Among Ships of Thieves on Waves of Change

Mike Barnes Thomin


The Atlantic world witnessed profound geopolitical and social upheaval throughout the early nineteenth century. In particular, the revolutions that swept across the Americas contributed to the rise of nautical crime in the form of piracy. Some scholars delved into the economic, political, military, and legal aspects of Atlantic world privateering, piracy, and the Anglo-American naval response to it during the early nineteenth century. Nevertheless, much work still remains to be done to more fully understand this complex period of nautical crime and the sailors who contributed to it. A better understanding of these maritime predators might be found in examining the sociocultural structures from the perspectives of these criminals. This article examines the social structures on board pirate vessels that operated in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea throughout this period of change.

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