Utah State University

Conscription

I found Chapter 6 of Leesons book quite intriguing. Seeing as how I am a future member of the military, I couldn’t help but draw a similarity between pirate conscription and the draft. Pirates knew that they would have a better more capable crew if their men were volunteers, not forced. It is much the same in todays military. By having an all volunteer force in the military, not only is morale higher but the people serving will do so not because they are forced but because they believe in what they are doing. This makes everyone happier. Also, when one enters the military, he agrees to follow his leaders, enters a contract, and fulfills it. Forcing someone to do this is much more difficult.

I found it interesting that the free members needed to be listed in the books as free men, they couldn’t just say it. A contract of their willingness was necessary. I thought it was interesting that the pirates were worried about covering their own tracks if it ever became necessary in a court of law. By creating a contract of the willing, it not only covered in case of legal action, but also became binding for the captain if his crew ever broke the rules. By creating this contract, they could protect themselves against mutiny and desertion. ALthough archaic, these contracts were pretty successful in maintaining order and protecting the captain and crew.

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