Pirate Ship

From Academic Kids

Piracy is a war-like act committed by a non-state actor, especially robbery or criminal violence committed at sea, on water, or sometimes on shore. It does not normally include crimes on board a vessel among passengers or crew. The term has been used to refer to raids across land borders by non-state actors. Piracy should be distinguished from privateering, which was a legitimate form of war-like activity by non-state actors, authorized by their national authorities, until this form of commerce raiding was outlawed in the 19th century.

Contents

Definition

Maritime piracy, according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) of 1982, consists of any criminal acts of violence, detention, or depredation committed for private ends by the crew or the passengers of a private ship or aircraft that is directed on the high seas against another ship, aircraft, or against persons or property on board a ship or aircraft. Piracy can also be committed against a ship, aircraft, persons, or property in a place outside the jurisdiction of any state, in fact piracy has been the first example of universal jurisdiction. Nevertheless today the international community is facing many problems in bringing pirates to justice.<ref>Template:Cite news</ref>


History

Ancient origins

[[File:Romtrireme.jpg|thumb|left|250px|Mosaic of a Roman Trireme in Tunisia.]] Pirates have been around as long as people have used the oceans as trade routes. The earliest documented instances of piracy are the exploits of the Sea Peoples who threatened the Aegean and Mediterranean in the 13th century BC.<ref name="buccaneersoft1">The Pirates Hold - Piracy Timeline (http://pirateshold.buccaneersoft.com/pirate_timeline.html).</ref> In Classical Antiquity, the Illyrians and Tyrrhenians were known as pirates, as well as Greeks and Romans. The island of Lemnos long resisted Greek influence and remained a haven for Thracian pirates. During their voyages the Phoenicians seem to have sometimes resorted to piracy, and specialized in kidnapping boys and girls to be sold as slaves.<ref>Phoenician Economy and Trade (http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Parliament/2587/trade.html).</ref> By the 1st century BC, there were pirate states along the Anatolian coast, threatening the commerce of the Roman Empire.

On one voyage across the Aegean Sea in 75 BC,<ref>Again, according to Suetonius's chronology (Julius 4 (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Suetonius/12Caesars/Julius*.html#4)). Plutarch (Caesar 1.8-2 (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Plutarch/Lives/Caesar*.html#1.8)) says this happened earlier, on his return from Nicomedes's court. Velleius Paterculus (Roman History 2:41.3-42 (http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Velleius_Paterculus/2B*.html#41.3) says merely that it happened when he was a young man.</ref> Julius Caesar was kidnapped by Cilician pirates and held prisoner in the Dodecanese islet of Pharmacusa.<ref>Plutarch, Caesar 1-2.</ref> He maintained an attitude of superiority and good cheer throughout his captivity. When the pirates decided to demand a ransom of twenty talents of gold, Caesar is said to have insisted that he was worth at least fifty, and the pirates indeed raised the ransom to fifty talents. After the ransom was paid, Caesar raised a fleet, pursued and captured the pirates, and had them put to death.

The Senate finally invested Pompey with powers to deal with piracy in 67 BC (the Lex Gabinia), and Pompey after three months of naval warfare managed to suppress the threat. (See Pompey#Campaign against the pirates).

In the 3rd century, pirate attacks on Olympos (city in Anatolia) brought impoverishment. Among some of the most famous ancient pirateering peoples were the Illyrians, populating the western Balkan peninsula. Constantly raiding the Adriatic Sea, the Illyrians caused many conflicts with the Roman Republic. It was not until 68 BC that the Romans finally conquered Illyria and made it a province, ending their threat.

As early as 258 AD, the Gothic-Herulic fleet ravaged towns on the coasts of the Black Sea and Sea of Marmara. The Aegean coast suffered similar attacks a few years later. In 264, the Goths reached Galatia and Cappadocia, and Gothic pirates landed on Cyprus and Crete. In the process, the Goths seized enormous booty and took thousands into captivity.

In 286 AD, Carausius, a Roman military commander of Gaulish origins, was appointed to command the Classis Britannica, and given the responsibility of eliminating Frankish and Saxon pirates who had been raiding the coasts of Armorica and Belgic Gaul.

In the Roman province of Britannia, Saint Patrick was captured and enslaved by Irish pirates.

Early Polynesian warriors attacked seaside and riverside villages. They used the sea for their hit-and-run tactics - a safe place to retreat to if the battle turned against them.

Middle Ages to 19th century

The most widely known and far reaching pirates in medieval Europe were the Vikings, warriors and looters from Scandinavia who raided from about 783 to 1066, during the Viking Age in the Early Middle Ages. They raided the coasts, rivers and inland cities of all Western Europe as far as Seville, attacked by the Norse in 844. Vikings even attacked coasts of North Africa and Italy. They also plundered all the coasts of the Baltic Sea, ascending the rivers of Eastern Europe as far as the Black Sea and Persia. The lack of centralized powers all over Europe during the Middle Ages favoured pirates all over the continent.

Meanwhile, Muslim pirates terrorized the Mediterranean Sea. Toward the end of the 9th century, Muslim pirate havens were established along the coast of southern France and northern Italy.<ref>The Pirates of St. Tropez (http://www.geocities.com/athens/troy/4040/pirates.htm).</ref> In 846 Muslim raiders sacked Rome and damaged the Vatican. In 911, the bishop of Narbonne was unable to return to France from Rome because the Muslims from Fraxinet controlled all the passes in the Alps. Muslim pirates operated out of the Balearic Islands in the 10th century. From 824 to 961 Arab pirates in Crete raided the entire Mediterranean. In the 14th century, raids by Muslim pirates forced the Venetian Duke of Crete to ask Venice to keep its fleet on constant guard.<ref>Piracy on Crete (http://www.cretanews.com/site/index.php?page=art&article=104&lang=), Creta News.</ref>

After the Slavic invasions of the Balkan peninsula in the 5th and 6th centuries, a Slavic tribe settled the land of Pagania between Dalmatia and Zachlumia in the first half of the 7th century. These Slavs revived the old Illyrian piratical habits and often raided the Adriatic Sea. By 642 they invaded southern Italy and assaulted Siponte in Benevento. Their raids in the Adriatic increased rapidly, until the whole Sea was no longer safe for travel.

The "Narentines", as they were called, took more liberties in their raiding quests while the Venetian Navy was abroad, as when it was campaigning in Sicilian waters in 827-82. As soon as the Venetian fleet would return to the Adriatic, the Narentines temporarily abandoned their habits again, even signing a Treaty in Venice and baptising their Slavic pagan leader into Christianity. In 834 or 835 they broke the treaty and again the Neretva pirates raided Venetian traders returning from Benevento, and all of Venice's military attempts to punish the Marians in 839 and 840 utterly failed. Later, they raided the Venetians more often, together with the Arabs. In 846 the Narentines broke through to Venice itself and raided its lagoon city of Kaorle. In the middle of March of 870 they kidnapped the Roman Bishop's emissaries that were returning from the Ecclesiastical Council in Constantinople. This caused a Byzantine military action against them that finally brought Christianity to them.

After the Arab raids on the Adriatic coast c. 872 and the retreat of the Imperial Navy, the Narentines restored their raids of Venetian waters, causing new conflicts with the Italians in 887-888. The Narentine piracy traditions were cherished even while they were in Serbia, serving as the finest Serb warriors. The Venetians futilely continued to fight them throughout the 10th-11th centuries.

In 937, Irish pirates sided with the Scots, Vikings, Picts, and Welsh in their invasion of England. Athelstan drove them back.

The Slavic piracy in the Baltic Sea ended with the Danish conquest of the Rani stronghold of Arkona in 1168. In the 12th century the coasts of western Scandinavia were plundered by Curonians and Oeselians from the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. In the 13th and 14th century pirates threatened the Hanseatic routes and nearly brought sea trade to the brink of extinction. The Victual Brothers of Gotland were a companionship of privateers who later turned to piracy. Until about 1440, maritime trade in both the North Sea and the Baltic Sea was seriously in danger of attack by the pirates.

H Thomas Milhorn mentions a certain Englishman named William Maurice, convicted of piracy in 1241, as the first person known to have been hanged, drawn and quartered,<ref>H Thomas Milhorn, Crime: Computer Viruses to Twin Towers, Universal Publishers, 2004. ISBN 1-58112-489-9.</ref> which would indicate that the then-ruling King Henry III took an especially severe view of this crime.

The ushkuiniks were Novgorodian pirates who looted the cities on the Volga and Kama Rivers in the 14th century.

As early as Byzantine times, the Maniots - one of Greece's toughest populations - were known as pirates. The Maniots considered piracy as a legitimate response to the fact that their land was poor and it became their main source of income. The main victims of Maniot pirates were the Ottomans but the Maniots also targeted ships of European countries.

The Haida and Tlingit tribes, who lived along the coast of southern Alaska and on islands in northwest British Columbia, were traditionally known as fierce warriors, pirates and slave-traders, raiding as far as California.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

On the Indian coast

Since the 14th century the Deccan (Southern Peninsular region of India) was divided into two entities: on the one side stood the Muslim-ruled Bahmani Sultanate, and on the other stood the Hindu kings rallied around the Vijayanagara Empire. Continuous wars demanded frequent resupplies of fresh horses, which were imported through sea routes from Persia and Africa. This trade was subjected to frequent raids by thriving bands of pirates based in the coastal cities of Western India.

During the 16th and 17th centuries there was frequent European piracy against Mughal Indian vessels, especially those en route to Mecca for Hajj. The situation came to a head, when Portuguese attacked and captured the vessel Rahimi which belonged to Mariam Zamani the Mughal queen, which led to the Mughal seizure of the Portuguese town Daman.<ref>Findly, Elison B (April - June 1988). "The Capture of Maryam-uz-Zamānī's Ship: Mughal Women and European Traders," Journal of the American Oriental Society, 108 (2): 227-238.</ref> In the 18th century, the famous Maratha privateer Kanhoji Angre ruled the seas between Mumbai and Goa.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The Marathas attacked British shipping and insisted that East India Company ships pay taxes if sailing through their waters.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

The most famous pirate utopia is that of Captain Misson and his pirate crew, who allegedly founded the free colony of Libertatia in northern Madagascar in the late 17th century. In 1694, it was destroyed in a surprise attack by the island natives.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

The southern coast of the Persian Gulf became known as the Pirate Coast as raiders based there harassed foreign shipping. Early British expeditions to protect the Indian Ocean trade from raiders at Ras al-Khaimah led to campaigns against that headquarters and other harbors along the coast in 1819.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

In East Asia

Main article: Wokou

[[File:Wokou.jpg|thumb|225px|left|Sixteenth century Japanese pirate raids.]] From the 13th century, Wokou based in Japan made their debut in East Asia, initiating invasions that would persist for 300 years.

Piracy in South East Asia began with the retreating Mongol Yuan fleet after the betrayal by their Javanese allies (who, incidentally, would found the empire of Majapahit after the Mongols left). They preferred the junk, a ship using a more robust sail layout. Marooned navy officers, consisting mostly of Cantonese and Hokkien tribesmen, set up their small gangs near river estuaries, mainly to protect themselves. They recruited locals as common foot-soldiers known as 'lang' (lanun) to set up their fortresses. They survived by utilizing their well trained pugilists, as well as marine and navigation skills, mostly along Sumatran and Javanese estuaries. Their strength and ferocity coincided with the impending trade growth of the maritime silk and spice routes.

However, the most powerful pirate fleets of East Asia were those of Chinese pirates during the mid-Qing dynasty. Pirate fleets grew increasingly powerful throughout the early 19th century. The effects large-scale piracy had on the Chinese economy were immense. They preyed voraciously on China's junk trade, which flourished in Fujian and Guangdong and was a vital artery of Chinese commerce. Pirate fleets exercised hegemony over villages on the coast, collecting revenue by exacting tribute and running extortion rackets. In 1802, the menacing Zheng Yi inherited the fleet of his cousin, captain Zheng Qi, whose death provided Zheng Yi with considerably more influence in the world of piracy. Zheng Yi and his wife, Zheng Yi Sao (who would eventually inherit the leadership of his pirate confederacy) then formed a pirate coalition that, by 1804, consisted of over ten thousand men. Their military might alone was sufficient to combat the Qing navy. However, a combination of famine, Qing naval opposition, and internal rifts crippled piracy in China around the 1820s, and it has never again reached the same status.

The Buginese sailors of South Sulawesi were infamous as pirates who used to range as far west as Singapore and as far north as the Philippines in search of targets for piracy.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The Orang laut pirates controlled shipping in the Straits of Malacca and the waters around Singapore,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> and the Malay and Sea Dayak pirates preyed on maritime shipping in the waters between Singapore and Hong Kong from their haven in Borneo.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

In Eastern Europe

Main article: Cossacks

One example of a pirate republic in Europe from the 16th through the 18th century was Zaporizhian Sich. Situated in the remote Steppe, it was populated with Ukrainian peasants that had run away from their feudal masters, outlaws of every sort, destitute gentry, run-away slaves from Turkish galleys, etc. The remoteness of the place and the rapids at the Dnepr river effectively guarded the place from invasions of vengeful powers. The main target of the inhabitants of Zaporizhian Sich who called themselves “Cossacks” were rich settlements at the Black Sea shores of Ottoman Empire and Crimean Khanate.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> By 1615 and 1625, Zaporozhian Cossacks had even managed to raze townships on the outskirts of Istanbul, forcing the Ottoman Sultan to flee his palace.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Don Cossacks under Stenka Razin even ravaged the Persian coasts.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

In North Africa

Main article: Barbary pirates

The Barbary pirates were pirates and privateers that operated from North African (the "Barbary coast") ports of Tunis, Tripoli, Algiers, Salé and ports in Morocco, preying on shipping in the western Mediterranean Sea from the time of the Crusades as well as on ships on their way to Asia around Africa until the early 19th century. The coastal villages and towns of Italy, Spain and Mediterranean islands were frequently attacked by them and long stretches of the Italian and Spanish coasts were almost completely abandoned by their inhabitants; after 1600 Barbary pirates occasionally entered the Atlantic and struck as far north as Iceland. According to Robert Davis<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Davis, Robert. Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast and Italy, 1500-1800.[1] (http://www.amazon.com/dp/1403945519)</ref> between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured by Barbary pirates and sold as slaves in North Africa and Ottoman Empire between the 16th and 19th centuries. The most famous corsairs were the Ottoman Hayreddin and his older brother Barbarossa (Redbeard), Turgut Reis (known as Dragut in the West), Kurtoğlu (known as Curtogoli in the West), Kemal Reis, Salih Reis and Koca Murat Reis. A few Barbary pirates, such as Jan Janszoon and John Ward, were renegade Christians who had converted to Islam.

According to recent legal analysisTemplate:Fact by the U.S. Supreme Court, the United States treated captured Barbary corsairs as prisoners of war, indicating that they were considered as legitimate privateers by at least some of their opponents, as well as by their home countries.

In the Caribbean

[[File:Pyle pirates treasfight.jpg|thumb|Pirates fight over treasure in a Howard Pyle illustration from Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates.]]

Main article: Piracy in the Caribbean

In 1523, Jean Fleury seized two Spanish treasure ships carrying Aztec treasures from Mexico to SpainTortuga established in the 1640s and Port Royal after 1655. Among the most famous Caribbean pirates are Edward Teach or "Blackbeard" and Henry Morgan.

Life as a pirate

In the popular modern imagination, pirates of the classical period were rebellious, clever teams who operated outside the restricting bureaucracy of modern life. Pirates were also depicted as always raising their Jolly Roger-flag when preparing to hijack a vessel. The Jolly Roger is the traditional name for the flags of European and American pirates and a symbol for piracy that has been adopted by film-makers and toy manufacturers.

Pirate Democracy

Unlike traditional Western societies of the time, many pirate crews operated as limited democracies. Pirate communities were some of the first to instate a system of checks and balances similar to the one used by the present-day United States and many other countries. The first record of such a government aboard a pirate sloop dates to the 1600s, a full century before the United States' and France's adoption of democracy in 1789, or Spain's move to democracy in 1812. <ref>Leeson, Peter T. “An-arrghchy: The Law and Economics of Pirate Organization.” Journal of Political Economy 115, no. 6 (2007): 1049-1094. pg 1066 [2] (http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdf/10.1086/526403)</ref>

Both the captain and the quartermaster were elected by the crew; they, in turn, appointed the other ship's officers. The captain of a pirate ship was often a fierce fighter in whom the men could place their trust, rather than a more traditional authority figure sanctioned by an elite. However, when not in battle, the quartermaster usually had the real authority. Many groups of pirates shared in whatever they seized; pirates injured in battle might be afforded special compensation similar to medical or disability insurance.

There are contemporary records that many pirates placed a portion of any captured money into a central fund that was used to compensate the injuries sustained by the crew. Lists show standardised payments of 600 pieces of eight ($156,000 in modern currency) for the loss of a leg down to 100 pieces ($26,800) for loss of an eye. Often all of these terms were agreed upon and written down by the pirates, but these articles could also be used as incriminating proof that they were outlaws.

Pirates readily accepted outcasts from traditional societies, perhaps easily recognizing kindred spirits, and they were known to welcome them into the pirate fold. For example as many as 40% of the pirate vessels crews were slaves liberated from captured slavers. Such practices within a pirate crew were tenuous, however, and did little to mitigate the brutality of the pirate's way of life.

Treasure

Even though pirates raided many ships, few, if any, buried their treasure. Often, the "treasure" that was stolen was food, water, alcohol, weapons, or clothing. Other things they stole were household items like bits of soap and gear like rope and anchors, or sometimes they would keep the ship they captured (either to sell off or because it was better than their ship). Such items were likely to be needed immediately, rather than saved for future trade. For this reason, there was no reason for the pirates to bury these goods. Pirates tended to kill few people aboard the ships they captured, oftentimes they would kill no one if the ship surrendered, because if it became known that pirates took no prisoners, their victims would fight to the last and make victory very difficult, contrariwise ships would quickly surrender if they knew they would be spared. In one well documented case 300 heavily armed soldiers on a ship attacked by Thomas Tew surrendered after a brief battle with none of Tew's 40 man crew being injured.<ref>http://piratesofamerica.com/Pirates_of_America/Thomas_Tew.html</ref>

Rewards of piracy

Pirates had a system of hierarchy on board their ships determining how captured money was distributed. However, pirates were more “egalitarian” than any other area of employment with a high degree of equality. In fact pirate quartermasters were a counterbalance to the captain and had the power to veto his orders. The majority of plunder was in the form of cargo and ships equipment with medicines the most highly prized. A vessel's doctor’s chest would be worth anywhere from £300 to £400 or around $470,000 in today’s values. Jewels were common plunder but not popular as they were hard to sell and pirates, unlike the public of today, had little concept of their value. There is one case recorded where a pirate was given a large diamond worth a great deal more than the value of the handful of small diamonds given his crewmates as a share. He felt cheated and had it broken up to match what they received.<ref name="Vallar">Template:Cite web</ref>

Spanish pieces of eight minted in Mexico or Seville were the standard trade currency in the American colonies. However, every colony still used the monetary units of pounds, shillings and pence for bookkeeping while Spanish, German, French and Portuguese money were all standard mediums of exchange as British law prohibited the export of British silver coinage. Until the exchange rates were standardised in the late 1700s each colony legislated its own different exchange rates. In England, 1 piece of eight was worth 4s 3d while it was worth 8s in New York, 7s 6d in Pennsylvania and 6s 8d in Virginia. One 18th century English shilling was worth around $58 in modern currency so a piece of eight could be worth anywhere from $246 to $465. As such, the value of pirate plunder could vary considerably depending on who recorded it and where.<ref>http://www.hudsonrivervalley.net/AMERICANBOOK/18.html</ref><ref>http://www.coins.nd.edu/ColCurrency/CurrencyIntros/IntroValue.html</ref>

Ordinary seamen received a part of the plunder at the captains’ discretion but usually a single share. On average, a pirate could expect the equivalent of a years wages as his share from each ship captured while the crew of the most successful pirates would often each receive a share valued at around £1,000 ($1.17 million) at least once in their career.<ref name="Vallar"/> One of the larger amounts taken from a single ship was that by captain Thomas Tew from an Indian merchantman in 1692. Each ordinary seaman on his ship received a share worth £3,000 ($3.5 million) with officers receiving proportionally larger amounts as per the agreed shares with Tew himself receiving 2½ shares. It is known there were actions with multiple ships captured where a single share was worth almost double this.<ref name="Vallar"/><ref name="Gosse">Template:Cite book p. 251.</ref>

By contrast, an ordinary seamen in the Royal Navy received 19s per month to be paid in a lump sum at the end of a tour of duty which was around half the rate paid in the Merchant Navy. However, corrupt officers would often “tax” their crews wage to supplement their own and the Royal Navy of the day was infamous for its reluctance to pay. From this wage, 6d per month was deducted for the maintenance of Greenwich Hospital with similar amounts deducted for the Chatham Chest, the chaplain and surgeon. Six months pay was withheld to discourage desertion. That this was insufficient incentive is revealed in a report on proposed changes to the RN Admiral Nelson wrote in 1803, he noted that since 1793 more than 42,000 sailors had deserted. Roughly half of all RN crews were pressganged and these not only received lower wages than volunteers but were shackled while the vessel was docked and never permitted to go ashore until released from service.

Punishment

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, once pirates were caught, justice was meted out in a summary fashion, and many ended their lives by "dancing the hempen jig", or hanging at the end of a rope. Public execution was a form of entertainment at the time, and people came out to watch them as they would to a sporting event today. Newspapers were glad to report every detail, such as recording the condemned men's last words, the prayers said by the priests for their immortal souls, and their final agonising moments on the gallows. In England most of these executions took place at Execution Dock on the River Thames in London.

In the cases of more famous prisoners, usually captains, their punishments extended beyond death. Their bodies were enclosed in iron cages (for which they were measured before their execution) and left to swing in the air until the flesh rotted off them- a process that could take as long as two years. The bodies of captains such as William Kidd, Charles Vane, William Fly, and Jack Rackham were all treated this way. <ref name="Pirates by John Matthews">Pirates by John Matthews</ref>

Famous historical pirates/privateers

[[File:Morgan,Henry.jpg|thumb|right|200px|]]

Main article: List of pirates

Privateers

Main article: Privateer

A privateer or corsair used similar methods to a pirate, but acted while in possession of a commission or letter of marque from a government or monarch authorizing the capture of merchant ships belonging to an enemy nation. For example, the United States Constitution of 1787 specifically authorized Congress to issue letters of marque and reprisal. The letter of marque was recognized by international convention and meant that a privateer could not technically be charged with piracy while attacking the targets named in his commission. This nicety of law did not always save the individuals concerned, however, as whether one was considered a pirate or a legally operating privateer often depended on whose custody the individual found himself in—that of the country that had issued the commission, or that of the object of attack. Spanish authorities were known to execute foreign privateers with their letters of marque hung around their necks to emphasize Spain's rejection of such defenses. Furthermore, many privateers exceeded the bounds of their letters of marque by attacking nations with which their sovereign was at peace (Thomas Tew and William Kidd are notable examples), and thus made themselves liable to conviction for piracy. However, a letter of marque did provide some cover for such pirates, as plunder seized from neutral or friendly shipping could be passed off later as taken from enemy merchants.

The famous Barbary Corsairs of the Mediterranean were privateers, as were the Maltese Corsairs, who were authorized by the Knights of St. John, and the Dunkirkers in the service of the Spanish Empire. From 1609 to 1616, England lost 466 merchant ships to Barbary pirates.<ref>Rees Davies, British Slaves on the Barbary Coast (http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/white_slaves_01.shtml), BBC, July 1, 2003.</ref> One famous privateer was Sir Francis Drake. His patron was Queen Elizabeth I, and their relationship ultimately proved to be quite profitable for England.<ref name=Kelsey>Kelsey, Harry, Sir Francis Drake; The Queen's Pirate, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1998, ISBN 0-300-07182-5.</ref>

Privateers were a large proportion of the total military force at sea during the 17th and 18th centuries. During the Nine Years War, the French adopted a policy of strongly encouraging privateers, including the famous Jean Bart, to attack English and Dutch shipping. England lost roughly 4,000 merchant ships during the war.<ref name=Privateer>Privateering and the Private Production of Naval Power (http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj11n1/cj11n1-8.pdf), Gary M. Anderson and Adam Gifford Jr.</ref> In the following War of Spanish Succession, privateer attacks continued, Britain losing 3,250 merchant ships.<ref>Brewer, John. The Sinews of Power: War, Money, and the English State, 1688-1783. New York.: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989. p. 197.</ref> During the War of Austrian Succession, the Britain lost 3,238 merchant ships and France lost 3,434 merchant ships to the British.<ref name=Privateer/>

During the King George's War, approximately 36,000 Americans served aboard privateers at one time or another.<ref name=Privateer/> During the American Revolution, about 55,000 American seamen served aboard the privateers.<ref>Privateers or Merchant Mariners help win the Revolutionary War (http://www.usmm.org/revolution.html).</ref> The American privateers had almost 1,700 ships, and they captured 2,283 enemy ships.<ref>Privateers (http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/navy/privateer.htm).</ref> Between the end of the Revolutionary War and 1812, less than 30 years, the Britain, France, Naples, the Barbary States, Spain, and the Netherlands seized approximately 2,500 American ships.<ref>US Navy Fleet List War of 1812 (http://orbat.com/site/history/historical/usa/usn1812.html).</ref> Payments in ransom and tribute to the Barbary states amounted to 20% of United States government annual revenues in 1800.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> Throughout the American Civil War, Confederate privateers successfully harassed Union merchant ships.<ref>The Confederate Privateers (http://www.sc.edu/uscpress/1994/3005.html).</ref>

Privateering lost international sanction under the Declaration of Paris in 1856.

Modern age

Template:Seealso


Overview

[[File:Dhow in Indian Ocean.jpg|thumb|left|250px|A modern dhow suspected of piracy]] Seaborne piracy against transport vessels remains a significant issue (with estimated worldwide losses of US $13 to $16 billion per year),<ref>Template:Cite web</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref> particularly in the waters between the Red sea and Indian Oceans, off the Somali coast, and also in the Strait of Malacca and Singapore, which are used by over 50,000 commercial ships a year. A recent<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> surge in piracy off the Somali coast spurred a multi-national effort led by the United States to patrol the waters near the Horn of Africa. While ships off the coasts of North Africa, Iran and the Mediterranean Sea are still assailed by pirates, the United States Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard have nearly eradicated piracy in U.S. waters and in the Caribbean Sea.Template:Fact

Modern pirates favor small boats and taking advantage of the small number of crew members on modern cargo vessels. They also use large vessels to supply the smaller attack/boarding vessels. Modern pirates can be successful because a large amount of international commerce occurs via shipping. Major shipping routes take cargo ships through narrow bodies of water (such as the Gulf of Aden and the Strait of Malacca) making them vulnerable to be overtaken and boarded by small motorboats.<ref>BBC Piracy documentary (http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/documentaries/2008/03/080303_pirates_prog2.shtml).</ref><ref>Piracy at Somalian coasts (http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/~ar120/somalia.html).</ref> Other active areas include the South China Sea and the Niger Delta. As usage increases, many of these ships have to lower cruising speeds to allow for navigation and traffic control, making them prime targets for piracy. Small ships are also capable of disguising themselves as fishing vessels or cargo vessels when not carrying out piracy in order to avoid or deceive inspectors.Template:Facts

Also, pirates often operate in regions of developing or struggling countries with smaller navies and large trade routes. Pirates sometimes evade capture by sailing into waters controlled by their pursuer's enemies. With the end of the Cold War, navies have decreased size and patrol, and trade has increased, making organized piracy far easier. Modern pirates are sometimes linked with organized-crime syndicates, but often are parts of small individual groups. Pirate attack crews may consist of 4 to 10 sailors for going after a ship's safe (raiding) or up to 70 (depending entirely on the ships and the ships crew size) if the plan is to seize the whole vessel.Template:Facts

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) maintains statistics regarding pirate attacks dating back to 1995. Their records indicate hostage-taking overwhelmingly dominates the types of violence against seafarers. For example in 2006, there were 239 attacks, 77 crew members were kidnapped and 188 taken hostage but only 15 of the pirate attacks resulted in murder.<ref>Security Management:Piracy on the high seas (http://www.securitymanagement.com/article/eastern-inscrutability-piracy-high-seas) Accessed on October 23, 2007.</ref> In 2007 the attacks rose by 10% to 263 attacks. There was a 35% increase on reported attacks involving guns. Crew members that were injured numbered 64 compared to just 17 in 2006.<ref name=ICC_piracy_report>ICC Commercial Crime Services: IBM Piracy Report 2007 (http://www.icc-ccs.org/main/news.php?newsid=102) Accessed on January 22, 2008.</ref> That number does not include hostages/kidnapping where they were not injured.

In some cases, modern pirates are not interested in the cargo and are mainly interested in taking the personal belongings of the crew and the contents of the ship's safe, which might contain large amounts of cash needed for payroll and port fees. In other cases, the pirates force the crew off the ship and then sail it to a port to be repainted and given a new identity through false papers often purchased from corrupt or complicit officials.<ref>"Anarchy at Sea" Atlantic Monthly. September, 2003.</ref>

Modern piracy can also take place in conditions of political unrest. For example, following the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam, Thai piracy was aimed at the many Vietnamese who took to boats to escape. Further, following the disintegration of the government of Somalia, warlords in the region have attacked ships delivering UN food aid.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> [[File:060318-N-8623S-002.jpg|thumb|250px|Armed suspected pirates in the Indian Ocean near ]] Environmental action groups such as Sea Shepherd have been accused of engaging in piracy and terrorism when they sink ships by scuttling them, or ram them and throw butyric acid (rancid butter) on their decks, and in one instance illegally boarding a Japanese whaling vessel. While only non-lethal weapons are used by the Sea Shepherd ships, their tactics and methods are considered acts of piracy.<ref name="acid">Template:Cite news</ref><ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

The attack against the U.S. cruise ship the Seabourn Spirit offshore of Somalia in November 2005 is an example of the sophisticated pirates mariners face. The pirates carried out their attack more than Template:Convert offshore with speedboats launched from a larger mother ship. The attackers were armed with automatic firearms and an RPG.<ref>"Piracy is still troubling the shipping industry: report; Industry fears revival of attacks though current situation has improved," The Business Times Singapore. August 14, 2006.</ref>

Many nations forbid ships to enter their territorial waters or ports if the crew of the ships are armed in an effort to restrict possible piracy.<ref>Maritimesecurity.com article, Guns On Board (http://www.maritimesecurity.com/gunsonboard.htm).</ref> Shipping companies sometimes hire private security guards.

Modern definitions of piracy include the following acts:

In modern times, ships and airplanes are hijacked for political reasons as well. The perpetrators of these acts could be described as pirates (for instance, the French for "plane hijacker" is pirate de l'air, literally "air pirate"), but in English are usually termed "hijackers". An example is the hijacking of the Italian civilian passenger ship Achille Lauro, which is generally regarded as an act of piracy.

Modern pirates also use a great deal of technology. It has been reported that crimes of piracy have involved the use of mobile phones, modern speedboats, Machetes, assault rifles, shotguns, pistols, mounted machine guns, and even RPGs and grenade launchers.

Navigation

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Art)
    • Architecture (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Architecture)
    • Cultures (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Cultures)
    • Music (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Music)
    • Musical Instruments (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/List_of_musical_instruments)
  • Biographies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Biographies)
  • Clipart (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Clipart)
  • Geography (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Geography)
    • Countries of the World (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Countries)
    • Maps (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Maps)
    • Flags (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Flags)
    • Continents (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Continents)
  • History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History)
    • Ancient Civilizations (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Ancient_Civilizations)
    • Industrial Revolution (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Industrial_Revolution)
    • Middle Ages (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Middle_Ages)
    • Prehistory (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Prehistory)
    • Renaissance (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Renaissance)
    • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
    • United States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/United_States)
    • Wars (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Wars)
    • World History (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/History_of_the_world)
  • Human Body (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Human_Body)
  • Mathematics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Mathematics)
  • Reference (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Reference)
  • Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Science)
    • Animals (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Animals)
    • Aviation (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Aviation)
    • Dinosaurs (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Dinosaurs)
    • Earth (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Earth)
    • Inventions (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Inventions)
    • Physical Science (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Physical_Science)
    • Plants (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Plants)
    • Scientists (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Scientists)
  • Social Studies (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Social_Studies)
    • Anthropology (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Anthropology)
    • Economics (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Economics)
    • Government (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Government)
    • Religion (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Religion)
    • Holidays (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Holidays)
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Solar_System)
    • Planets (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Planets)
  • Sports (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Sports)
  • Timelines (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Timelines)
  • Weather (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Weather)
  • US States (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/US_States)

Information

  • Home Page (http://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php)
  • Contact Us (http://www.academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Contactus)

  • Clip Art (http://classroomclipart.com)
Toolbox
Personal tools