The Real Pirates Of The Caribbean Began Prowling The Seas During The Late Fifteenth Century, Looting Valuables From Aztec, Maya, And Incan Civilizations

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The pirates of the Caribbean have been romanticized and embellished through countless books and movies, such as the popular film series Pirates of the Caribbean, starring Johnny Depp.

While the pirates in these movies are completely fictional, the Caribbean was once occupied by actual pirates. So, who were the real pirates of the Caribbean, and what were they like?

In the late 15th century, the discovery of the New World ushered in the Golden Age of Piracy, a period of plundering, pillaging, and prowling through the waters.

After looting gold, silver, and other valuables from Aztec, Maya, and Incan civilizations, Spanish conquistadors would sail back home through the Caribbean Sea.

These ships loaded with treasures became targets for buccaneers in the region. The Caribbean islands they lived on served as the perfect bases to return to after robbing passing ships. There were many caves and thousands of bays they could conveniently hide in.

Later on, the governors of Caribbean islands, such as Jamaica, paid pirates to attack Spanish vessels as European nations grappled for power.

Gradually, the raids grew in number as piracy became known as a lucrative career. Any ship that could contain valuable cargo was at risk of being robbed, even if it wasn’t from an enemy country.

In the Caribbean, pirating lasted for about 300 years, with the most prolific period between the 1650s and the 1730s.

The pirates most famous for their exploits in the Caribbean include Bartholomew Roberts (Black Bart), Anne Bonny, Sir Henry Morgan, and Edward Teach (Blackbeard).

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