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海盗 (Pirates)

海盗 (Pirates)

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Published by Jeffery Chen
Pirates In Marcus Rediker’s book, Villains of All Nations, the author depicts the lives of pirates and how piracy affected the development of capitalism. People who attempted to gain profits by transporting materials or slaves on the sea were affected by piracy. The merchants, plantation owners and the official governors were the actual assailants who made poor working class engage in piracy. The author puts more focus on the organization, liberty and equality among pirates instead of concentrat
Pirates In Marcus Rediker’s book, Villains of All Nations, the author depicts the lives of pirates and how piracy affected the development of capitalism. People who attempted to gain profits by transporting materials or slaves on the sea were affected by piracy. The merchants, plantation owners and the official governors were the actual assailants who made poor working class engage in piracy. The author puts more focus on the organization, liberty and equality among pirates instead of concentrat

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Published by: Jeffery Chen on Jan 16, 2011
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1PiratesIn Marcus Rediker’s book, Villains of All Nations, the author depicts the lives of pirates and how piracy affected the development of capitalism. People who attempted togain profits by transporting materials or slaves on the sea were affected by piracy. Themerchants, plantation owners and the official governors were the actual assailants whomade poor working class engage in piracy. The author puts more focus on theorganization, liberty and equality among pirates instead of concentrating on their killing,robbery and violence.During early eighteenth century, the poor were more willing to become pirates.These poor included the sailors for the privateers and merchant vessels, slaves, seamenand the low class. People had no rights in the lower classes and were all abused by their masters. Before people became pirates, they suffered from terrible working conditions.Low salary or no salary was received at all.For instance, the sailors of the vessels of merchants suffered, because of the rottenfood, they always felt starved and lacked nutrition. They experienced devastatingdiseases as they traveled around the world. Sailors had harsh jobs, which might causethem disabling accidents. In addition, the discipline that the officers made was brutal andoften murderous. In return, the sailors only received low wages. In the book, Villains of All Nations, Samuel Johnson made a comparison between the life on ships and in jail.Samuel Johnson explains, “For being in a ship is being in jail with the chance of beingdrowned…a man in jail has more room, better food and commonly better company.”
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 Sailors in privateer vessels were a little better in food and salary. Most sailors werewilling to become pirates. 
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2 The autonomy of slaves depended on which part of the colonies they were in.Slaves in the upper north had more right and freedom than in the lower south. Accordingto the class lecture, the plantation owners used a system called the “Gang Labor System”to regulate the slave in the tobacco plantation strictly and watched them very closely.”The slaves had no freedom at all in the south. Based on the class lecture, “The plantationowner created the ‘task system’ to adjust the slaves, which gave them certain tasks. Oncethey completed their task, they would have the opportunities to manage their time. Theyhad a little free time.” Generally, nobody wanted to be a slave, even though they wereforced. Slaves always attempted to find a way to escape. Therefore, when the piratescaptured the slave trading ship, a lot of slaves were enthusiastic about joining the pirates.Rediker says, “Edward England and other pirate captains found slaves to be excellentrecruiting grounds.”
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 An assumption could be made that the pirates’ opponents were the ones whomade them engage in robbery of ships and killing people. As a result, pirates were peoplewho had been poor working class. The pirates were from different parts of the world andrepresented different races, backgrounds and national origins. It was significant toexplore the world that the pirates lived in. Actually, the pirates created their owndemocratic community.The pirate’s community had three different classes. The quartermaster had thesupreme power; he controlled the pirate captains and crews. The pirates’ captains hadmore authority than the crews. The intention of the quartermaster was to prevent theabuse of authority and counterbalance the power of captains. Rediker explains, “The 
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3captain can undertake nothing which the quartermaster does not approve.”
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The crewsendowed the captains with unquestioned authority in fighting and chasing vessels. Thecommunity of pirates was based on democracy because the pirates themselves voted andselected their captains and quartermasters. Captains and quartermasters had knowledgeand trust among pirates. Rediker states, “And yet neither the captain nor thequartermaster represented the highest authority on the pirate ship. That honor belonged tothe common council.”
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Captains could be removed from their positions. “Thomas Anstislost his position as captain.”
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The policy of democracy on the pirate’s society wasimportant to mention because it had a long-term effect on the United States to become ademocratic country. In the United States today, the citizens have the rights to vote for their officials and presidents.The pirate’s source of food, weapons, gold, silver, and other items was based oncapturing the vessels of large merchant companies. Piracy was a crime against theproperty of merchants, who traded on the sea. Rediker reveals, “Pirates broke the law asthey stole property, taking plunder in money and cargo, and as they destroyed property,throwing goods riotously in the sea, burning and sinking ships.”
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The development of anAtlantic economy was directly influenced by the actions of pirates.  They were about todestroy the emerging the nation-state and the rise of capitalism.  Pirates were opponentsof the government as long as the merchants were trading. Rediker says, “The King’s menin court explained in 1717, ‘It is the interest of the state that shipping be improved.
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