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"beggining is half done" - Giaidieuxanh

The Seven Years War

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 06:29 AM
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The word "privateer" conjures a romantic image in the minds of most Americans.   Tales of battle and

bounty pervade the folklore of privateering, which has become a cherished, if often overlooked part of

our shared heritage.   Legends were forged during the battle for American independence, and these men were

understandably glorified as part of the formation of our national identity.   The fact of the matter is

that the vast majority of these men were common opportunists, if noteworthy naval warriors.   The profit

motive was the driving force behind almost all of their expeditions, and a successful privateer could

easily become quite wealthy.   In times of peace, these men would be common pirates, pariahs of the

maritime community.   Commissioned in times of war, they were respected entrepreneurs, serving their

purses and their country, if only incidentally the latter.   However vulgar their motivation, the system

of privateering arose because it provided a valuable service to the!

country, and indeed the American Revolution might not have been won without their involvement.   Many

scholars agree that all war begins for economic reasons, and the privateers of the war for independence

contributed by attacking the commercial livelihood of Great Britain's merchants.

    It is ironic that the entire notion of privateering began in Great Britain.   In 1649 a frigate named

Constant-Warwick was constructed in England for a privateer in the employ of the Earl of Warwick.

Seeing how profitable this investment was, a great many of the English peerage commissioned their own

privateers.   The Seven-Years War saw the proliferation of privateering on both the English and French

coasts as each attempted to disrupt their opponent's colonial trade.   American investors quickly entered

this battle, commissioning ships to prey upon cargo vessels coming to and from...


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