Pirates are alive and well in our popular culture. Thanks to movies like Pirates of the Caribbean and television shows like Black Sails, we see pirates as peg-legged, eye-patch wearing, rum-drinking men.
But are these representations accurate?
What do we really know about pirates?
Today, Mark Hanna, an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego, and author of the award-winning book Pirate Nests and the Rise of the British Empire, 1570-1740, helps us fill in the gaps in our knowledge to better understand who pirates were and why they lived the pirate’s life.
About the Show
Ben Franklin’s World is a podcast about early American history.
It is a show for people who love history and for those who want to know more about the historical people and events that have impacted and shaped our present-day world.
Each episode features a conversation with a historian who helps us shed light on important people and events in early American history.
In this episode, Mark Hanna, an Associate Professor of History at the University of California, San Diego and author of the award-winning book Pirate Nests and the Rise of the British Empire, 1570-1740, takes us on a tour of pirates and piracy in the early modern Atlantic world.
During our conversation, Mark reveals myths and facts about pirates; Why colonial communities supported pirates and how pirates supported colonial communities; And, the War on Pirates, 1716-1726.
What You’ll Discover
- How William Harris, founder of Rhode Island led Mark to study pirates
- Who pirates were and how they dressed
- Definitions of piracy and pirates between the late 16th and early-to-mid 18th centuries
- British-American support for pirates
- Details about pirates as people
- Myths about pirates
- How pirates identified ships to attack
- Pirates and slaves
- Ships and sea battles
- Pirate nests
- Why colonial communities supported pirates and piracy
- How colonial communities supported pirates
- The War on Pirates, 1716-1726
- What the golden age of piracy teaches us about our present-day world
Links to People, Places, and Publications
- Mark Hanna
- Mark’s UCSD webpage
- Pirate Nests and the Rise of the British Empire, 1570-1740
- Alexander Exquemelin, The Buccaneers of America
- Episode 006: Gregory Fleming, At the Point of a Cutlass
- Episode 008: Gregory E. O’Malley, Final Passages
- Episode 012: Dane Morrison, True Yankees
- Episode 015: Joyce Chaplin, Round About the Earth
- Episode 036: Abigail Swingen, Competing Visions of Empire
- Episode 076: Nathan Perl-Rosenthal, Citizen Sailors
In your opinion, what might have happened if piracy and pirates had not existed during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries? How would the absence of pirates have affected the development of English–later British–America?
Questions, Comments, Suggestions
Do you have a question, comment, or suggestion?
Enjoy the Podcast?
Why Not Subscribe?
Ratings & Reviews
If you enjoy this podcast, please give it a rating and review.
Positive ratings and reviews help bring Ben Franklin's World to the attention of other history lovers who may not be aware of our show