Golden Age Of Piracy

1474 Words6 Pages
Villains of All Nations, by Marcus Rediker, is a collection of ideas and information about pirates in the Golden Age of Atlantic piracy, between the years 1650 and 1730. This book is a collection of the unprecedented social and cultural history of pirates, mainly at sea, but also before they became pirates, and how piracy affected maritime culture. It delves into the ideas and realities of pirate life and helps further an understanding of piracy during this time. Rediker claims, “The pirates of the 1710s and 1720s were among the greatest ever in the long history of robbery by sea” (Rediker 8). The text explores the Golden Age of piracy and the generation that shaped the modern, romanticized view of pirates. Rediker begins by claiming, pirates were among the most violent during the Golden Age of piracy. At sea, pirates wreaked havoc by capturing…show more content…
Many people of the time became pirates because they believed pirate ships had better conditions than other sea services, but this was a misconception. “Privateers were not always happy ships. Some captains ran their ships like naval vessels” (44). Furthermore, “Enslaved Africans … sought to escape slavery; fishermen sought to escape peonage; transported felons sought to escape … servitude; and sailors sought to escape impressment or deadly conditions aboard a ship” (58). Rediker claims people also became pirates because they were greedy and wanted money. According to Stephen Smith, a pirate during the Golden Age of piracy, “Money meant simply getting a living” (56). Pirate ships were comprised of both genders and many races and ages, however, the average pirate was between the ages of 15 and 40, and originated from Great Britain. Rediker states, nationalities included, “British, French, Dutch, Spanish, Swedish, Native American, African American, and … Africans” (53). Pirates were a diverse group and had strong bonds of
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