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Caribbean Macaw - Pirates, #15 of 100 Bloody Objects (Banditry pt 1 of 3)

60 minutes

Every man shall have an equal vote in affairs of moment

1. Myth and romance 2. Ancient world 3. Privateers 4. Corsairs 5. Famous Pirates 6. State Pirates 7. Modern Piracy PS The Legends

Pirates have always captured the imagination. And romance and myth surround them. Yet the reality was often bleak and violent. We have images of peglegs and parrots, but the story of piracy often ended at the end of a hangman’s noose and a rotting corpse imprisoned in a gibbet. They were outcasts and run-of-the-mill criminals and many earnt a wage by working on occasion for navies and governments.

Certain factors helped the pirate: lawlessness on land, availability of hidden harbours and a ready market for the goods they stole. We remember pieces of eight and hidden treasure, but in fact the merchandise they looted and subsequently traded was usually more prosaic. Figures such as Blackbeard and Calico Jack have featured in many books and movies. Today there is still piracy, but it is oil tankers and container ships that are the target. Piracy costs the world money and poses a challenge to governments.

So it goes,

Tom Assheton & James Jackson

[email protected]

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