Pirates of the Caribbean: Buccaneers, Privateers and Freebooters 1493-1720 by Cruz Apestegui
Engineering & Transportation | Transportation
Pirates of the Caribbean: Buccaneers, Privateers and Freebooters 1493-1720
Conway Maritime Press Ltd; First Edition edition (August 30, 2002)
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Pirates of the Caribbean is a study of pirates in the Americas during their heyday. Cruz Apestegui has drawn on a huge number of sources - both published and unpublished - to write the definitive narrative history of piracy in the Caribbean. The story begins with the arrival of the first Spanish settlers in the New World. They found an immense amount of wealth there, and the whole purpose of these early settlements was to extract this and send it back to Spain in great treasure galleons. When Spain found itself at war with France in the 1520s, these settlements and galleons became the target for privateers in the service of the French king. From these beginnings, the whole edifice of piracy, popularised by Hollywood films and the swashbuckling novels of Rafael Sabatini, emerged. The wealth of New Spain attracted ship owners who tried both legitimate trade and smuggling to turn a profit. European wars generated fleets of ships commanded by the same men who replaced illegal trade with outright seizure of ships and attacks on Spanish ports. Famous names such as Hawkins, Morgan, Drake, and Heyn all built their fortunes on these escapades. Piracy remained profitable until trade with Spanish colonies was opened after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession in 1713. Piracy in the Caribbean was then suppressed, and by 1720 had ceased to be anything but a marginal activity by small operators.
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