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[[caption-width-right:350: ''Who Shall Be Captain?'' by Howard Pyle]]


The Golden Age of Piracy was a period of European history spanning roughly seventy years, between 1650 and 1730. Historians differ on exact dates, but this is a pretty good estimate of the time frame. This was by no means the first or the last outbreak of lawlessness upon the sea; wherever there are things of value going somewhere, there are thieves looking to steal it before it gets there, and there have been pirates almost as long as human beings have been transporting things over water. But the Golden Age is by far the most romanticized time in the history of piracy. When we think of swashbuckling adventure upon the high seas, we’re thinking of this time period. It was a time of colorful characters and high adventure. It was the time of UsefulNotes/{{Blackbeard}}, of UsefulNotes/AnneBonny, and of Captain Kidd… and many, many others.

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The Golden Age of Piracy was a period of European history spanning roughly seventy years, between 1650 and 1730.1720. Historians differ on exact dates, but this is a pretty good estimate of the time frame. This was by no means the first or the last outbreak of lawlessness upon the sea; wherever there are things of value going somewhere, there are thieves looking to steal it before it gets there, and there have been pirates almost as long as human beings have been transporting things over water. But the Golden Age is by far the most romanticized time in the history of piracy. When we think of swashbuckling adventure upon the high seas, we’re thinking of this time period. It was a time of colorful characters and high adventure. It was the time of UsefulNotes/{{Blackbeard}}, of UsefulNotes/AnneBonny, and of Captain Kidd… and many, many others.


The Golden Age of Piracy was a period of European history spanning roughly seventy years, between 1650 and 1720. Historians differ on exact dates, but this is a pretty good estimate of the time frame. This was by no means the first or the last outbreak of lawlessness upon the sea; wherever there are things of value going somewhere, there are thieves looking to steal it before it gets there, and there have been pirates almost as long as human beings have been transporting things over water. But the Golden Age is by far the most romanticized time in the history of piracy. When we think of swashbuckling adventure upon the high seas, we’re thinking of this time period. It was a time of colorful characters and high adventure. It was the time of UsefulNotes/{{Blackbeard}}, of UsefulNotes/AnneBonny, and of Captain Kidd… and many, many others.

to:

The Golden Age of Piracy was a period of European history spanning roughly seventy years, between 1650 and 1720.1730. Historians differ on exact dates, but this is a pretty good estimate of the time frame. This was by no means the first or the last outbreak of lawlessness upon the sea; wherever there are things of value going somewhere, there are thieves looking to steal it before it gets there, and there have been pirates almost as long as human beings have been transporting things over water. But the Golden Age is by far the most romanticized time in the history of piracy. When we think of swashbuckling adventure upon the high seas, we’re thinking of this time period. It was a time of colorful characters and high adventure. It was the time of UsefulNotes/{{Blackbeard}}, of UsefulNotes/AnneBonny, and of Captain Kidd… and many, many others.


* The Rafael Sabatini novel ''[[Literature/CaptainBloodHisOdyssey CaptainBlood]]'' and the [[Film/CaptainBlood film adaptation]] starring Errol Flynn.

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* The Rafael Sabatini novel ''[[Literature/CaptainBloodHisOdyssey CaptainBlood]]'' ''Literature/CaptainBloodHisOdyssey'' and the [[Film/CaptainBlood film adaptation]] starring Errol Flynn.


* HeterosexualLifePartners: as well as AmbiguouslyGay. The early Buccaneers were exclusively male, and lived closely together in communities, often sleeping in pairs in the same bed. Hmm…


* ''Videogame/AssassinsCreedIVBlackFlag'' takes place in 1715, with protagonist Edward Kenway as a pirate. Blackbeard, as well as other renowned pirates are characters in the game.

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* ''Videogame/AssassinsCreedIVBlackFlag'' takes place in 1715, with protagonist Edward Kenway as a pirate. Friends and allies include Blackbeard, as well as other renowned pirates are characters in Benjamin Hornigold, Charles Vane, and so on; and Nassau is a major location, Edward being a founding member of the game.Pirate Republic.


* ''ComicBook/BarbeRouge'': A comic strip series about Red Beard, the legendary pirate, set in the 17th century.

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* ''ComicBook/BarbeRouge'': A comic strip series about Red Beard, the a legendary (fictional) pirate, set in the 17th century.century. The pirates from ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'' are actually a parody of this and are now [[WeirdAlEffect much better known than the original]].


* NiceJobBreakingItHero: In the 1680s, a treaty and a regime change brought an end to the long low-level war at sea between Spain and England, a war that had been going on so long that Privateering had become something of a tradition for English sailors. The treaty effectively ended that tradition. But instead of taking the blanket pardon the English offered and going straight, many Privateers elected to [[ThenLetMeBeEvil just go full-on pirate]], kicking off the "Pirate Round" period, where they followed shipping lanes and took whatever ships and cargo they could, regardless of nationality. If they weren't going to be allowed to make trouble for Spain, then they would make trouble for ''everyone.''



* VitriolicBestBuds: English and French pirates during the Buccaneering period found out that working together to pick the Spanish Main clean was much more profitable than maintaining the age-old English-French feud. It helped that UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfStuart, hailing from Catholic Scotland, was more friendly toward Catholic France than previous, Protestant English monarchs. The Glorious Revolution of 1688, where James II was replaced by his Protestant daughter Mary II and her Dutch Husband William III, was one of the many factors that brought an end to that cooperation and [[NiceJobBreakingItHero forced pirates to branch out]].

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* VitriolicBestBuds: English and French pirates during the Buccaneering period found out that working together to pick the Spanish Main clean was much more profitable than maintaining the age-old English-French feud. It helped that UsefulNotes/TheHouseOfStuart, hailing from Catholic Scotland, was more friendly toward Catholic France than previous, Protestant English monarchs. The Glorious Revolution of 1688, where James II was replaced by his Protestant daughter Mary II and her Dutch Husband William III, was one of the many factors that brought an end to that cooperation and [[NiceJobBreakingItHero forced pirates to branch out]].out.



* [[YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters Your Pirates Are Our Privateers]]: It mostly depended on what side you were on.

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* [[YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters Your Pirates Are Our Privateers]]: It mostly depended on what side you were on.



* BadBoss: Blackbeard had this reputation, said to kill or maim random crewmembers on a whim. But it's debatable how much of this is true, and how much was the work of a GenreSavvy pirate deliberately cultivating a monstrous image in order to scare victims into surrending without a fight. There's no hard historical evidence of him ever killing someone before his LastStand.

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* BadBoss: Blackbeard had this reputation, said to kill or maim random crewmembers on a whim. But it's debatable how much of this is true, and how much was the work of a GenreSavvy pirate deliberately cultivating a monstrous image in order to scare victims into surrending without a fight. There's no hard historical evidence of him ever killing someone before his LastStand.



* GenreSavvy: Image-consciousness was a defining characteristic of Golden-Age pirates. The most successful pirates were the ones who crafted notable personas for themselves. Henry Morgan in particular played the part of the GentlemanAdventurer to the hilt, dressing impeccably and recruiting people by means of sheer charisma. Other pirates soon learned that “violence perceived is violence achieved,” and that [[MemeticBadass cultivating the image of ruthlessness]] was just as effective at getting merchant ships to surrender without a fight as was actually being that ruthless. Of course, some of them really ''were'' that bad…


* StillFightingTheCivilWar: Henry Morgan's excuse for being caught raiding Spanish settlements after a treaty was signed between Spain and England was that nobody told him about it. Given the state of long-distance communications in the 17th Century, it wasn't such a farfetched claim, so the English believed him. More than likely, however, [[MagnificentBastard Henry Morgan]] just felt like going a-pirating and had a pretty good excuse up his sleeve just in case he got caught.

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* StillFightingTheCivilWar: Henry Morgan's excuse for being caught raiding Spanish settlements after a treaty was signed between Spain and England was that nobody told him about it. Given the state of long-distance communications in the 17th Century, it wasn't such a farfetched claim, so the English believed him. More than likely, however, [[MagnificentBastard Henry Morgan]] Morgan just felt like going a-pirating and had a pretty good excuse up his sleeve just in case he got caught.


** UsefulNotes/AnneBonny: received a stay of execution due to her pregnancy. Then she and her baby disappeared from prison, mostly likely spirited away by her wealthy family to live a quiet life in the Carolinas. Mary Read could fall into the same category, but only if you consider [[spoiler:death in childbirth]] preferable to hanging.

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** UsefulNotes/AnneBonny: received a stay of execution due to her pregnancy. Then she and her baby disappeared from prison, mostly likely spirited away by her wealthy family to live a quiet life in the Carolinas. Mary Read could fall into the same category, but only if you consider [[spoiler:death death in childbirth]] childbirth preferable to hanging.


* ''VideoGame/SeaOfThieves'' A game from Creator/{{Rare}} that has players set off on seafaring adventures and captures the many tropes about Piracy. From boarding trade ships, digging buried treasures, having huge sea battles... to winding barfing drunk up at a [[ArsonMurderAndJayWalking local pub]].

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* ''VideoGame/SeaOfThieves'' A game from Creator/{{Rare}} that has players set off on seafaring adventures and captures the many tropes about Piracy. From boarding trade ships, digging buried treasures, having huge sea battles... to winding up barfing drunk up at a [[ArsonMurderAndJayWalking local pub]].



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* ''VideoGame/SeaOfThieves'' A game from Creator/{{Rare}} that has players set off on seafaring adventures and captures the many tropes about Piracy. From boarding trade ships, digging buried treasures, having huge sea battles... to winding barfing drunk up at a [[ArsonMurderAndJayWalking local pub]].


* ArtifactTitle: A ''boucane'' is a wooden frame used to smoke meat over an open fire, which is how the French squatters on Hispaniola cooked what they caught, earning them the nickname ''Boucaniers'', or "Buccaneers."[[note]]Fun fact: Another word for this frame gave rise to the Spanish ''barbacoa'' and English "barbecue." So yes, "buccaneer" means "barbacuer."[[/note]] The word “Buccaneer” has since become synonymous with pirates, even though the word itself actually has nothing to do with piracy.

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* ArtifactTitle: A ''boucane'' is a wooden frame used to smoke meat over an open fire, which is how the French squatters on Hispaniola cooked what they caught, earning them the nickname ''Boucaniers'', or "Buccaneers."[[note]]Fun fact: Another word for this frame gave rise to the Spanish ''barbacoa'' and English "barbecue." So yes, "buccaneer" means "barbacuer."barbecuer."[[/note]] The word “Buccaneer” has since become synonymous with pirates, even though the word itself actually has nothing to do with piracy.


* ArtifactTitle: A ''boucane'' is a wooden frame used to smoke meat over an open fire, which is how the French squatters on Hispaniola cooked what they caught, earning them the nickname ''Boucaniers'', or "Buccaneers." The word “Buccaneer” has since become synonymous with pirates, even though the word itself actually has nothing to do with piracy.

to:

* ArtifactTitle: A ''boucane'' is a wooden frame used to smoke meat over an open fire, which is how the French squatters on Hispaniola cooked what they caught, earning them the nickname ''Boucaniers'', or "Buccaneers."[[note]]Fun fact: Another word for this frame gave rise to the Spanish ''barbacoa'' and English "barbecue." So yes, "buccaneer" means "barbacuer."[[/note]] The word “Buccaneer” has since become synonymous with pirates, even though the word itself actually has nothing to do with piracy.

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