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The word "privateer" conjures a romantic image in the minds of most Americans. Tales of battle and bounty pervade the folklore of privateering, which has become a cherished, if often overlooked part of our shared heritage. Legends were forged during the battle for American independence, and these men were understandably glorified as part of the formation of our national identity. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of these men were common …

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…a strong movement advocated peace negotiations. The logic was that first, an end of hostilities would enable Britain to resume normal commercial relations with the rest of her colonial possessions. Second, American manufacturing capabilities would take years to develop, and England could profit to some extent from trade with the former colonies. The system of privateering had wreaked havoc upon the British economic system and helped the American rebels win the war for their independence.