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The Rise and Fall of the Paraguayan Republic, 1800–1870

The Rise and Fall of the Paraguayan Republic, 1800–1870

A masterly account of the events and people during a remarkable period in Paraguay's history.

Series: #48

August 1979
This is a print-on-demand title. Expedited shipping is not available.
296 pages | 6 x 9 | 4 b&w illus., 4 maps |

Paraguay plays a very small role in the modern world, but for part of the nineteenth century it was a significant regional force. Between 1800 and 1865 it changed from an imperial backwater into a dynamic, dictator-led, financially sound nation. Then came the terrible War of the Triple Alliance, and by 1870 Paraguay had virtually been destroyed.

John Hoyt Williams re-creates the era’s people, places, and events in rich detail and a vigorous style, but this is much more than a mere narrative. His archival research in Paraguay and several other countries enables him to offer new facts and interpretations, correct a number of misapprehensions, and explode a few myths.

He also provides the clearest, most objective portraits available of the three extraordinary men who ruled Paraguay during this time: Dr. José Gaspar de Francia, “El Supremo”; Carlos Antonio López, “the Corpulent Despot”; and López’s flamboyant son Francisco Solano López. Discussions of social, economic, and cultural conditions round out a masterly account of a remarkable historical period.

  • Preface
  • Chapters
  • 1. The “Provincia Gigante” in the Eighteenth Century
  • 2. José Gaspar de Francia and the Paraguayan Revolution
  • 3. Perpetual Means Forever: Francia and the Remodeling of Paraguayan Society
  • 4. The Diplomacy of Isolation, 1820-1840
  • 5. The Supreme Dictatorship, 1820-1840
  • 6. The Old Order Changeth?
  • 7. A New Paraguay is Stirring
  • 8. The Economic Pulse Quickens
  • 9. The Diplomacy of Frustration
  • 10. Threat and Counter-Threat: The 1850s
  • 11. Foreigners and the Modernization of Paraguay
  • 12. “Francisco Solano’s Error: The War”
  • 13. The Immolation of Paraguay
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index

John Hoyt Williams (1940–2003) was Professor of History at Indiana State University.