PIRATES WHO JUST WANTED TO FIND A PLACE IN THE HIGHER REACHES OF COLONIAL SOCIETY. I posted here about Professor Peter Leeson’s economic theory of piracy. Leesonâ€™s 18th century pirates â€œset up their own early versions of constitutional democracy, complete with separation of powers, decades before the American Revolution.â€
Mark G Hanna has a lengthy and fact-filled article on the Humanities website about the history of piracy in America (link via Instapundit). Hanna writes about pirates who, up until about 1725, were part of American colonial society and aspired to rise in that society. Hanna says: “In the early days of the colonies, pirate attacks were considered a commonplace, inevitable feature of the maritime world. It was the higher reaches of colonial society, from governors to merchants, who supported global piracy….”
Hanna argues that pirates needed bases on land and identifies New Plymouth,Boston, Charleston, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York City, Newport, and Middletown, New Jersey as examples of those bases and as places where pirates could retire.