The Golden Age of Piracy (jan 1, 1650 – jan 1, 1730)
Although the act of piracy had been around since ancient times, the discovery of the Americas and the resulting increase of maritime trade meant that more and more people took the opportunity to plunder the various ships that were carrying precious cargo. A major rise in this seemed to have occurred after the end of the Thirty Years' War whereby Europe could continue to focus on their overseas colonies.
Over time, people from England, Wales, the Netherlands, and France all started engaging in ocean piracy whereby they would attack ships going too and from the New World. This mostly occurred in the area of the Caribbean but pirate attacks were also made along the North American coast and West Africa. Eventually this would lead to the period of time between about 1650 to 1730 to be known as "The Golden Age of Piracy."
Over the decades these pirates began to establish their own culture and traditions with the likes of Henry Morgan, Calico Jack, and Blackbeard, becoming well known among the trading and pirating worlds. Many stories and biographies about these famous pirates were composed in a book entitled A General History of the Pirates (1724). This book would go on to give the pirates an almost legendary status and although details would have been exaggerated and some creative licence taken, it seems the book helped cement the idea of what we think of as "pirates" today and influenced their depiction in pop culture throughout the following centuries.
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