TYPES OF PIRATES
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Types of pirates.
When one thinks of pirates, they generally think of
those that sail the seas with their Jolly Rogers and peg legs, attacking other
ships and stealing treasure. When it comes to actual pirates, these images are
correct for the most part. However, there are others that sail the seas that are
also grouped with pirates however, they are quite different. There are actually
three types of pirates. These are actual pirates, buccaneers, and privateers.
According to international law, piracy is defined
as an act of robbery or other violent acts that take place either on the seas or
in the sky that covers the seas. The law goes on to state that these crimes are
committed by a captain or crew on a ship or aircraft that are not within any
particular jurisdiction and are not carrying out the actions by any order of the
Piracy is seen as a crime against all of humanity,
and not one particular state or country. For this reason, the crime of piracy
can be punished in any state that the pirate is found or brought to, even though
the crime might have been committed on a ship from a country other than the
country carrying out the punishment. If the state that carries out the
punishment punishes the pirate for an act that is not considered piracy in
international law, the punishment will only be seen as valid within that state.
Buccaneers were those that sailed the seas in the
17th century and were usually of English, Dutch, and French descent. Buccaneers
were inspired by privateers such as Sir Francis Drake and Sir Richard Hawkins,
who had obtained many riches while privateering in North America and the
Caribbean Sea. Trying to take after these men, some pirates began calling
themselves freebooters or buccaneers and started attacking Spanish colonies.
This was mostly during the last half of the 17th century.
The most famous buccaneer was Sir Henry Morgan.
Buccaneers were different from privateers in that they were not commissioned by
the government to carry out their actions. They were also different from pirates
in that they did not attack ships of any nationality and the act of piracy was
also banned in the 18th century.
The term “buccaneer” comes from the French term “boucan.”
The term was taken from the act of buccaneers stealing Spanish cattle and after
drying the meat out with heat, they would sell it to ships and it would become
these ships main source of food. The buccaneers captured Panama in 1671, under
the leadership of Henry Morgan. During the 18th century, governments needed to
hire the buccaneers as privateers to fight in the War of the Spanish Succession.
This brought the end of the buccaneers.
Privateers are vastly different from pirates and buccaneers. The main difference
is that privateers were hired by the government to carry out their actions. The
ships of the privateers were privately owned by countries and when a privateer
was called to duty, these were called “letters of marque.”
The Declaration of Paris in 1856 brought the end of
most privateering but not all countries agreed to the declaration. These
countries included the United States, Spain, Mexico, and Venezuela. As payment
for their work, privateers were entitled to share in whatever treasure they
captured. Although privateering was in practice before official navies were set
up, privateering was allowed during the War of 1812 and the American Revolution,
when some navies had been comprised. The United States gave up privateering in
1898 during the Spanish-American War.
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