Hi, welcome to Bookey. Today we will unlock the book, The Republic of Pirates, Being the true and surprising story of the Caribbean Pirates and the man who brought them down.
When we speak of the Great era of Maritime Discovery in the sixteenth century, some of us would probably think of Magellan, the first person to sail around the globe. However, Magellan himself did not finish the whole circumnavigation. When he led the fleet and arrived in the Philippines, he was killed in a dispute and made into a sandwich. After that, it was a man named Francis Drake that led the fleet and accomplished the circumnavigation. During the voyage, he found a strait at the southernmost end of South America, and named it Drake Passage. However, Drake was actually a pirate, a robber at sea, who did everything but good deeds. Pirates have been around for a long time, from as early as the age of the ancient Greece, and ancient Rome, to as late as today's Somali pirates, who have been giving troubles to the international community. We can say that: where there is water and ships, there are pirates.
Ironically, the pirate Francis Drake, who was supposed to be condemned, was welcomed in England by all English people, like a returning hero at that time. Queen Elizabeth even met him in person, listened to what he had seen along the journey for six hours, and even bestowed a knighthood on Drake. Sir Francis Drake was also one of the First men awarded the title of "Royal Pirate". As a result, pirates’ looting of passing ships was legalized by the English government at that time. Inspired by this, many hot-blooded young people joined the rank of pirates, which meant not only infinite wealth, but also glory and status. The government and pirates worked together in mutual benefit and support, and achieved a win-win situation.
In what kind of an era would evil pirates become national heroes? Queen Elizabeth, the leader of the country, was even called "the biggest pirate commander in England"! What happened to these pirates with the support of their country? Did they stay lucky all along?
The author Colin Woodard, who studied history at the University of Cambridge, is a best-selling author and an international journalist. In the process of writing this book, he had consulted all first-hand materials coming from the archive centers in Britain and the Americas, and “the letters of English and Spanish governors, colonial officials, and naval captains, accounts in period pamphlets, newspapers, and the logbooks of His Majesty’s warships.” With detailed information, the author objectively presents to us the history of pirates, who gradually stepped into a period of great prosperity, the golden age.
Next, we will go through this book with you in three parts:
I How the pirates, through interdependence with England, entered the golden age
II How the system worked in the Republic of Pirates
III How the Republic of Pirates came to its demise