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Paraguay's History


1500's: Spanish settlers began to arrive in the region of Paraguay. They intermarried with the Guarani Indians.


1537: Juan de Ayolas traveled up the Parana and Paraguay Rivers. He had his men build a fort at Asuncion. This became the seat of government for the Spanish colonies in southeastern South America.


1588: Jesuit priests began to arrive in Paraguay. They wanted to convert the Guarani to Roman Catholicism. The Jesuits built mission settlements called reducciones. The taught the Indians skills such as weaving, carpentry, and printing.


1600's-1700's: Many colonists felt that Spain neglected the settlement, yet they still had to pay taxes. They began to resent the demands of the mother country.


1730's: The Jesuits had built approximately 30 reducciones in Paraguay.


1767: Charles III, the Spanish king, expelled the Jesuits from all Spanish territory. Many colonists felt that the Jesuits had too much power. The reducciones were abandoned.


1776: Spain made Paraguay part of one large colony called the Viceroyalty of La Plata. Buenos Aires, Argentina was the capital. Paraguayans didn't like to take orders from Argentina.


1811: Paraguay declared its independence from Spain.


1814: Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia became the head of the government.


1816: Francia was made the dictator for life. He governed by military force. He prohibited immigration and trade with other countries. Paraguay became completely isolated. However, they developed a strong sense of independence and unity.


1840: Francia died. Carlos Antonio Lopez was chosen to govern the country.


1844: Paraguay adopted a republican constitution. Lopez was named president. He reversed many of Francia's policies.


1862: Lopez died. His son, Francisco Solano Lopez, was elected president with dictatorial powers.


1864: Paraguay went to war with Brazil. Argentina refused to let the Paraguayan army travel through their country, so Lopez declared war on Argentina.


1865: Uruguay joined the war on the side of Brazil and Argentina.


1870: The war ended when Lopez was killed.


1870-1932: Many different political groups fought for control of the government. During this Paraguay had more than 30 presidents.


1932: Paraguay went to war with Bolivia over the ownership of Chaco.


1935: Bolivia and Paraguay signed a truce.


1937: Paraguay received Chaco as part of its territory.


Mid 1900's: The government developed programs to encourage farmers to use modern tools and methods.


1939-1945: During World War II the Paraguayan economy improved. The United States provided loans to the country in order to secure their friendship.


1945: Paraguay declared war on Germany and Japan. However, not one troop fought in the war.


1947: Civil War broke out


1947-1993: The National Republican association also called the Colorado Party dominated politics.


1958-1988: Stroessner was reelected seven times. He used military and police to keep control of the government. Many of the opponents were imprisoned or sent into exile.


1989: During a coup Stroessner was overthrown. General Andres Rodriguez Pedotti became president.


1992: Paraguay adopted its current constitution.


1993: Since this year Paraguay has held regular democratic elections.


1999: Vice President Luis Marai Argana was assassinated. President Raul Cubas Grau and the former army chief, Lino Oviedoio Silva, were blamed for the assassination. Cubas resigned and he and Oviedo fled the country. Luis Gonzalez Macchi became the next president.



Religion and Celebrations



Famous People

Climate and Vegetation

Significant Landforms and Bodies of Water


Major Agricultural and Industrial Products