Primary Source Analysis Sample

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Primary Source Analysis A life on the high seas full of capturing other ships and exploring the world seems exciting. The reality for many 16th and 17th century pirates and privateers was anything but. Some turned to the sea life for relief from disastrous conditions. Others because they could make easy money. With the travel first to the new world, then later around the globe the riches that could be reached from the sea were innumerable—quite the reason to board a ship and sail away. Despite the seemingly glamorous life, piracy had its downsides. Besides the typical disease, fear of shipwreck, and being at the complete mercy of the elements, it was also a business. And like all businesses, this one was not free from going bankrupt. …show more content…
We typically don’t think about the hard work that went into finding a target, attacking the target, and winning a favorable outcome. Many times pirates and privateer’s only way of finding ships to attack was to sail around and hope they came across an enemy ship they could attack. From there, the encounter can be compared to much like that of a hunter and a wild animal. Upon contact the attacker must find his way to a vantage point on which to launch his attack. From there he must hope his prey cannot quickly escape or is unable to fight back. If the attacked ship tries to escape, the attacker may be able to follow. If it fights back and is stronger than its attacker, the attacker must retreat and lick its wounds before being able to attempt another attack on a passerby. Just as hunters are oftentimes unsuccessful, either because they fail to find suitable prey or that it escapes, or they need to retreat, so are pirates. We typically do not think about how difficult something like this might have been, since we only hear of the success stories, and not the hardships that led up to that moment. Dampier exemplifies this well when he tells

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