Despite modern conceptions, pirates were not typically cruel, greedy, and dishonest men of the lowest social ranks, but often began as privateers for local navies. It was only when they attacked an unassigned target that their status changed to that of piracy in the eyes of their patrons. However, if the illegal attack was against an enemy, the Crown often allowed the action to continue. This created a fluid status between legality and treason. This study examines the nature of piracy in the Atlantic and Caribbean in a broader context, using Edward Teach as a key figure to place piratical behavior into the larger scheme of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries. To do this, I examine the actions of these individuals within the framework of the rational choice model, and use world-systems analysis to discuss how competing cores employed the skills of pirates and privateers.


Kardulias, P. Nicholas




Archaeological Anthropology


piracy, world-systems, edward teach, contested periphery

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis Exemplar



© Copyright 2012 Emily Butcher