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In this book we are going to addresses the broad and always contemporary theme of piracy. Perhaps as you are reading these lines, some other authors are writing another chapter in their book about the same subject or a script writer is giving the finishing touches to the next pirate movie sequel reintroducing and solidifying the general interest in historical piracy of the eighteenth century and recirculates the piratical imagery for the leftover of the XXI century.
Piracy in general is linked to imperial expansion of governments through the world way before the seventeenth century when maritime state appears, among other things. The slave trade was made an incredible business monopoly by countries that owned large shipyards. The beginner’s pirates were nothing more than the populations of renegade freed slaves who had managed to escape from their state. Reconstructing on pirate ships, these historical subjects not only showed that cooperation and resistance were valid mechanisms for evading slavery, but also an alternative to the rigid and brutal norms of the commercial world. The entire pirate period from the 1600’s on, the ocean and the ships became so much the engine of capitalism that it stands in the wake of the bourgeois revolution in countries such as Spain and England, France, Holland, as in an environment of resistance. When the so call living conditions on the ships deteriorated and little food, rampant illnesses, prolonged involuntary servitude, back wages, etc. the crews even on pirate ships mutinied.
Spending most of your life on the boat and the living conditions transform them into fertile terrains to produce rebels due to harsh conditions and lack of recourse to laws or authority. The gathering together on a boat of Spanish, Americans, Africans, British, Algerian, Irish, Dutch, and Portuguese and countless ethnicities and cultural traditions created the environment of obligatory internationalism. Soon, the people who worked on menial jobs as servitude of diverse cultures, the consider outcasts of all nations, developed their own cultures of cooperation, egalitarianism, and democracy while living on boats.
The pirate ship of the early eighteenth century was an "upside down world" created in this way by the established agreements and the rules and customs of the pirate social order: hierarchy from below. The pirates distributed justice, elected officers, divided the booty equally, and established a distinct discipline. They limited the captain's authority, resisted the practices of the capitalist mercantile industry, and maintained a multi-cultural, multiracial and multinational social order. They wanted to show that ships were not necessarily to be administered in the brutal and oppressive manner of the merchant navy or Royal Navy. The pirate ship was democratic during an anti-democratic era.
For the Great Nations of the times who were deeply involved in all business conducted on the high seas piracy was by all of then abhorred because it broke the law, but more so, because it disrupted the slave trade and their potential earnings. Pirates depredated British and Dutch and as a matter of fact anyone ships loaded with African slaves and gold. Piracy was bad for business because it introduced new costs, uncertainties, and trade losses. Pirates were dangerous not only because of their capacity to generate violence but because they demonstrated alternative forms of community, work and authority that only worked at sea.
No one knows the amount of people who died in the hands of Pirates or at sea wars for the control of the slave trade, the fact is that those times were really bad for anyone who had to travel by boats to strange lands looking for either adventure or for a change of panorama. Innocently travelers looking at the roughness of the waves against the wooden vessels became victims of the most insane acts crimes.
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