Golden Age of Piracy - Chapter Decoration

Buccaneering Era > Buccaneer Raids

Buccaneer Raids

Background

Buccaneer raids were semi-informal attacks on Spanish settlements along the Spanish Main throughout the Buccaneering Era. The buccaneers would generally land a few miles down from the settlement and then march overland and attack them from the coast. This was much different than the privateers and pirates who generally seized ships and goods rather than raid settlements. Overall the buccaneers were successful in helping destroy Spanish hegemony in the West Indies and the New World and forced the Spanish to invest more and more wealth to develop fortifications to protect their settlements.

One of the most famous buccaneers in history to raid towns and settlements was Henry Morgan who operated out of the port of Port Royal on the island of British Jamaica. However, there were many other raids throughout the West Indies that challenged the Spanish claim to the entire region as well as their military dominance.

Originally the buccaneer attacks were just normal hit and run highwaymen tactics that saw buccaneers tricking ships to come ashore by posing as merchants willing to sell food and other supplies to travelers just arriving in the West Indies. However, as they became more organized and more numerous they were soon seen as useful tools for the various competing colonial powers in the region.

Buccaneer raids were initially started in the early 1660's by the English who seized upon the chaos in Spain during the Portuguese Restoration War.

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