Though John Marshall and Mercy Otis Warren shared little ideological ground when it came to politics, they did come together in their respective revolutionary histories to condemn the treason of Benedict Arnold. During the war, the treason stirred up a good deal of emotionalism; the United States' military position was so precarious that the loss of the strategically positioned West Point would have caused our defeat. Marshall and Warren, as historians, do their best to try and capture the public fear and uncertainty Arnold's betrayal had created. It is not the similarities but rather the disparities between these two historical characterizations of Benedict Arnold and his trial that allows us to see the political and moral agendas that serve as the engines for these two historians.
Mercy Otis Warren's History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution is written in a dramatic, character-driven style that reflects Warren's other work as a playwright and historian. Warren was drawn to dynamic characters, and indeed sometimes treated the war itself as a character with its own journey, trials, and weakness. Warren takes every opportunity of telling these character stories in front of the backdrop of her democratic, anti-federalist leanings.
[...] Thus while Benedict Arnold represented no other interests but his own, Warren and Marshall have elected him as a representative for both of their individual political philosophies. Bibliography 1. Warren, Mercy Otis. History of the Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution. Vol Ed. Lester H. Cohen. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund vols Tubbs, Brian. "The Story of Benedict Arnold - Part One." Suite 101. http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/us_founding_era/38668/ Warren, Mercy Otis. “History of the American Revolution by Mercy Warrens, v.1.” The Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution Interspersed with Biographical, Political, and Moral Observations. [...]
[...] (Introduction to the Work of Mercy Otis Warren death of General Montgomery decided the fate of the day, though Colonel Arnold and his party with great bravery kept up the attack. Nor did they quit the field until after Arnold was obliged to retire, having received a dangerous wound. Notwithstanding this accident, added to the unspeakable loss of their brave commander, this small resolute party kept their ground, until galled on every side, attacked in the rear, and their retreat cut off by a British party who found means to secure a passage that prevented even the attempt, yet they kept up an obstinate defense for several hours, but at last were obliged to surrender themselves prisoners of war.” (Warren, Mercy Otis “History of the American Revolution by Mercy Warrens, v.1. [...]
[...] Indianapolis: Liberty Fund vols., p George Washington praised him for his "enterprising and persevering spirit" and James Warren described him as a "genius." (Tubbs, Brian. "The Story of Benedict Arnold - Part One." Suite 101. http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/us_founding_era/38668/2.) History, p Warren, Mercy Otis. “History of the American Revolution by Mercy Warrens, v.1.” The Rise, Progress and Termination of the American Revolution Interspersed with Biographical, Political, and Moral Observations. United States Published online: Fairfield University Philosophy Department, Fairfield University http://www.samizdat.com/warren.html (Chapter Online History, Chapter 7 Online History, Chapter 7 History, p History, p History, p. [...]
[...] So while Mercy Otis Warren retells the story of Benedict Arnold in order to show the effects of corruption and absolute power, John Marshall's interpretation is one influenced by Arnold's relationship to George Washington. Warren's book is a history of the war as a whole; Arnold becomes useful into how he has influenced the war as whole. In The Life of George Washington, Marshall's scope is narrower—he is telling the story of Washington's war, and the relationships Washington had throughout the war. [...]
[...] While Marshall does mention Andre's various virtues and honor, he mentions it as an aside, and does little to personify the Major.[?] Warren fleshes Andre out, using him as a counterpoint to Arnold's corruption: “major Andre, his adjutant general, a young gentleman of great integrity” verses guilty Arnold.”[?] In addition to being a polarizing force, Andre's death can be used as a platform to show the macro-influence of Arnold's selfishness. Warren makes Arnold responsible for Andre's fate directly by blaming Arnold for allowing Andre to fall into enemy hands in the first place:. [...]
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