Piratas y Corsarios

Piratas y Corsarios

¿Quiénes eran los piratas?

Los piratas eran salteadores del mar, que asaltaban navíos de cualquier nacionalidad, para robar la mercancía que transportaban.

¿Cuándo apareció la piratería?

La piratería se practicó desde la edad antigua. Los fenicios, que eran hábiles marineros, fueron también audaces piratas. En la época de las invasiones bárbaras, es difícil distinguir entre las expediciones de los conquistadores y las incursiones piratas, como en el caso de los normandos y de los árabes.

La piratería desapareció, casi por completo, en el siglo XIX, salvo en alguna zona del archipiélago indonesio. Un hecho original fue que los moros, a partir del siglo XVI, organizaron, en la costa mediterránea de África, un verdadero estado pirata propio, haciendo peligrosa la navegación por el mediterráneo.

¿Quiénes eran los piratas del Atlántico?

Tras el descubrimiento de América, se intensificaron las actividades comerciales entre las colonias del Nuevo Mundo y Europa.. Los navíos que partían de las colonias estaban repletos de mercacías de todos los géneros. Estas riquezas atrajeron a muchos aventureros ingleses, franceses y holandeses que se agruparon en una «asociación» conocida como «los filibusteros».

¿Quiénes eran los filibusteros?

Los filibustero (del inglés freebooters, saqueadores), eran una clase de piratas que entre los siglos XVII y XVIII sostuvieron una lucha encarnizada con los españoles de las Antillas. Capturaban los galeones, asaltaban e invadían los centros costeros de la isla de la Tortuga, los ingleses de Jamaica y los holandeses de las Antillas Holandesas, eran muy crueles.

filibustero

¿Qué leyes obedecían los piratas?

Las tareas se regulaban mediante reglas escritas que establecían una férrea disciplina para seguir a bordo: las faltas (como por ejemplo fumar en la bodega) se castigaban según la «Ley de Moisés», con 40 latigazos. La parte del botín que le correspondía a cada marinero aumentaba en el caso de haberla conseguido durante el combate.

¿Quiénes eran los bucaneros?

Eran colonos que criaban bueyes en las Antillas, de los cuales vendían la piel y la carne, ahumada en una parrilla especial llamada «boucan». Expulsados de las Bahamas por los ingleses en 1629, y de San Cristóbal por los españoles en 1630, los bucaneros se unieron a los filibusteros de Tortuga. Fueron famosos: Henry Morgan en 1671 entró a saco en Panamá, por encargo de los ingleses, y el francés Nau, llamado «el Olonés». Del mismo modo, algunas mujeres practicaron la piratería en el mismo siglo: la historia recuerda a Anne Bonny y a Mary Reed.

corsario

¿Quiénes eran los corsarios?

Eran aventureros europeos autorizados por su soberano, mediante una «patente de corso», para abordar otras naves. Su misión era dirigir acciones de guerra para debilitar a las fuerzas enemigas: esto sucedió en las Antillas contra los españoles.

¿Cuáles fueron los corsarios más famosos?

Francis Drake, que tuvo un papel importante en la creación del imperio colonial inglés; Raleigh, Hawkins y Jean Bart.

francis drake

¿Qué armas y navíos utilizaban los piratas y los corsarios?

Las armas personales eran: pistolas, sables, hachas, dagas y arcabuces. Los navíos con cañones de gran calibre disparaban balas unidas, de dos en dos, por una cadena para destrozar los mástiles de las embarcaciones. Los navíos eran: la fusta, pequeña y muy veloz, podía ser de vela o de remos; el galeote, con un solo mástil y de remos; la galeaza, con tres mástiles, 32 remos y 36 cañones; y por último, el galeón, con cuatro mástiles y 70 cañones.

galeón

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