Privateers and naval Captains generally do not belong to the same group. However, during the American Revolution the lines between the two were often blurred. One of the main reasons behind this was the decision by the federal government to sanction the actions of privateers. For the infant government of the United States privateers were able to hinder the actions of the British, and thus further the revolutionary cause. Throughout the revolution, however, captains of naval ships and privateers increasingly performed the same roles. Read More.