A Personal Magic Kingdom Wish List One of the troubles with writing a blog like this is that although the posts that I push out onto it stay there to be read in the future, one can't go back even a few years without immediately starting to find ideas and assumptions that I wouldn't make today. Passport to Dreams has been a terrific forum for me to clarify thoughts and reach conclusions about things, but the whole trouble is that the more you know, the more you're positive that you don't know, and I think anything written before around or these days is a little suspect.
History[ edit ] Piracy by Muslim populations had been known in the Mediterranean since at least the 9th century and the short-lived Emirate of Crete. Provence was plagued by Saracen slave raids in the Carolingian era ; inarchbishop Rotlandus of Arles was captured, and died before he could be released after the payment of a ransom in weapons, treasure and slaves.
In the problem of Berber piracy and slave-taking was so great that a religious order, the Trinitarianswere founded to collect ransoms and even to exchange themselves as ransom for those captured and pressed into slavery in North Africa.
In the 14th century Tunisian corsairs became enough of a threat to provoke a Franco-Genoese attack on Mahdia inalso known as the " Barbary Crusade ". Morisco exiles of the Reconquista and Maghreb pirates added to the numbers, but it was not until the expansion of the Ottoman Empire and the arrival of the privateer and admiral Kemal Reis in that the Barbary corsairs became a true menace to shipping from European Christian nations.
They had been attacking English merchant and passengers ships since the s. Regular fundraising for ransoms was undertaken generally by families and local church groups, who generally raised the ransoms for individuals.
The government did not ransom ordinary persons. The English became familiar with captivity narratives written by Barbary pirates' prisoners and ransomed captives, as so many people were taken.
After English colonists began to go to North America and be taken captive by Native Americansboth the colonists and people in England had some basis for considering the meaning of captivity for a Christian in an alien society. But, on December 20,Sultan Mohammed III of Morocco declared that American merchant ships would be under the protection of the sultanate and could thus enjoy safe passage into the Mediterranean and along the coast.
In Morocco became the first nation to recognize the new United States. The coast was ideal for their wants and needs.
With natural harbours often backed by lagoons, it provided a haven for guerrilla warfare, such as attacks on shipping vessels venturing through their territory.
On the coast, mountainous areas provided ample reconnaissance for the corsairs as well. Ships were spotted from afar; the pirates had time to prepare their attacks and surprise the ships.
In response, Spain began to conquer the coastal towns of OranAlgiers and Tunis. From tothey were ruled by Ottoman pashassent from Constantinople to govern for three years; but in the latter year a military revolt in Algiers reduced the pashas to nonentities. Fromthese African cities, although nominally part of the Ottoman Empire, were in fact military republics that chose their own rulers and lived by war booty captured from the Spanish and Portuguese.
There are several cases of Sephardic Jewsincluding Sinan Reis and Samuel Pallachewho upon fleeing Iberia turned to attacking the Spanish Empire's shipping under the Ottoman flag, a profitable strategy of revenge for the Inquisition 's religious persecution.
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