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Research Paper: Piracy

Topics: Piracy / Pages: 7 (2637 words) / Published: Aug 6th, 2014
Piracy is said to have existed since ancient Roman times with its roots in the fishing industry. Some acts of piracy were handled as criminal acts, while others were a lawful means of plundering in warfare (privateering). The actual work of a pirate and a privateer was generally the same, so it was, therefore the authorization and perceived legality of the actions that formed the distinction. But after modern states came into existence and the principle of freedom of the seas was established all acts of piracy were criticized universally. Piracy was one of the first crimes that had to be recognized as a crime against international law and subject to universal jurisdiction.
The first precise attempt to codify piracy was in 1958 when the Convention on the High Seas was adopted in order to clarify the legal status of pirates and the competence to arrest pirates. These articles in the Convention on the High Seas have been incorporated into the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS) and have today become the definition of piracy under international law. That is, piracy according to the UNCLOS consists of all illegal acts of violence, detention, or any acts of plundering, committed for private ends on the high seas or areas not under national jurisdiction.
Today there are three major problems in combating piracy, in particularly off the coasts of states with weak governments. The first problem is that states cannot pursue and apprehend pirates within the territorial waters of another state. Attacks on ships in the territorial sea are classified as ‘armed robbery at sea’ and only the coastal state has the authority to arrest and prosecute those responsible. Only on the high seas states are permitted to take action against piracy. The second problem with countering pirates is the reluctance of states to the prosecution and trial of pirates. The third problem is that it is only permitted to arrest persons who are caught in the act of attacking a ship.
Eventually, in the Somali case, the UN Security Council came with resolutions to widen the definition of what amounts to piracy under international law. This means countries can enter the Somali territorial waters in a manner consistent with operating on the high seas. The resolutions also suggest that states and regional organizations should make agreements about the prosecution of pirates as for example Kenya that will prosecute pirates that are captured by some western countries.
This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on Piracy. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library’s classification index code 250a. Crimes against Foreign States (Counterfeiting Currency, Terrorism, etc.) and subject heading (keyword) Piracyare instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

An eyepatch or eye pad is a small patch that is worn in front of one eye. It may be a cloth patch attached around the head by an elastic band or by a string, an adhesive bandage, or a plastic device which is clipped to a pair of glasses. It is often worn by people to cover a lost or injured eye, but it also has a therapeutic use in children for the treatment of amblyopia. History: In the years before advanced medicine and surgery, eyepatches were common for people who had lost an eye. They were particularly prevalent among members of dangerous occupations, such as soldiers and sailors who could lose an eye in battle, as well as blacksmiths who used them to cover one eye for protection from sparks while working.[1] While stereotypically associated with pirates, there is no evidence to suggest the historicity of eye patch wearing pirates before several popular novels of the 19th century
It has been speculated that sailors who often went above and below deck might have used an eyepatch to keep one eye adjusted to the darkness below decks.[16] According to this episode of Mythbusters, the strong sunlight while above deck on an oceangoing vessel could require minutes of adaptation to the dim lighting below deck. With virtually no light sources below deck, sailors would have to rely heavily upon their eyes to adjust. In the critical moments of modifying the rigging, navigating, and especially during battle, those minutes were too precious. A simple switch of the patch from one eye to the other might have saved time when going between decks.
This speculation was made without attribution or evidence that pirates wore eye patches with any more frequency than other sailors, or even the general public of the time.] This speculation is also contrary to numerous contemporaneous descriptions and portraits of known pirates. This speculation assumes several premises for which evidence to the contrary exists. No evidence has been presented to link eye patch wearing pirates with eye patches to the well known physiological process of dark adaptation.
It has been suggested that eye patches can help with sea sickness, however this refers to covering both eyes with a sleep mask or similar device. It is generally accepted that keeping both eyes open and focusing on the distant horizon is more effective, since sea sickness results from the sensory inputs of the eyes and the vestibular senses.

The truth is that even though pirate-characters often have parrot-buddies, no one knows for sure that real-life pirates had the same thing. It’s possible the idea simply came from popular stories where pirate characters had parrots. However, many people do think it was likely that pirates and parrots often came hand-in-hand. (Or, perhaps, shoulder-in-claw.) One reason why the two go well together is that a few hundred years ago, when the pirates we now speak of in stories were at their peak, parrots were considered exotic and rare animals in many parts of the world. Therefore, pirates would be likely to steal or keep a parrot due to its value. Some resources say its unlikely that a pirate would have put up with keeping a pet, but others say this common association of today might actually have come from real instances of pirate-parrot pairs!

A pegleg is a prosthesis, or artificial limb, fitted to the remaining stump of a human leg. Its use dates to antiquity.
By the late 19th century, prosthetics vendors would offer peg legs as cheaper alternatives to more intricate life-like artificial legs.[2] Even as vendors touted advantages of more complicated prostheses over simple peg legs, according to a contemporary surgeon, many patients found a peg leg more comfortable for walking. According to medical reports, some amputees were able to adjust to the use of a peg leg so well that they could walk 10, or even 30, miles in one day.
Nowadays, wooden peg legs have been replaced by more modern materials, though some sports prostheses do have the same form.

ARTICLE 1: Every Man has a Vote in Affairs of the Moment; has equal title to the fresh Provisions, or Strong Liquors, at any Time seized, and use of them at Pleasure, unless a Scarcity make it necessary, for the good of all, to Vote a Retrenchment. ARTICLE 2: Every man shall obey civil command; the captain shall have one full share and a half in all prizes. the Quartermaster, Carpenter, Boatswain, and Gunner shall have one share and quarter. ARTICLE 3: If any man shall offer to run away, or keep any secret from the Company, he shall be marroon'd with one bottle of powder, one bottle of Water, one small Arm, and shot. ARTICLE 4: If any Man shall steal any Thing in the Company, or game, to the value of a piece of Eight, he shall be Marroon'd or shot. ARTICLE 5: If at any Time we should meet with another Marrooner (that is, Pirate) that man shall sign his Articles without Consent of our Company, shall suffer such Punishment as the Captain and Company shall think fit. ARTICLE 6: That man that shall strike another, whilst these Articles are in force, shall receive Moses's Law (that is 40 Stripes lacking one) on the bare Back. ARTICLE 7: That Man that shall snap his Arms, or smoke Tobacco in the Hold, without cap to his Pipe, or carry a candle lighted without lantern, shall suffer the same Punishment as in the former Article. ARTICLE 8: That Man that shall not keep his Arms clean, fit for an Engagement, or neglect his Business, shall be cut off from his Share, and suffer such other Punishment as the Captain and Company shall think fit. ARTICLE 9: If any man shall lose a joint in time of Engagement, he shall have 400 Pieces of Eight: if a limb, 800. ARTICLE 10: If at any time you meet with a prudent Woman, that Man that offers to meddle with her, without her Consent, shall suffer Death.

Terms for Piracy
PIRATE The word pirate simply means one who robs or plunders at sea. Piracy is a term for sea-robbery. Reason tells us that pirates were no more than common criminals, but some still see them as figures of romance. As they are associated with daring deeds on the Spanish Main, with rakish black schooners and exotic tropical islands and sea chests overflowing with gold and silver coin. Over the years many stories have been told and fact has merged with fiction. In reality seamen who resisted a pirate attack were commonly hacked to death and thrown over the side. The plunder was not usually chests full of doubloons and pieces of eight, but typically a few bales of silk and cotton, some barrels of rum or tobacco, spare canvas for sail, carpentry and navigation tools, food or medicine, and perhaps a half dozen slaves. CORSAIR These were pirates or privateers who operated in the Mediterranean. The most famous were the Barbary Corsairs from the Barbary Coast of North Africa who were authorized by their governments to attack the shipping of Christian countries. Some of these states even helped organize the pirates and the ones that operated from them were called corsairs. Among these states were Morocco, Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli. One of the most famous Barbary corsairs was Barbarossa. Less well known were the corsairs of Malta. They were sent out to loot shipping by the Knights of St. John, a military order created during the crusades to fight the Muslims on behalf of the Christian nations. At first these men were driven by religion but after a while the rewards of piracy became to great. The Barbary Corsairs intercepted ships traveling through the Strait of Gibraltar or coming from the trading ports of Alexandria and Venice, swooping down on the heavily laden merchantmen, in their swift galleys powered by oars and sails. They looted their cargos, captured their passengers and crews, and held them for ransom or sold them into slavery. PRIVATEER The term privateer could apply to an armed vessel, its captain or its crew. Many of the pirates of the Golden Age of Piracy began their careers as privateers. Privateers worked under letters of marque from the various countries that used them to basically wage a form of economic warfare on there enemies. Maritime nations made use of privateers in times of war as a cheap way of attacking enemy shipping (saving the cost of building and maintaining a navy). Usually the limits of the Marque were vague, leaving it up to the captain and crew to determine what they could undertake. Privateers often worked beyond the limits as detailed by their letter of Marque, many attacking neutral countries as well as hostile nations. These men did the same kind of things as pirates, but unlike pirates who were regarded by most as villains, they were seen by some as patriots by their respective countries because they were only suppose to attack hostile nations ships, and shared a part of their plunder with their countries rulers. When the various countries with interests in the New World were openly competing for the riches found there, some men saw that it could be quite rewarding becoming a privateer. But eventually most of these countries began to turn away from the use of privateers as they made peace with there rivals, and many of these men where unwilling to give up their wicked ways....and so began a career in piracy. BUCCANEER Originally hunters of cattle and pigs on the island of Hispanola (now Haiti and Dominica), buccaneers got their name from the French word boucan which means barbeque. This was because of the way they barbequed their meat on grills. Driven out by the Spanish, the hunters joined the groups of runaway slaves, deserters and others who preyed on the ships of the hated Spanish. These buccaneers called themselves "The Brethren of the Coast". By the end of the 17th century the word buccaneer was being applied generally to most of the pirates and privateers who had bases in the West Indies. The buccaneers established their headquarters on the little island of Tortuga. Later they used Jamaica as a base of operations. One of the most famous buccaneers was Sir Henry Morgan. Under his command five hundred buccaneers from Tortuga and one thousand buccaneers from Jamaica captured Panama in 1671. MAROONERS Marooners were yet another special breed of pirate harassing the Spanish Main. Marooner is a corruption of the Spanish word "cimarron" which loosely translates to "deserter" or runaway. In those days many Spaniards deserted their Navy at the first opportunity, and over time their numbers began to grow into a serious problem for Spain. Another group of marooners were the cimarron negros. These were the runaway slaves that had been brought to the Americas by Spain to haul the heavy cargos of gold and silver. The cimarron's quickly joined with the other deserters and runaways and became known as Marooners. Eventually this term became a common word for any pirate in the Caribbean, but not as common as Buccaneer. As time passed the pirate punishment of leaving shipmates on small deserted areas of land entered the language as "Marooning". The pirates would use this form of punishment for certain offenses, such as deserting the ship or quarters in battle, or stealing from other pirates. Marooning may not sound like such a serious punishment, but it usually meant a slow death from starvation or exposure. One of the most famous of these marooned men was the pirate Selkirk, better known as Robinson Crusoe.

ne of the most predominant myths about pirates is the belief that they were all a bunch of evil men completely lacking in any moral standards or beliefs. This was simply not true. Yes some pirates were rapists and murders, and some were truly sadistic killers. But most pirates were not much different in their moral beliefs then the other sailors of their time. Some worked as privateers and some on military ships before becoming pirates. Furthermore, not all buccaneers volunteered to serve as pirates of their choosing. Some were pressed men who were forced into serving when their ships were captured by pirates. Other men were abducted in ports and forced to join the pirates crew. (Note: Abducting seamen in ports to serve aboard naval warships was also a common practice in the military back then. As was the use of black slaves to do some of the back breaking manual labor and dangerous tasks aboard ship.) Not to try and justify their actions but in a world of poverty and little opportunity for most, some found in the brutal life of piracy a risk worth taking.

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