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Pirate Nests and the Rise of the British Empire, 1570-1740$
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Mark G. Hanna

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469617947

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469617947.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Piratical Colonization, 1603–1655

Piratical Colonization, 1603–1655

(p.58) 2 Piratical Colonization, 1603–1655
Pirate Nests and the Rise of the British Empire, 1570-1740

Mark G. Hanna

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines how piracy contributed to English colonial expansion in the West Indies and North America during the period 1603–1655. Drawing on Captain John Smith's 1629 treatise The Bad Life, Qualities and Conditions of Pyrats, the chapter considers the transition of piracy upon the ascension of James I as king of England. Smith narrates the dispersion of piratical crews away from the West Country and criticized English captains whose men-of-war, known as corsairs, roamed the Mediterranean in search of prizes and raiding for European slaves. According to Smith, the corsairs became an Atlantic problem after English and Dutch pirates taught them the marine technology to build and sail ships into the Atlantic. This chapter also discusses plunder-directed colonization in relation to trade and explains how the revolution in 1642 turned colonial ports into plunder bases and linked long-independent nodes of the English Atlantic.

Keywords:   piracy, colonial expansion, John Smith, England, corsairs, slaves, pirates, Atlantic, colonization, plunder

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