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Golden Age of Piracy

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With canons blaring in the distance, Captain Edward Teach sits in his quarters, preparing for battle. To his belt, Teach straps pistols, daggers, and his cutlass. Across his chest, a sling with six pistols all loaded. Then, slowly, Teach braids his bushy, pitch-black beard that would come to give him his name. Finally, Teach places several slow burning fuses under his hat, lighting each one by one[i]. With wisps of smoke billowing around his face, Blackbeard, the most treacherous pirate in history, emerges from his cabin to join the fight. In the golden age of piracy, Captain Edward Teach, more commonly known as Blackbeard, stands out as the fiercest and most important figure. Blackbeard and his crew successfully controlled commerce along…show more content…
For example, Captain Benjamin Hornigold’s crew deposed him for “refusing to take and plunder English Vessels.”[xii] Democracy was the primary mechanism pirates used to control their captains. Also, much like modern American democracy, pirates instituted a separation of powers to regulate the amount of control one man could have. Crews had many officers, each one dealing with a different aspect of upholding the pirate code.[xiii] One could argue that the Framers based their entire government off of the democratic checks and balance practiced by pirates. It is amazing to think that a successful model of democracy was being practiced on pirate ships more then a half century before Congress would sign the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia. Very little is known about Blackbeard’s early life. Not unlike the vast majority of seamen at the time, he remained anonymous. It is believed that Blackbeard was born around 1860 in Bristol, Britain.[xiv] First record of Blackbeard appears in 1715 in town of New Providence in the Bahamas.[xv] New Providence was the original pirate haven because the ownership of the city was hazy. The Spanish had originally claimed the Bahamas but, as the Spanish neglected to colonize the islands, they were
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