Start Date

9-4-2021 10:45 AM

End Date

9-4-2021 12:00 PM

Disciplines

European History | History of Religion | Islamic World and Near East History

Subjects

Pirates -- Atlantic Ocean Region -- History, Piracy -- History -- 17th century, Great Britain -- Naval history -- 18th century, Pirates -- Atlantic Ocean Region -- Economic aspects, Pirates -- Atlantic Ocean Region -- Political aspects

Description

Abstract: Between 1700 and 1730, the British Atlantic was significantly influenced by two compelling forces. The first was the continued and accelerating growth of competing European empires in the region, who in this period endeavored to define and protect their territorial boundaries whilst setting up profitable economic systems of production and commerce within them. The second was that of the pirates of the Atlantic, who, in a final crescendo of violence and destruction, would take hundreds of ships, disrupt highly valuable trade, and engage in bloody warfare with the Royal Navy. The purpose of this paper is to examine the ideology of industry and honest labor that underwrote the involvement of working-class men in these dual processes and understand how they took advantage of it just as such industry took advantage of them. This ideological wrestling match played out in courtrooms as accused pirates gave testimony as to why their lives ought to be spared, judges condemned or exonerated them, and preachers beseeched the sailors passing by their station at the pulpit to make the choice that would save their souls. This paper argues that piracy presented legal and religious authorities of the British Atlantic with an ideological puzzle that was solved by doubly condemning the accused, not just for being pirates but for having chosen piracy, for being corrupted as lawful subjects and also as workers. In doing so, it joins the conversation around piracy and labor by illustrating 18th century British ideas about morality and the purpose of work as the key connection between the two.

PART OF SESSION 2A. LABOR HISTORY:

Comment: Patricia Schechter, Portland State University
Chair: Shaun S. Nichols, Boise State University

Avonlea Bowthorpe, Western Washington University, undergraduate student
“Seamen and Sinners: Piracy and the Labor Culture of the Early Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic World”

Camille Daw, Boise State University, undergraduate student
“Chain Gang of the North: The Idaho State Penitentiary and Penal Labor (1872–1973)”

Brenden L. Hoffmann, Eastern Washington University
undergraduate student, “Bloody Sunday: The Everett Massacre of 1916”

Rights

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Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/35258

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Apr 9th, 10:45 AM Apr 9th, 12:00 PM

Seamen and Sinners: Piracy and the Labor Culture of the Early Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic World

Abstract: Between 1700 and 1730, the British Atlantic was significantly influenced by two compelling forces. The first was the continued and accelerating growth of competing European empires in the region, who in this period endeavored to define and protect their territorial boundaries whilst setting up profitable economic systems of production and commerce within them. The second was that of the pirates of the Atlantic, who, in a final crescendo of violence and destruction, would take hundreds of ships, disrupt highly valuable trade, and engage in bloody warfare with the Royal Navy. The purpose of this paper is to examine the ideology of industry and honest labor that underwrote the involvement of working-class men in these dual processes and understand how they took advantage of it just as such industry took advantage of them. This ideological wrestling match played out in courtrooms as accused pirates gave testimony as to why their lives ought to be spared, judges condemned or exonerated them, and preachers beseeched the sailors passing by their station at the pulpit to make the choice that would save their souls. This paper argues that piracy presented legal and religious authorities of the British Atlantic with an ideological puzzle that was solved by doubly condemning the accused, not just for being pirates but for having chosen piracy, for being corrupted as lawful subjects and also as workers. In doing so, it joins the conversation around piracy and labor by illustrating 18th century British ideas about morality and the purpose of work as the key connection between the two.

PART OF SESSION 2A. LABOR HISTORY:

Comment: Patricia Schechter, Portland State University
Chair: Shaun S. Nichols, Boise State University

Avonlea Bowthorpe, Western Washington University, undergraduate student
“Seamen and Sinners: Piracy and the Labor Culture of the Early Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic World”

Camille Daw, Boise State University, undergraduate student
“Chain Gang of the North: The Idaho State Penitentiary and Penal Labor (1872–1973)”

Brenden L. Hoffmann, Eastern Washington University
undergraduate student, “Bloody Sunday: The Everett Massacre of 1916”