Washington and Arnold
George Washington and Benedict Arnold began as compatriots fighting for the same cause at the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, also known as the American War of Independence. They were fighting to rid the original colonies from unjust British rule. However, one became the revered leader of a new nation and the other became everything that nation stood for. Washington became a human icon that became synonymous with the American nation and is remembered as the deliverer of the young American people. Arnold betrayed his country to the same aggressor the Americans were combating, completing the shift from patriot to traitor, and will always be remembered as such. Benedict Arnold is now synonymous with treachery and betrayal.
George Washington was the first president of the United States and one of the most important leaders in United States history. He gained independence for the American colonies and then unified them under the new U.S. federal government. Although it was difficult he created the Continental Army, which fought and won the American Revolution. After eight-year, his army defeated the British at Yorktown, Virginia, and forced Great Britain to grant independence to its richest overseas possession. After this victory, Washington was the most admired man in the United States. He could have done whatever he wanted but he decided that he wasn’t going to use his power against the people but for the people. He continued to follow the weak and divided Continental Congress. However, he never stopped working for the union of the states under a strong central government. He was a leading influence in persuading the states to participate in the Constitutional Convention, over which he presided. Although he was tired of working so hard he accepted the presidency of the United States. No other man could have succeeded in making the United States into a lasting union. He fully understood the significance of his presidency. “I walk on untrodden ground,” he said. “There is scarcely any part of my conduct which may not hereafter be drawn in precedent.” During the eight years he was in office, Washington gave a great example of how the presidents to come should be. By far he is one of the greatest leaders in American history.
Benedict Arnold was also a great American military leader, who participated in the first phase of the American Revolution, but later became a traitor to his own country. He became a militia colonel and joined Ethan Allen to take Fort Ticonderoga in New York from the British at the start of the American Revolution in 1775. Military supplies from the fort helped George Washington’s ill-equipped American forces, who were besieging Boston. Later the same year Arnold led a brave but unsuccessful assault on British Qubec and was promoted to brigadier general; enemy reinforcements subsequently forced his retreat to Lake Champlain. Although he was a great leader he betrayed his own country and that made him less of a leader. His treachery was due to his ambition and need of money.
In conclusion, George Washington and Benedict Arnold were both great American leaders but in the end everyone has faults. In this case Arnold betrayed his own country. Washington today is remembered as a great American legend for all the good he did to his country, while Arnold his remembered for his treason against his mother country. Both these men are mentioned and remembered in American History.