Careers on the High Seas
Many sailors of old “jumped ship” to pursue the promise of untold wealth on the high seas. Instead of a life of backbreaking work for minimal wages in the service of the king, thousand of men pursued a career of piracy, although what they mostly found was a life of misery and untimely death.
These sailors were known by many names–pirates, buccaneers, privateers, filibuster and freebooters. Whatever the name, they were seafaring bandits.
The term buccaneer came from the French “boucaanier” which referred to the French backwoods men on the island of Hispaniola that smoked meat using a “boucan” (barbeque).
A pirate that obtained written permission from the king or government to plunder ships from enemy countries were called privateers.
Filibusters were soldiers who acted without official authority from their government for personal gain. Today, the term is used to describe t political act of filibustering in our U.S Congress.
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