Colonial expansion, the Caribbean and the Golden Age of Piracy
Time: 10:30 - 15:30
Location: Keeley Street
Course Code: HBH58
Duration: 1 session
What is the course about?
On this short course we will assess New World trading, the social instabilities of early Caribbean societies and the rise of piracy in the region. We will consider the reasons why men and women joined pirate ship crews and life both on board ships and on land in pirate ‘havens’ like the Bahamas; pirates and concepts of democracy; the significance of women pirates and former slaves; and the reasons why the ‘Golden Age of Piracy’ eventually came to an end.
What will we cover?
• Colonial expansion in the Caribbean
• Privateering, buccaneering & piracy
• Trading ships & new trading routes
• The case of Henry Morgan
• Flying Gangs: Edward ‘Blackbeard’ Teach, ‘Calico Jack’ Rackham & Stede Bonnet
• Women pirates
• An early form of democracy? Social hierarchies & democracy on board pirate ships
• Piracy, slave trading & fugitive slaves
• Pirate attacks
• Pirate havens, pirate politics & the Bahamas
• The end of the ‘Golden Age of Piracy’.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Explain the difference between privateering, buccaneering and piracy
• Evaluate the impact of new world expansion on piracy
• Assess how class, race and gender affected decisions to join pirate crews
• Explain why the social structure of pirate crews are viewed as early examples of a form of democracy
• Evaluate the economic & political impact of piracy on the region
• Evaluate why the ‘Golden Age of Piracy’ ended
• Assess the impact of fiction on the history of piracy.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This is an introductory course and no prior knowledge of the topic is necessary – an open mind, a sense of humour and a willingness to engage in discussions is all that is required.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught using interactive lecture session. Handouts and a book reading list will also be available if you wish to extend your learning.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
No other costs. Please bring a pen and notepad to class if you wish to make notes.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
Other courses in British, Irish and world history. Please see the City Lit website.