Benedict Arnold: War Hero Or Villain

Improved Essays
Jiacomo Rodriguez
Mr. Carey
US History Period 2
9-15-15
Benedict Arnold

During war hero’s should typically be on one side to better that one side. Benedict Arnold was different having an effect of both sides in one war. No general was more creative as Arnold, and can be considered as the most courageous officer in History , yet Arnold is known, not as a hero is but as a villain. Arnold was a commander at West Point, New York, and Arnold planned to hand it over to the British. Although Benedict Arnold made huge gains as a leader in the Revolutionary War, his actions betrayed other priorities and went down in history as a traitor instead of being a hero.
The Saratoga campaign was a series of battles during October in 1777 in New York.
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It was bad timing because Arnold thoughts of treason started to form. Arnold became very bitter with the fact that he was not recognized for his military genius on the part of Congress and the Continental Army(Brothers In Arms). Arnold was in deep debt, he was mad at politics, and he made a bad decision(Brothers in Arms). A year and a half-later Arnold was in command of West Point, an American Fort on the Hudson River. Arnold was in great debt(Brothers in Arms), couldn’t make any money, was crippled and couldn’t fight the war. Arnold was fed up and decided that if he help Britain so that he may alter the war so it would end sooner. His plan was to hand over West Point to the British for 20,000 pounds. British Army Major John Andre was a suspect in this deal as well. Arnold wanted 500 pounds a week for life, 10,000 pounds no matter what, and 20,000 to turn over West Point to the British.(Brother In Arms) Arnold's plan was simple make it appear that West Point was becoming …show more content…
There were many reasons for his betrayal, he was jealous, wanted revenge, and also his wife was a loyalist. He was jealous because the Continental Congress did not fulfill his dreams and they basically belittled everything he wanted in life. His spouse Peggy Shippen, was a loyalist, and most man follow and go along with whatever their wifes want them to do. This was not Arnold’s sole reason for becoming a loyalist, but it was the extra detail that made him betray America. Benedict was in very serious debt, he felt so strongly about the American Military that he dumped his own money into it, and eventually when he went broke he had to borrow money and he could not repay anyone. His debt is what drove him into becoming a loyalist because England welcomed him with open arms and he did not have to repay all this debt. It was essentially a panic button or an escape route for Arnold after taking advantage of so many people. Lastly, his desire to seek revenge was passionate because he absolutely hated French Catholics. He never agreed with their beliefs and was always against them.

Benedict Arnold stands as the American role model of treason, and without his military genius, the country would have been lost on three occasions. No other general in American history has ever commanded a single battle that would have caused defeat on entire nation. He died deeply in debt and is a forgetful figure

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