Paraguay at independence was a relatively undeveloped country. From 1932 to 1935 there were approximately 30,000 Paraguayan and 65,000 Bolivian casualties in the war. The history of Paraguay is a result of development and interaction of varying cultures of indigenous peoples in Paraguay and overseas immigrants who together have created the modern-day Paraguay. They intermarried with native women, resulting in a largely mixed (mestizo) and Creole population. The Legionnaires, however, had no more experience in the principles of republics than other Paraguayans. Both were satisfied if the other could not dominate Paraguayan affairs. Paraguay was a colony of Spain. In the same year, LÃ³pez signed treaties of friendship, commerce, and navigation with France and the United States. The following ascent of Liberal Party marked the decline of Brazilian influence, which had supported the Colorados as the principal political force in Paraguay, and the rise of Argentine influence. The government of CaraÃ GuazÃº ("Great SeÃ±or", as the poor GuaranÃs called Francia) was a dictatorship that destroyed the power of the colonial Ã©lite and advanced the interests of common Paraguayans. Political instability began troubling the colony and revolts became commonplace. Although this revolt failed, it was one of the earliest and most serious uprisings against Spanish authority in the New World. In addition, they bought armaments from Germany and hired German military officers to train and lead their forces. , Outgoing President Nicanor Duarte reflected on the defeat and hailed the moment as the first time in the history of his nation that a government handed power to opposition forces in an orderly and peaceful fashion. Led by royalists, Paraguayan troops reinforced by local militias soundly thrashed the porteÃ±os at Battle of ParaguarÃ and Battle of TacuarÃ. Congress became his puppet, and the people abdicated their political rights, a situation enshrined in the 1844 Constitution, which placed all power in LÃ³pez's hands. They encouraged self-sufficient economic development, state ownership of most industries and imposed a high level of isolation from neighboring countries.  Cabot was sailing to the Orient in 1526 when he heard of Garcia's exploits. The Paraguayan Jesuits gained many enemies as a result of their success, and the reducciones fell prey to changing times. In this tense atmosphere, the murder of Vice President and long-time Oviedo rival Luis MarÃa ArgaÃ±a on March 23, 1999, led the Chamber of Deputies to impeach Cubas the next day. which the Paraguayan Air Force does not have. LÃ³pez was a despot who wanted to found a dynasty and ran Paraguay like a personal fiefdom. In response, subsistence farmers began to seize the estates of the upper class and drive them out of the countryside.  Trusting such information, Belgrano moved towards Paraguay with two possible goals—to guarantee loyalty for the junta in Paraguay or promote a new government that would stay on friendly terms with Buenos Aires. In 1824 Francia banned all religious orders, closed the only seminary, "secularized" monks and priests by forcing them to swear loyalty to the state, abolished the fuero eclesiÃ¡stico (the privilege of clerical immunity from civil courts), confiscated Church property, and subordinated its finances to state control. The soldiers who had shared the dangers and trials of the battlefield deeply resented the ineptitude and incompetence they believed the Liberals had shown in failing to prepare the country for war. All of these political and economic developments put Paraguay on the path of independent nationhood, yet the country's undoubted progress during the years of the Franciata took place because of complete submission to Francia's will. Paraguay gained independence on May 15, 1811. Who achieved independence from Spain in 1811? Within 20 years, the new town had a population of about 1,500. Spanish merchants borrowed from British merchants to finance their purchases; merchants in Buenos Aires borrowed from Spain; those in AsunciÃ³n borrowed from the porteÃ±os (residents of Buenos Aires), and Paraguayan peones (landless peasants in debt to landlords) bought goods on credit. This victory set the stage for the golden age of the Jesuits in Paraguay. Estigarribia faced sharp criticism from the conservative Catholic intellectuals and their newspaper El Tiempo as well as leftist febrerista student activists in the university. Paraguay has two official languages, Spanish and Guarani. Ignoring these conditions, the Spanish named the outpost Buenos Aires (Nuestra SeÃ±ora del Buen Ayre). The era of party politics in Paraguay was free to begin in earnest. Destitute and practically destroyed, Paraguay had to endure a lengthy occupation by foreign troops and cede large patches of territory to Brazil and Argentina. The countryâs third dictator, Francisco López, waged war against Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina in 1865-1870. Although the Liberals had advocated the same land-sale policy, the unpopularity of the sales and evidence of pervasive government corruption produced a tremendous outcry from the opposition. The country was surrounded by hostile neighbors, from warlike Chaco tribes to the Argentine Confederation and Empire of Brazil. Regarding Argentina as a potential threat to Paraguay, he shifted his foreign policy toward Brazil by quickly recognizing Brazilian independence in 1822. JosÃ© Gaspar RodrÃguez de Francia served from 1811 until his death in 1840 and built a strong, prosperous, secure nation at a time when Paraguay's continued existence as an independent country seemed unlikely. Having inherited Estigarribia's near-dictatorial powers provided by the new 1940 Constitution, MorÃÃ±igo quickly banned febreristas and Liberals and clamped down drastically on free speech and individual liberties. On May 14/15, 1811 Paraguay declared its independence from Spain. Paraguay Cumhuriyeti, Güney Amerika'da bir ülkedir. He began a program of land reform that promised a small plot of land to every Paraguayan family. Foreign relations began to increase in importance under LÃ³pez, who retained Paraguay's traditional mistrust of the surrounding states, yet lacked Francia's diplomatic skills. Oviedo became the Colorado candidate for president in the 1998 election, but when the Supreme Court of Paraguay upheld in April his conviction on charges related to the 1996 coup attempt, he was not allowed to run and remained in confinement. With his authority as representative of the junta he gave them full civil and political rights, granted lands, authorized commerce with the United Provinces and lifted the inability to take public or religious office. Oil had been discovered there by Standard Oil in the 1920s, and people wondered whether an immense pool of oil was lying beneath the entire area. The era of the New Liberals, as Estigarribia's supporters were called, came to a sudden end on September 7, 1940, when the President and his wife died in an airplane crash. When Bareiro died from a stroke in 1880, Caballero seized power in a bloodless coup and dominated Paraguayan politics for most of the next two decades, either as President or through his power in the army. The routed Bolivians responded quickly by seizing two Paraguayan forts. EspÃnola's reception in AsunciÃ³n was less than cordial, partly because he was closely linked to the ex-governor LÃ¡zaro de Rivera, who had arbitrarily executed hundreds of citizens until he was forced from office in 1805. The governors of Paraguay had no royal troops at their disposal and were instead dependent on a militia composed of colonists. Francia detested the political culture of the old regime and considered himself a revolutionary. In the first place, Solano LÃ³pez's miscalculations and ambitions plunged Paraguay into a war with Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. , Beyond the financial support he received from the United States -which supported his anti-communist struggle-, his regime was characterized by corruption and the distribution of favors among what was known as "the trilogy": the government, the Colorado Party and the armed forces. Positive steps to correct these inequities have occurred since 1989 ousting of Stroessner, and the occupation by the poor of hundreds of thousands of acres of land, which they claimed for subsistence farming. Paraguay declared its independence from Spain in 1811. He arranged for the troops and artillery to fire constantly, forcing the Paraguayan troops to disperse. He encouraged his men to marry Indian women and give up thoughts of returning to Spain.  Because of the importance of the Jesuit missions in the development of Paraguay, the ruins of Jesuit Missions of La SantÃsima Trinidad de ParanÃ¡ and JesÃºs de Tavarangue have been designated World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.. Decoud was unacceptable to Paranhos, who had him replaced with Cirilo Antonio Rivarola. By outwitting porteÃ±o diplomats in the negotiations that produced the Treaty of October 11, 1811, in which Argentina implicitly recognized Paraguayan independence in return for vague promises of a military alliance, Francia proved that he possessed skills crucial to the future of the country. People were arrested[by whom?] On August 1, 2004 a supermarket in AsunciÃ³n burned down, killing nearly 400 people and injuring hundreds more. Swamps, hills, rivers and lakes would also force the army to march slowly, making a possible retreat difficult. After the December 1933 Paraguayan victory at Campo Via, Bolivia seemed on the verge of surrender. The construction produced a tremendous economic boom, as thousands of Paraguayans who had never before held a regular job went to work on the enormous dam. Struggle with the Porteños. In 1821 Francia struck against the Spanish-born elite, summoning all of Paraguay's 300 or so peninsulares to AsunciÃ³n's main square, where he accused them of treason, had them arrested, and held them in jail for 18 months. LÃ³pez loosened restrictions on foreign relations, boosted exports, invited foreign physicians, engineers, and investors to settle in Paraguay, and paid for students to study abroad. Led by the exiled dictator Rafael Franco, the revolutionaries were an unlikely coalition of febreristas, Liberals and Communists, united only in their desire to overthrow MorÃÃ±igo. A general political amnesty was proclaimed and opposition allowed in Parliament. The new law served only to increase the slave population and depress slave prices as the slave birth rates soared. Both parties had former LÃ³pez supporters and Paraguayan Legion veterans in their ranks. After the death of LÃ³pez, the provisional government issued a proclamation on March 6, 1870, in which it promised to support political liberties, to protect commerce and to promote immigration, but the Provisional government did not last. The common people benefited from the suppression of the traditional elites and from the expansion of the state. Jovellanos was an accidental president, and after facing repeated revolts form LÃ³pez loyalists in 1873 and 1874, first Ferreira and then Jovellanos fled into exile. Jara's coup backfired as it touched off an anarchic two-year period in which every major political group seized power at least once and led to the Civil War of 1912. In order to destroy the colonial racial hierarchy which had also discriminated against him because of his mixed blood, Francia forbade Europeans from marrying other Europeans, thus forcing the Ã©lite to choose spouses from among the local population. On September 22, 1861, the Central railway station was opened in AsunciÃ³n. They based the new government on the standard classical liberal prescriptions of free enterprise, free elections, and free trade. EspÃnola was "perhaps the most hated Paraguayan of his era", in the words of historian John Hoyt Williams. The export of yerba mate and valuable wood products maintained the balance of trade between Paraguay and the outside world. After delaying for two months, Cubas openly defied the Supreme Court in February 1999, refusing to return Oviedo to jail. But by greatly expanding the power of the executive branch it served to legitimize open dictatorship. Like the area's other tribes, the GuaranÃ were cannibals. The Paraguayan Congress of July 24th, 1810. During its history as an independent nation, Paraguay has experienced coups, civil war, and dictatorships, with a more recent transition to civilian leadership and democratic elections. The cheapest way to get from Spain to Paraguay costs only $428, and the quickest way takes just 14¼ hours. Accompanied by Domingo MartÃnez de Irala, Ayolas again sailed upstream until he reached a small bay on the RÃo Paraguay, which he named Candelaria, the present-day Fuerte Olimpo. His governorship was one of the most humane in the Spanish New World at that time, and marked the transition among the settlers from conquerors to landowners. General Bernardino Caballero was the power behind the throne during terms of President Juan Bautista Gill, who was assassinated in 1877, and his political mentor, President CÃ¡ndido Bareiro, who died from stroke in 1880. In December of that year, Paraguayan major (later colonel) Rafael Franco took matters into his own hands, led a surprise attack on the fort, and succeeded in destroying it. About forty kilometers below the site of AsunciÃ³n, Cabot encountered a tribe of GuaranÃ in possession of silver objects, perhaps some of the spoils of Garcia's treasure. Free elections were a startling, and not altogether welcome, innovation for ordinary Paraguayans, who had always allied themselves with a patrÃ³n (benefactor) for security and protection. However, they were completely vanquished in the subsequent Battle of Paraguarí and Battle of Tacuarí. Lynch bore Solano LÃ³pez five sons, although the two never married. On behalf of the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Paraguay as you celebrate the 209th anniversary of your independence. In addition, the Liberals, who still had influential support in the army, agitated constantly for Franco's overthrow. When rebel gunboats threatened to dash upriver from Argentina to bombard the capital into submission, Stroessner's forces battled furiously and destroyed them. In early 1864 LÃ³pez warned Brazil against intervening in Uruguay's internal conflict. , Meanwhile, Juan de Ayolas, who was Mendoza's second-in-command and who had been sent upstream to reconnoiter, returned with corn and news that Cabot's fort at Sancti Spiritu had been abandoned. But when he published his distinctly fascist-sounding Decree Law No. In contrast, Indians from the Bolivian high plateau area, known as the Altiplano, were forced into the Bolivian army, had no real interest in the war, and failed to adapt to the hot Chaco climate. During his term of office, LÃ³pez improved national defense, abolished the remnants of the reducciones, stimulated economic development, and tried to strengthen relations with foreign countries. In his honor the Presidente Hayes Department was created. Officers from both sides openly fraternized during the campaign and from these contacts Paraguayans learned that Spanish dominance in South America was ending, and that they now held the real power. After the military uprising of May 14â15, 1811, which brought independence, Francia became a member of the ruling junta. Francia had pictured himself as the first citizen of a revolutionary state, whereas LÃ³pez used the all-powerful state to enrich himself and his family. During its 18 months of existence, Franco government showed that it was serious about social justice by expropriating more than 200,000 hectares of land and distributing it to 10,000 peasant families. In an experiment in communal living, the Jesuits organized about 100,000 GuaranÃ in about 20 reducciones (reductions or townships) to bring them together in more organized settlements and to protect them from colonists. He fell in love with an Irish woman, Elisa Alicia Lynch, whom he made his lover. Political instability was extreme in the Liberal era, which saw twenty-one governments in thirty-six years. Coming home to backward, poor, xenophobic Paraguay from cosmopolitan, prosperous Buenos Aires was a big shock for the Legionnaires. Madrid preferred to avoid the intricacies and the expense of governing and defending a remote colony that had shown early promise but ultimately proved to have dubious value. In a sign of the times, Franco practiced his Mussolini-style spellbinding oratory from a balcony. As one of the few officers who had remained loyal to MorÃÃ±igo, Stroessner became a formidable player once he entered the higher echelons of the armed forces. This antagonized Chaco tribes so much that they started a two-year war against the colony, which threatened its survival. In Hanratty & Meditz. Despite the popular enthusiasm that greeted the February Revolution, Franco's government lacked a clear program. In addition to the Spaniards, AsunciÃ³n's population included immigrants, mostly men, from present-day France, Italy, Germany, England, and Portugal. The Junta declared Paraguayan independence and in July 1811, they sent a letter to Buenos Aires expressing their desire of a confederation with Argentina, however, by October 1812, the confederation was disbanded after Argentina made its intentions to use â¦ At the time of his death, Stroessner was the defendant in several human rights cases in Paraguay.President RodrÃguez instituted political, legal, and economic reforms and initiated a rapprochement with the international community. Solano LÃ³pez accurately assessed the September 1864 Brazilian intervention in Uruguay as a threat not only to Uruguay but to Paraguay as well. Paraguay achieved independence from Buenos Aires. Irala presided over the construction of the cathedral, two churches, three convents, and two schools.. When Paraguayan junta learned that a porteÃ±o diplomat was coming to AsunciÃ³n, it realized that it was not competent to negotiate and in November 1812, junta members invited Francia to take charge of foreign policy. The Portuguese blocked Paraguayan territorial expansion in the north, native tribes blocked it â until their expulsion â in the south, and the Jesuits blocked it in the east. This group of exiles, based in Buenos Aires, had regarded Solano LÃ³pez as a mad tyrant and fought on the Allied side during the war. Under Francia, the state acquired about 1,000 slaves when it confiscated property from the elite. In Hanratty & Meditz. The Parana was crossed with several boats on December 19, and a force of 54 Paraguayan soldiers was forced to flee during the battle of Campichuelo. Although encomenderos were expected to care for the spiritual and material needs of natives, the system quickly degenerated into virtual slavery. A census in 1886â87 showed a population of 329,645. 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