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Paraguay, protests in the liberal era and the Triple Alliance

Brian Turner and Christina Turner†

Subject Social History » Labor History
Sociology » Social Movements

Place South America » Paraguay

Period 1000 - 1999 » 1800-1899, 1900-1999

Key-Topics anarchism, civil war, labor movements, party politics, revolution

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405184649.2009.01156.x


Paraguay gained independence from Spain in 1811 under the leadership of Dr. José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia. Francia ruled the country from 1814 to 1840. During this period Francia closed the borders and isolated Paraguay from its neighbors and the world. The economy shifted fundamentally from colonial elite control to state control, opening land for farming by the campesino class. After the death of Francia in 1840, Carlos Antonio Lopez became dictator from 1844 until 1862. López opened the country to trade and economic development. One of the first railroads in Latin America was built in Paraguay during this period and several new industries were encouraged to develop, including a new steel industry. His son, Francisco Solano López, who ushered in a disastrous period in Paraguayan history, succeeded López at his death. The younger López had international aspirations, visiting Europe and bringing home an Irish mistress whom he met in Paris. In 1864 López initiated war against Brazil in an effort to defend the losing faction in a civil war in Uruguay. This was followed in 1865 by a declaration of war against Argentina. The War of the Triple Alliance against the combined armies of Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay lasted five years. López refused to admit defeat until he himself was killed in battle at Cerro Corá in 1870. The war crippled the economy and left a nation of women to ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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