The Empire of the nineteenth century, one of free trade based on an evolving international juridical order, sustained an expanding world-market. The attacks by Protestant nations against this monopolization of the oceans by the Catholic Empires of Spain and Portugal, interpreted as profanations of a sacred principle and acts of piracy. Georg Friedrich Hegel argued that industry finds its natural element and its reason to expand perpetually only when the sea becomes the 'supreme medium of communication'. In 1786, George Washington suggest that the North Africans were to be considered more than outlaw pirates and hostis humani generis. In the nineteenth century, the concept of the pirate continued to have an important role in international law and international politics, especially in the colonial world. The British Navy represented the first and essential military supplement of industrial capitalism, promoting the principles of 'free trade' and 'free seas', and enforcing respect for the juridical norms that regulate commerce in the world-market.