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Pirate’s facts for kids

Pirates are robbers who commit their crimes at sea. Piracy is very rare nowadays, but between the 1500s and 1700s many men became pirates. Most were desperate criminals, but some, known as privateers, were authorized to attack enemy ships in time of war and to keep much of the loot.

Francis Drake was a privateer, and indeed a pirate, because he plundered Spanish ships in peace time and without Queen Elizabeth's authorization.

The English regarded Drake as a patriot. Similarly, the Americans forgave Jean Lafitte for his acts of piracy in the early 1800s, because he helped them against the British.

Pirate’s facts for kids and adults - most pirates were feared by everyone for their brutality and greed. Pirates captured Julius Caesar and released him only on payment of a large ransom. The Barbary pirates operated from North Africafrom the 1500's to the 1800's, pirating ships in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean as a commercial enterprise. But the most famous pirates operated in the Caribbean Sea, and they were known as buccaneers. The best-known buccaneer was Henry Morgan. He dressed like a gentleman and owned a plantation in Jamaica. After a wild career as a privateer, he was made governor of Jamaica and hanged many of his former fellow-pirates.

Pirates facts for kids and adults: A painting by Van De Velde - pirating

Pirate’s facts for kids and adults:

A painting by William Van De Velde The Younger (1633-1707) shows Barbary pirates attacking (pirating) an English ship. These pirates from North Africa operated for 300 years.

William Kidd has the reputation of being one of the boldest of pirates, and was hanged as such in 1701. But he had been licensed as a privateer and claimed to the end that he had taken none but French ships, England then being at war with France. Some people believe Kidd was betrayed by his rich sponsors.

Edward Teach was a very different case. Under his nickname of 'Blackbeard' he terrorized seas around North and South Carolina in the early 1700s. He showed no mercy to the crews of the ships he captured, nor to his own crew. Blackbeard himself crippled his mate Israel Hands with a pistol shot. He was eventually killed in a bloody battle with a British man-of-war.

When terrorists hijacked five jet planes in September 1970, and held many of the passengers hostage for imprisoned commandos, many people thought this was a new form of piracy. One difference is that airplanes are usually hijacked for political reasons, not for money. More pirate’s facts you can find at this page

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