1537 – Pope Paul III banned the enslavement of Indians.

1537 – Pope Paul III banned the enslavement of Indians. 1774 – The Quartering Act, which required American colonists to allow British soldiers into their houses, was reenacted. 1793 – Maximillian Robespierre initiated the “Reign of Terror”. It was an effort to purge those suspected of treason against the French Republic.

AD 1537: Pope Paul III opposes enslaving Native peoples
Pope Paul III issues a decree, “Sublimus Deus,” opposing the enslavement of indigenous peoples and calling them “true men.” This papal bull becomes the policy of Spain’s leaders—but conquistadors and colonists break with it. In the Americas, the Spanish use various official means to subjugate Native peoples: the Royal Encomienda (tribute paid to the Spanish crown from profits from forced labor), Repartimiento (forced labor), and Hacienda and Rancho (land grants).

“The said Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians, are by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ; and that they may and should, freely and legitimately, enjoy their liberty and the possession of their property; nor should they be in any way enslaved; should the contrary happen, it shall be null and have no effect.” —Pope Paul III, “Sublimus Deus”



1924 The Indian Citizenship Act ~ June 2

With Congress’ passage of the Indian Citizenship Act, the government of the United States confers citizenship on all Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the country.

Before the Civil War, citizenship was often limited to Native Americans of one-half or less Indian blood. In the Reconstruction period, progressive Republicans in Congress sought to accelerate the granting of citizenship to friendly tribes, though state support for these measures was often limited. In 1888, most Native American women married to U.S. citizens were conferred with citizenship, and in 1919 Native American veterans of World War I were offered citizenship.

In 1924, the Indian Citizenship Act, an all-inclusive act, was passed by Congress. The privileges of citizenship, however, were largely governed by state law, and the right to vote was often denied to Native Americans in the early 20th century.

… no words for this sigh

1924 – All American Indians were granted U.S. citizenship by the U.S. Congress.

On June 2, 1924, Congress enacted the Indian Citizenship Act, which granted citizenship to all Native Americans born in the U.S. The right to vote, however, was governed by state law; until 1957, some states barred Native Americans from voting. In a WPA interview from the 1930s, Henry Mitchell describes the attitude toward Native Americans in Old Town Maine, one of the last states to comply with the Indian Citizenship Act:

l                                 One of the Indians went over to Old Town once to see some official in the city hall about voting. I don’t know just what position that official had over there, but he said to the Indian, ‘We don’t want you people over here. You have your own elections over on the island, and if you want to vote, go over there.’
Just why the Indians shouldn’t vote is something I can’t understand.

The Life of Henry Mitchell.” Robert Grady, interviewer; Old Town, Maine, ca. 1938-1939. American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936 to 1940. Manuscript Division

Native Americans During Mathematics Class, Indian School, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Frances Benjamin Johnston, photographer, 1901. Johnston (Frances Benjamin) Collection. Prints & Photographs Division

Previously, the Dawes Severalty Act (1887) had shaped U.S. policy towards Native Americans. In accordance with its terms, and hoping to turn Indians into farmers, the federal government redistributed tribal lands to heads of families in 160-acre allotments. Unclaimed or “surplus” land was sold, and the proceeds used to establish Indian schools where Native-American children learned reading, writing, and the domestic and social systems of white America. By 1932, the sale of both unclaimed land and allotted acreage resulted in the loss of two-thirds of the 138 million acres that Native Americans had held prior to the Dawes Act.

In addition to the extension of voting rights to Native Americans, the Secretary of the Interior commissioned the Institute for Government Research to assess the impact of the Dawes Act. Completed in 1928, the Meriam Report External
described how government policy oppressed Native Americans and destroyed their culture and society.

The poverty and exploitation resulting from the paternalistic Dawes Act spurred passage of the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. This legislation promoted Native-American autonomy by prohibiting allotment of tribal lands, returning some surplus land, and urging tribes to engage in active self-government. Rather than imposing the legislation on Native Americans, individual tribes were allowed to accept or reject the Indian Reorganization Act. From 1934 to 1953, the U.S. government invested in the development of infrastructure, health care, and education, and the quality of life on Indian lands improved. With the aid of federal courts and the government, over two million acres of land were returned to various tribes.



Big cruise ship line dump waste – fined

Big Cruise Line To Plead Guilty In Oil Dumping

By MATTHEW L. WALD Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the world’s second-largest cruise line, announced today that it had agreed to plead guilty to Federal charges of dumping oil at sea, lying to the Coast Guard about the discharges and tampering with witnesses and evidence, and as a result would pay $9 million in penalties.
The illegal activity involved at least 5 of Royal Caribbean’s 12 ships. The company acknowledged that they had routinely dumped waste oil into the sea instead of sending it through purifying equipment for storage. In some cases the oil was pumped out of the ships through illegal pipes that were then removed by the crews just before Coast Guard inspections.
The practice saved tens of thousands of dollars a year per ship, the company said. In court, prosecutors said some officers had received bonuses for cutting operating costs.
The company is entering its guilty pleas, to eight felonies, in San Juan, P.R., and Miami this week and will pay an $8 million fine and an additional $1 million for environmental projects. The Justice Department said the $8 million was the largest environmental fine ever levied against a cruise line.
The offenses covered by the agreement occurred from 1990 to 1994, a period when Royal Caribbean’s stewards and deckhands wore buttons that said ”Save the Waves” and urged passengers not to bring on deck any paper goods or other objects that might blow overboard.

Until recently, Royal Caribbean, second in size only to Carnival among all cruise lines, had argued vigorously that it was immune from prosecution in the United States, since none of its ships are registered here. For instance, the company, whose main offices are in Miami, hired former Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti as its lawyer and brought in former Attorney General Elliot L. Richardson as a witness, to contend that under international treaties, discharges from one ship, the Nordic Empress, could be prosecuted only by Liberia, because the ship is registered there.
In a statement today, Royal Caribbean said its decision to plead guilty was ”based on a review of the available evidence, including evidence recently submitted by the Government.’