Benedict Arnold

I am studying US History this semester & we’re focusing from the periods of 1500-1860. And inevitable during these periods we came across the American Reveloution. During the readings of America’s seperation from British rule, we came across the name Benedict Arnold. As we all should know bout history is that Benedict Arnold is infamous in American history because he was a American General who switched sides abruptly & joined the British.

So my question pertains to why did Benedict Arnold become so famous in American folklore, because after all, i’m sure he wasn’t the first (or last) soldier to switch sides during battle?

Plus, recent events or publications have debated that maybe Benedict Arnold’s ‘‘switch’’ was blown out of proportion. Meaning maybe he got a bad rap from American history.

Well, the reason his defection was so infamous is that he was pretty famous before he defected. He served with distinction during the Quebec campaign and was a hero at the Battle of Trenton.

While convalescing from wounds received at Trenton, he was given command of West Point, one of the more important forts in the colonies. Had he been successful in turning West Point over to the British, we might have lost the war.

When one of our biggest celebrities turns on us, we tend to get ticked off.

As far as I know, he was the highest-ranking traitor ever (he was a Major General). I don’t think even the Confederate military leaders were that high ranking when they left the Union Army. (And of course, they didn’t make any secret of where their loyalties lay, nor did they switch sides for money). I’ll admit Arnold’s military contributions were probably underrated by Congress and his fellow officers, but I don’t think that forgives his betrayal. Even some Loyalists (Tories) had trouble admiring the man who let Major André hang without lifting a finger to help him.

Thanks for the trivial knowledge that i craved for.