Paraguay Modern History
As soon as the new republic was formed, according to Ehuacom.com, three parties had been created whose dissensions and struggles filled the first years of the nascent state: the “realist”, headed by the last liberalizing Spanish viceroy (Velasco); the “portenista” supported and subsidized by the government of Buenos Aires; the “patriotic”, which gathered in its ranks all those who had actually made the revolution with the aim of escaping both the yoke of Spain and that of any other state, and they ardently wanted freedom. After opposing, with the means in their power, the two parties “realist” and “portenist”, the two consuls decided to adopt a policy of vigorous repression. The conclusion of this move was that very many Spaniards and Argentines were condemned to the complete loss of civil rights. In the third congress, held on May 15, 1814, the two consuls, after having fully accounted for their work, resigned. In the messages that, before abandoning the “suprema potestas”, they proposed to the people the appointment of a single executive power, as a remedy imposed by the serious circumstances that were going through, to save the homeland from the intrigues of foreigners. Following these messages, and the campaign made in their favor, Dr. France was appointed temporary dictator (three years). With supreme power in his hands, as was his intention, France began such a period of despotism as to lead the country into the most complete brutalization. In the’ eventuality of a war against Argentina, one of the first measures of France was to reorganize and powerfully reinforce the army. At the same time, he got rid of all those officials and those employees who seemed not to want to follow his lines of conduct, persecuted the Catholic religion, dismissing the bishop of the diocese and forbidding, in the most absolute way, the processions and external manifestations of the cult. Re-elected, despite these precedents, as perpetual dictator by the congress which met in May 1817, the tyranny of France no longer knew limits and was revealed in all its breadth. Since the system of government established by the dictator was based on the isolation it needed to be able to sustain itself, France ended up forbidding any form of trade with France. abroad and denied passports to all, nationals and foreigners, in order to make Paraguay remain completely detached from world life. Thus the republic continued its arduous existence until the death of the dictator, which took place on 20 September 1840.
Having made public the death of the dictator, Ramón Maldonado, Francisco Arroyo, Augustín Canete and Pablo Pereira organized a government junta chaired by the alkalde of Asunción, José Manuel Ortiz. This first council was replaced by a second and then by a third of which D. Carlos Antonio López, nephew of France, was appointed secretary. Finally, the congress, which met on March 12, 1841, appointed Mariano Roque Alonso and Carlos Antonio López as consuls for a three-year period. On March 16, 1844, a congressional law concentrated almost all public powers in a single judiciary, called the permanent executive power; a president was appointed in place of the consuls, who was López himself with a ten-year mandate and with the right to be re-elected.
Instead, serious difficulties arose with the Argentine dictator Rosas who, already engaged in the struggle against Uruguay, and in open conflict with France and England, did not intend to recognize Paraguayan independence. Thus the López since December 1845 declared war on the Argentine dictator, then directly helping the Argentines of the province of Corrientes, rebels against the Rosas. The situation between the two countries was not clarified until after the fall of the Rosas (1852), when Argentina officially recognized the independence of Paraguay (1853). The National Congress of 1854 confirmed, for the third time, Lopez as president of the republic; in 1857 he was re-elected for the fourth time. In 1862, after twenty years of laborious, conscious, honest administration, Carlos Antonio López died.
Disagreements erupted between Uruguay and Brazil, which had intervened in Uruguayan internal affairs (see Brazil ; Uruguay), so López proposed to act as mediator for the resolution of this incident, but Brazil did not accept this mediation and undoubtedly began war operations against Uruguay. López, for its part, seeing in the independence of the contiguous republic a guarantee for the peace and prosperity of Paraguay, had a Brazilian steamer confiscated at anchor in a Paraguayan port and gave the order to General Barrios to invade the Brazilian province of Matto Grosso. In 1865, Paraguay asked Argentina for authorization to allow its troops to pass through the province of Corrientes, basing this request on the precedent of 1855, the year in which the Brazilian fleet, which was going to threaten Paraguay, had had L’ authorization to transit through the territorial waters of the Argentine Republic. Not only did the Argentine government refuse such permission, but it sent a loud note of protest to Paraguay for the amassing of troops carried out by this republic along the borders between Paraguay and Argentina. As a counter response to this note, López, on March 18, 1865, declared war on Argentina. Immediately after this declaration of war, not only Brazil allied itself with Argentina, but also Uruguay, where a change in internal politics had allowed the rapprochement and finally the alliance with Brazil. Before starting any form of war activity, the triple alliance solemnly declared that it respected the independence of Paraguay, whose people it regarded as brother.