The Portuguese monarchy overall agreed with the thoughts of the Jesuits and their interference in the enslavement of Indian Natives. Through a papal grant it was made clear that the Indians were now subjects of the monarchy and “that the monarchy must Christianize, civilize, and protect the Indians.” The Jesuits became the most active missionary order in executing the commands of the crown. They continuously protected the Brazilian natives as well as kept a check on the crown and their actions, going as far as the directly address the king if issues came up. They were always reporting the exploitation and enslavement of his native subjects to his majesty.
|King Phillip III|
The Jesuits were lucky, as the monarchs tended to side with them on many of their cases, and their actions led to several rulings passed by the kings in their favor. Only 11 years after the discovery of Brazil, King Manuel I, declared that no one was to hurt his native subjects under the threat of receiving the same punishment as if they had hurt a European. Along with that King João III demanded “tolerance, understanding, and forgiveness toward the Indians,” as he wanted affairs with them to be diplomatic so they could be Christianized more easily. However under his dictation a ruling in favor of the planters was created allowing for the capturing of any Indians that fought against the Portuguese colonist. King Sebastião in 1570 continued this theme, in which he banned the enslavement of natives except those taken in a “just war”. This verdict was confirmed by King Phillip III during his reign twice over where he stated that “all Indians, weather Christian or heathen, were by nature free, and could not be forced to work,” but succeeded to the planters that the Indians could still be captured as prisoners of war. These declarations by the Portuguese Kings caused theological and legal questions over the slavery of native Indian and weather there was such a thing as enslaving them in a “just war.”