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Arts & Culture

Benedict Arnold: Unscrupulous Traitor or Unsung Hero?

benedict_arnold.jpg
Thomas Hart
/
Wikimedia Commons
Benedict Arnold

Benedict Arnold's reputation as a traitor instead of a skilled warrior and confidante of George Washington, has become accepted history in the minds of Americans living hundreds of years removed from our founding. But that's too simple a story.  

The Revolution was a chaotic time. Congress was in constant battle with the military and feelings ran high over whether power should reside in the states or the federal government.

The war took a toll on the men who fought this bloody and protracted war. Leadership was often ineffective, greed was rampant, and militias fought without pay, few provisions, and little training. Family farms  were looted and destroyed,  the economy collapsed, and the Native Americans usually fought for the British. 

Benedict Arnold was a traitor to his country, fighting against friends and former comrades. He was impetuous and quick to anger. He also fought valiantly for the Revolution, often turning the tide toward America in decisive battles. Yet, he got little respect, less pay, and was a target of a politicized Congress.

Is it time to take another look at Benedict Arnold and the Revolution that birthed America?  

This show originally aired on June 16, 2016. 

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Colin McEnroe, Chion Wolf, and Greg Hill contributed to this show.