Benedict Arnold: Hero or Traitor

Topics: American Revolutionary War, Benedict Arnold, Ethan Allen Pages: 1 (453 words) Published: November 2, 2008
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. 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...
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