S: Paraguay's Revolutions
FC: Paraguay's Revolutions
1: Prolouge – Paraguay In 1536-1556 Spain decided to colonize South America, the colonists settled in the Region of Asuncion, which is where the current capital of Paraguay stands. Paraguay was mainly ruled by the Viceroyalty of Peru and Audiencia of Charcas even though Madrid truly controlled the country, they became un interested in it due to the fact that it was becoming apparent that it had no true value to them. The government did not have an army filled with military royals, but only colonists and the Paraguayans took full advantage of this. | In 1537 the Paraguayan people stated that the “ Cedula” gave them the right to have and depose of their own government. In 1720 the tension started to become higher when the people of Paraguay wanted to organize the indians, but by doing so made it harder for the Spanish settlers to have easy acsess to Indian labor .This than lead to the Comunero Revolt in which a Jesuit approved Governor was re instated. The revolt was first led by prominent and wealthy farm owners who had Jesuits working for them, but then abandoned the revolt and the when the peasant took up the wealthy called for the authorities to control it. In return smaller farmers came to capture the land of wealthy estate owners and drove them out of the countryside. In 1617 the Rio de Plata Province it is split into 2 halves, creating even more stress on the society as a whole.
3: Table of Contents The Revolutionary: 1767......................................................... 48 1811..........................................................49 1814..........................................................50 Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia: May 14, 1811..............................................12,13 October 12, 1813.........................................14,15 September 29, 1820......................................16,17 Francisco Javier de Iglesias: May 26th 1810.............................................52,53 January 11th 1811........................................54,55 October 20th 1813.......................................56,57 Sources.........................................................58 Epilogue: Economic Status..........................................64,65 Social Status...............................................66,67
4: The Paraguay royalists angered nationalist sentiments. After the Portenos beat the officers and posed more of a threat than ever before, Governer Bernardo de Velasco disarmed his forces and sent them back to their families with no pention from the past 8 months of fighting. When this was set through discontent spead and the Asuncion who started a glorious uprising and overthrew the Spanish authority and regained freedom from Spain on May 14 1811.
6: M A J O R E V E N T S
7: 1811 Cabellero and Yegros, two militia leaders, lead the killing of Paraguay's governor and declare independence. A governing junta is established. 1813 A congress is created, made up of mostly rural farmers, and they officially declare Paraguay's independence and establish a two-man consulate. 1814 The government switches from a consulate to a dictatorship, when, congress makes Francia, a civilian lawyer, "supreme dictator" for five years. 1815 Francia places the church under the state. 1816 Congress makes Francia dictator for life. 1840 Francia dies; Paraguay's form of government has turned into State Socialism. 1841 A second consulate takes power: Lopez and Alonso 1844 Congress makes Lopez president | [Alima Cannon]
8: Dear Journal, As you know fighting for this indepence will not be easy and the struggle within me seems to grow stronger everyday. As a leader in this revolution it is my duty to keep my people focus and for us to defeat Spain. Sometimes I wonder to myself how Spain were to feel if it had someone ruling them and not having a say a sea away. A full body of water away and still so controlling and demanding. I am currently stated in our capital of Asuncion and currently see what this is doing to this great land. I know that we are past the true refounding of Buenos Aires around 100 years ago, but it still feels so separated and disconnected. I am strong and equipped for battle. Tomorrow we plan for the Comunero Revolt in which we help the Jesuits have more freedom and makes it much more difficult for the Spainish wealthy land owners to treat them like dogs on their property. The Spanish had it coming I swear to you, that I know. Well I must retire to bed, much fighting to be done tomorrow, for independence! Your close friend, Indigo Montesca Indigo died in the Comunero Revolt fighting for what he believed in, and as his grandson I vow to write down my experiences just as he had done. -Paulo Montesca.
9: Dear Friend of mine, Today I was given you to explore the wonders of my Grandfather as he fought in this revolution as I do now, and how almost 100 years ago the drive for independence was so strong. It encourages me to go forth in my journey and to help lead theses people to freedom. Today in the year 1806, Napoleon Bonaparte attempted to take over Buenos Aires, what a jealous French man he is. We fought his men off but only use revolutionary were to be found upon that battle field with sweat pouring from our viens and blood streaming down our faces. Spain is no where to be found once again and there is no surprise to that for me. Spain has done nothing but contradict us keep us under its close watch when they are so far away. Who knew as I look back upon my grandfather’s writings I feel as though we are the same person. | The King of Spain himself, Ferdinand VII
10: I want to give up, I want to raise that white flag of surrender and except it, but I can’t. The role of revolutionary leader has been running through my family for decades and I am not going to let my grandfather’s name die in regret. As I write I become more depressed good night my dear friend, bring us peace. Sincerely, Paulo Montesca
11: Dear lost friend, Well here we are 2 whole years later after we have last discussed this monstrosity of a situation. How it disappoints me to tell you the struggle is still alive and well and I smell Spanish Parlimentary blood within the air. Sweet smell of reaching ever closer to the day of freedom and rejoice. Once I had found you at the bottom of my rutsack I knew I must right in you to explain recent events. This past week the French dictator Napoleon tried to invade Spain! The motherland now has true defining weakness to a world power like Fance! Napoleons plan is to take out Ferdinand VII, which I do not protest, although her will replace him with his brother Joseph to become a stronger world power and have more connection. What Joy! I know this may not sound like a big deal and should bring me joy but it does! As I see it while Spain is distracted by France and its fog we can round up and sneak surprise through the fog of the French! Isnt that a glorious plan? I must go consult with other revolutionaries . Oh thank you journal, you were not only a great help to my gandfather but to me as well. Most sincerely, Paulo Montesca
12: Dear Journal, May 14, 1811 I am Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia. I was born on the 6th of January in 1766 in Asuncion, Rio de la Plata. I have been trained in theology but I have turned to the practice of law. Now I am secretary to the junta that has overthrown Spanish rule. When I was one, the Jesuit missionaries who had come to Paraguay to educate and convert the Guarani were banished. Then when I was ten, my land of Paraguay became incorporated into the viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata. While we, Bolivia, and Uruguay remained in the viceroyalty, Argentina broke from it last year. Us Paraguayans did not accept Argentine independence. We drove back the Argentine army and we fought with our nationalistic spirit so that on this glorious day, we have declared our own independence. We have declared our freedom from the Rio de le Plata viceroyalty. We have declared ourselves a republic. We have declared ourselves under the leadership of two consuls. We have been led by Pedro Juan Cabellero and Fulgencio Yegros. The led our militia and they led us to independence by removing the governor from office. Many changes will come, especially because I plan on rising to power. I have learned from the mistakes of our predecessors. I will not allow outside influences to infiltrate our deep culture and meddle in our customs as the Jesuits did. I will not allow these influences to limit our nation’s boundaries and powers. I will not let problems root themselves inside our nation and grow until they cannot be
13: controlled. As of now, I hope for eventual domination for my entire country. I want to rule this land with an iron fist, and once I come into power, I will be an honest ruler. But I will also be cruel. Past rulers have allowed their people to be as free as they would like, and it has turned against them. I will be a great dictator. I will grow from a civilian lawyer into a respected leader. What a glorious day! We have become our own independent nation. Now we need strong leaders. I will write again when a worthy, honorable leader takes power. Until then, Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia | "Paraguay." Encyclopdia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopdia Britannica Online. 22 Nov. 2010
14: Dear Journal, Oct 12, 1813 Here I am, the new supreme dictator of the republic of Paraguay. At least, I almost am. I last wrote to you two years ago, vowing I wouldn’t write again until a great leader has been chosen. Now I have been chosen. Two years ago in this month we suffered a bit of a setback when, instead of domination, we signed a vague military alliance with Buenos Aires. However, this did force others to recognize our independence. Since then, Buenos Aires has tried to use the alliance to get our troops to fight their battles, thus voiding the alliance. This caused Buenos Aires to blockade us, then send Nicolas de Herrera to use whatever means to get us into a union of unequals. Despite their efforts, we have continued to prevail over Buenos Aires. As a response to the attempted bribery, bluffing, and threats of de Herrera, I had no choice but to convene a congress today. And today, we declared ourselves an independent republic. From today on we’ll reject any further treaties with Buenos Aires. We will remain a powerful, independent nation. I had gained power little by little over the years, but until today I had no title. Today, Fulgencio Yegros and myself were chosen to rule the Paraguayan republic for one year. However, I have heard talk among today’s congress about a new congress meeting at the end of the year. I was able to take from some whispers that I will be put into much
15: power. I think I may have even heard one congressman say that I could be proclaimed supreme dictator of the republic for five years. Knowing this, today in congress I decided to forbid all river traffic to Argentina and ban all foreign commerce. If I’m going to come into power soon, I might as well lead an independent nation that doesn’t need help from inferior nations. I plan on making many more revisions to the law that I know so well. Hopefully my knowledge will serve me well when I come into a multitude of power. I made a vow last time and I leave with one again. I will write again to you when I am elected to a position of even greater power. Once I rule with an iron fist, I will use it to inform you of what has been happening. Sincerely, Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia
16: Dear Journal, September 29, 1820 The day has come. I am the perpetual dictator of Paraguay. They call me El Supremo. My will is the law of the land. I have ultimate power. I prohibit any political activity. I strip the church of its holdings and power. I confiscate the weath of the small Spanish elite. I abolish the municipal government of Asuncion. I isolate Paraguay from our hostile neighbors. I am El Supremo. This was four years ago. After I was proclaimed perpetual dictator of Paraguay’s republic, I forgot about writing to you until now. But today, I have unearthed a plot to depose me and restore the native elite to power. Those who think I rule intensely personal and with policies to benefit myself have tried to overtake me, but they will not. I have controlled national revenues and fostered internal industries to make the nation self-sufficient. I have introduced modern methods of farming and livestock raising and organized and equipped the army. I have abolished the Inquisition, suppressed the college of theology, and swept away tithes. I have improved this nation and brought it higher than others. These men who doubt my abilities will have to pay. Hundreds of men have been arrested and some will be executed. These men are of traditional Paraguayan aristocracy and do not believe that I can continue to lead this nation greatly. Even Fulgencio Yegros, my co-ruler of 1813 is among these men. I may have deprived the aristocracy of their privileges, but they are not the only people under my
17: rule. Unless I can raise this nation higher, it will fall to the levels of the men who plotted against me. I will use their wealth in land and slaves to my advantage and against them by adding them to the national patrimony, contributing to the goal of complete self-sufficiency. I am an honest ruler who strives for the best of his country. Great achievements cannot be made without some sacrifice. This nation has suffered little sacrifice but gained a great deal. If any men doubt my abilities, I would like to show them the difference between Paraguay during its struggle for independence and now, after I have ruled for a mere seven years. This is all I have to say for now. I must work hard to keep my great country thriving in the world. Sincerely, Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia
18: September 13, 1809 Dear Journal, I am a slave boy for a wealthy creole in the capital of Paraguay, and I have had the fortune of being taught to write by my master. My master is good man who provides food and shelter in return for my services. He has taught me to write so that I might be able to write the letters he dictates, as he professes of the odiousness of writing out all his letters. I have called this a journal and have determined to treat it as such. I will begin with an account of my life up until this point. There are three main events that have occurred to this date, that I feel are the most necessary to chronicle. These are, first, the beginning of my servitude to my master, second, the punishment my master received for his ideas, and third, the beginning of the letter writing. Throughout all of this I would like to make one thing clear, my indifference to the issues that my master, as you will see, finds very pressing. I began my servitude to my master in the same way that many boys do at the age I was. I was the son of a Mestizo farmer, and destined to live a poor life, so at age six my father brought me to the capital, to sell me to a wealthy creole as a slave. He knew that I would be better cared for as the slave of a wealthy creole, than as the son of a poor farmer of poor land, and I do not blame him for selling me. My master is kind, and though he is my master, he is never harsh without reason. I am only punished when I do something wrong.
19: The second most important event that has occurred in my life so far, is that of my master being punished because of his ideas. It began about a year ago, when he started listening to the discontented men that stand all day in the square and yell out profanities against our mother country, Spain. The more he listened, the more the men noticed him in the crowd, and after a time, they invited him to join them on their quest for liberty. I must insert here, though if he should see this, he would be very angry with me for saying as such, but he was very foolish to go with those men. They were just trouble makers, unhappy with their state in life, but with no real idea of how to move forward with their cause. There were many like them, and they were all crushed. It was because of my master’s involvement with these men that led him to being punished. He was taken to prison for many days, and I became the messenger boy between my master’s house and his prison cell. It was during his imprisonment that he began writing letters.
20: He told me that the letters he was writing were very important and that I had to be careful with them, so I knew that he was up to something. The letters that he gave me while he was in prison were all sealed very tightly, and I knew he was very fearful of anyone other then the person he wished to receive it, finding and reading it. I delivered all these letters and never lost one. After a time, he was released from the prison. I am never fully aware what is going on in my master’s life, and why he makes the decisions he does, because after all, I am, but only, a slave boy. Once he began to again live in the house, my master kept up his letter writing, in fact in increased doubly. What he put in all those letters, and who he sent them to, I do not think I will ever know, but I do have some idea. I believe that, though I saw him publicly profess before an assembly of Peninsulares that he had been led astray by those men I previously spoke of, and no longer harbored ideas of revolution, he had never really forgotten the ideas that they had put into his head. They had stirred up discontent within him, and he could not remove the ideas once they had begun to grow. Indeed, I think that their ideas of revolution were like a disease, and still are, the disease is growing and festering now within my master. I know this because he has begun to have me write the letters he dictates. I am at last seeing their contents. He is indeed writing of revolution, and even just being the one to put the pen to paper, just being the one to put these terrible words to parchment, fills me with fear of the future.
21: I shall briefly conclude, because the hour is late, and my writing this is not fully condoned by my master, therefore I have some fear of being caught. I have heard all the talk of revolution, for indeed my master is not the only one who has gotten the disease, but I do not want any of it. I am happy with how things are. People say that the Peninsulares are bad, and that Spain must be overthrown, but I disagree, things are just fine the way they are. To be honest, if someone told me I had to pick a side, I do not believe that I could clearly choose either. Such are the strength of my convictions, and I must admit that really what I would like most of all is no change, no sides, because things are perfectly fine as they are now. | [Alima Cannon] | Sources Used: Hamilton, Neil. "José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia." World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society. "CultureGrams Online Database: Subscriber Area Only." CultureGrams Online Database: Subscriber Area Only. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Nov. 2010.
22: December 14, 2010 Dear Diary, Paraguay...under the Spaniards control! STILL! I cannot believe this. I, Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia, am a powerful lawyer, a dedicated social activist. I live to defend the less fortunate against the wealthy. I have been the head of the Asunción cabildo for a year now because of my large interest in politics. It is the highest position I can be.... so, diary, I am going to do something about this. I will not sit back and let others change history. I will do something because to be honest I am done belonging to the Spanish. My country and I should be FREE! The question is, what am I going to do? I need to get out there, be heard. But, that is one thing. After I figure out that, I need to figure out how to make others listen. As a lawyer, I have every skill I need to do this; I am passionate, smart, dedicated, a negotiator, and serious. But, that wont get me in. I am going to have to be in this fight for Independence in order to help make it happen. If it turns into a real war, then I will drop my job, my life now, because this is something bigger than me. If a revolution is what it takes, then I will not back down, but I will embrace it as a true man. The worst part is that Napoleon was crowned in 1808...on the Spaniards throne! Spain treats us like garbage, as if we don't matter. Napoleon is from Europe, he has connections there.
23: Napoleon was placed on the Spanish crown, he has connections there. Is there nowhere, no one that is willing to do the right thing? Paraguay is its’ own place and we DESERVE Independence. We DESERVE freedom. Why is it these other countries think they can control us? What makes them better? Some people sit back and wait for history to be changed, but not me. I will not stop fighting until we are free. Just wait diary, I am going to change Paraguay. More once I start the Journey of Independence, José Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia Diary Entry Based on Information from: Encyclopedia Britannica: "Paraguay." Encyclopedia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopedia Britannica Online. New Canaan High School Library, New Canaan, CT. 27 Oct. 2010 http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/442637/Paraguay "Paraguarí." Encyclopdia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopdia Britannica Online. 27 Oct. 2010
24: June 9, 1811 Dear Diary, PARAGUAY. IS. FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!! We were declared today independent, which also makes us the first independent nation in all of South America. I’m sorry I haven’t written in so long, but I was too busy changing history! Although we were under strict rules and boundaries, the tables are turning. Not to mention, to add to this great day, my work has paid off. Remember when I told you I was going to make a difference? Well...today I emerged as leader, with control over the army! I am so mad that it took this long for freedom though, that now I want to make others suffer. Paraguay is the best country and I’m going to punish others by keeping them away and Paraguay alone to celebrate its’ independence. I’m thinking of trying to quarantine Paraguay for a while. We don’t need to let those who treated us like dirt into our lives. I will make Paraguay its own thing...but I’m not sure what that is called. Maybe something like a hermit, because he is alone out of choice. That is it. I once strived for freedom, but now I will strive to not only be the best leader, but also to make Paraguay a “hermit nation”.
25: I may need to develop a dictatorship for this task though. If people try to disregard or criticize my rule, they must be punished. I’m sure I can arrest them, for I am leader now. I am all superior, immortal even! But, I can deal with that later. Today is about how Paraguay is now independent. The first problem I have to deal with is Buenos Aires. Their | That day was filled with cheers from everyone
26: government expelled Napoleon of the crown because he was a French Representative. This protected Spain’s interests until a legitimate Spanish king become wearer of the crown. However, this did nothing for us, so I’m sure they don’t care about us. So, now I am afraid of an invasion, and I hope to avoid one. What should I do diary? Now, my country is counting on me to keep them independent. I know! I’ll use my lawyer skills and negotiate an agreement with the leaders of Buenos Aires to leave Paraguay alone. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT FREEDOM HAS FINALLY COME??!! Paraguay's new leader, José Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia Based on Information from: Encyclopedia Britannica: "Paraguarí." Encyclopdia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopdia Britannica Online. 27 Oct. 2010
28: October 12, 1814 Dear Journal, The revolution is upon us, and my master has become a rebel leader. A group of discontented men have declared Parguay’s independence from Spain. They claim that all future change will be change for good. One man, has risen in popularity, named José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, and he has been elected to be our ruler. The events of the revolution happened very quickly, and my master seemed to be somehow involved in every riot and contention that sprung up, until the decisive battle, when we are said to have beaten off one of our neighboring countries, and then, in the same wind, killed our governor. I believe it to be truth, because it seems nothing else could have been the cause of the effects I am seeing now. I did not want change before, and I still agree, as change is sweeping through, that it is causing no benefit. I would like now to explain again some important events, as that seems to be what this journal has come to be used for. These are first, the day that we supposedly declared our independence, second, electing of a congress, and third, their choosing Fancia to be our dictator.
29: The first important event that I wish to explain, is the day that the revolutionaries declared us independent from Spain. I do suppose that indeed we are independent, because all things have changed, and none of them to Spain’s advantage. The price of food has gone up considerably, although no one seems concerned with this, the Peninsulares have disappeared from the city, and those with power are not those that would have gotten any power other than through revolution. That first day when independence was declared, and everyone was made privy to the fact, I remember the capital being in complete disarray. I could hardly get back to my master’s house to see what was going on, as I had been out delivering a letter. I came back to the house to find that my master had just returned from the official declaration in the capital square. He shouted victory when I walked in, and assailed me with hails of rejoicing. I could hardly understand what had happened, as he could barely speak, because of his excitement, but with a great effort and after quite a bit of time, I was able to conclude that independence had been achieved. Honestly, I did not know how to feel in response to this, I just hoped that things would not change for me. | Image Shown: "Foto: José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia (Paraguay) en Kalipedia.com." La Enciclopedia Online en Kalipedia.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2010.
30: Finally, I wish to describe the choosing of Francia to be our ruler. Francia was supposedly the general that brought together the men that, in the end, defeated Spain, and was therefore extremely popular and well thought of. When the congress of farmers was called upon to choose a ruler, they unanimously agreed to name Francia dictator. The day he was named as such, was a day of what seemed like infinite celebration. I could not go outside, unless I wanted to be swept away by the large crowds of people rejoicing and praising him. It was certainly exciting, and I enjoyed it as much as all the other slaves, but mixed with the fun, I felt a nagging apprehension. I sincerely hope that these changes are for the better, but if there are not, I will be wishing nothing changed, because before these events my life was good. I do wonder if Francia will do a better job running our nation than Spain did. I wonder if change is always for the better as I have heard so many people profess. | [Alima Cannon]
31: Sources Used: Hamilton, Neil. "José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia." World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society. "Paraguay." Encyclopdia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopdia Britannica Online. 29 Oct. 2010
32: April 11, 1816 Dear Diary, It has been much too long since I have written to you, and for that I truly am sorry. But, it is unbelievable the impact I have had on this country. Ahhh.... looking back on the last 5 years, I am truly what Paraguay has always needed. 1811. A governing junta was established, led by Yegros. But, as there is a “president” in some countries, I really am the leader. For instance, I proposed the idea of a confederation of equals to Buenos Aires. At first, we did this for eventual domination, but I was nice and settled for a vague military alliance, and because of ME the treaty was signed so that Buenos Aires recognized Paraguayan independence. However, they were always people that you could not trust, and they attempted to use the alliance to acquire Paraguayan | Here is a portrait of me
33: troops for their own battles! This of course, became void. Two years ago Paraguay's own Congress made me dictator. The Congress was democratically elected and consisted largely of the rural poor, which means many different types of people craved me as a leader. And this year, wow. So far it has truly been the best of my existence! The legislature named me “Dictator for Life”.... as he should. I am a Utopian revolutionary, changing peoples lives every day. I aim to weaken the elite and greatly strengthen the masses. Nobody will ever complain about my ways because I am the best. At first, I was so stressed trying to figure out how to rule this great country so many call home. And then, it hit me! I will be that leader that everyone loves by just stressing my own beliefs, because everyone agrees with me. The major one is self-sufficiency. People need to take care of themselves and know that they can only rely on me. This year I have started confiscating the lands held by wealthy Spaniards and ending most aristocratic privileges. One major thing I did was declared an expulsion of all religious orders, and a confiscation of church property. I am breaking the relationships with the Pope by appointing my own clergy because I need to know that people are following me at all times, or else they will be punished. Those who decide to not listen to me and question my authority are
34: jailed, murdered, or exiled because they SHOULD listen to me. I made Paraguay independent, and I am going to keep it that way. I am so good to these people. By encouraging agriculture through scientific farming, production has increased greatly. I even leased the government land to the peasants at low rates and gave them cattle! It is obvious they want me to lead, and I know what is best. I possess all the skills crucial to the future of Paraguay. All these things, I have already accomplished. I am truly superior to all because of my divine qualities and way of ruling. I cant wait to change history EVEN MORE, José Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia Based on Information from: Encyclopedia Britannica: "Asunción." Encyclopdia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopdia Britannica Online. 29 Oct. 2010
35: Britannica Online. 29 Oct. 2010
36: August 15, 1817 Dear Journal, This is my final instalment in this book, for I do not think that, after this, I will be allowed to talk of my ideas as I do in here. I must first say that my apprehension was well founded and that these last few years have not been better than previous ones. I would like to describe the events, following Francia’s gaining of power, his being named as dictator for life, and the results of these events. To begin, after Francia was given total power things began improving. He seemed to really care about those that had before had hardly any rights. With each new day, we heard of those Peninsulares, those elite, who he exiled and killed. Most people considered him justified in doing this, as those people had caused us so much harm. It was incredible to see how fierce people became when discussing those that they believed wronged them. I, having grown up in master’s house, and only occasionally seeing the Peninsulares effects on those less fortunate than I, I have not had much experience with their ruthlessness. I have been told, though, that they have done very many ruthless things to my Mestizo brothers, and that I ought to care.
37: Perhaps I ought to, but I am more apt to hold to what I know, rather than fight for what I am unsure of. It is just this past year that the assembled counsel, which I have previously mentioned as made up of poor farmers, determined to name Francia dictator for life. I am not sure why they decided to do this, because one must always prepare for events that might occur in the future. What if a better leader for a nation would arise, and have no ability to overthrow Francia? Oh, but I must be careful what I write, for if I was found writing this, I would certainly be severely punished. I believe that the congress did in truth believe that they wanted to Francia to be dictator for life, but at the same time I believe that they were most definitely pressured to do it by the man himself. I do not think he was satisfied with the idea that his rule could possibly terminate in the near future. | Image Shown on Left: "Lecture 13: Neoliberalism and its Discontents ." 3402W: Modern Latin America. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Nov. 2010.
38: I would finally like to tell of the effects of his being made dictator for life. To begin, the results have been disastrous. No one is allowed to defy him in anyway, even saying the slightest word against him in the wrong company can cause your own death. He kills many people, and then at the same time professes to be the protector of people. He has also increased trade regulation, which has caused the attaining of food from outside our nation to be very difficult. There are a few good results though, of his being our leader, that I must admit. The power has transferred from the hands of the few and wealthy to the hands of the many and needy. It was also due, in part, to his influence and skill that last year we were able to declare independence as the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata. I comment here that, though this sounds very grand, my life has not been made better. I still have no say, I have not been given liberty and equality, as I have heard Francia claims he has brought to all people. In fact, my life has gotten worse. I can no longer express my true opinions on even the most menial items, and I am also not allowed free run of all the places I previously was. Another issue, which I have not written about prior to this, because it stood, and I assumed it always would stand, unchanging, is that of the church. I have always been able to attend mass with my master, and my master’s house. From an early age, I have felt a connection with the teachings of the gospel of the Catholic church.
39: Francia, for some reason unknown to me, has broken off relations with the pope. He has caused his own priests to be instated, and they preach gospel contrary to what I had already excepted as truth. This above all else is the worst effect of Francia’s rule. I now close this journal, to leave it as it is forever. I have written enough here to satisfy my need to speak out, which if I did actually do, would cause my immediate death, therefore I satisfy myself with writing here. I do not know what lays ahead, I only know that I will most likely have no say in it, and I will have to learn to suffer silently. This revolution has been no improvement, some say its all going to end up all right, but I see no good in it. | Sources Used: Hamilton, Neil. "José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia." World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 29 Oct. 2010.
40: French guy. But when things begin to really heat up, I’m going to give the viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata a piece of my mind. They will regret the day they made us suffer from their high taxes and strict trade regulations! How am I to feed my family of 5 if my savings are sucked dry or if I can’t sell my crops? | August 1801 Dear Diary, I’m a little reluctant to hop on the revolutionary bandwagon with the rest of my working class buddies. I’ve been exchanging letters with my friends in the other countries of the Rio de la Plata (Jose in Argentina, Esperanza in Uruguay and Alberto in Southern Bolivia) and they have yet to witness any rebellions or uprisings of any sort. Maybe this is because of Paraguay’s remoteness from Spain- that would explain why nationalist and separatist movements are already being conjured up here! With the growth of the colonies in Argentina and the decline of Peru's mining industry, our importance has certainly diminished in the eyes of the Spanish, which is why we’re getting neglected by Spanish authorities. Maybe that’s a good thing though, if we strike a revolution, they won’t even see it coming! We’ll have the element of surprise, and they’ll probably be hesitant to deal with us because they’re off fighting that little | A few of the Jesuits in my country | Image From: http://goodjesuitbadjesuit.blogspot.com/2009/11/jesuit-saints-martyrs-like-maccabees.html
41: But what really grinds my gears is that the Spanish had the nerve to expel all the Jesuits from Paraguay! I mean c’mon, they’re missions were doing us good, and even though I’m not one of them, it still effects me. Poor Jesuits, didn’t even see it coming- they were attacked by the settlers who were envious of their commercial success and they wanted the Indios (who were protected by the Jesuits) to work for them. The Jesuits were dissolved by force and eventually expelled. But who am I kiddingSpain could care less about us; they’re too busy fighting that Napoleon guy. When he invaded Spain, the whole colonial system crumbled rapidly. Diary, I’m feeling pretty hopeless for the future, there needs to be a change NOW and it needs to be a complete overthrow. Our politics, society, and economy need to change. I’m sick and tired of being pushed around by this dictatorial government. I want someone to swoop in and be our hero- they should weaken the elite and strengthen the masses ten-fold. An increase in the mestizos would definitely equalize Paraguayan society. It’d be nice if we could become self sufficient for once. The lands should be confiscated from the wealthy Spaniards and their aristocratic privileges should be ended once and for all. Personally, what I want to see happen for the future are some major changes with the Catholic Church. How is the pope controlling us all the way across the sea? The religious orders should be expelled and all the church property that they greedily gained over the years should be confiscated and given back to the people. We need to break relations with him a.s.a.p and appoint our own clergy. I have to wrap it up diary; I need to do some extra work in the fields to make ends meet. But I feel a change coming on...revolution is in the air. (Giuliana Savini)
42: January 1811 Dear Diary, It’s here! It’s finally here! The movements have started and our greatly anticipated revolution is among us. A new governing junta is now instated and a guy named Fulgencio Yegros is the head of it. I haven’t heard much of what he’s doing to help our cause, but rumors are starting to circulate that he’s just a figurehead. They say that in reality, the junta is dominated by this civilian lawyer by the name of Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia. Since I’m a woman, I don’t really have a say in the events of this revolution. But the hopes for the future of Paraguay are pretty much the same for all citizens across the board so I am not too worried about a lack of representation. Though I doubt I’ll win suffrage or be able to own land. What if my husband get imprisoned or killed amidst the fighting? I’ll lose the land that I support my family on. Francia is founding the beginnings of a cruel and relentless dictatorship; some control is necessary but we’re fighting for freedom and what if this guy makes us retrogress? He is arresting and punishing people for merely criticizing his rule. Today is January 15th, 1811, and as we speak, the Battle of Paraguari is happening right down the road. Back in May of last year, there was a successful seizure of power and the insurgents of Buenos Aires expected the rest of the region to quickly accept their authority and to support their cause of independence. In response to this, an army formed under the Spanish governor Bernardo Velasco and Francia to try defend the Paraguayans from being brought under the rule of the insurgents lead by Belgrano. Wait a minute, I’m receiving word of a possible outcome. It can’t be, Velasco just crushed Belgrano’s army! We’ve won independence!
43: Oh what a happy day this is, we’ve finally overthrown the Spanish government and the defense of our province is fully in Paraguayan hands. But what is to become of Francia and his cruelty, I fear a permanent dictatorship is in the making. Francia was assisting Velasco in heading the military and I am almost positive he is going to emerge as leader with control over the army. The Argentines don’t know it, but by initially seizing power of our province and then fighting against us in the Battle of Paraguari, they actually helped us win independence, which was counterproductive to their goal! We refused to accept the declaration of Argentine independence in 1810 as applying to Paraguay. And the Argentine army under Belgrano couldn’t enforce our acceptance of it so they tried to fight us and then lost miserably. No longer are we part of the viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata, we are free men and women. I’m quite curious to see how the early days of our independence go, I’ll be sure to keep you updated. (Giuliana Savini) | Our valiant leader, Francia | The opposing general, Belgrano | Images From (left to right): http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=739888&page=12 http://www.argentour.com/en/argentina_personalities/manuel_belgrano.php
44: March 1817 Dear Diary, The name that echoes through the streets of Paraguay is Francia. He’s taken Paraguay by the throat, but I have yet to determine if his assertiveness is good or bad. About nine months after we declared independence, he proposed the idea of a confederation of equals to Buenos Aires. As we saw at Paraguari, the city was hoping for eventual domination | but settled for a vague military alliance. We fought to break free from Buenos Aires and the viceroyalty and now we are re-establishing ties with them. I feel so helpless, my voice is lost among thousands and all the work we put into the revolution is resulting in bad choices by Francia. Diary, just call me Mrs. Crabs from now on because Francia has made us a hermit nation. He thought only of foreigners bitterly and was fearful of all entanglements and transactions with them. He has fallen back on complete isolation and permits few to leave or enter the country. But something I do like is that we have cut relations with the Church. Maybe next time they’ll think twice before expelling the Jesuits! We’re in a very weird situation though, we have suffered on a global scale from Francia, but within Paraguay | Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina make up the Triple Alliance which waged war against my country after our revolution | Image From: http://www.latinamericanaffairs.blogspot.com
45: we are actually prospering. He encouraged agriculture through scientific farming and production increased. He listened to the cries of my disgruntled lower classmen and leased government land to us at low rates, and even gave us cattle. I am proud to say that we have become the world’s first state-run socialist system. As I said, we are basically having an internal revolution that surpasses the changes occurring in any other former Spanish colony. Our new centrally planned economy has achieved great efficiency. It seems that with the arrival of good things, bad things trail closely. The good thing is that in 1816, only a few years ago, revolutionary patriots declared independence for the United Provinces of the Rio de la Plata. The bad this is that the succession of us and Uruguay have sparked a civil war between unificationists and federalists. Don’t get me wrong, I have never really been worried about the consequences of failure of our revolution, but it seems that there is the same amount of turmoil, just in different places. But no one said a revolution was going to be easy. I have faith that our struggles will translate into a better, more free Paraguay in the long run. (Giuliana Savini)
46: Diary Entry Citations Diary 1: Encyclopedia Britannica: "Paraguarí." Encyclopdia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopdia Britannica Online. 27 Oct. 2010
48: Their aristocracy has to go we already know the French will help us bring them down. I want to be able to have a choice in what happens with me. I pay too much work to much for too little pay. Then I can’t even try to have a say in anything they just put all of the country’s problems on us. With the more they pull stuff from us the more we want to push back. Our social structure here is even messed up than anywhere else because the bulk of us are from here are natives but they think its ok that the Spanish people can be in the higher class so we are stuck down in the lowest social class possible. From, The Revolutionary | Dear diary, The year is 1767 and the Jesuits just were kicked out because they have been starting revolutions since before I was born. So now we are in the hands of Spain and its been ok but they are taking most of our money through taxes and trade. We as a rebellion are tired for paying them for no reason, cutting their hair, washing their shoes, and finally cleaning up after everything they do.
49: Dear diary, Hello diary I’m sorry I haven’t written to you in a while but the tensions have been high since my last dairy entry. The year is 1811 and we have just declared our independence following Argentina’s idea but we will not follow their example and allow them to take us over. If we let them do that the same stuff will happen and our rights will go out the window like they did for years past. This is our turn to lead and our turn to be the most important. So far no one has agreed on the type of government we are going to have this is going to be a tricky start but as I’ve seen with America it will take some trial and error to be able to get to the point of us governing our selves. | So far I have heard a little bit of talk of a confederation then also as I said before Argentina taking over. In my opinion I hope we will have a native take over but just until we can get our government set up and not have to worry about invaders as much as we have to now that we are vulnerable. Even though this is what we wanted I didn’t realize gaining our independence was going to be as tough as it has been now. From, The revolutionary
50: Dear diary, Again it's been too long since I have written to you but I write to you now because a man named José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia took power and is a dictator. So my dreams of a native taking power didn’t come true, he is an outsider and he is not the type to give up power. This is a complete annoyance to the ones that made this independence possible. Although there is a Frenchman in power we still did accomplish our independence and I do not believe we will have much trouble from invaders, this is because the one perk is that after three years after our independence someone finally stepped up and stopped all the useless bickering by the want-to-be politicians in this country. This country is still in for a bumpy ride because of our past because of the hardness of our situation. But as always we will prevail just as we always have. I just hope this thing that I have put most of my life in won’t go to waste and I will have died in. From, The broken revolutionary
51: Dear Diary, September 1810 I am a female growing up in Paraguay. I don't believe in the way my government is currently run, though growing up in Paraguay, you get pretty used to the Spanish rule. But its not good for everyone. We didn't know any other way to live so we just accepted it. The low classes are forced to work long and hard hours on the tobacco plantations with very low wages. Spain has recently aloud the soldiers that they employed from Paraguay to return home. What upsets us is that they weren't paid for 8 months! We have heard some rumors that France is trying to take over Spain. Hopefully this will force our government to become more independent and do more for the lower and middle classes. We haven't heard much about whats going on in Spain, but we know the representatives from Spain are getting nervous. As a supporter of being a more independent Paraguay, I think it might be a good idea for a switch in power. If so, the lower power could have more control over our lives and have a little more help and support from the government. If the lower class had more say in our tobacco sales then we could make more money and less of us would go hungry or homeless. I am going to change Paraguay for the better. With all our voices combined as one we can make a difference. I know we can achieve anything we put our minds to. Yours truly, Bernita Sanchez (Avery Anthony
52: Dear Diary, June 9th 1811 WE DID IT! WE GOT OUT INDEPENDENCE! I cant believe we actually did it. Not saying that i doubted our perseverance but there were times when i thought that we wouldn't pull through. I have never seen or felt so much joy, happiness, and excitement. It seems as if everyone in Paraguay is in the streets celebrating. people are playing music, singing and dancing. I am just relieved that all is peaceful fro a while. I know it wont be like this for long, but for now we are all just going to enjoy this. We know we have to start planning the future of our government and society. But for now that can wait. Its time to celebrate our freedom. We worked together and achieved our main goal. I knew we could do it. I knew we would make a difference. We didnt get here with our struggles and hardships though. We had to plan out strategies, gain more supporters. Thankfully we had the support of a Jose Gasper Rodrigues de Francia. HE helped us gain our independence. He said it doesn't matter what king we have as long as we have a say in the laws and rules that we follow. I think that he along with some of the other revolutionary leaders, should be the ones to lead our country now. They all want whats best for us. For now i have to go celebrate. Ill update you later on how planning the government is going when I can. Sincerely, Bernita Sanchez (Avery Anthony)
53: Dear Diary, 1814 We failed. We are now under the dictatorship of Jose Gasper Rodriguez de Francia. I thought he wanted whats best for us; the people of Paraguay. All he wanted was power. And of course he takes it from us the second he can. He waited until we were completely free of Spain, so he wouldn't have to deal with them. In all honesty, it was a smart move, but it cost us all dearly. The independence and freedom that we all worked so hard for was just taken from under us. I am for beside myself with rage and anger. Who does he think he is just taking away what we worked so hard and long for. We should have had a solid plan about what we wanted our government to be. We thought that once we got our freedom, everything else would just fall into place. We were seriously mistaken. Now we are all forced to live under his dictatorship. With the new government in place we have heard word that Argentina wants to take control. I doubt Jose will let this happen, but cant worry about other countries now he has to focus on building Paraguay up. I hope that Francia will do what is best for our country. Ill write back soon on his progress. Forever Yours, Bernita Sanchez (Avery Anthony)
54: May 26th 1810 Dear Father, When I was young you always said to me “As time progresses things change, although not always as one would expect” and I did not understand this simple idea. At this very moment in time, it is changing from fall to winter here in Paraguay, although, unlike the | seasons here, not everything can be predicted so precisely. In this past year many things have changed; most of which were expected. However, one event particularly surprised the entire government of Paraguay and I. It was how Argentina broke out of the strong viceroyalty of “La Plata”. This event has had a very strong impact on us because we lie just to the east of Argentina. This event worries me because I feel as if Argentina will feel as if it is superior to us and try to liberate us. If they were to attempt to do so I believe we are without a strong and organized military that would be able to protect and defeat a force as strong as the Argentinean soldiers. Another concerning factor of this event that I have is; what will the residents of Paraguay say. My greatest fear, moreover than the one of an invasion is of a revolt from within Paraguay; a revolt of the Mestizos, Mulatos, Indians, and Africans.
55: support localism. In fact, I suggest you stay neutral and abide by the law. Your Son, Francisco Javier de Iglesias Note: Please burn this letter after reading. I wish not to be revoked my title of a government official by sharing confidential information with you. | If this was to occur like it has in many other revolutions and fights for independence Paraguay would be extremely vulnerable and I would most definitely loose my position as a government official. I would greatly appreciate it if you would withhold this information from my mother for the time being. Finally Father, I would like to inform you of an event that is on the rise in our colonial communities: Localism. Currently The Paraguayan Government as well as The Argentinean Government has begun noticed the rise of localism in many of the colonial communities. Father, I strongly urge you to resist all temptations of joining the side of revolutionaries, or those who
56: January 11th 1811 Dear Journal I am terrified at this moment, which is why I have decided to write my thoughts down. I am unsure of what to do with myself at this very moment because so much is wrong and I have no plan of how to fix it. | To start, the first problem I have encountered is that since Buenos Aires deposed the viceroy, it has decided to expand its influence and control their neighboring nations, such as Paraguay. It also did not help that in our nation the spirit of localism was on the rise although, we recently discovered that the Argentineans are planning on taking Paraguay by force. As a result, to my advantage, as well as Paraguay’s, most Paraguayans were willing to join arms and fight against them. Yet still to my dismay, most of our soldiers are only Mestizos and will most likely be slaughtered by the strong Buenos Aries army.
57: If I were to loose my job at this age in time, I am unsure of how I would survive. I would loose all my chances with the woman I loved and I would be forced to live alone. I hope they allow me to join their new government if we do succeed. Your Writer, Francisco Javier de Iglesias | My next fear is the result of the fight we are bound to have with Buenos Aires. To start, if we won, I fear as if Paraguay would want to depose the viceroy as well. If this were to happen, I am unsure of what government would have to be established. This is because without the viceroy and an alliance with a superior country or nation who could we depend on to protect us. Also what would be the chances that Paraguay would keep me as a government official? I have not made any substantial differences other than being a consultant to the Spanish Governor: Bernardo de Velasco. | Bernardo de Velasco
58: October 20th 1813 Dear Father, A lot has occurred since my last letter to you. The revolution is over and Paraguay is now independent. In fact, Paraguay is the first independent nation in South America. A lot led up to | this revolution. One event in particular was the battle with the porteño army of Manuel Belangro. This battle was one of a surprised outcome. It began with the Argentineans battling against the Mestizos and Spaniards of Paraguay. Once the battle began the Spaniards immediately fled when they discovered there chance of survival was very slim. However, the Mestizos battled it out and were able to reroute the Argentinean army. To my dismay, the Mestizos were quite infuriated when discovering that the Spaniards fled during the battle due to the fact that they are under Spain’s control. | Dr. José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia
59: have a chance at obtaining a position in the new government which I believe will be ruled in the form of a dictatorship. If I am not able to find a suitable position in the government I may have to return to Spain and leave you and mother behind in Paraguay. I miss you dearly and give mother my best. Your Son, Francisco Javier de Iglesias | As a result of this problems began to occur and Paraguay within its citizens. This really worried me, because I was unsure of what will become of our allegiance to Spain. However, we gained our independence from Spain not as I expected, in fact, it was quite the surprise. It happened when rumors of a Portuguese army lieutenant visiting Bernardo de Velasco began circulating about him coming to suggest Portuguese Brazil’s assistance to the Spaniards, when in reality he was not visiting for that reason at all. When the Portuguese arrived the Mestizos thought of it as an act of treason. This combined with the overthrow of Bernardo de Velasco by the unhappy Mestizos led ultimately to the independence of Paraguay in mid May 1811. To my benefit when Bernardo de Velasco was overthrown by Dr. José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, Captain Pedro Juan Caballero I was not present with him at the time so I may | Captain Pedro Juan Caballero
60: Bibliography For Journal's 1, 2 and 3 Reber, Vera Blinn. "The Nineteenth Century." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. Ed. Jay Kinsbruner and Erick D. Langer. 2nd ed. Vol. 5. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2008. 62-66. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 8 Nov. 2010. Turner, Brian. "Paraguay." Governments of the World: A Global Guide to Citizens' Rights and Responsibilities. Ed. C. Neal Tate. Vol. 3. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2006. 250-256. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 10 Nov. 2010. Saeger, James Schofield. "The Colonial Period." Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture. Ed. Jay Kinsbruner and Erick D. Langer. 2nd ed. Vol. 5. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2008. 59-62. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 10 Nov. 2010. | Journal 1- Photo 1: http://www.geographicguide.net/america/pictures/paraguay-map.jpg Journal 2 Photo 2: http://www.mec.gov.py/cmsmec/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/130.jpg Journal 3- Photo 1: http://fw3.abc.com.py/fotos/2008/11/04/081104215547848.jpg Photo 2: http://external.ak.fbcdn.net/safe_image.php?d=8330aa7768ed1cba00aaa81aacab6ba3&url=http://4.bp.blogspot.com/__ySecMa7EJM/TBObhKw22lI/AAAAAAAAAhU/mi3m7nCIjQc/s320/cappedrojuancaballero.jpg
62: Battle of Paraguari | Battle of Campicheulo | Battle of Riacheulo | Battle of Curupaity | Battle of Jatai | Battle of Tuyuti | Map Of Events | (Giuliana Savini)
63: Battle of Campichuelo (19 Dec. 1810) :This was fought by Manuel Belgrano, as part of the Paraguay campaign of the Argentine War of Independence. It ended with a victory for the forces of Belgrano. Battle of Paraguari (15 Jan. 1811):In May of 1810, there was a successful seizure of power by the insurgents of Buenos Aires and they expected the rest of the region to quickly accept their authority and to support their cause of independence. In response to this, an army formed under the Spanish governor Bernardo Velasco and lawyer Francia to try defend the Paraguayans from being brought under the rule of the insurgents lead by Manuel Belgrano. Velasco and Francia crushed Belgrano’s army. WARS OF THE TRIPLE ALLIANCE Battle of Riacheulo (11 June 1865): Naval battle of Paraguayans vs Brazilians.The Brazilian navy won and the Paraguayan General Robles was effectively stopped- the threat to Argentina was neutralized. Battle of Jatai (17 Aug 1865):The Paraguayan Army under Pedro Duarte was attacked by forces of the Triple Alliance (Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil) commanded by Uruguay's president Venancio Flores.The allies won. Battle of Tuyuti (24 May 1866): Paraguayans vs the allies. The allies won the battle only due to the Paraguayan cavalry's inability to achieve an envelopment of the allied rear. The Allies ended up exhausted and were not able to gain more advance. Battle of Curupaity (22 Sept. 1866): The Paraguayans against the allied force of the Triple Alliance.The allies defeat resulted in a change in their command force. This battle was a temporary success in what would eventually become a near-extermination of the Paraguayans. (Giuliana Savini) | Map Of Events
64: Economic Status Paraguay is made up of a market economy. Paraguay’s current economy is dominated by one aspect, agriculture. Agriculture makes up about 20.2% of Paraguay’s jobs. While 20.2% may seem like very little, the United States of America has only approximately 1.2%, which is a very large difference. As a result of this agricultural dominance there is an unequal distribution of land, which relates back to the time of independence. As a result of this, there is a large population of peasant farmers. On the other hand, one major difference Paraguay and The United States have is the unemployment rate. The United States has a greater unemployment rate when
65: compared to Paraguay. This must be directly related to the amount of agriculture. Agriculture supplies more jobs than other businesses, which is shown when you merge both sets of graphs together. Finally, the inflation in Paraguay is now becoming manageable. In the 1980’s the inflation stayed at 28.442% change, while, during this time the United States its inflation was at least 10 or more points lower than Paraguay. In now appears that over time the inflation change is decreasing rapidly in Paraguay, even though it is at a very unsteady rate. This is unlike The United States, whose inflation change decreases very slowly and steadily. The difference in inflation rates is most likely related to the dictatorship, which immediately took over Paraguay after it won its independence. | https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/pa.html https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html
66: Paraguay's Current Social Status Although Paraguay is a rather small and unknown country, its social statuses are close with America's. The average life expectancy rate among all Paraguayans is similar to that of Americans. This is also true of literacy rates and urban populations. However, infant mortality rates in
67: Paraguay vary vastly from those in the United States. While Paraguayan infants have (despite gender) 23.83 deaths in every 1,000 live births, American infants (despite gender) have only 6.14 deaths in that same number of live births. From the infant mortality rates and life expectancy, it can be known that a significant amount of newborns don't survive, but those that do live long. Furthermore, only 19.4% of Paraguay's total population lives in poverty, slightly higher than 12% of Americans, while 60% of Paraguayans and 82% of Americans are urbanized. From this it can be inferred that Paraguay has a strong economy and strong businesses, despite what damage leaders like Francia caused. From all this information, it is evident that Paraguay is a nation not too much unlike our own United States, except for the fact that many more infants are dying than in America.
68: Political Status | Immediately following the revolution, José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia took over and dictated Paraguay for 29 years. His reign was threatened in 1820. All of the known associated of the threat were disposed of and there land and all other property was handed over to the government. This government owned land made Paraguay self sufficient for the most part. The only other trade done was with Brazil and Argentina. After Fracia’s death, the next dictator was Carlos Antonio Lopez. He was named president in 1844. After slowly opening Paraguay’s trading to the rest of the world, he had a run in with the British navy, he decided to build build up the military force. When he died in 1862, he left his eldest son in control, Fransisco Solano Lopez. Paraguay was lead by dictators up until February 3rd 1989. The military leader at the time General Rodriguez declared Paraguay a democracy.
69: Paraguay Overview Since 1811 when it gained independence, Paraguay has been dominated by military command and dictatorial rule. In the first sixty years of Independence, Paraguay was ruled by tyrants. Until 1840, one dictator, José Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia, led the nation under a policy of isolationism. In this time, Paraguay was declared free of taxes, the Church was placed under the State, and there was an abolition of Asunción. The export of livestock was prohibited and the Corrientes declared a war against Paraguay. However, José Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia died in 1840 and his nephew, Carlos Antonio López ended the policy of isolationism. In 1864, the War of Triple Alliance began against an alliance of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. Within six years, the nations economy had been destroyed and by the end of 1870 the war was over, as well as Paraguay’s autonomous (independence) revolution. The next years were filled with reconstruction efforts and political chaos, until 1912 when four years of relative stability was achieved. However in 1932, Paraguay became involved in a war with Bolivia over a border dispute in the Gran Chaco area. Therefore, this war became knows as the Chaco War and lasted for six years until a peace settlement was established in 1938. Since then, Paraguay has been dominated by a series of brief governments and military governments. Although Paraguay grew prosperous, there were still many protests to be dealt with. Even now, Paraguay is trying hard to reduce corruption, improve the public finances, and restore its international credibility. (Heather Schumacher)
70: Dear Diary, October 1810 The Spanish have been in control of our great country of Paraguay for hundreds of years. My people and I suffer from high taxes and strict trade regulations. Families around me are on the street and barely surviving. The time I spend working the land is almost not worth it anymore because I do not get paid what I deserve. How am I supposed to teach my son this trade when I no longer care for it? How am I going to feed my family if there is no harvest? I question the strength of the Spanish government and its ability to rule. What are we to do, when we are controlled so much by these people? Word has spread of America becoming independent from the British. Things are changing, and we can change as well. But we cannot take on the Spanish army; they are much too powerful. And Argentina, to the south, continues to try and control us. I know we are a small country, but our people are as strong as any. I am tired of being oppressed, and I am tired of hearing the stories from past generations of their oppression. Taxes have been getting higher and higher as years have passed. The time I spend working the land is starting to be a waste of time as trade restrictions keep me from getting back what I deserve. It is getting harder to feed my family, and some families have it worse. It is getting to the point where some can no longer take it. Perhaps it is time to gather those who know what this country needs; a meeting to decide the fate of Paraguay. No, those are treasonous words, but necessary words nonetheless. Spain had its chance to govern this country, and it is failing. As a nation, we cannot let this happen any longer. I dream of free trade with the world and fair taxes; a world where a man can become wealthy and powerful. I can only hope that that day comes, and soon. Sincerely Yours, Pablo Garcia (Duke Repko)
71: Dear Diary, May 1811 Following in the footsteps of Argentina, we Paraguayans are now an independent nation. From this moment on, we will no longer be ruled by a foreign power. My hopes and dreams have come true: I will receive my rewards for the hard work I put in each and every day and be able to teach my son the trade. Soon, he will take up where I left off after I am gone. But that will not be for a while, for we must still solve the problem of how this country will continue onward as a free nation. It will not be an easy task, for there are many things that must be done to ensure our safety and stability as a country. The former government was oppressive and unjust, one that we cannot repeat over again. We will not be taxed unfairly, and our trade will not be restricted. Often times I used to think of what life in America would be like free. Now, we are living that dream as a reality. Ever since the Jesuits were kicked out in the late 1700’s, Paraguay has been a different place. My father has told me the stories of how the Spanish government took control with an iron fist. He was a strong man, with good morals and a unique personality. But the Spanish government only cared for their homeland and the money they reaped from our hard work. Tax day has become the saddest day of the year no matter what good is happening. Thank god it has been my generation that changed the fate of this wonderful nation. Now come the most important decisions of this country’s history. Where do we go from here? Sleep is difficult to come by, as I am constantly thinking up ways to run Paraguay. I know that I am just a pawn in this massive chess match, but I will play my part till the day I leave this Earth. Sincerely Yours, Pablo Garcia (Duke Repko)
72: Dear Diary, October 1816 I am sorry for not writing in such a long time. Over the past several years, we have been working to solve this country’s problems. And how many problems there are Although I once had great hope for this country, it has diminished recently at the election of a man I did not want in power: Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia. The new Congress saw him fit for position as consul of Paraguay. Soon, they will realize their mistake. Jose Gaspar does not know how to rule a country. I know this because I have watched him keenly since we gained independence. He is a smart man, but his morals are not that of a leader. He does not have a strong plan for this country. Recently I have heard that our dictator has claimed absolute rule over Paraguay. Do you remember many years ago when the Spanish were still in control? That was because of a dictator! And yet these people trust this man to keep this country intact?! It will not happen the way they want to happen. He has already isolated us from the rest of the world, and it will continue to get worse. He was ruthless, interdicted all external trade, and at the same time fostered national industries. Of all the things to be taken from us, the last thing I wanted was the freedom of trade. I have not been getting back what I deserve and if this man is in power, we never will! Still, the thought of having a Paraguayan in control is soothing. The absence of Spanish news in my ears is delightful. Nevertheless, I fear that one day they might return to get their revenge. But until that time, I will work, teach my children my ways, and enjoy life as a free Paraguayan. Sincerely Yours, Pablo Garcia (Duke Repko)