Benedict Arnold: Hero Or Traitor

Good Essays
In the United States today, the name Benedict Arnold is a known synonym for “traitor.” During most of the war, he impressed both the British and the Americans with his skills and strengths. He was once a Patriot, but he is now known as one of the most cowardly traitors of America. He won many significant battles for the Americans, but that does not mean that he is a hero. He turned to the British for his own selfish reasons and his actions were unfair to the American people. The known reason for Arnold becoming a traitor was his lust for money. In a letter he wrote to John Andre, the chief of intelligence for the British, he stated that ”first, Sir Henry secure to me my property, valued at ten thousand pounds Sterling, to be paid to me”…show more content…
Arnold cared about his life and his money. He was not always that way, but he changed into a new person during the war. When he turned to the British forces, he impressed everyone once more, but this time with his selfishness. Americans’ first reaction was “shock and rage”(Sheinkin). They could not handle what Arnold had done; they did not understand who would betray his/her own country for money and wealth (Sheinkin). The second stage of reactions was the amazement that a plot such as Arnold’s could have worked so easily; some called it luck and others saw it as a hand of God (Sheinkin). Arnold had ironically helped save the American Revolution one last time. Arnold was safe with the British, but even they asked themselves how a man could betray his country for money. Arnold wanted everything done for him. He wanted everything to be done his way and all of that backfired in his face at the end. He and Peggy kept moving around and “after six years of failure in New Brunswick, they returned to London, and failed there, too” (Sheinkin). The world was closing in on him and that which made him realize that he made the wrong decision essentially to join the British for his own self-centered…show more content…
He died a traitor to his country and he was not remembered very well with the British. He was trying to fix his legacy because the line of Benedict Arnold has not had a very good reputation throughout the years, but he only worsened his family reputation. His betrayal is known among most citizens of the US and his name is scarcely mentioned anywhere. He was not treated fairly by some Americans, but his response to being treated that way was unacceptable. If he perished at the Battle of Saratoga, he would have been known as one of America’s bravest heroes. Now, he is known as the worst traitor of all
Get Access