Freebooter

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Freebooter

 

(also filibuster, buccaneer), a sea-going pirate who in the 17th century plundered mainly Spanish ships and colonies in the Americas.

In the 1620’s freebooters controlled the island of St. Christopher (St. Kitts), which became their first base of operations, and in the 1630’s they controlled part of Hispaniola. The freebooters were predominantly English, French, and Dutch. England and France made use of the freebooters in their rivalry with Spain for conquest in the colonies. In 1671, under the leadership of the Englishman H. Morgan, they captured the city of Panama and proceeded to attack the Spanish holdings along the entire Pacific coast. In the 1680’s freebooters captured and plundered Veracruz and several other cities in Mexico, as well as several cities in Peru. The depredations of the freebooters helped weaken the ties between Spain and her American colonies and seriously damaged her maritime power.

In the 19th century the term “filibusters” was applied to North American adventurers who attacked the countries of South and Central America—for example, W. Walker’s incursions in the 1850’s into Mexico and the countries of Central America.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
to the onslaught of piracy and freebooting. In the late seventeenth
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Most fatefully of all, in 1171, seizing the initiative from a group of freebooting Anglo-Norman adventurers summoned to the aid of Ireland's warring kings, he launched an expedition of his own across the Irish Sea: virtually the only time that a successful conquest of Ireland was initiated from the British mainland.
But regulars who broke the rules of war are not the primary concern here; rather, Ward focuses on marauding bands composed of little more than outlaws, members of freebooting gangs motivated by a combination of "revenge and greed" who roamed between the lines in a lawless no-man's land (x).