From the history of Paraguay
The first European set foot on the land of modern Paraguay in the 1525 year - it was the Spanish explorer Alejo Garcia. He was shipwrecked on the island of Santa Catarina and began to move inland along the Pilcomayo River. Back in 1515, the Spanish explorer Hun Díaz de Solis discovered the mouth of the Paraná River (he died in a skirmish with the Indians). Before the arrival of Europeans, the territory of Paraguay was settled by Guarani Indians. In 1528, Sebastian Cabot founded the fort of Santa Esperita. In August 1537, Juan de Salazar founded Asuncion, the future capital of Paraguay. This year is considered the beginning of the history of this Latin American country. Then the Spaniards founded several more strongholds and began to send to Paraguay (translated from the language of local Indians, the word “Paraguay” means “from the great river” - meaning the Paraná River) special managers.
At the beginning of the 17 century, Spanish Jesuits began to base their settlements in Paraguay. It should be noted that the Order of the Jesuits - the male monastic order of the Roman Catholic Church, was a special and very remarkable structure. The Jesuits played a large role in the Counter-Reformation, often playing the role of a kind of special service. Heretics and dissenters inside the church were identified, and investigations were conducted. The Jesuits were active in Eastern Europe, penetrated into Japan, China, Africa and Latin America. We collected data in the interest of Rome. The Order was actively engaged in science, education and missionary activity. The Jesuits had their own educational institutions with very high selection criteria and a good curriculum. It is clear that many of the Jesuits were highly educated people with a broad outlook and vast life experience. These were people capable of making important decisions without permission from above.
In Paraguay, monks, based on the institutions of the Inca Empire and the ideas of Christianity, attempted to create a theocratic-patriarchal community (“kingdom”). It was the first attempt in the world to create a fair society without private property with the primacy of the public good, where society stood above the individual. The Jesuit order in the areas inhabited by the Tupi-Guarani tribes, mainly in the territory of modern Paraguay, as well as in parts of the territories of present-day Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia and Uruguay, created Indian reservation-reductions (Spanish reducciones de Indios). In these reservations, the Indians were converted to Christianity and tried to make them sedentary people engaged in producing farming — farming and herding, as well as handicrafts and manufactory production. More than 170 thousand Indians were civilized. The monks brought them a fairly high level of agricultural technology, taught them crafts, transferred certain elements of spiritual culture, choirs, orchestras were organized, musical instruments were made.
In each settlement, along with the Indian leaders, there was a Jesuit priest, with the vicar, who performed not only spiritual duties, but also were leaders of the local administration. The Indians worked together, all the fruits of labor were collected in special shops, from which they gave out products to all who needed them. The monks were not tyrants, they did not impose by force Spanish and European customs, so the Indians treated them well. Settlements flourished, “Christian socialism” was a fairly effective form of organization that brought economic success. The Jesuits had high autonomy, and practically did not submit to the civilian authorities of the colony. If necessary, Native American settlements gathered militia, repelling the attacks of slave traders and their Native American mercenaries. In addition, the Jesuit reductions had to confront the neighboring Portuguese colonies.
It is clear that the independence of the monks irritated the Portuguese and Spanish authorities. They had their own plans for the Indians and for the territories occupied by the Jesuits. In 1750, Spain and Portugal signed the Madrid Treaty. This agreement settled the borders of possession of the two powers in South America, in particular, on the territory of present-day Brazil. Under this treaty, the Spaniards ceded a narrow strip of Portugal along the banks of the Uruguay River - the eastern edge of the territories of the Jesuit missions in Paraguay. Under the power of Portugal passed 7 reductions.
The Jesuits refused to carry out this decision. An attempt by Spanish soldiers to resettle Indians into the territory subject to the Spanish crown failed. A bloody war began, known as the Guarani war or the war of seven reductions (1754-1758). Guarani under the leadership of Sepe Tiražu put up fierce resistance. The Spaniards and the Portuguese had to work together to evict them. In February, a combined Spanish-Portuguese squad attacked Indian settlements, more than 1756 thousand people were killed.
In the 1760-ies, the Jesuits were driven out of all their possessions. Their numerous and prosperous settlements have declined. Many Indians returned to their former way of life, moving away from the Europeans, into the forests.
The Spanish colonial authorities did not succeed in continuing the work of the monks. The colony began to decay. In 1776, La Plata, along with all of Paraguay, was transformed into a viceroyalty, the processes of colonization were intensified. Therefore, when the Argentines (Buenos Aires became independent) organized the “Paraguayan expedition” in 1810 and tried to start an uprising in Paraguay against Spain, the Paraguayans gathered militia and drove in the “liberators”. In addition, the "liberators" distinguished themselves in the plundering of the local population and other military "joys", which did not add to their sympathy from the Paraguayans (most were Indians, part of them half-breeds - descendants of whites and Indians). It should be noted that the British, who wanted to crush Latin America for themselves, making it a market for their products and get cheap raw materials, played a large role in the process of the collapse of the Spanish colonial empire.
But the process was launched, in 1811, Buenos Aires recognized the independence of Paraguay. The conspirators arrested the governor, a congress was elected, elected by universal suffrage, he chose the junta (from Spanish junta - “assembly, committee”). The leader of the junta was the doctor of theology, former attorney and alcalde Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia and Velasco. For several years, he subdued all branches of government and, until his death in 1840, he was the Supreme Dictator of the Republic of Paraguay. José Francia suppressed the “fifth column” of supporters of the unification of Paraguay with Argentina, and pursued a policy of autarky, that is, he tried to create an economic regime in the country involving self-sufficiency. The Spanish rich were arrested, and then they were forced to pay a large amount, which undermined their economic power over Paraguay.
France partially revived the ideas of Jesuit monks, but without an emphasis on religion. While studying at Cordoba University, he was fascinated by the ideas of the Enlightenment, his characters were Robespierre and Napoleon. The supreme dictator secularized church and monastic lands, property. All religious orders were banned, tithing was abolished, church hierarchs were subordinate to the state. The Pope excommunicated Francia from the church, but this did not make any impression on the dictator. In the country they fought mercilessly against crime, after a few years people forgot about crime.
In Paraguay, a specific national economy was created: the economy was based on social labor and small business. As a result of the confiscation campaign, the state owned almost all the land - up to 98%. Part of the land was leased to peasants on favorable terms, subject to the cultivation of certain crops. Several dozen estates were converted into state farms, they were mainly engaged in the production of leather and meat. State enterprises were also created in the manufacturing industry. The state carried out large-scale public works on the construction and arrangement of settlements, roads, bridges, canals, etc. Slaves and prisoners were widely attracted to work. The import of foreign products was banned into the country, which led to the development of economically successful domestic trade, and encouraged the development of national industry.
Quite surprising for the first half of 19 century, public goods were introduced: in 1828, Paraguay created a system of universal secondary public free education for men; free medicine; poverty has been eliminated, a relatively homogeneous society has been created; low taxes and public food funds. As a result, in Paraguay, with initially low levels of development and an isolated position (access to world markets was only along the Paraná River), it was possible to create a strong industry. Paraguay has become a self-sufficient state, showing rapid development.
I must say that France was not a liberal, various kinds of conspirators, separatists, criminals, enemies of the regime were mercilessly pursued. However, the regime of the Supreme dictator was not “bloody”, many “democracies” were more brutal. During the reign of the dictator, about 70 people were executed and about 1 thousand more went to prison. Therefore, the death of France was for the country a real tragedy, he sincerely mourned.
After the death of Francia, power was transferred to his nephew Carlos Antonio Lopez. Before 1844, he ruled along with Mariano Roque Alonso, they were elected consuls by a popularly elected congress. Lopez, who was a mestizo from a family of poor parents of Indian and Spanish descent (Francio in the field of demography pursued a policy of mixing Spaniards and Indians), rules until 1862 year. He pursued a more liberal policy. Paraguay was already a strong country, ready for “discovery”. Lopez was distinguished by the desire for profit, but did not forget the interests of Paraguay. For the development of the national economy and the armed forces, European artisans and military specialists were invited into the country. The army was modernized according to European standards, its number was increased to 8 thousand people, a river fleet and several fortifications were built. Diplomatic relations were established with many states. Paraguay was open to foreigners, the protective customs tariff was replaced by a more liberal one. Pilar harbor (on the Parana river) opened for foreign trade. Continued to develop ways of communication, science and education. The country stood the seven-year war with Argentina, which did not agree to recognize the independence of Paraguay.
Lopez died in 1862, his son Francisco Solano Lopez accepted the country. A new people's congress approved his authority for 10 years. Under Francisco Lopez, Paraguay reached its peak. The first railway was built. The state continued to invite foreign experts. They began to develop the steel, textile and paper industries, organized the production of gunpowder and shipbuilding, and built artillery factories.
The successful experience of Paraguay began to look closely to neighboring Uruguay, which had access to the sea. Through Uruguayan ports was the main trade of Paraguay. There was a prerequisite for the unification of the two states. Other countries could join the union. The Paraguayan model of economy and social development was very effective and could spread throughout much of Latin America. And it was something to envy. In Paraguay, a self-sufficient economy was built, imports were reduced to a minimum, and the export of goods consistently exceeded imports. The country had no external debts, the national currency was stable. Due to the absence of capital outflows and state support, a powerful economic recovery took place, the transport and communication infrastructure developed rapidly. Large-scale public works on irrigation, construction of canals, dams, bridges and roads led to a serious rise in the field of agriculture.
In Paraguay, illiteracy was completely defeated, there was a free secondary education and medicine. Maximum prices for basic foodstuffs were set. The country, and it was surprising even for modern Latin America, has forgotten about the poverty, hunger, mass crime and corruption of officials. All capital was directed to development, and not withdrawn from the country, not burned by a narrow layer of parasite capitalists and their attendants (military, intellectual, etc.). Paraguay was ahead of its time in many ways and became an example country. Paraguay showed the way that Latin America and the countries of Africa and Asia could enter from the power of the “financial international”, the Western elite clans, which parasitized the planet.
It was why startled the neighboring Argentina and Brazil, as well as the UK, London bankers. I must say that the then Argentina and Brazil were financially and economically dependent on Britain, their policies were controlled. First, Brazil occupied the Uruguayan port of Montevideo, and a puppet leader was put at the head of Uruguay. Paraguay’s trade has been blocked. Then an alliance was formed between Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil against Paraguay.
Paraguay, in alliance with the Uruguayan National Party and President of Uruguay Atanasio Aguirre, was forced to go to war with Brazil and Argentina. It was a matter of survival - Montevideo was the only access to the ocean. The Paraguayan War or the Triple Alliance War began - lasting from December 1864 to March 1870. Originally a small but well-prepared and patriotic Paraguayan army was successful, invaded foreign territory, captured a number of Brazilian cities and fortifications.
But time and resources were on the side of the opponents. The Triple Alliance possessed an overwhelming superiority in human and material resources. In addition, Brazil and Argentina were supported by the then “world community” and were well supplied with modern weapons and ammunition. Paraguay was cut off from arms suppliers, and the weapons that were ordered before the war were resold to Brazil. The Triple Alliance received interest-free loans from London banking houses, including the London Bank and the Rothschilds.
In 1866, the enemy army broke into Paraguay. It was an unusual war - the population fought to the last opportunity. This was the first total war of the New Time (later this experience will be used in the war against the USSR). The enemy had to break through the lines of defense, each town was taken by storm. Not only men participated in fights, but women and children. Paraguayans did not surrender, some positions could be taken only after all their defenders fell. 1 March 1870, the last Paraguayan squadron was destroyed, and the President of the Republic, Francisco Solano Lopez, fell in this battle.
- The Paraguayan people were completely exsanguinated: the population decreased by 60 — 70%; of the men, nine out of ten died. Some sources cite even more terrible numbers - out of about 1,4 million people, no more than 200 thousand people remained, of which about men were about 28 thousand. Part of the population was not killed, people were sold into slavery. It was a real genocide.
- The Paraguayan national economy was completely destroyed, all social benefits were eliminated. Most of the villages were devastated and abandoned. The remnants of the population settled in the neighborhood of Asuncion, or left in hard-to-reach places, transferred to subsistence farming. Most of the land passed into the hands of foreigners, mostly Argentines, who created private estates. Paraguay's market was open to British goods. The new government immediately took a loan, got into debt. Paraguay was completely devastated, looted, destroyed, and thrown to the sidelines of world development.
- The territory of Paraguay severely cut. Argentina generally proposed to eliminate Paraguay, to divide all lands. But the Brazilian government refused such an undertaking, it wanted to have a buffer between Argentina and Brazil.
However, the territorial acquisitions of the "winners" could not compensate for the huge debts that the Argentines and Brazilians have done. The real winners were “financial international”, which killed two birds with one stone: 1) the daring and successful Paraguayan experiment was drowned in blood; 2) The “victorious countries”, the leading powers of Latin America, fell into financial bondage for almost a century. Brazil and Argentina were able to pay off debts only for the Paraguayan war - in the 1940s. In addition, valuable experience was obtained - with the total war and the almost total destruction of people, an entire nation can be defeated.
In this war, the method of the information war was also used, which is very often used in modern history, when white is turned into black and vice versa. So Paraguay was represented as an aggressor, a dictatorial regime, which itself got involved in a suicidal war and got on the nuts.