Exhibitions

Fact #7 (deck-of-cards)

Deck of Cards

Each of the suits in a deck of cards represents the four major pillars of the economy in the Middle Ages. Heart represented the Church; Spades represented the military; Clubs represented agriculture; and Diamonds represented the merchant class.

The Golden Age of Piracy

The years 1700-1730 saw the greatest upsurge of piracy in the history of seafaring, ironically called “the Golden Age of Piracy.”  The increase was the result of circumstances: the end of a long war, ports full of unemployed sailors, and lack of legal employment. Most pirates were American or English; the lack of strong colonial government made the American coast a natural hunting ground. They also sailed to the Indian Ocean and the west Coast of Africa in order to stay one-step ahead of the authorities in a series of voyages known as “the Pirate Round.”  We know of their characters and lives through the recollections of ex-pirates, former victims, naval officers who encountered them, and the records of courtrooms and confessions.

 Slowly, judicial and naval pressure put an end to their activities, and by 1730, it was all but over. Although acts of piracy continued to occur, this short era became entrenched in popular and romantic culture.

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