Barbary Pirates Essay

1388 words - 6 pages

Cody EndersPL SC 110Barbary PiratesIn this essay I will go over what Barbary pirates are, what their objective was, who they targeted, and I will criticize the decisions made by the United States government. Barbary pirates were privateers who operated from North Africa, based primarily in the ports of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli. This area was known in Europe as the Barbary Coast, a term derived from the name of its inhabitants at the time. Their predation extended throughout the Mediterranean, south along West Africa's Atlantic seaboard and even South America, and into the North Atlantic as far north as Iceland, but they primarily operated in the western Mediterranean. In addition to seizing ships, they engaged in raids on European coastal towns and villages, mainly in Italy, France, Spain, and Portugal, but also in the British Isles, the Netherlands and as far away as Iceland. The main purpose of their attacks was to capture Christian slaves for the Ottoman slave trade as well as the general Muslim market in North Africa and the Middle East. In many cases they would over power merchant ships and still not only the goods but the people on board the ship. Often they demanded currency if certain countries wanted the right of passage in the Mediterranean. The main point of my essay is the decisions made by the United States toward the Barbary pirates and if I believe that they made good or bad decisions.Trade across the Atlantic and Mediterranean waters was corrupted by the greedy Pirates of the Barbary Coast. These pirates were constantly harassing anyone passing by North Africa. The Pirates were a big obstacle that the United States and other European countries had to face and overcome. The Barbary Coast Pirates captured ships and crew members, forced countries to pay tribute to them, and were constantly at war and hated by surrounding countries. During the 17th century, the pirates thrived but carried on until the 18th century. The pirates were made up of Muslims operating from North Africa. This was an ideal location to capture passing trade ships and vessels. The Pirates survived chiefly by blackmail. Ships, crew, treasure, and other things were stolen and sometimes held for ransom or sold into slavery. For example, in July 1785 the American Schooner Maria, is boarded and captured by Tripoli pirates and the crew is imprisoned. In many occasions though, the pirates were not interested in the crew as much as the loot. Many sailors were set free after their ship was looted. In fact, many pirates obeyed strict rules such as not harming any woman prisoners. By the 18th century, the Barbary States were weakened and deteriorated, but their reputation put fear into the European countries to continue paying tribute. The pirates thought of as many ways possible that they could make money off other countries. Barbary Pirates forced tribute in exchange for not harming ships passing through Tripoli waters. The pirates asked for treasure and personal gifts...

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