Benedict Arnold Essay
Benedict Arnold was a Revolutionary Hero that had a big affect on winning the war. He had boosted many of the soldiers moral during the war with his successful raids. Moral could be considered a reason for the Americans winning the war because it kept them going through there up and downs. To begin my essay, I’ll start it with a brief summary on Arnold, so the reader will understand who he really was.
Benedict Arnold was born on January 14,1741 in Norwich, Connecticut. His ancestors William Arnold and his family who left England because of religious persecution were the first Arnold’s in New England. Arnold’s family background was well respected and was know to have some wealth.
Arnold received his education at Canterbury. Benedict was a romantic, adventurous, excessively proud and sensitive, ruled by impulse rather then principal. Arnold was employed at a drug store in Norwich until 1762,where he moved to New Haven establishing himself in business. He owned a considerable amount of land, was involved in the West India Trade and sometimes even commanding his own ships. On February22nd, 1767 he married Margaret Mansfield. With Margaret he had three sons, Benedict, Richard, and Henry. Benedict’s wife died on June 19th 1775.
George Washington greatly liked Benedict Arnold and trusted him a lot, so he let Arnold and Ethan Allen try to invade Canada. The conditions were harsh and those conditions set a big problem for Arnold. Some Arnold’s men left and took many of the supplies they had to survive but he still had kept his men strong. The main problem toward Arnold’s army was the rain, snow, mud and especially hunger. Benedict finally reached St. Lawrence with 600 of his men, and he was commended for his success. Arnold tried to capture Quebec, but heavy rainstorms prevented Arnold and his army to move for three days.
He then led two-attack n these two forts Ticonderoga and Crown Point, which Arnold had captured. These two successful captures had boost moral and many men confidence to keep on fighting. Benedict Arnold even made the British retreat when they attempted to attack Connecticut.
Later on Benedict volunteered to take control of Fort Schuyler. He tricked the British into thinking he was coming with an army force of hundreds of thousands American Soldiers, when in reality he only had about a thousand. He then entered the fort and it was empty. Arnold signed the Oath of Allegiance to his country on May 30th, 1778. Arnold signed it at Artillery Park in Valley Forge. After getting rid of the British in Philadelphia, Washington gave Benedict the command of the city.
By May of 1779 Arnold began bargaining with the British. Arnold was offered over 10,000 pounds and a commission in the British Army. The bounty Arnold had put up was West Point. Arnold began conversing with Major John Andre from the British Army. John Andrea was the middleman between Arnold and Sir Henry Clinton regarding the closing of the deal. Andre was sent back to the British lines with some documents in his sock from Arnold. Andre was captured and placed in American custody.
After the documents were found, Arnold heard and escaped. John Andre was killed for a spy. The British gave Arnold money, land in Canada, pensions for himself, his wife and kids, and a spot in the British military as a Brigadier General. Arnold then was never given an important military command. Benedict Arnold finally died in 1801.
Arnold was a great man who was devoted to his country. He had given all his life, strength and respect for his country but never received any of that back. He was highly made fun of by many people, including Generals and people in congress. He also wasn’t getting paid as well either. All those factors had finally broke Arnold and he couldn’t take all the disrespect from his amazing accomplishments for the United States. The decision leading him to become know as a traitor shouldn’t let his great achievements for the United States of America go to waste.
He should have been honored for what he did for his country then disgraced. Arnold was a brilliant leader in the continental army, leading to many victories for the United States. His uncommon bravery had really showed a great impression on all the soldiers, boosting their morals even more. ”Arnold dedicated himself to the Revolutionary cause, sacrificing family life, health, and financial well-being for a conflict that left him physically crippled, sullied by false accusations, and profoundly alienated from the American cause of liberty.”
Arnold can be considered one of the best American Generals during the fight for independence. He was very well known for that and respected. Though congress would never give him his deserved promotions. Now as we learn about Arnold, we are never taught of what he did but instead of his treasury. Arnold really didn’t turn on his country but the country had turned on him for not noticing his great achievements for the fight for independence.
The only honor that was rewarded to Arnold was the “Boot monument” where he had fought the Battle of Saratoga. He wasn’t rewarded for his great accomplishment but just rewarded for a wounded leg. Congress though had never motivated Arnold and always picked on him. Arnold was simple; he was a man with great honor who fought for independence and to keep his family name respected.
Arnolds father was arrested for over drinking according to Jim Murphy, and his family name had lost much respect. So Arnold a confident, and strong man devoted his life to gain much of his family respect back. He had joined the group called “The Freemasons” who had requirements to become a member“From the first to the last . . . the first condition to be fulfilled is to Have a reputation of unsullied honor and probity.” Arnold was hoping to gain much of his respect through his membership in this group but was highly disrespected. Arnold being the confident men he is, just ignored it and attended the meetings. His own people simply constantly neglected Arnold.
Arnold was asked to capture Fort Ticonderoga, so he did what he was told. He had captured the Fort without a fight, but only making the British there to surrender. He was given little to no credit for this amazing accomplishment that he led. Allen, a General as well, wrote to congress that he captured the fort without Arnold mentioned much. Allen in his letter as well mentioned other soldiers that didn’t do anything over Arnold. After the capture, Allen and his men taking their chance during the situation by looting and partying. Arnold trying to tell congress the true story was denied. Now Arnold began getting mistreated by congress for all his achievements.
As he was then assigned to attack Canada, he did but unsuccessfully. He was wounded but rewarded greatly for his attempt and courage. Arnolds respect began to change. Major General Horatio Gate gave him control of Crown Point. As commander of the new fort, he had to defend Lake Champlain. He defended it greatly with a small fleet and army but was unsuccessfully able to keep it. His brilliancy came into play when he retreated perfectly back to the fort saving a lot of men.
This accomplishment ranked up Arnold. Washington became to notice and trust Arnold. They were becoming great friends and there trust grew with them. The jealous man by the name of Gates grew as Arnold accomplished many achievements. A letter by Arnolds enemy stating that Arnold being a coward retreated, even though his fleet was bigger then the British. This was all false but people he once trusted started to turn on Arnold. Many started to agree, just to get Arnold the disrespected he didn’t deserve.
Washington liking Arnold had been trying to promote him for his great commanding on land and water but congress refused. False accusations of Arnold started to come upon him. His own people and country were turning on him. Arnold began to question his sacrifices, loyalty and honor.
Arnold was offered land, wealth and a military position in the British army, for exchange to surrender West Point. Arnold agreed but only because his country turned on him. He would never gain the respect he wanted from his own people, no matter what he did. His own country always humiliated him, even after what he gave to his country. He did many unrecognized accomplishments for the Americans.
He won the Battle at Saratoga, which was the biggest turning point in the American Revolution because it finally convinced the French to send troops to our cause, who were a great aid.
Benedict Arnold was an outstanding man. He was one of the first to agree with the colonist to go against Britain and one of the first to become a General of the new continental army. He easily captured many forts that boost the American moral and strength. He then was the Commander of West Point but still was constantly humiliated by his own people. His plans to gain respect back to his family name, was always failing.
The truths of his victories started to become lies. The lies began to play an affect on Arnold’s character. He was fed up, so he decided to take the British offer. The offer was, he would give up West Point for land, wealth and a military position. He took it up for the reason his country mistreated him. “A variety of enemies on the American side had insulted and abused him, while others had denied him the credit due to his military skills.
Subject: American Revolutionary War,
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 9 January 2017
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