Piracy has long been a problem and remains one in some parts of the world. As soon as men begin to sail the seas, for traveling and the transport of goods, those who wished to steal those goods, began to frequent the open waters as well. The latter, would eventually become known as pirates.
Even before valuable goods were transported from the New World to Spain, pirates roamed the oceans and seas. There were few bodies of waters safe from roaming pirates. They made their presence known on the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas as well as the Atlantic Ocean. Bodies of water near Asia were also hotbeds for piracy.
The Mediterranean Sea had its share of pirates. Many of the countries surrounding this large body of water participated in piracy. They would attack passing ships, steal their cargo and share it with their home countries. In exchange for sharing the booty, pirates could avoid jail time.
There were other pirates, who claimed no allegiances, in regard to country or nationality. They would steal from any boat that crossed their path. They were fierce men who resided on the Barbary Coast, along North Africa. Eventually, the French would force these pirates out of Africa. Some would relocate to Hispaniola where they continued to pillage.
Of all the ancient pirates, Vikings were amongst the most well-known. These men hailed from Scandinavia (Norway, Denmark and Sweden) and ruled the seas once the Roman Empire collapsed. They would strike terror in the hearts of men between the eighth and eleventh centuries. However, while the Vikings were ruthless and expert plunderers, surprisingly, they were also talented poets and storytellers.
During the Golden Age of Piracy, Spanish Main pirates roamed the seas. Queen Elizabeth of England gave her best sailors permission to pillage and plunder boats as privateers. Many would go on to become pirates.
Surprisingly, piracy still exists. In fact, there has seen to be an increase in attacks in recent years. The methods have changed some. No longer are wooden, pirate boats rowed by pirates and/or their slaves as they chase down boats. Today, pirates use speedboats, which allow them to quickly chase down ships. Once they have caught up with a ship, pirates will often brandish machine guns and sometimes-even canons, taking the crew hostage so that they can steal goods from it or stealing the entire ship, with everyone on board. Modern pirates will attack ships of all kinds, even large ones owned by major corporations. If they see it as vulnerable, and potentially valuable, they will consider attacking it. Each year, there are hundreds of pirate attacks. Many of them end badly, with lives lost.
Unless there is an out-and-out attack on piracy, chances are, it will remain. If pirates are no longer able to take on large ships, they will probably move on to smaller, less opposing ships.
Pirates plunder and pillage. As long as there is an opportunity to do so, chances are, piracy will continue. There will always be people who prefer to steal rather than work and in some countries, poverty spurs people onto a life of piracy. Today's pirates don't look like those from the Pirates of the Caribbean. However, their goal is the same, to chase down and pillage passing ships.
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