The Politics of Piracy

This section examines how piracy in the Caribbean was supported by English monarchs from Elizabeth 1st to Queen Anne because it furthered national interests. But when the house of Hanover replaced the line of Stuarts and King George ascended to the British throne, the pirates were suddenly considered enemies of the state. When Britain then attempted to control the American colonies previously freewheeling trade the colonists turned to the pirates living in the Bahamas for assistance.

Politically there were good reasons to brand the golden age pirates as dangerous criminals since many of them were against the Hanoverian Kings and were supporters of the Stuart claim to the throne.  It is possible that the real reason Woodes Rogers was sent to eliminate the pirate threat from the Bahamas was not so much to protect trade but to prevent them from organizing a fleet of ships to sail against England.