Barbary Corsairs

sorry  for the late-nesss—I fell asleep mid-post. I  hope some of you still get to see it before class. 


Apparently this guy was called a "Barbarossa." Sound familiar?

When I heard about the Somalian pirates, I felt like I had heard about something similiar before. I had, in US History class, heard about the BARBARY CORSAIRS. 

Like the Somalian pirates, the Barbary Corsairs were an international problem for ships around Africa (though around North Africa, near Algiers) before they became a US problem. The US fought the first and second Barbary Wars against the pirates (the second with foreign help) to protect their commercial interests. I believe that the first war,was the first time that the very young U.S. fought in an international conflict ( it took place 1801-1805, under Thomas Jefferson).  According to my research on wikipedia, the second war brought the end of the US paying ransom. Another interesting tidbit (from wikipedia again), is that they say: 


There some important difference between the Barbary Corsairs and the Somalian Pirates:

1.) They were from different places (and an obviously different time periods).

2.) Barbary Corsairs were privateers, and so sanctioned by the State. 

3.) The Barbary Corsairs opperated for 8 centuries. 

4.) They attacked other countries directly and pillaged. 

5.) The primary goal of the Corsairs was to capture slaves. 

6.) The Corsairs (as part of a state system) had ambassadors, and a whole structure of power supporting them.


It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every muslim who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy’s ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once. [2] [3]

This is what one of the ambassadors said to Thomas Jefferson and John Adams in 1786. However, the Somalian Pirates are opposed by the Islamist fighters in their state because they attack Muslim ships. Somalia Pirates are also opposed by the Arab League of nations for attacking their properties. 


One Response

  1. I appreciate your blog. It is very informative. “Barbarossa” really took it for me! Ha ha! Arr! Pirates of the Caribbean/Capt’n Barbossa and Barbarossa – there are very intricate associations there.

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