Benefits to High Seas Piracy

While the study isn’t recent, I came across this news brief on a study on the relationship between piracy and the colonies,

Pirates mapped new territory, expanded trade routes, discovered good ports and opened doors with the native peoples, Acosta said. “They really helped European nations explore the Americas before Europeans could afford to explore them on their own,” he said.

By selling stolen silks, satins, spices and other merchandise in ports and spending their booty in the colonies, pirates created an economic boom, helping struggling settlements and making Port Royale in Jamaica and Charleston, S.C., huge mercantile centers, Acosta said. “They didn’t bury their treasure, they spent it, helping colonies survive that couldn’t get the money and supplies they needed from Europe,” he said.

Without the infusion of money into the New World from piracy, it is possible that Britain and France may not have been able to catch up with Spain, Acosta said.

2 thoughts on “Benefits to High Seas Piracy

  1. John S

    Wow, pop culture moves incredibly fast. I was just thinking that a more realistic take on pirates would be a good premise for a TV show, and after quick googling, lo and behold, I found “Crossbones!” (no idea it’s any good)

    I don’t watch much TV, but I think/hope there will be a widening niche for more historically accurate fiction (e.g. Vikings). So much interesting ground to cover (econ, trade, politics, tech).

    1. JCatalan

      I haven’t heard of Crossbones, either. The only thing I really watch is Game of Thrones. But, even there, I think you’re right. Goes to show that the public really has become far more educated on these matters than they used to be.


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