History is filled with notorious pirates that terrorized the seven seas. The exploits of these ship plunderers remain famous to this day, but they were very different from the friendly pirates seen in the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie franchise and other films. 

Many of history’s most famous pirates began as privateers — state-sanctioned sailors for hire who attacked their countries’ enemies at sea and harassed commercial ships in designated zones. But those being plundered saw those guns for hire as pirates. Others who started out in state-sanctioned work became pirates when the lure of gold was too great, and they struck out under their own flag to illegally raid rich merchant vessels. 


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