Modern Pirates Essay

3546 words - 14 pages

Buccaneers Buccaneers were those that sailed the seas in the 17th century and were usually of English, Dutch, and French descent. Buccaneers were inspired by privateers such as Sir Francis Drake and Sir Richard Hawkins, who had obtained many riches while privateering in North America and the Caribbean Sea. Trying to take after these men, some pirates began calling themselves freebooters or buccaneers and started attacking Spanish colonies. This was mostly during the last half of the 17th century. The most famous buccaneer was Sir Henry Morgan. Buccaneers were different from privateers in that they were not commissioned by the government to carry out their actions. They were also different from pirates in that they did not attack ships of any nationality and the act of piracy was also banned in the 18th century. The term "buccaneer" comes from the French term "boucan." The term was taken from the act of buccaneers stealing Spanish cattle and after drying the meat out with heat, they would sell it to ships and it would become these ships main source of food. The buccaneers captured Panama in 1671, under the leadership of Henry Morgan. During the 18th century, governments needed to hire the buccaneers as privateers to fight in the War of the Spanish Succession. This brought the end of the buccaneers.The term buccaneer derives from the Caribbean Arawak word buccan , a wooden frame for smoking meat, preferably manatee. From this derived the French word boucane and hence the name boucanier for French hunters who used such frames to smoke meat from feral cattle and pigs on Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic). English colonists anglicised the word boucanier to buccaneer. Privateers Privateers are vastly different from pirates and buccaneers. The main difference is that privateers were hired by the government to carry out their actions. The ships of the privateers were privately owned by countries and when a privateer was called to duty, these were called "letters of marque." The Declaration of Paris in 1856 brought the end of most privateering but not all countries agreed to the declaration. These countries included the United States, Spain, Mexico, and Venezuela. As payment for their work, privateers were entitled to share in whatever treasure they captured. Although privateering was in practice before official navies were set up, privateering was allowed during the War of 1812 and the American Revolution, when some navies had been comprised. The United States gave up privateering in 1898 during the Spanish-American War15) Somalian Pirates Probably the most well-known and most publicized occurrences of piracy are the attacks of Somalian pirates. You wouldn't want to get caught in the sights of these corsairs; they are known to use grenades and automatic machine guns in order to subdue other vessels. Piracy around Somalian waters started to drastically increase in 2005, after the Somalian Civil War. The United Nations reported that the...

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