The Golden Age of Piracy is the name given to three separate time periods characterized by one or more outbursts of piracy. In the broadest sense, the Golden Age was the time period between the 1650s to the 1730s. Some of the most famous pirates of the era were Edward Thatch, better known as Blackbeard, and Bartholomew Roberts, known after his death as Black Bart.
Piracy arose over a conflict that involved trade and colonization among rival European powers. Most pirates profited from looting ships belonging to the Spanish, British, French, Dutch and Portuguese empires; however, most of the pirates' victims were Spanish galleons that were usually overflowing with gold, silver and other riches from the New World.
As the most notorious pirate captains eventually died out or accepted royal pardons, the Golden Age finally came to an end in the 1730s, although piracy in general would continue.