A study of the aims and imagined rewards of seamen sailing from northern Europe and the West Indies to the west coast of South America in the 17th century, especially between the Straits of Magellan and the Isthmus of Panama. Their personal objectives were self-enrichment, after the arrival in Europe of breathtaking treasures in gold, silver and jewels looted by Spanish conquistadors from indigenous peoples. But their actions were embittered by decades of fierce animosity towards Spain arising from opposition to her Catholic beliefs, and from the quest for political independence for example in the Low Countries from 1568 to 1648. They range from buccaneers - some of the most ferocious, heartless and brutal men of their age, murdering and taking hostages like 21st-c. terrorists, to others keen to explore new commercial horizons for European trade, or in the case of the Dutch even to challenge Spanish political jurisdiction and occupy lands through armed alliances with local peoples.
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- ID: 9781409202516
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