Golden Age of Piracy > Industrialization

Industrialization

Golden Age of Piracy - Chapter Decoration

Background

The process of industrialization was the human progress from an agriculture based civilization to a manufacturing and production based one. These trends ultimately had devastating effects on the plantation based economies and colonial system of mercantilism. The first industrial revolution began in the mid 18th century in Europe and North America and would spread to nearby Belgium, Germany and France. The second phase of the industrial revolution began in the mid 19th century following the development of the steam engine, the internal combustion engine, railroads, canals, along with electricity. Other majoy inventions during this period would be the assembly line along with the development of the major industries of coal mining, iron factories, and textile factories.

Effects on Piracy

The trends of industrialization especially the development of steel and the internal combustion engine proved the deathknell for the Golden Age of Piracy. Following the Post Spanish Succession Period piracy throughout the world never reached the levels it did during the Buccaneering Era with the exception of the Pirate Round. The British navy was able to mass produce ships and eventually enforce their far reaching colonial holdings much more effectively than any other colonial empires in the past.

Overall, as soon as industrialization began in the 1770's piracy was already on the decline all around the world as commonly thought. However, even into the present day there continues to be all sorts of different piracy from smuggling and drugs and even oil tankers to digital media and technology between nations. In fact, if one looks at the trade of piracy objectively it has done nothing but expand over the centuries into a full blown sector of the economy. However, as we traditionally think of piracy the process of industrialization really saw the decline of wooden ships and plantation and slave based economies.

Golden Age of Piracy

Periods

Geography

West Indies

East Indies

Sources

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources