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Cal
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When the Continental Congress declared independence from the British Empire, Benedict Arnold was quick to serve his country. Arnold began the war as a captain in the Connecticut militia, a position to which he was elected in March 1775. Commanding General Artemis Ward was quick to notice the raw intelligence behind Arnold's military planning, and offered to him the position of major general. The major general position was highly sought after among those serving in the war, and he shared the honor with names such as George Washington, Benjamin Lincoln, and later Arthur St. Clair, all of whom would go to distinguish themselves for better or for worse in political service after the war. 

Historians have argued that the loyalty of Benedict Arnold was fickle - and indeed there are writings from the admiral lend credence to that theory. While Arnold thrived under the high pressure expected of him as a major general, he was unsatisfied. Arnold had made his livelihood working as a colonial merchant and smuggler, and even privateered briefly. The high seas were his home, and had the British not imposed such overbearing taxes on his way of life and had Ward not recognized his talent, he very well may have defected to the British. 

When the Continental Congress met and decided to appropriate funding for a continental navy, Arnold was the clear choice to serve as Chief Admiral. General Washington and General Ward both spoke highly of his loyalty to these United States, and his background made him the best fit among those willing to serve. And thus, Benedict was finally satisfied. The United States, and her independence, gave him purpose. 

Edited by Cal
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Arnold was not clearly the best man for the job. The closest competition for the job came from Esek Hopkins, of Rhode Island. Hopkins was an accomplished merchant captain and privateer, and his experience seemed more directly transferrable to the war than Arnold. However, the close relationship between Arnold and Washington led to his appointment. 

The appointment would prove to have been a wise choice. Early in the Revolutionary War, Admiral Arnold set the United States up for success with a series of clear naval victories over the Royal Navy, despite being heavily outnumbered. The naval Battle of Valcour Island took place on October 11, 1776, on Lake Champlain. The main action took place in Valcour Bay, a narrow strait between the New York mainland and Valcour Island. Here, Arnold was successful not only in completely stopping the British from reinforcing the Upper Hudson Bay area with new troops (which allowed General Ward to route the British in Mamaroneck, New York) but he dealt a devastating blow that would knock the British fleet out of the early stages of the war, if not the entirety. Benedict Arnold ensured that his name would go down in history as one of the greats of the Revolutionary War. 

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[I'll add this in this thread instead of the gameplay thread. Two interesting things:

  • Despite Blue having been, in many ways, in more positions of power this last half-term, they were actually less productive points-wise than they were in previous half-terms. 
  • William Franklin, having been reelected governor of NJ, is having a more relevant career than his father Benjamin Franklin is having so far.]
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Ha!  Benjamin Franklin has been the Ambassador to France for a while, as he was in real life, and is presumably having as much fun as he did in reality.  There was criticism at the time that he wasn't taking the job too seriously.  If I'm remembering correctly off the top of my head, John Adams went to France and found Franklin to distracted chasing pretty women (despite leaving his wife in the colonies) to be too focused on advancing the cause of Independence.

Then again, Adams could be a hard man to please and his assessment is likely not without it's own bias.

I've also found letters between Benjamin Franklin in France and George Washington, where Franklin kept sending random men across the sea and assuring them that a letter of introduction and recommendation from Franklin would assure that the men would be well received and guaranteed top jobs from Washington -- and Washington kept writing to beg him to stop.  Haha.  


Regardless, we can at least suppose that Franklin played a role in getting Lafayette to come to the US, just as he did in real life.

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6 minutes ago, MrPotatoTed said:

Ha!  Benjamin Franklin has been the Ambassador to France for a while, as he was in real life, and is presumably having as much fun as he did in reality.  There was criticism at the time that he wasn't taking the job too seriously.  If I'm remembering correctly off the top of my head, John Adams went to France and found Franklin to distracted chasing pretty women (despite leaving his wife in the colonies) to be too focused on advancing the cause of Independence.

Then again, Adams could be a hard man to please and his assessment is likely not without it's own bias.

I've also found letters between Benjamin Franklin in France and George Washington, where Franklin kept sending random men across the sea and assuring them that a letter of introduction and recommendation from Franklin would assure that the men would be well received and guaranteed top jobs from Washington -- and Washington kept writing to beg him to stop.  Haha.  


Regardless, we can at least suppose that Franklin played a role in getting Lafayette to come to the US, just as he did in real life.

The John Adams documentary goes into this and it's so funny to see how uncomfortable he was in France. 

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  • 5 months later...

It was to Norwich, his hometown, that President Benedict Arnold returned to after his embarrassing electoral defeat.

President Arnold had done everything that he could to keep the union together when assumed his position as the first President of the United States, even those things that were antithetical to his own political beliefs and interpretation of the Constitution. President Arnold had held his nose and ushered in the National Bank, several military reform bills, and even publicly spoke on why it was necessary to the nation's success that it be done. 

And then, despite his efforts, he was unceremoniously kicked out of office. No one understood the what he had done, or why he had done it. All that they knew was that the economy was still in shambles, the natives were pushing us back, and the people were angry. Continental Congressman Francis Lightfoot Lee, damned be his name, road the coattails of the people's anger to victory. It wasn't fair to him nor his dedication to the country. It wasn't fair to the country itself! 

And this was a sentiment shared by more than just Arnold... Senior officials within the military expressed their outrage with the president being ousted. General Arthur St. Clair, one of the president's closest allies, and several others privately proposed to Benedict that they do something unthinkable: refuse to acknowledge the election results and claim that America needs a stable hand and strong leader in this time of crisis. His most fervent supporters argued that Lee would take the hard work done by the nation's founders and squander it away. 

But, Arnold did not. He believed that his vision was for the United States to be a truly democratic nation and that the people had the right to decide who would serve as their next president. It was not an easy job, but the people would discover that in time. The economy could not be fixed by one man alone, and soon the blame would not fall squarely on the president for the state of affairs. Therefore, President Arnold returned to Norwich.

Here, the Revolutionary War hero continued to recruit talented young men to his unique brand of conservatism. One such man, Pierce Butler, would turn out to have quite a few pages of his own in the history books of the budding nation...

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While Benedict Arnold had been a star in American politics for quite some time, he was in reality not too much older than Franklin Pierce. When the two first met in 1793, only three years separated them with Arnold at 52 and Pierce at a ripe young 49 years old. 

Pierce was immediately stricken with the words of the ex-president. After all, he had led the nation through its darkest hour and while he had been rejected in his bid for reelection, it could not be said that the nation hated him. The two discussed their mutual hatred for France, the glory-stealing hounds of the Democratic-Republican Party, the sacrifices that must be made to keep the nation safe, and much more. 

Pierce was no political newcomer himself. While he had never sought public office, he had been active in the Revolutionary War. Franklin Pierce had once been a Redcoat, but his assistance proved pivotal in repelling the British from Charleston, South Carolina. Throughout the closing phases of the southern campaign, he personally donated cash and supplies to help sustain the American forces and also assisted in the administration of prisoner-of-war facilities.

These generation donations and contributions to military operations in the final months of the Revolutionary War left Butler a poor man. Many of his plantations and ships were destroyed, and the international trade on which the majority of his income depended was in shambles. He traveled to Europe when the war ended in an effort to secure loans and establish new markets. He experienced wild successs -- quickly becoming one of the richest men, in America, if not the richest! Combined with Arnold's political machine, Pierce quickly became the Federalist Party's most influential voice. His endorsement was what won men primaries, what influenced state legislatures, and he was the man that President Lee feared would face him in 1796. And so he did -- in a matchup between the protege of the First President and the Second President who had ousted him, Franklin Pierce won a clear and convincing victory and the hearts of the American people. 

President Arnold may have been booted from office, but his ideas remain popular with the American people. President Pierce will capitalize on that. 

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