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The Peace of Utrecht was a series of treaties between many European powers, including France, Great Britain, and Spain, that ended the War of the Spanish Succession. Aside from resolving many territorial disputes, it also settled the question of the Spanish Succession, establishing Philip V, from the House of Bourbon, as the King of Spain. The Treaties of Utrecht, however, did not resolve the problem of the unprotected coastline in the Caribbean.
The end of the War of the Spanish Succession forced Great Britain to demobilize a large part of its navy. Several thousand sailors were released and a great number of them, including Edward Thatch, headed to the Caribbean, searching for new opportunities.
Jobs were scarce and the Caribbean was soon filled with angry, bitter sailors. Taking advantage of the lack of authority in the region, several men regrouped and formed crews to attack Spanish ships. They not only wanted revenge for what they suffered during the war, but also hoped to get rich. Soon, gangs of pirates flourished in the Bahamas, and thus began the Golden Age of piracy in the Caribbean.