Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- For the strike aircraft see Blackburn Buccaneer.
Buccaneer is a term that was used in the later 17th century in the Caribbean Islands. The term Buccaneer comes from the French word "Boucanier". These Boucaniers originally were hunters who were poaching cattle and pigs. They would smoke the meat on wooden frames, "boucans", so that it could be saved for a later time. The Boucaniers were taught this by the local Arawak tribes from Santo Domingo, calling the method Barbicoa - which is where the word and method of Barbecue originated.
However, Islanders soon began to use the term buccaneer as a way to describe pirates in the Caribbean during the 1660’s. English settlers occupying Jamaica began to spread the name with the meaning of rebel pirates sailing in the Caribbean ports and seas. The buccaneers first impacted Port Royal, Isla Tortuga and Hispaniola. The name became universally adopted in 1684 when a book: “The Bucaniers of America” was written by Alexander Exquemelin. After this book, people all over knew what it meant when someone used the term buccaneer.
Still to this day, pirates have that rugged, adventurous, and troublesome type reputation. Although they seem to have been a nuisance for the Caribbean islands, buccaneers made and changed history in the late 17th century. They fought battles for the English, they impacted trade routes, as well as won numerous battles in Caribbean territory disputes. Not that it would be enjoyable to be in the true presence of a buccaneer/pirate; however, it does seem that they were very intriguing people to come across back in the 17th century.
About 1630, some Frenchmen, who were driven away from the island of Saint Kitts, went to Hispaniola and then nearby Tortuga (now part of Haiti). They lived by hunting wild cattle and selling the hides to Dutch traders. The Spaniards tried to drive them out, but the Buccaneers were joined by many other French and English and finally became so strong that they attacked Spanish ships and even sailed to the continent of North America and took towns.
The Buccaneers were invited by the British to base ships at Port Royal in Jamaica. Buccaneers were commissioned by the British to attack the French and Spanish shipping and colonies, making Port Royal the most prosperous city in the West Indies.
Among the leaders of the Buccaneers was a Frenchman named Montbar , who destroyed so many Spanish ships and killed so many Spaniards that he was called "the Exterminator." Another noted leader was a Welshman named Henry Morgan, who formed a fleet of ships and showed so much military skill that he took strong fortresses and towns, winning an immense amount of fortune from the Spanish. Morgan became rich and went back to England, where he was made knight by Charles II.
The Buccaneers were finally put down by the French and English governments.
Buccaneers or pirates established the reputation of being independent, adventurous, intrusive, and even criminal men. Some types of people that made up a pirate band are: runaway indentured servants or slaves, unsuccessful planters, criminals, liberalists, and nonconformists. In order to establish a pirate band, really all a group would have to do would be to find a boat to occupy, have good winds, and set sail. Buccaneers originally began to occupy Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Tortuga. It was ideal for pirates to establish bases in these parts because these lands had great ports, rugged mountains, and lush terrains to help the buccaneers sneak out of hidden places. These rocky areas also hindered uncomplicated transportation and communication while traveling through the area. Buccaneers illegally camped in these lands as well as sailed around them and repeatedly tortured trade ships.
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