Benedict Arnold as a Patriot and as a Traitor - Paper Example

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Vanderbilt University
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As a Patriot

Benedict Arnold is a famous American war general and a Revolutionary who is best known for having defected from the Continental Army to British side in the battle of 1780. Born in Norwich, he rose to the ranks of a general in the army during the Revolution. He defected to the British side as a result of the frustrations he got by the lack of acknowledgment. It was during this time of disappointment that he plotted for the surrender of the Western Point of Connecticut. When he was discovered to have betrayed his country, Arnold escaped arrest and eventually went to England.

Arnold is known as a controversial war hero in the sense that he began revolutionary war as a militia fighter in the position of a captain. Following the war in Concord to the Lexington fronts, Arnolds company had marched towards Boston from Connecticut. While on the sojourn, Arnold came to forge an alliance with the frontiersman in the name of Ethan Allen in a bid to capture Fort Ticonderoga of New York. It was after this offensive that he comes home to the knowledge of the death of his wife (Randall, 2014).

Arnold attracted admiration from some things he did and which included being a wounded a soldier on two occasions in courageous and fierce battle. Based on his resilience, he could have found his accomplishments being chiseled in almost every war memorial back in their country. As a patriot, there being no sufficient funds, Arnold devotes his money and resources into training patriotic troops which he later leads into attacking Ticonderoga (Randall, 2014). It was based on his hard work and dedication that Arnold comes to earn respect and honor among his troops and gets nicknamed the Americas Hannibal. Besides, it was his signs of patriotism and nationalism that earns him the badge of honor and recognition before the Continental Congress.

As a traitor

Arnold is an unforgivable traitor for his acts of treason, a fact that has been attributed the flawed character of the man. As much as the whole account can be viewed as a sad and complicated one, Arnold deserves to be blamed for the loathing he receives from his detractors. After a series of sacrifices he makes, it is regrettable that he becomes disillusioned in the course of the war. The war general remains largely mistrustful and interestingly feels betrayed. While it can be excused that the war general had demonstrated loyalty for the longest time, and even showed that he was an ardent patriot since 1775, he had already had a different perspective of the war, perhaps due to the failure to get the anticipated recognition (Randall, W. S. (2014).

Arnolds past is seen to have characterized pitfalls, in particular with the death of his mother and the father being a perpetual drunk. He became disgraced, a fact that later came to color the rest of his sorry life. Having ventured into business, Arnold would later be oppressed by the British exorbitant taxes as well as policies that drive his nerves and the urge to resist the British tyranny through joining the army. The other bit that Arnold demonstrates his lack of patriotism is when he fails to recognize the Continental Congress acknowledgment of his efforts. It was due to these simple acts of insubordination that keep him off the books of promotion and hence his defiance and rebellion (Wilson, 2001). He also betrays his country, and this reaches the unbearable levels after the battle of Saratoga in 1777.


Randall, W. S. (2014). Benedict Arnold: Patriot and Traitor. New Word City.

Wilson, B. (2001). Benedict Arnold: A Traitor in Our Midst. McGill-Queen's Press-MQUP.


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