These Historical Villains Weren’t That Bad After All

INSHPublished: January 8, 201838 views
Published: January 8, 2018

Any history buff will tell you that history has been densely dotted with figures that are portrayed as the bad boy and gals. History has a long list of infamous villains, but as it turns out some of them may not have been as evil as they’ve been made out to be.

There’s a saying that goes “time heals all wounds”, but in this case, time has only inflated the treachery of some historical figures who textbooks have labelled as generally bad people.

We will take Benedict Arnold as an example. The man whose family helped found Rhode Island fought long and hard for the Americans leading up to and throughout the Revolutionary War as a leader in the Continental Army. His efforts foiling the British during the Battle of Lake Champlain were vital to the American side, and he was a key component in the British army’s surrender in the Battle of Saratoga.

But Benedict Arnold did have his faults, and those faults, mixed together with what he perceived to be unforgivable slights on the part of the American top brass, led to his jumping into the arms of the British. He might be what some people today call a narcissist – he was impatient, short-tempered, demanding of respect and often took to belittling those who he felt were beneath him.

Those traits, despite the many successes he had in the war effort, made him an easy character to dislike. In turn, that may have lead to his being passed over for promotions within the army and not being given the credit he actually deserved.

The moral of this story? Just don’t be a prick. And definitely don’t switch teams unless you want to be branded a ‘Benedict Arnold’.

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