The era of piracy in the Caribbean began in the 1500s and phased out in the 1830s after the navies of the nations of Western Europe and North America with colonies in the Caribbean began combating pirates. The period during which pirates were most successful was from the 1660s to 1730s. Piracy flourished in the Caribbean because of the existence of pirate seaports such as Port Royal in Jamaica, Tortuga in Haiti, and Nassau in the Bahamas. Piracy in the Caribbean was part of a larger historical phenomenon of piracy, as it existed close to major trade and exploration routes in almost all the five oceans.CausesPirates were often former sailors experienced in naval warfare. In the 16th century, pirate captains recruited seamen to loot European merchant ships, especially the Spanish treasure fleets sailing from the Caribbean to Europe.
The following quote by an 18th-century Welsh captain shows the motivations for piracy:In an honest Service, there is thin Commons, low Wage
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