A hundred years before the French Revolution, the buccaneer companies were run on lines in which liberty, equality and fraternity were the rule,. In a buccaneer camp, the captain was elected and could be deposed by the votes of the crew. The crew, and not the captain, decided whether to attack a particular ship, or a fleet of ships.
Spoils were evenly divided into shares; the captain received an agreed amount for the ship, plus a portion of the share of the prize money, usually five or six shares. Crews generally had no regular wages, being paid only from their shares of the plunder, a system called "no purchase, no pay" by Modyford or "no prey, no pay" by Exquemelin. There was a strong esprit among buccaneers. This, combined with overwhelming numbers, allowed them to win battles and raids. There was also, for some time, a social insurance system guaranteeing compensation for battle wounds at a worked-out scale.
Tortugan buccaneers also lived in lifelong male partnerships. This institution of male partnership was called matelotage and the partners matelots. Matelots shared their beds, property, food, and loot with one another. The extent to which matelotage included homosexuality is controversial. Although a few historians have claimed, with no evidence, that homosexuality was universal among the buccaneers, it is recognized by most that matelots shared women as well as their chattels, and that buccaneers were frequent and enthusiastic patrons of female prostitutes. It is nevertheless agreed that a substantial minority of buccaneer matelots were likely homosexual.
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... A hundred years before the French Revolution, the buccaneer companies were run on lines in which liberty, equality and fraternity were the rule ... In a buccaneer camp, the captain was elected and could be deposed by the votes of the crew ... There was a strong esprit among buccaneers ...
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