Privateer  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

A privateer was a private warship authorized by a country's government by letters of marque to attack foreign shipping. Strictly, a privateer was only entitled by its state to attack and rob enemy vessels during wartime. Privateers were part of naval warfare of some nations from the 16th to the 19th century. The crew of a privateer might be treated as prisoners of war by the enemy country if captured. The costs of commissioning privateers was borne by investors hoping to gain a significant return from prize money earned from enemy merchants.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Privateer" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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