no one could be trusted once Arnold had betrayed his country of which he had shown so much love for. Arnold had been a die-hard patriot who at the Boston Massacre asked if the Americans were asleep, waiting to be robbed of their liberty.

Yet he has gone down in history as a villain of America, a despised traitor instead of the hero he was for both America and England. His name has become known for a traitor’s name. He was America’s first traitor. Despite the criticism that Arnold has received, he was, in his own eyes and to a few others, justified in his traitorous actions. No matter which way historians look at it, Benedict Arnold was actually justified in his traitorous acts.

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His contributions and accomplishments have been overlooked on the battlefield, and his financial status had been destabilized through numerous fines and helped none by the overlooking of Congress to pay him his salary. Although Arnold was not punished by Congress as they were convinced by Samuel Adams that the accusations against Arnold were false, his pride was wounded severely and he would not forget this wrong against him. Not too long after this incident he suffered another blow to his pride.

This was a very personal injury. The Continental Congress appointed five new major generals. To Arnold’s shock and disappointment he was not one of them. All five of them had been brigadier generals just like him but they were all junior to him and vastly inferior in military ability. It was one of a number of slights during his military career that helped to sow the seeds of treason in his mind. The first actual “snub” to Benedict Arnold’s pride took place in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga.

Arnold learned that there were cannons stocked in Fort Ticonderoga and so he asked the Massachusetts leaders for their permission to let him capture the fort. The American army was in desperate need of cannons for their traditional fights face to face with the British if they were to stand a chance. Therefore obtaining cannons would be invaluable to the Americans which made it a desirable task for Arnold to endeavor for he yearned words of praise and to be regarded as a brave soldier to his country. However, to his dismay, he soon discovered that Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys were on the

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