Q:

What is the difference between pirates and buccaneers?

A:

Quick Answer

"Buccaneer" is a term applied to a specific group of 17th European settlers in the Caribbean who traded with non-Spanish societies. "Pirate" is an umbrella term that is applied to all crew members who primarily live their lives aboard ships that aggressively pursue and rob water vessels.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

The majority of buccaneers eventually adopted a life of piracy as a way of garnering wealth. To add to the complication of terms, privateers were mercenary type figures who were specifically employed by a government to act as pirates. Spoils obtained by the raids of privateers technically belonged to the governments by whom they were employed. Privateers, like buccaneers, eventually came to understand that by simply being pirates, they could keep whatever they accumulated and eliminate the need for government subsidized employment. By the end of the 18th century, pirate, buccaneer and privateer had become interchangeable and were used synonymously because almost all buccaneers and privateers were also pirates, but not all pirates were necessarily buccaneers or privateers. "Buccaneer" is French in origin with a somewhat vague etymology and meaning. Most scholars agree that it refers to a French word used to describe someone who consorts with those below their status in life.

Learn more about Middle Ages

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Who were the most legendary pirates of the Caribbean?

    A:

    Blackbeard (born Edward Teach), Henry 'Captain Morgan' Morgan, Bartholomew 'Black Bart' Roberts, Anne Bonny and Mary Read all either operated or were part of successful pirating schemes in the Caribbean between the 17th and 19th centuries. The main period of European piracy in this part of the world started in the early 1600s and was mostly quashed toward the mid-1800s thanks to the interference of European and American naval forces.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why was the Middle Ages also called the Dark Ages?

    A:

    The term known as the Middle Ages is synonymous with the Dark Ages for several reasons as the period between 500-1500 A.D. included political turmoil, social unrest and the spread of disease. The Middle Ages brought great change to Europe in many respects, including social mobility, politics and the way of life. Some changes proved beneficial, but the time period experienced negative effects from the change too.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the definition of "Magna Carta"?

    A:

    "Magna carta" is a Latin term which literally translates as "great charter." The famous Magna Carta of 1215 was sealed by King John at Runnymede, England, on June 15 of that year.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a line of rulers from the same family?

    A:

    The term for referencing a line of rulers from the same family is dependent on whether the line itself or the period of time in which the family ruled is being referenced. A monarchy is a line of rulers in which lineage determines the successor to the throne. A dynasty is a period in history in which a particular family rules a kingdom.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore