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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Lopez, A. Ricardo, 1974-

Second Advisor

Eurich, S. Amanda, 1956-

Third Advisor

Hochstetler, Laurie


Painted against the backdrop of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries this thesis utilizes piracy, in its many facets, as a case study for tracing the development of nationalism in a heterogeneous people. Employing an Atlantic perspective of study, and accounting for change over time, the relationship of the pirates to European powers and the colonists is considered to analyze developments in: the profession, the evolution of the definition of piracy, and investigate theories of nationalism. During this time the Atlantic was more important than ever before as European powers struggled to assert authority in the New World and as trade with the colonies brought goods and people to the coast of the Americas. The New World offered opportunity for groups such as pirates to develop into their own as it offered a land beyond the established authority of the European government systems. Because of a variety of factors privateers and pirates flourished during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries eventually evolving into a era academia has labeled the Golden Age of Piracy. The challenges presented to historians and academics of tracing a people with no land to call their own is discussed as well as the impact these challenges have had on the study of piracy.





Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Piracy--History--17th century; Piracy--History--18th century; Privateering--History--17th century; Privateering--History--18th century; Pirates--History--17th century; Pirates--History--18th century




masters theses




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