Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Slavery Refresher, Barbary Pirates Edition

We’ve all heard about Barbary Pirates, but other than the U.S. Marines defeating them in the early 1800s, what do we really know about that era?

Well, it lasted over 300 years, from 1500-1815 more or less, and during that time the Barbary Pirates captured lots of loot but also lots of people and either enslaved them or sold them into slavery.

One historian estimates that 1.5 million Europeans were enslaved in this way. The slave trade was a thriving business.

Did you know that Barbary Pirates raided towns as far away as Ireland to capture slaves? Neither did I.

And if you’ve ever heard the term “galley slave” but were unsure exactly what that means, well … you won’t be unsure any more. Think about living that life next time you’re having a bad day. The phrase “hell on earth” seems pretty close.

Slavery was not just common throughout the world for thousands of years, it was a major source of revenue for many of the richest people.

It was not invented in America in 1619.