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I . History of Pirates

Oceans and seas have always provided opportunities for the relatively cheap transport of products and persons , and the resulting movement of vulnerable assets has attracted from earliest times predators called pirates . These generally behaved as a species of William H . McNeill 's metaphorical macroparasites , human groups that draw sustenance from the toil and enterprise of others , offering nothing in return . The form of maritime macroparasitism termed

piracy adversely affected trade and so productivity in ways not always recognized . It also had political implications when it was an expression of conflict between the practice of indigenous peoples and the economic expansion of a power from beyond the region (William H . McNeill , 1980

In the Caribbean , piracy originated in and was fueled by Old World rivalries . The predation on merchant shipping in the Mediterranean Sea in early modern times was sustained not simply by ideological animosity and individual greed but also by economic rivalry between European nation-states . In the eastern seas in the nineteenth century , piracy was indirectly stimulated and eventually suppressed by the economic and technical changes that were associated with the British industrial revolution , half a world away . The story of maritime predation involves much more than localized incidents or enterprising and colorful individuals

Piracy is a subset of violent maritime predation in that it is not part of a declared or widely recognized war . Within the general category of maritime predation , a precise definition of piracy universally acceptable over time and between places has eluded jurists . A broad definition that emerges from historical writing is that of the essentially indiscriminate taking of property (or persons ) with violence , on or by descent from the sea . This concept of piracy certainly includes one of the widely accepted elements of stealing -- that is , the taking and carrying away of the property of another -- but doubt may arise about a further element , the lack of "color of right This further element relates to whether there was reasonable belief that the relevant conduct was justifiable . While some may see a partial justification for piracy in Marxist terms as an expropriation of the expropriators , comment on the question of culpability generally focuses on the question of the traditional rights of members of communities to appropriate to themselves the property of others and the associated question of whether interference with those rights was anything more than the manifest imperialism of an expansionist power

The problem of framing and securing international recognition for laws that would rid the seas of pirates , without infringing the rights of sovereign states , appears not to have been resolved for many reasons some relating to the nature of the offense . Private purpose (animus furandi ) has generally been held to be a necessary element of piracy , to distinguish the crime from political activity . If a pirate claims to be acting on behalf of a state rather than from private...

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