Capturing of White European Slaves by the Barbary Corsairs
But few of know that even those European nations were under the threat of piracy and depredations by Muslim pirates from North Africa. These Barbary pirates used to intercept commercial vessels in the sea, loot the merchandise as booty and capture white Europeans sailors as slaves for selling in the slave-markets of the Middle East and other Muslim countries. In addition to mid-sea piracy, they used to launch raids in the coastal villages of Europe and capture both male and female Europeans and forced slavery on them.
“Pirate raids for the acquisition of slaves occurred in towns and villages on the African Atlantic seaboard, as well as in Europe. Reports of Barbary raids and kidnappings of those in Italy, Spain, Portugal, England, Ireland, Scotland as far north as Iceland exist from between the 16th to the 19th centuries. Between 1 million and 1.25 million Europeans were captured by pirates and sold as slaves during this time period. Famous accounts of Barbary slave raids include a mention in the Diary of Samuel Pepys and a raid on the coastal village of Baltimore, Ireland, during which pirates left with the entire populace of the settlement. Such raids in the Mediterranean were so frequent and devastating that the coastline between Venice to Malaga suffered widespread depopulation, and settlement there was discouraged,” says a study.
After the United States took decisive military actions in 1815, followed by an Anglo-Dutch joint raid in 1816 to destroy most of the pirate fleet, the rulers of Barbary States were forced to sign agreements, prohibiting the practice of piracy and enslaving Christians. However, piracy and enslavement in North Africa ended only after France started the occupation of North African states in 1830. Nonetheless, Muslim enslavement of Black Africans continued further on
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