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Re: War on Terror
The US Marines did not end piracy in the Mediterranean in 1815.
In 1815, Algiers was at war with Spain, the Netherlands, Prussia, Denmark,
Russia, and Naples. March 1815 the United States Congress authorised naval
action against the Barbary States, of Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli.
Commodore Stephen Decatur, in his command was Captain Arthur Sinclair, was
dispatched with a squadron of ten warships to demand United States shipping
in the Mediterranean be safe. Congress also wanted an end to the payment of
tribute. After capturing several corsairs and their crews, Decatur sailed
into the harbour of Algiers, threatened the city with his guns, and
concluded a favorable treaty in which the Dey agreed to discontinue demands
for tribute, pay reparations for damage to United States property, release
United States prisoners without ransom, and prohibit further interference
with United States trade by Algerian corsairs. No sooner had Decatur set off
for Tunis to enforce a similar agreement than the Dey repudiated the treaty.
By 1815 there had been four hundred years of European imperialism. The
outward expansion of European power over other continents and peoples.
Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, British colonial empires had trailed
each other throughout these four centuries. Always these extensions of
control over non-European territories had involved, in varying proportions,
trading, missionary activity, adventure, settlement, loot, national pride,
conquests, and wars.
The Golden Age of Piracy came about in the late 1600's, almost 200 years
after Columbus sailed the ocean blue. The Golden Age ended about 1722.
England made peace with Spain in 1689, many Privateering old hands turned
to the profitable calling of piracy.
Privateers armed with a letter of Marque and Reprisal looted and pillaged
in the name a Government. The American Captain John Sinclair among them Sir
Frances Drake and Sir Henry Morgan, were so successful they received
Privateers had an appointed captain; where as, pirates elected theirs by
majority vote, the captain could be deposed by another vote. Privateers and
pirates are nearly interchangeable. Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson said"...the
conduct of all privateers is, as far as I have seen, so near piracy that I
only wonder how any civilized nation can allow it."
In the 'Golden Age of Piracy', countries were beginning to find peace which
made it difficult for privateers to make their living. The loss letters of
Marque and Reprisal made piracy flourish. Men used to gleaning the rewards
of looting, of making several hundred pounds a voyage, had no wish to go
back to back to making ten pounds a year in the Royal Navy.
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