Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Pirates - The Creators of Democracy?

A tidbit of history, unknown to the average American, is that Blackbeard and Benjamin Franklin may have deserve equal credit for much of our Democratic value system. Pirates shared the same beliefs, principles, and organizational structure that America later developed.

The Pirate Assembly was very much like Congress. Many of the checks and balances later placed into our system appear to have started with their system. Everyone was entitled to a vote, and the Captain served more like a President, than a domineering tyrant. Everyone was entitled to due process, and compensation if wronged. Nobody was forced to do anything against their will, unless they violated their written law. It was very much a democratic enterprise, with personal freedom and freedom from oppression valued above all.

These men were drawn from the ranks of people oppressed by the Britain or Spain, either by slavery, unfair taxes, or worse. They were, by and large, just men seeking to fight against their oppressors, and may have been more like revolutionaries than cut-throats. Hollywood has painted a far different picture.

Most were ordinary people. Many were ex-slaves, American Indians, or sailors pressed into duty. It was their only way to make an impact against their oppressors. Pirates played a role in several pivotal battles in American history. Even as late as the War of 1812, and the Civil War, their effects were being felt. America would have lost the battle of New Orleans and Britain would have gained a foothold in the South had it not been for Pirates making up the bulk of the American troops.

Another point to consider... If not for the Pirates, Spain would have gained more territory and eventually taken over from Britain. Then the United States, as we know it, might never have been born.

Here is an interesting link about Blackbeard and Democracy...

Here is what PhysOrg has to say about it...

Here is an article over Piracy and Anarchism...

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