Barbary Pirates

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The Muslim or Barbary Pirates

The Muslim or Barbary pirates operated on the North Africa's coast from the 17th to 19th centuries. The pirates demanded a tribute from the merchant ships where the failure to meet their demands resulted in a violent attack (Ambrus et al. 218). Many traders using the ships preferred paying the Muslim pirates rather than engaging in a fight with them. The Barbary pirates in the North Atlantic were a menace since no ship would have passed without their permission. In some cases, these freebooters hijacked merchant ships and demanded ransom by taking the crew hostage and subjecting them to barbaric treatment. Some of the crew members were forced to write letters to the families and national leaders so that they can settle the dues in exchange for their release.

The Extortionists of the North Africa's Coast

The extortionists of the North Africa's coast constituted Islamic nations, namely Algiers, Morocco, Tunis, and Tripoli. These countries collectively formed the Barbary Coast. They justified their actions using their religious beliefs and believed that they were the leaders of the high seas. Muslim pirates were not only supported by different countries but also by wealthy merchants. At first, they used galleys before adopting sailing ships that enabled them to cover an extensive region of the North Africa coast (Shane and Magnuson 684). Barbary pirates gained political support from Barbarossa in the 16th century. During this time, Tunisia and Algeria become united under the Ottoman Empire. Piracy was an income-generating activity for Barbarossa, and that was the reason his leadership supported it. In the 19th century, Barbary pirates' practices were the primary cause of wars between the United States of America and Tripolitania.

Muslim Pirates of North Africa

In essence, Muslim pirates were the captors who operated on the coast of North Africa since the 17th century. They collected tributes from the merchant ships and held the crew members hostage, demanding ransom from their families and government.

Works Cited

Ambrus, Attila, et al. “Pirates of the Mediterranean: An empirical investigation of bargaining with asymmetric information.” Journal of the Econometric Society, vol. 9, issue 1, 2018, pp. 217-246.

Shane, Jon, and Shannon Magnuson. “Successful and unsuccessful pirate attacks worldwide: A situational analysis.” Journal of Justice Quarterly, vol. 33, issue 4, 2016, pp. 682-707.

November 24, 2023

History Religion



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