The ancestors of Europeans were pirates
Anyone who understands European history knows that the ancestors of many European countries have been pirates. There are Vikings in Northern Europe. Columbus also worked as a pirate, and he opened up a new route to the Americas for Spain.
British pirates are more famous. Many British pirates go out to rob with the Queen’s funding. In the Atlantic naval battle between the British and Spanish “Invincible Fleet”, the Royal Navy was under the command of the pirate Drake and completely defeated Spain. Other European coastal countries have basically engaged in pirates. So why did the ancestors of European coastal countries basically be pirates?
1. Europeans have a long tradition of being pirates.
The earliest record of piracy appears in Homer’s epic. Odysseus, the hero in his “Odyssey”, made no secret of his experience of leading his men to plunder Egypt.
As one of the cornerstones of the entire Western culture, Greek culture believes that desire is one of the driving forces for social progress. Predatory behavior for the purpose of conquering cities, possessing wealth, and even capturing women and children will be praised.
As early as the Roman Empire and the Byzantine Empire, because of the rampant pirates in the Mediterranean, the great powers could never control maritime hegemony. European pirates were born almost at the same time as Western culture.
From the 8th to the 11th centuries, the Nordic people often went south to plunder the coasts of Europe. It was from this that the Nordic people flourished and created the “Viking civilization”. Viking means someone who has invaded the neighboring countries of the Strait. Pirates raged in medieval Europe. After Columbus discovered the New World, European pirates became more rampant. The 17th to 18th century was the “golden age” of pirates.
Many European literary works will beautify piracy. The most famous pirate hymn is the famous British poet Byron’s “Pirate Career”: “Our hearts are free, our thoughts are boundless, this is all our empire, and its Power prevails everywhere.”
2. Pirates are a promising profession, and merchant ships are pirates.
Europe before modern history was very hard-pressed. Located in the northwest corner of the Eurasian continent, most areas are not suitable for growing food crops. Various natural disasters frequently come. One black death caused nearly half of the European population to die. The little wealth of ordinary people was also taken away by feudal lords and churches, and the magnificent cathedral was built. There is basically no way to survive on land, and pirates have become a good way for ordinary people to get rich, with low cost, quick results, and high returns.
Many people think that European pirates are specialized in maritime looting. Actually not. Most pirates also do business, and most merchant ships also work part-time as pirates. Merchant ships are pirates, and pirates are merchant ships. Robbing ships of other countries when you have the opportunity is a tacit maritime rule among European countries. If you don’t grab other countries, but other countries grab you, you will suffer, so it’s hard for a good person to do it.
3. Ancient Europe was divided into three or four hundred small countries, fighting each other endlessly, and the law of the jungle prevailed.
Because ancient Europe was too divided, similar to the Spring and Autumn and Warring States period in China, it was impossible not to fight. Economics, politics, religion, territories, aristocratic marriages, natural disasters, etc. would all trigger wars. European countries are fighting endlessly on land, and on the sea is no exception, and it is normal for piracy to prevail.
In summary, pirates and merchant ships have two sides, and it is not surprising that the ancestors of European countries have basically had the experience of being pirates.