Where did the Caribbean Buccaneers live?
The Buccaneers lived in the Caribbean Islands. San Cristobal or Hispaniola were the origin of their way of life. Expelled, they moved to smaller islands. They settled on the island called Hispaniola. Today (Dominican Republic + Haiti)
The islands of the Caribbean Sea were the first lands to be found before reaching the American Continent, following the current from Africa.
Islands and Buccaneers
They went from living in misery to easy subsistence.
They came from Europe, in a time of great difficulties and discovered a Paradise. Islands with a wonderful climate, where it was easy to live and to feed themselves.
The islands of the Caribbean Sea were for them the dreamed Paradise. Good climate, easy to get food and above all easy hunting.
A Paradise in the New World
They came from places where the work in most cases was with days from sunrise to sunset, and endless. Europe, just out of medieval times, had a lot of poverty.
Finding islands in the American Caribbean Sea was for them like entering Paradise. Wide hunting areas, without rules, with a pleasant climate and very different from that of their lands in Europe.
In some islands life was paradisiacal, good climate, food, freedom ..
Expelled from Paradise
They felt free to do anything. There were no laws to break, no penalties to pay. So much independence led some of them to commit from time to time some misdeed that increased their profits. If in addition to supplying meat to the galleons they could rob a Spanish soldier or officer, this booty was also welcome.
The Spanish Crown’s need to control the territories forced a reorganization. The presence of these groups of well-armed buccaneers created problems for them.
The Caribbean Sea with hundreds of islands for them wild and sparsely or not at all populated. It was easy to live on them, little shelter was needed and they had wide beaches.
Abundant and easy to obtain game, coming in many cases from abandoned or escaped farm animals. These had multiplied as there were almost no large natural predators.
The island of Hispaniola, together with Juana (Cuba), is the largest island in the Caribbean. With a mountainous area, numerous forests, it had areas of difficult access and places to hide.
The obligatory grouping of the Hispanic population in Santo Domingo took place, by a royal order of the Spanish Crown. The depopulation of that part of the island meant that they had no difficulty in settling and living there while hunting. While it lasted, they lived in a true paradise before being expelled. Later they tried to do the same on other islands, but it was not so easy, nor did they have such a wealth of fauna and flora.
Abandoned cattle without owners
The Spaniards, seeing the richness of the island’s pastures, decided to leave cattle from some farms free in some areas. Thus, cows, pigs, rabbits, etc., reproduced in the wild and their numbers increased over time.
In addition, animals escaped from farms were added, which together with the native animals made the island an ideal place to hunt.
Since there were no predatory animals, the growth in the number of free-ranging animals was enormous. A good place for the buccaneer, who had abundant game.
Supplying the galleons
With the meat surplus, they made good sales, supplying smoked meat to the galleons and all kinds of ships.
The Caribbean islands were a strategic supply point before embarking on the long voyage to Europe. After the Caribbean, the ships had a long voyage of months before reaching Europe.
With this commercial exchange, they obtained weapons, gunpowder, knives, clothes and tools for their use, thus covering their main needs for tools.
They occupied small islands
When they were expelled from Hispaniola, they went to occupy other smaller islands. But not all the islands had the resources they had before. Therefore, for many, their life was much more precarious. Hunting was not so easy since there were no domestic animals living in the wild.
Some became pirates
With no work to do, and less adequate means to subsist, some buccaneers decided to become pirates.
They could also search for resources in some of the hundreds of islands of the Caribbean, but they discovered that it could be more interesting to steal from the Spanish and get rich quickly, than to chase wild animals.
From simple hunters to pirates
Some of these Buccaneers, when they dedicated themselves totally to piracy, also began to be called Filibusters. And from that moment on they attacked both the ships and the Spanish colonies.
That if without despising the opportunity of any ship that passed through those parts, regardless of the country of origin.
Summary: European adventurers
Adventurers and emigrants in Paradise. They discover lands abandoned by the Spaniards and proceed to occupy them.