Paraguayan War Essay

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The War of the Triple Alliance, also known as the Paraguayan War, was absolutely the bloodiest war in Latin America; maybe even the world. It is a largely accepted idea that throughout the war Paraguay lost roughly half of its population (most males 18-50). There is a division in the scholarly world about this claim, however. Some researchers believe that the loss was actually as low as 8.7 percent of its total population, while others claim it was as much as 69 percent. Since there is little creditable data about the population size before 1864 or the rate of the growth in Paraguay before and after the war, that experts on the topic tend to make their own calculations relying heavily on assumptions and self-written formulas that are not…show more content…
Francia was a lawyer by trade but in his heart, he dreamed of a free and utopian Paraguay. He ran for a lesser office in 1813 but within 5 years, he was given full dictorial power over the entire country for life. Francia supported full isolationism and during his almost 30-year reign, he fostered a nationwide hatred of all foreigners. He shut down all foreign trade and commerce, effectively cutting off Paraguay from the world around it. While doing this he discouraged any immigration and kept some alien strangers as prisoners for years.
When Francia died a new caudillo took over, Carlos Antonio Lopez. Lopez saw no difference between his personal revenue and the country’s. He owned essentially half of the land in the country and was an exceedingly corrupt ruler. He too disliked foreigners but in the interest of stimulating Paraguay’s economy, he encouraged European immigration and trade. Although, he did not support full isolationism like Francia, foreign relations under his rule were unsteady at best. He strained Paraguay’s relationship with the United States almost leading to a war between the two countries and caused conflict between Paraguay and Argentina. His foreign conflicts are often viewed as the kindling to the fire that caused the eventual war.
Lopez ruled for 21 years and then in 1861 his son took the role of “the second and final ruler of the Lopez dynasty.” Francisco Solano
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