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People usually think that most Captains commanded by an iron fist, but in most cases, it was not true. The Captains were selected because they were respected, not because they were feared. When electing a Captain, the crew looked for someone who was capable of commanding and navigating a ship. The Captain had absolute control only in a battle. In everyday life, Captains did not have much more rights than any other crewmember. Even sail courses were determined by voting.
On a ship full of murderers, bandits, and thieves, most decisions were determinedby voting! It may sound strange, but the crew were Democrats! They had their own ranks! On a whaler's ship, there was no such thing as a member of the privileged class. Everybody had same rights, and their roles and duties were appointed, only according to their abilities and knowledge.