American history has traditionally considered loyalists as traitors and American patriots as heroes during American Revolutionary War. As the history had written, loyalists or “Tories” as their opponents called them, were traitors during American Revolutionary War. However, is it moral when American patriots called those people are traitors while they betrayed the people who first discovered America, which is the British?This essay will focus on connection between loyalist and traitor; the essay will first define the meaning of loyalist and traitor during American Revolutionary War and thereafter will compare a contrast with Joseph Brant and Benedict Arnold.
The conclusion will focus on the argument between loyalist and traitor, and whether Joseph Brant or Benedict Arnold was a traitor. In June 1775, the First Continental Congress declared that anyone who does such as provisioning the British army, saying anything that undermined patriot morale, and discouraging men from enlisting in the Continental army is a traitor (Roark, 2009, p168).Base on this definition, traitors are people who remained loyal to the Great Britain. Not everyone agrees, however some people stayed loyal to the British crown, because they were conservative, most commonly, loyalists were wealthy, well educated conservative people who supported continued British authority in order to maintain domestic stability and their current standard of living. Moreover, loyalists always consider themselves morally and better than the colonists.Others stayed loyal to the British crown because they were slave, the reason they joined the British side because the King of British promised to give them freedom and enslaved them, “southern slaves had their own resentments against the white slave-owning class and looked to Britain in hope of freedom” (Roark, 2009, p165).
Others still stayed loyal to the Britain because they are native Indian, they wanted to get protection from the British. It is estimated that approximately 19% remained loyal to Britain, while 40 to 45 percent supported the American Revolution.Taking into account this diversity of opinion, it is clear that the definition of traitor is that most of these people didn’t betray their country for benefit, they just tried to protect themselves between the war of American and the Great Britain. As the Revolution began, many Indian tribes tried to stay neutral.
However, as the war grew, they eventually chose sides, the Americans considered most of the native Indian sided with England are traitor. A good example of that is the case of Joseph Brant.According to Roark, Joseph Brant was willing to assisted the British, in exchange they have to protect his tribe, Roark wrote “Brant pledged Indian support for the king in exchange for protection from encroaching settlers” (Roark, 2009, p165). Additionally, Joseph is considered a monster by America patriots, due to the Wyoming Valley massacre of 1778 and Cherry Valley massacre; however, he did not participate in the battles. Unlike Joseph Brant, Benedict Arnold was a real traitor is American history. Arnold was an American patriot, in 1765 he opposed the stamp Act.
In 1770 Arnold was in the West Indies when the Boston Massacre occurred. Good God” Arnold had exclaimed at the time of the Boston Massacre, “are the Americans all asleep and tamely giving up their liberties, or are they turned philosophers, that they don’t take immediate vengeance on such miscreants. ” (Randall, 1990, p68) In accordance to this, it shows that Benedict Arnold was the one who stood up and strongly supported the rebellion.
During the American Revolutionary War Arnold was a general, he obtained command of the fort at West Point, New York, and eventually Arnold defected to the British Army and entered the British Army as a brigadier general.Furthermore, after joining the growing army outside Boston, he considered himself through acts of cunning and bravery. Benedict Arnold was a brilliant military talent but he was so ambitious and greedy that willing to risk his life and the lives of others to get what he wanted. According to Howe for Benedict Arnold money is important than anything else in the world that he could betray his country for it, Howe wrote, “ Money is this man’s God, and to get enough of it he would sacrifice his country”, (Howe, 1998,p4-6).Following this further, in 1779 he opened secret negotiations with the British, he trading information for money, more than that Arnold plot to sell a West Point victory to the British.
However, his plot was exposed when the American captured British Major Andre was carrying papers that revealed the plot. No doubt that Benedict Arnold is a greatest traitor in American history, he might be an American hero if he hadn’t cared so much about money.In conclusion, the American patriots were regarded as great heroes during the War and loser, which is the loyalist, were called traitor. Take this into personal opinion; I think determining who was a loyalist still depend on what condition.
During the war, loyalist tried to avoid the war and wanted to be neutral but American patriots forced them to choose sides by threatening them. The fact that American patriots fought for their liberty and freedom can not be argue but is it moral when they tried to win the War by threatening their own people.Similarly, Joseph Brant wasn’t a traitor if we considered carefully, he had to sided with the Crown in order to protect his tribe from the patriots, so he wasn’t fight for American neither the British, but he always fight for his own tribe. Whereas, Benedict Arnold is a real traitor, Arnold betrayed his people, his brothers and sister for the money and Arnold can be considered that the man without country, he has no country to fight for, the only thing he lived for is the money. The truth that American patriots won the War cannot be changed, however, in the British point of view American might be the traitor.