Poll: What do you think?
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View poll results: What do you think?
Criminals
29 46%
Revolutionaries
23 37%
Not sure
11 17%
Voters: 63.
#1
This is an interesting topic that I discussed in an upper level university class I was taking last semester.


There are quite a number of historians that are arguing that pirates were actually leading a sort of revolution against the navies and shipping companies of the colonial world. Here is an article that gives you a bit of an overview of the idea:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1507766/pirate_culture_the_state_capitalism_pg3.html?cat=37


I linked to the 3rd page because that is where the most relevant information starts.


I think it is an interesting argument and it puts a new spin on the traditional view of pirates and piracy.


So my question is this:

Do you think that pirates were simply criminals that roamed the seas, or were they just another example of revolutionaries in the Atlantic world?


Oh, and don't spam the thread with stupid pirates vs. ninja arguments or anything stupid like that. This is meant to be a more or less serious discussion. I will close the thread if you can't behave. I might give you warnings too.
#3
If I've learned anything from Pirates of The Caribbean it's that Keira Knightley has one hell of a rack and that corsets are fantastic.


In regards to Pirates I'm going to side with old grumpy British people and say they're filthy criminals.
#4
wow, i never considered it from that aspect, nor heard this argument.
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#5
I'm pretty sure history would call them revolutionists when we have the luxury of looking at things in retrospect, but at the time, they were simply just reeking havoc.

EDIT: Also, what's with you and pirates???
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Last edited by Just Andrew at Sep 1, 2009,
#7
Pirates were simply opportunistic criminals.

But damn,
stealing has never been more awesome!
Blindfolds aside I'd probably still close my eyes

And try to feel a trembling fetal life inside
that shotgun barrel that's about to make me bleed

Like an ulcer in the stomach of the beast


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your sarcasam amuses me


CSUSM
#8
I say they were revolutionary. They were like the resistance of the seas. Plus they helped played huge roles in history (example: pirates have given motive to start wars because they'd hijack another country's boats)
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#9
Quote by ExtremeMetalFTW
wow, i never considered it from that aspect, nor heard this argument.



I never did either until I took that class. Now I'm not sure how I feel about them. I can't decide if I think they were simply criminals, or if there was more to it than that.
#10


I dunno.

All the singing and dancing seems kinda...

gay.

But If I was stuck at sea with dudes for long periods of time I guess musical theater would start to look pretty good to me too.

HE'S AN ENGLISHMAAAAAAaaaaaan!!!!!!!!

(That bit might be from HMS Pinafore.)
Last edited by Iluvpowerchords at Sep 1, 2009,
#11
Like all hard questions, it could go either way. Some would have prefered to have been called revolutionists, others were only out there for themselves. Therefore, this thread will never attain an answer.

...

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#12
Pirates were like the cops of the ocean. They helped out a lot of European countries, too.
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#13
A comedian said that he would forgive the Somali pirates, if they wore eye patches. And only fought with swords. And the occasional musket.

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#14
Not really sure. Pirates did some pretty terrible things, but then again so did the Navy.
#15
I would like to think of them as revolutionaries, but they were probably just in it for the money which really just makes them criminals, no matter their background.
#16
Quote by daytripper75
I never did either until I took that class. Now I'm not sure how I feel about them. I can't decide if I think they were simply criminals, or if there was more to it than that.

i think that it was a mixed bag; some were revolutionaries, others were mere criminals, yet as a whole it appears that there more revolutionaries than criminals, simply because of the fact that there was such a crackdown on them


there was no large-scale hunt against land criminals, as they could change nothing, yet revolutionaries are more dangerous to those in power.
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#17
Ninjas are better, and Pirates are criminals.
all I ever wanted was to pick apart the day
put the pieces back together my way
#18
Quote by sneyob
Pirates were simply opportunistic criminals.

But damn,
stealing has never been more awesome!

I agree, they saw an opportunity to escape poverty and went for it. They weren't concerned with overthrowing the existing political structure or making a statement, they were chiefly concerned with their own (and therefore their fellow crew mates) well being.
#19
The British used pirates quite advantageously when they fought a war against the Spanish in the 16th or 17th century. These pirates won them the war, allowing them to beat Spain's far superior navy. So Brits are hypocrites.

Now, especially in a world where companies owned large parcels of land (that's how America was started) pirates could have been revolutionaries. But I'm not comfortable with making a generalization like that. Some were, and many were not. I don't know any stats, but I think both.

After all, many of America's founding fathers were criminals. John Hancock was one of the best smugglers of his time. Does that mean Al Capone was a revolutionary? No. But some were, some were not.
#21
Quote by RU Experienced?
I agree, they saw an opportunity to escape poverty and went for it. They weren't concerned with overthrowing the existing political structure or making a statement, they were chiefly concerned with their own (and therefore their fellow crew mates) well being.


Yar,
they were opportunistic in that they were shown a way out and took it.

Any challenge to the system was a byproduct of that.
Blindfolds aside I'd probably still close my eyes

And try to feel a trembling fetal life inside
that shotgun barrel that's about to make me bleed

Like an ulcer in the stomach of the beast


Quote by Aurex
your sarcasam amuses me


CSUSM
#22
Quote by mamosa
The British used pirates quite advantageously when they fought a war against the Spanish in the 16th or 17th century. These pirates won them the war, allowing them to beat Spain's far superior navy. So Brits are hypocrites.

Now, especially in a world where companies owned large parcels of land (that's how America was started) pirates could have been revolutionaries. But I'm not comfortable with making a generalization like that. Some were, and many were not. I don't know any stats, but I think both.

After all, many of America's founding fathers were criminals. John Hancock was one of the best smugglers of his time. Does that mean Al Capone was a revolutionary? No. But some were, some were not.


I was gonna bother typing it all up but then I saw this.
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#24
I was actually thinking about this on my drive to pick up my little sister at school. Alestorm was playing on the stereo, and i thought, "Huh, all the rebellion and plunder is really just punk rock with blunderbusses and cutlasses."

Needless to say, i think they were bloody revolutionary badasses.
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#25
Stealing, hostages, ransoms, etc. = criminals in my book. (I'm talking about modern day pirates, I don't know much about the old ones)
#26
Sorry to be off-topic, but I just had to reply to this post:

Quote by RU Experienced?
If I've learned anything from Pirates of The Caribbean it's that Keira Knightley has one hell of a rack and that corsets are fantastic.


In regards to Pirates I'm going to side with old grumpy British people and say they're filthy criminals.


Keria Knightley does not have a rack
#28
Quote by Tremolo Bum
Stealing, hostages, ransoms, etc. = criminals in my book. (I'm talking about modern day pirates, I don't know much about the old ones)

Article and this discussion deal with 17th century pirates
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#29
Well, they were criminals, but they did it in such a ****in awesome way that I voted revolutionaries just because they were awesome. I'd be ok with modern pirates if they had swords and swung on ropes and ****.
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#30
Che = Pirate.

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