Piracy of the 19th Century

Topics: United States Congress, United States, Algeria Pages: 1 (367 words) Published: February 27, 2007
In the 19th century, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison sent the U.S Navy into the Mediterranean to defeat the Barbary pirates. Piracy was a major concern for decades but it took a long time for military action to be taken due to insufficient funds. Barbary pirates from the northern coast of North Africa "preyed on commerce in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean." They terrorized people for ransom money and blackmail. Just like today, religion is an important determinant of victims. Pirates were Muslims so who they would capture would depend on the captive's religion. Christians were their favorite. If a prisoner decided to convert to Islam, their work load would be lightened. On the other hand, if a prisoner refused to convert, he risked being burned alive or impaled. Three months into Jefferson's presidency, he sent four warships to bombard Tripoli, one of the corrupted pirate states. There were battles for the next thirty years. France finally cleared piracy out of North Africa completely by attacking and conquering Algiers, Tunis, and Morocco, the other pirate states. Lewis Lord said, "A key element in America's war on terrorism is a willingness to overthrow regimes that wage convert war." That is exactly what happened then, and what is happening now.

Today, when we think about terrorism, we think of the September 11 attacks. Although most of America supports Bush's decision, there is still much controversy over this war. Lord wrote, "Bush exercised a power that the Founding Fathers in dealing with pirates could only dream about." In the late 18th century, there was no navy. Pirates got away with hijacking ships and enslaving crews until the 19th century for that reason. If they had the military power we do now, piracy would have ended a lot sooner. This article has shown me that Bush is only trying to keep our nation strong and well-respected. Think about what the U.S would look like if we hadn't taken military action. Lewis Lord did an excellent job of...
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