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”