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NCJ Number: 222524 Find in a Library
Title: Pirates, Markets and Imperial Authority: Economic Aspects of Maritime Depredations in the Atlantic World, 1716-1726
Journal: Global Crime  Volume:9  Issue:1-2  Dated:February-May 2008  Pages:52-65
Author(s): Arne Bialuschewski
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 14
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the history of the rise and suppression of maritime predators in the Atlantic World, which ranged from state-sanctioned privateering to piracy that required survival tactics in a hostile political environment.
Abstract: Between 1716 and 1726, the Atlantic maritime world experienced what many argue was the most intense outbreak of piracy ever recorded. Several thousand pirates preyed on shipping in all parts of the Atlantic Ocean, causing serious disruption of overseas trade. As long as these pirates were furthering French, Dutch, and English interests, the colonial authorities were not concerned about curtailing their activities. For decades buccaneers raided Spanish coastal towns and shipping coming into them, while using the ports of rival powers as safe havens. As Spain became more effective in defending its sea-based trade routes, however, as well as its ports, many buccaneers moved into open piracy that challenged the economic interests of their previous colonial protectors. England, for example, had long condoned freelance raiding that facilitated its penetration of the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, as well as the Caribbean Basin. By the early 18th century, however, the strategic context had changed. Britain was the leading imperial power with a considerable share in overseas trade, while Spain struggled to maintain control over its empire and was waning as a global economic power. Against this background, the upsurge of piracy posed a threat to British trading that prompted a strong response against piracy. It was only a matter of time until the loss of friendly ports and the pirates having to use outdated and aging ships led to the demise of what had been a thriving example of organized crime on the high seas. 64 notes
Main Term(s): Criminology; Piracy
Index Term(s): Economic influences; Europe; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Political influences; Spain
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