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Privateers of the Americas: Spanish American Privateering from the United States in the Early Republic by David Head, and: Privateering: Patriots and Profits in the War of 1812 by Faye M. Kert (review)

Privateers of the Americas: Spanish American Privateering from the United States in the Early... Privateers of the Americas: Spanish American Privateering from the United States in the Early Republic. By David Head. (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2015. Pp. 224. Paper, $24.95.) Privateering: Patriots and Profits in the War of 1812. By Faye M. Kert. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015. Pp. 215. Cloth, $55.00.) Reviewed by Brian Rouleau With privateering--the state licensing of individuals to wage war at sea against declared enemies--mostly an anomaly in the contemporary world, it is easy to overlook its significance to past conflict. And yet this tactic, typically a weapon of weak powers unable to construct their own navies, was absolutely central to the military struggles for independence of the western hemisphere's young republics. But privateering was also about so much more than mere penury. Claiming the right to authorize commerce raiding was an important marker of legitimacy and selfdetermination for emerging nations in North and South America. To issue letters of marque was to stake a claim for the legal right to do so; indeed, international law plays an important role in both these studies of maritime fighting. And, in a larger sense, privateering helped promote a sense of patriotism and national belonging amongst http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the Early Republic University of Pennsylvania Press

Privateers of the Americas: Spanish American Privateering from the United States in the Early Republic by David Head, and: Privateering: Patriots and Profits in the War of 1812 by Faye M. Kert (review)

Journal of the Early Republic , Volume 37 (2) – May 24, 2017

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Society for Historians of the Early American Republic.
ISSN
1553-0620
Publisher site
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Abstract

Privateers of the Americas: Spanish American Privateering from the United States in the Early Republic. By David Head. (Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 2015. Pp. 224. Paper, $24.95.) Privateering: Patriots and Profits in the War of 1812. By Faye M. Kert. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015. Pp. 215. Cloth, $55.00.) Reviewed by Brian Rouleau With privateering--the state licensing of individuals to wage war at sea against declared enemies--mostly an anomaly in the contemporary world, it is easy to overlook its significance to past conflict. And yet this tactic, typically a weapon of weak powers unable to construct their own navies, was absolutely central to the military struggles for independence of the western hemisphere's young republics. But privateering was also about so much more than mere penury. Claiming the right to authorize commerce raiding was an important marker of legitimacy and selfdetermination for emerging nations in North and South America. To issue letters of marque was to stake a claim for the legal right to do so; indeed, international law plays an important role in both these studies of maritime fighting. And, in a larger sense, privateering helped promote a sense of patriotism and national belonging amongst

Journal

Journal of the Early RepublicUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: May 24, 2017

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