Tuesday, 14 August 2012

GUEST POST: Rise and Fall of ‘Golden Age of Piracy’

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Author bio
My name is Mark. I am a historian, researcher and writer. I regularly write on Historical topics related to Medieval, Renaissance, Pirate and Steampunk themes. If you want to know more about me and my blog, then See my blogs Renaissance Outfits, Renaissance Festivals and To be a Pirate.

Rise and Fall of ‘Golden Age of Piracy’

Most of the pirate historians accept the term ‘golden age of piracy’; however its chronological order is loosely defined. This term was missing until the year 1920, when a famous author Rafael Sabatini wrote the novels “The Black Swan” and “Captain Blood”. These novels were later on adopted in the swashbuckling films. Author accepted that there is nothing romantic in piracy as it is just a violent crime. But, the term is useful to define the era of the upsurge of piracy. The term was used in ironical sense. It became popular with this novel. But, it was used before also by English journalist George Powell in the year 1894.
There is a dispute among the historians about the duration of this era. Many of the historian mark this age between 1690s and 1730s. On the other hand, some others count the long duration of 1650s to 1730s under this period. On the contrary, a short time span from 1714 to 1724 was accepted as the golden age in the book “Pirate: The Golden Age” by A Konstam and D Rickman.
The duration of 1650s to 1730s is the most acceptable view, which faced three outbursts of piracy. According to this view, the buccaneering period was the first outburst of this era, which started from the end of war of religion. It allowed the countries of Europe to resume the progress of their colonial empires. Considerable seaborne trade and the economic amendments were required. Mammoth amount of money was needed to be made, or to be stolen. On the other hand, French buccaneers had established themselves as early as 1625 on the northern Hispaniola. The period of buccaneer age is believed from 1650s to 1680s.
Second outburst is recognized 1690s, which is named as ‘Pirate Round’. It is associated with long distance voyages to Bermuda, an associated member of the Caribbean community.  Another time span is known as post-Spanish Succession period, which extends from 1716 to 1726. By the end of War of Spanish Succession, many of the Anglo-American privateers and sailors were left unemployed. They turned into pirates in the Caribbean, West African coasts, American Eastern seaboards and Indian Ocean. This was the last decade of the aforementioned golden age.
In this golden age, a large number of pirates gained popularity and found the place in many of the books written on the pirate history. Some of these raiders include Henry Morgan, Henry Every, William “Captain” Kidd, “Black Sam” Bellamy, Stede Bonnet, Edward Teach, Calico Jack Rackham, Bartholomew Roberts, Edward Low, William Fly, Anne Bonny and Mary Read.
This golden age fantasized the modern people up to a great extent. The fictional Hollywood film “Pirates of the Caribbean” presents the scenario of that era with a lot of fantasy. On the other hand, popularity of the pirate costumes and footwears is another example of the popularity of pirate culture in Europe and America.
You can obtain the pirate costumes and boots from various websites in order to get the feel of ‘golden age of piracy’. Tobeapirate.com is an ideal site wherefrom you can acquire these attires.

1 comment:

  1. How did the average person see piracy in its own time? Did the populations see them as violent thugs or was there any romanticizing going on in its own lifetime? Is there any comparison to popular opinion of the American west's outlaws of the 1870's (Billy the Kid, etc.)?