Benedict Arnold: Traitor or Victim?
Every student in America knows the name of Major General Benedict Arnold. The legacy that his name carries with it today is no more than that of arrogance, pomposity, and, of course, treason; however, the suggestion that Arnold deserves few, if any at all, of these horrible character accusations can be justified when looking at the facts concerning his treachery without bias. Although he was one of the greatest American generals during most of the war for independence, Congress refused to recognize Arnold’s heroism by rejecting him of well deserved promotions. This neglect of Arnold has continued for two centuries, as exemplified by the fact that children today are taught his name as a synonym for traitor. In reality, the American country itself has committed treason against Arnold by overshadowing his achievements in the war with apparent abomination, and this is evident in the one and only monument that is dedicated to him. The “Boot Monument” was erected at Freeman’s Farm, the place where Arnold fought so valiantly during the Battle of Saratoga. Due to the manipulation of Arnold’s character by the American government, the monument fails to state his name and recognizes only his wounded left leg, which is considered by many to be the only part of Arnold that was sacrificed for America, hence the name “Boot Monument”.(citation here.) In this research paper I intend to look into the life of Arnold before he deserted the Revolution and what may have played a role in his eventual betrayal of the revolution. The great contributions he made to the cause for independence should be admired by Americans today rather than be taken in vain.
Early Life and Goals
Arnold’s personality is vital to understanding his reasons for deserting the American Revolution. Arnold was a man of considerable honor, a trait which followed him from the time of his father’s arrest for alcoholism up until his death. Although honor was the primary motive...