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Libertalia – a Country of Freedom

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In confirmation of the fact that people can associate pirates with the ideals of freedom, we can bring the legend about uthopic country called “ Libertalia” People are still arguing about authenticity of facts that we know about Libertalia and there is no prove that it was really exist. However there is no evidence about opposite. It is hard to say for sure because of lack of facts. Most information we know is from the book called “A General History of the Pyrates” by Captain Charles Johnson, an otherwise unknown individual who may have been a pseudonym of Daniel Defoe. According to Johnson’s description, Libertalia lasted for about 25 years. The precise location is not known; however, most sources say it stretched from the Antongil Bay to Mananjary, Fianarantsoa, including Île Sainte-Marie and Mahavelona. Thomas Tew, Misson and a Dominican priest named Signor Caraccioli were involved in founding it. Some historians have expressed doubts over its existence outside of literature. Historian and activist Marcus Rediker describes the pirates as follows:These pirates who settled in Libertalia would be “vigilant Guardians of the People’s Rights and Liberties”; they would stand as “Barriers against the Rich and Powerful” of their day. By waging war on behalf of “the Oppressed” against the “Oppressors,” they would see that “Justice was equally distributed. “What makes Libertalia so unique, and what is difference between this mythological government of free people and usual pirates communes? First of all the laws and regulations of this country anticipated the appeals and slogans of both the Great French Revolution and all subsequent ones.

For example, one of the principles that guided the “liberians” (the inhabitants of Libertalia called themselves), the principle inscribed on the banners of insurgent Paris only a hundred years later: “We proclaim the equality of all people without exception”. Second thing that make this country unique and different from the pirate codex is the fact that Libertalia had its own constitution. According to this constitution, all residents of the pirate republic of Libertal, regardless of color, past deeds and merits, were declared equal rights. Private property was abolished; in its place, a common treasury was established, from which funds were taken to meet the needs of all citizens of the republic. It was forbidden to use swear words, gambling once and for all remained outside the law. Labor was considered the responsibility of every citizen. Sounds like uthopic communism. But if Libertalia had really exist – isn’t that a country of really free people? However those ideas were really progressive for that time. We should not forget that we are talking about 1965 year. Interesting fact, that as symbol of country Liberians chose a flag with the image of a woman-freedom and with the inscription: “For God and freedom.”

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However, it is not important does Libertalia was really exist or not, the important fact is that Libertalia serve as a bright symbol of freedom, and inspiration for a lots of followers and social changes in the future until nowadays. And it is really a good example that the history of pirates is the history of freedom and fight of the “oppressed” against the “oppressors”. And of course there will be no pirates communes and legend about Libertalia without the ships. So, it is indisputable fact that sailing ships are the one of the most important symbol of freedom for people not only in cultural, but also in social meaning. This old and simple technologie bringed the new social class and open a new horizonts for people, thereby predetermining big social changes, and revolutions. Sail ships are still shrouded in a romantic halo of freedom.


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