Benedict Arnold Traitor

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Matthew Perna Mrs. Smith Social Studies 21 April, 2016 What changes a military hero from a great patriot to a traitor? Benedict Arnold is the only man in history to be a military hero for both sides. He is known to many in our country as a traitor. His passion for defeating the enemy in the end was what defeated him. The Saratoga campaign was a series of battles fought during the months of June through October in 1777 in New York. During these battles it was Arnold who led the Americans to defeat Britain’s chalenging army. Although it was General Horatio Gates who was in charge it was Arnold’s action that helped lead them to victory. During the Battle of Saratoga, the continental army was retreating but Arnold would not accept that.…show more content…
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, couldn’t make any money, and was crippled and couldn’t fight, he desperately wanted the war to end. Arnold has had enough and decided that if he were to help the British he could end the war sooner. He planned to turn over West Point to the British for 20,000 pounds. In the beginning there was much success during his plan. His contact was British Army Major John Andre. 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. Arnold 's plan was simple make it appear that West Point was becoming stronger while he was really weakening it. Arnold sent a rowboat,up the Hudson to get Andre. Arnold took Andre behind enemy lines. However, in the midst of this plan Andre took off to New York. Three men stopped him. Andre mistook them for Tories but they were actually Americans. When they searched him they found letters implicating Arnold in Andres boot. They learned that both Andre and Arnold were spies. Arnold escaped on the boat. Unfortunately for Andre he was caught, trialed and found guilty of spying. He was later…show more content…
He believed that by letting himself join the British military it would somehow weaken the American forces and their quest for liberty. In 1785, Arnold returned to American soil as a commander of British forces in Connecticut. The most famous of these battles would be the burning of New London. This would be Arnold’s gravest decision, for he turned to the losing side and lost his position in his home country. Benedict Arnold’s name lives in disgrace. He stands as the American symbol of treason, yet he was brilliant, and without his military genius the country would have lost the war. No other general in American history has ever commanded a single battle that if lost, would have spelled defeat for the entire nation, yet Arnold commanded three such battles: Valcor Island, the Mohawk Valley, and finally Saratoga. Had Arnold been killed at Saratoga, today there would have been cities and states named after him, and no one except Washington would have been so respected for his accomplishments. His treason has erased much of his glory. He died deeply in debt, as an obscure, pitiful figure in London in
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