Paraguay, a republic of South America, extending from lat. 21° 57' to 27° 30' S., and from Ion. 54° 33' to 58° 40' W., bounded K and N. E. by Brazil, S. E., S., and S. W. by the Argentine Republic, and N. W. by Bolivia; area (exclusive of the triangular section of the Gran Chaco lying mainly between the rivers Paraguay and Bermejo and the 22d parallel, one portion of which is claimed by Bolivia and the remainder by the Argentine Republic) variously estimated at from 57,000 (Almanack de Gotha, 1875) to 90,000 sq. m. The area was much larger before the war of 1865-'70, at the termination of which Paraguay ceded 1,329 sq. m. of its territory as a war indemnity to Brazil, the limits being fixed, by the terms of the treaty of March 26, 1872, as follows: " The bed of the Parand river from the mouth of the Iguazu (lat. 25° 30' S.) to the Salto Grande (lat. 24° 7'). From these falls the line runs (about due W.) along the highest divide of the Sierra de Maracayti. to the termination of the latter; thence as nearly as possible in a straight line (northward) along the highest ground to the Sierra de Amambay, following the highest divide of that sierra to the principal source of the Apa, and along the bed of that river (westward) to its junction with the Paraguay. All the streams flowing N". and E. belong to Brazil, and those S. and W. to Paraguay." Paraguay was thus constrained to surrender the very portion of her territory so long claimed by Brazil, and the northern limit of which was the mouth of the Rio Blanco, 80 m. above that of the Apa. The computations of the population range from 100,000 to 1,300,-000. A census ordered by Dr. Francia in 1840, and regarded as tolerably accurate, returned 220,000. The natural rate of increase till 1865 would have doubled this number (440,000); but in the subsequent five years' war the losses may fairly be estimated at half the population: 170,000 males by battle and disease (chiefly the latter), and 50,000 women and children by famine and exposure in the forests.
Thus the census returns of Jan. 1, 1873, were probably nearly correct, viz., 221,079. Of this number 28,746 were males and 106,254 females over 15 years of age, and 86,079 of both sexes under that age. The average proportion of male to female births is nearly as 8 to 9. The population is chiefly Indian (Guaranis and a few other tribes), the Guarani being the dominant language throughout the republic. The few hundred white natives preserve their blood tolerably pure by intermarriage or by marriage with Europeans, and are for the most part gathered in or around Asuncion, the capital. Next to the Indians, the most numerous element is the mulatto or hybrid from the union of the early Spanish settlers and the Indian women, and further modified by Mamalucos from southern Brazil, and by the introduction of African slaves. The number of pure-blooded Africans is now inconsiderable. In 1873 there were 2,300 foreigners resident in Paraguay, including 2,000 Italians, 100 Germans, 100 English, and the remainder Austrians, Dutch, and Swiss. - The face of the country comprises two great valleys: one, on the west, from the Apa to the Parana southward, forms a part of the basin of the Paraguay river; and the other, on the east, by far the smaller, extends from lat. 24° S. to the extreme S. E. limits of the republic.
The Serra de Sao Joze, approaching Paraguay from the north, constitutes, under the name of Cordillera de Amam-bay, the N". E. boundary with Brazil as far as lat. 24°; whence, taking successively the appellations of Cordillera de Urucuty, Caaguazti, and Villarica, the last (called Cuchilla Grande in its S. half) beginning W. of the town of the same name, it divides the country into two unequal portions. In lat. 24° an extensive branch known as the Cordillera de Maracayti is detached due E., and crossing the Parana forms the magnificent cataract of Guayra, the noise of which is said to be distinctly audible at a distance of 30 m. The greatest elevation, supposed nowhere to exceed 3,500 ft. above the sea, is attained in the lower extremity of the Cordillera de Amambay, and in the Maracayti and Caaguazu systems. The upper part of the Paraguay river basin, like the Gran Chaco territory on the opposite bank, is for the most part flat, save in the extreme north, where the serrated ridge of Quince Puntas traverses the plain, and sends down the waters of the Barriego and La Paz, and the diminutive southern tributaries of the Apa. In this region are comprised the celebrated yerbales, or mate fields.
Low hills, thrown off rib-like from either side of the central chain, are separated by well watered and extremely fertile valleys, rich in primeval forests of valuable timber, and abounding in game. The southern portion of the republic is a vast expanse of swampy ground, closely resembling the alluvial detritus from the Andes which prevails in the pampas. The swamps are variously designated, according to their nature and extent, as lagunas, cafladas, pantanos, or esteros. The lagunas are genuine lakes or lakelets, with solid clay beds and replenished by floods; the cafia-dos, tracts of deep adhesive mud and stagnant water; the pantanos, mere morasses with less water than the last; and the esteros, sluggish streams flowing through extensive swamps. These marshy regions, sometimes termed car-rizales, are intersected at intervals by wavelike mounds of inconsiderable height, and are covered with compact jungles, interspersed, with woody copses, shrubberies, caflaveralea or patches of reed grass of giant growth, and palm groves. No traces of volcanic action have been found in Paraguay. - The rivers Paraguay and Parana are described in separate articles.
The largest river belonging exclusively to the republic is the Tibicuari, which rises by two branches in the Cordillera de Villarica, or more properly the Cuchilla Grande, and after a tortuous course of about 250 m., and collecting the waters of numerous minor streams, discharges into the Paraguay in lat. 26° 39' S., Ion. 58° 10' W. Page says that this stream, which for 100 m. from its embouchure has a mean width of 300 yards, might with a small outlay be made navigable for many leagues in all seasons for steamers of 2 ft. draught, and Lopez II. ordered small steamers in England for that purpose; but in 1868 a light-draught monitor grounded about 15 m. up. Other well known Paraguay feeders are the Jejuy, whose numerous head streams descend from the central mountain chain, and which coursing through the yerbales might afford easy means of transport for mate to San Pedro, below which town it empties into the Paraguay, about lat. 24° 15' S., but in the dry season is only navigable by boats or canoes above the town; the Ypane, 5 m. S. of Concepcion, only available for boat navigation; and the Apa, formerly called the Corrientes, the northern limit with Brazil, having a width of 300 yards and a depth of about 9 ft. for several miles.
Many streams flow from the mountains to the Parana, but all have precipitous courses and are unfit for navigation. Of the lakes, which are numerous, the most important is the laguna Ypua, about 100 sq. m. in extent, and drained by a branch of the Tibicuari and another small river. - The mineral resources of Paraguay are but imperfectly known. Mr. Twite reports the occurrence of precious metals in several places, and a great abundance of iron. The iron of Caapucu and Quioquio yields from 30 to 36 per cent, of pure metal; and the iron works of Ibicuy, with upward of 100 operatives, were of great service to Lopez during the recent war. Copper has been found in several places. The scarcity of salt has frequently been sensibly felt in Paraguay, especially in 1865-70, when the lack of it had so enfeebled the constitutions of the soldiers that their simplest wounds could not be healed. The climate is hot from November to February inclusive, when the mean temperature is 90° F. in the shade, but the maximum seldom higher than 100°; in the winter months, June, July, and August, the average temperature is 50°, the minimum being 40°. In the absence of sea breezes, the nearest point of the Atlantic from the centre of the state being 500 m. and of the Pacific 900 m. distant, the only modifying winds are those from the north and the south, the former having a relaxing tendency, and the latter being the precursor of rain and storms.
Goitre is reported by Burton to be common at Asuncion, one case occurring in almost every family; but yellow fever and other epidemics are almost unknown in Paraguay, whose climate, particularly in the cultivated regions, has been pronounced one of the most salubrious in the world. - The soil is uniformly fertile, and every species of vegetation most luxuriant. A large portion of the country is covered with forests; and Du Graty enumerates upward of 50 distinct species of excellent building timber, some almost as hard as iron, as the lapacho, quebracho (axe-breaker), urunday, and catigua, and so heavy as to sink in water. The firm texture of the morosimo, palo amarillo, tataiba, palo de rosa, and many others, peculiarly adapts them to the purposes of the cabinet maker. The fruits of the arahan and nangapare are pleasant and nutritious. The Indians powder the fruit of the algarroba and preserve it in skins, and from its juice they make a favorite beverage. The seringar yields India rubber, and the palo santo gum guaiacum. One species of cactus furnishes the food of the cochineal insect. The bark of many trees is useful for tanning, and is an important article of export.
From a parasite, the guembe, and from an aloe, the curuguaty, ropes and cables are extensively manufactured; and the guembetaya bears a fruit similar in appearance and taste to Indian corn, and used like the latter for bread by the natives. The caranday palm (Copernicia ceri-fera) affords an excellent roofing material, flinty, and impervious to moisture, and lasting 30 years. The varieties of the bamboo are numerous. The flora produces also many important medicinal drugs, as copaiba, rhubarb, sassafras, jalap, sarsaparilla, nux vomica, dragon's blood, and liquorice, and many dyestuffs. FlecMlla or arrow-cane grass, very common along the banks of the rivers, affords a seed somewhat like oats, said to be as good as lucerne for fattening cattle. The yerbales, covering about 3,000,000 acres far in the interior, were for many years worked by the Indians under the Jesuits, through whom the yerba mate, or Paraguay tea, became known in most parts of South America as a substitute for tea and coffee. Of late years the consumption of mate has much diminished in Buenos Ayres, where it now brings 25 cents a pound.
The quantity shipped in the time of Lopez never exceeded 4,463,425 lbs. per annum, worth about $800,000. The exports for 1870 were reported at 4,500,000 lbs., valued at $1,450,000; but these figures are considered exaggerated. (See Mate) Several varieties of parasitic orchids, and the mats del agua, somewhat resembling the magnificent Victoria regia, are among the most remarkable of the flowering plants. In prosperous times, before the war of 1865-'70, there were few landed proprietors, three fourths of the cleared country having been confiscated by the government from the Jesuits at the time of their expulsion, and rented at nominal rates to small cultivators, whose plantations of maize, man-dioca, cotton, and tobacco were to be met at intervals along the principal highways. In 1870 a survey of the republic was made, with the following results:
. 42,600 sq. m.
Mountain and forest.....
. 27,000 " "
. 5,040 " "
. 74,640 sq. m.
. 15,360 " "
, 90,000 sq.m.
Agriculture is still zealously carried on; but owing to the insufficiency of laborers, not more than half of the most fertile districts are under cultivation. The chief agricultural products are maize, a sure and abundant crop, often yielding 150 fold, and mandioca, of which there are extensive farms. Rice is grown for home consumption, and frequently yields 250 fold. Tobacco, of which three crops are obtained annually, is largely cultivated both for export and for home consumption, the latter having been estimated at 15,000,000 lbs. per annum, and the exports at 6,000,000. In the trade returns for 1870 the tobacco exported figured at 3,500,000 lbs., valued at $750,000. Smoking is universal in Paraguay, by both sexes at all ages. Cigars, called peti-hobi and peti-pard, are manufactured on a large scale at Yillarica and Asuncion, for the Buenos Ayres market. Paraguay tobacco obtained a gold medal at the Paris exhibition in 1855. The sugar cane thrives well, but for want of suitable machinery the crop is comparatively limited; a liquor called cafla and considerable quantities of molasses are made from it.
According to official reports, there were 550,000 acres of land under cultivation in 1863, as follows: with maize, 240,000; mandioca, 110,000; beans, 75,000; cotton, 32,000; tobacco, 23,000; sugar cane, 25,000; maui (peanuts), 11,000; and rice, vegetables, etc, 34,000. Of cotton, 4,000 bales were produced in 1863. Wool, fruits, honey, and indigo and other dyes could be supplied in prodigious quantities, if there were adequate means of transport. Among the rich dyes are the iriburetuia or "vulture's leg," which gives a blue metallic tint, and the acuagay root, a bright scarlet. There are large herds of cattle, estimated at 300,000 head in the year preceding the war; the horses are generally inferior to those of the Argentine Republic; and there are some sheep and other European farm stock. The felidm are the same as those of Brazil, comprising the jaguar, here called onza, puma, and ocelot. The peccary, tapir, aguara, ant-eater, and capybara (whose skin is fashioned into tiradores or belts used in lassoing) are found. There are four species of deer: the guazu pucu or cervus palu-dosus, guazu pita or G. rufus, guazu mini or small stag, and guazu Mr a, usually found in the forests.
Other wild animals are, several varieties of armadillo, some of which are hunted for their flesh, the tatii, cavy, two kinds of otters, and howlers, red-furred bujas, the dwarfish ouistiti, and other monkeys. The rivers and lakes swarm with caimans, of which there are two species; several kinds of lizards are mentioned, some attaining a length of 8 ft.; the serpents include the boa and two or three venomous snakes, one being a species of rattlesnake, probably the hideous and deadly trigonocephalies. Common bats are numerous, as are also vampires, of which 13 varieties have been described by Azara; myriads of locusts appear from time to time, devastating whole districts; and clouds of mosquitoes, sand flies, and other noxious insects infest the marshes and river banks. A species of ant deposits nodules of wax upon the twigs of the guayava blanca, which are gathered and made into candles. The predatory birds are represented by vultures, hawks, and buzzards; the most remarkable of the waders is a kind of giant stork, mycteria Americana; there are two species of partridge, pheasants, wild ducks, a sort of bustard said to eat serpents like the Brazilian siriema, water hens, and scissor birds; and seven or eight varieties of parrots and paroquets.
The nandu or American ostrich is common; songsters are numerous; and foremost among the birds admired for their brilliant plumage is the tiny mudita or little widow, robed in jet black and snow white. Almost all the rivers afford abundance of fish of delicate flavor, those most esteemed being the pacu, dorado, and palometa. - The manufactures are few; they consist chiefly of coarse cotton and woollen fabrics, utensils made of wood and hides, cigars, preparations of gums and resinous substances, distillation of .liquors from the sugar cane and algarroba, molasses and sugar, and ropes and cordage. The implements of agriculture are rude and primitive. In the three years 1861-3 there were constructed in the arsenal at Asuncion seven mail steamers to ply to Montevideo, besides cannon, stores, bells, etc. During the Lopez administration commerce was hampered in various ways, such as government monopolies and other abuses which rendered freedom of trade unknown in the republic; and the chief staples of export were purchased by the dictator's agents.
Nevertheless, and in spite of the natural difficulties in the way of transporting merchandise to the sea from this landlocked state, the commerce of Paraguay had considerably increased during the decade following the downfall of Eosas, the Argentine dictator, and the consequent opening of the river traffic, as will be seen from the annexed table of imports and exports for three years of that period, compared with 1851:
The amounts are in dollars of the United States; the Paraguayan dollar is equivalent to 75 cents. The excess in the value of the exports over imports was employed in the construction of an arsenal, the purchase of railway materials and arms, and the education of youths in Europe. The list of the imports and exports for the year 1860, with their values, is as follows:
Linens and cott'ns
Wines and spirits
Dry goods, boots and shoes, etc.
Bark for tanning.
The custom house yielded in the same year $220,000, of which two thirds represented duties on imports at 20 per cent, ad valorem, and one third on exports at 5 per cent. Mate, which belonged to the government, paid no duty; but gold or silver coin, although introduced by travellers to defray their current expenses, was subject to a duty of 10 per cent, on leaving the republic. The total value of the imports for the year 1873 was $750,000, and of the exports $710,500, showing an excess of imports, contrary to the state of things before the late war. Sugar was imported to the amount of $54,000. The value of the mate, cigars, and hides sent out of the country in 1873 was $459,750, $99,750, and $99,750 respectively, showing a diminution of from 64 to more than 100 per cent, since 1860. - Under Lopez I. there were comparatively good roads leading from the capital to some of the more important agricultural districts, a carriage road from Villarica to the Parana was begun, and the railway intended to connect Asuncion and Villarica, and in operation to Paraguary, a distance of 45 m., was begun in 1858. There is no bank or other institution of credit in the republic.
In 1863 the national revenue amounted to $4,275,000; in 1873 it did not exceed $412,500, the chief sources being duties on imports ($348,000), exports ($70,500), rents of state property, licenses, etc. The estimated expenditures for 1874 were $341,805. Previous to 1865 Paraguay had no national debt, but a large surplus income; but she is now almost hopelessly bankrupt, being indebted, by virtue of stipulations arising out of the late disastrous war, in the sum of $150,000,000 to Brazil, $26,250,000 to the Argentine Republic, and $750,000 to Uruguay, a total of $177,000,000; besides $14,518,500, principal and interest of a loan contracted in England in 1871. There is also a large home debt, the amount of which has not been reported. - In 1861 Paraguay had as many public primary schools in proportion to her population as the most advanced Spanish American states; instruction was made compulsory and gratuitous, and the justices of the peace were ordered to aid in carrying out that measure; but the instruction was not made secular, and the result was unsatisfactory. Grammar schools were few; of higher instruction there was very little, and that confined to a single establishment at the capital.
Since 1870, however, well directed and determined efforts have been adopted for the extension of primary instruction, and in the budget for 1874 figured an appropriation of $34,860 for schools. Books were meagrely supplied and mostly limited to religious subjects. The total value of the books imported in the ten years immediately preceding the war was but $3,299. Lopez had four newspapers, all edited under his supervision. The Roman Catholic is the religion of the state, but all others are tolerated. - By the terms of the new constitution of Nov. 25, 1870, mainly based upon that of the Argentine Republic, the legislative authority is vested in a congress composed of a senate and a chamber of deputies; and the executive in a president elected for a term of six years, with a non-active vice president, and a cabinet of five ministers, viz., of the interior, foreign affairs, finance, public worship and public instruction, and war and the navy. The present strength of the army is about 2,000 men, comprised in two battalions, two regiments of cavalry, and a regiment of artillery.
The estimated expenditure of the war department for 1874 was put down at $98,918. - Paraguay was discovered in 1530 by Sebastian Cabot; and the first Spanish colony was established under the auspices and direction of Pedro de Mendoza, whose lieutenant, Juan de Ayolas, founded Asuncion on Aug. 15, 1536 or 1537. The town was erected into a bishopric in 1555. The country called Paraguay, which at first comprised the entire basin of the Plata, was governed till 1620 by adelantados subject to the viceroyalty of Peru; but in that year two distinct governments, Paraguay and Buenos Ayres, were formed by royal decree, administered by intendants likewise under the jurisdiction of Peru. This state of things continued till 1776, when the two provinces were again united under the separate viceroyalty of Buenos Ayres. The Spaniards on their first arrival found the country in the possession of Guarani tribes, an intelligent and industrious people, readily amenable to the civilization of the new settlers. The first missionaries, Field and Ortega, reached Paraguay in 1557, and met with astonishing success in winning the confidence of the natives.
They were soon followed by others; missions were established between the rivers Uruguay and Parana^ extending across the latter river to within the present limits of Paraguay; the disciples were collected by thousands into villages, where splendid churches were built; and finally, by a mandate which the Jesuits obtained about 1690, forbidding all other Spaniards to enter their territory without their permission, they were enabled to establish an almost independent theocratic government. Before the middle of the 17th century 30 missions had been founded; and in 1740 the number of civilized Indians was ascertained to be upward of 140,000. Each mission was built in a uniform style, with a great plaza in the centre, and here were erected the church, college, arsenal, stores, and workshops of carpenters, smiths, and weavers, all under the immediate care of the priests. Once a week the male inhabitants went through military drill, prizes being given to the best marksmen. Church ceremonies were performed every day, the children beginning with morning prayer, followed at sunrise by mass, at which the whole population attended. Baptisms took place in the afternoon; vespers were sung every evening; and holidays or festivals were chosen for the celebration of marriages.
The Indians were excellent musicians and singers. The dress of both sexes was of native cotton cloth, the men wearing shirts and short trousers, the women caps and loose gowns. The schools and workshops were admirably managed, and the wood carving of the artisans still elicits admiration. The Spanish language was prohibited, and from the printing offices established at Santa Maria and San Javier in the 17th and 18th centuries were issued many works in Guarani, the following being still extant: "Temporal and Eternal," by P. Meremberg (1705); "Jesuits' Manual for Paraguay " (1724); " Guarani Dictionary " (1724); "Guarani Catechism" (1724); and " Sermons and Examples," by Tapaguay (probably a native Jesuit). In 1767 the Spanish government decreed the expulsion of the priests, who offered not the least resistance. In 1801 Soria estimated the survivors of the 30 missions at somewhat less than 44,000, two thirds of their population having disappeared in the space of 34 years. As early as 1628 descents were made upon the missions from Sao Paulo in Brazil, and according to Page 60,000 of the Indians were carried off in that and the two following years, and sold as slaves in the market of Rio de Janeiro. After the expulsion of the Jesuits the converts were soon dispersed; many took to the woods; the plantations were abandoned; the cattle, sheep, and horses were destroyed; and of the stately edifices only a few crumbling ruins now remain.
In 1776, as has been said, Paraguay was incorporated with Buenos Ayres in a viceroy-alty, with that city as the capital. After the destruction of the home government by the French, a provisional government was estab-. lished at Buenos Ayres in 1809, which still acknowledged the sovereignty of Spain. The Paraguayans in 1811 took steps to secure their own independence, and defeated an army under Gen. Belgrano, sent by the authorities of Buenos Ayres to coerce them into submission. After Belgrano's expedition, the country was governed for a time by a junta composed of Generals Pedro Juan Oaballero, Fulgencio Ye-gros, and Dr. Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Fran-cia. The junta was soon changed (1813) into a duumvirate, Oaballero having been excluded, and Yegros and Francia receiving the title of consul. Two curule chairs were placed in the assembly, one bearing the inscription " Csesar," occupied by Francia, -and the other that of " Pompey " for his colleague. In 1814 the government was again changed, Francia securing his nomination as dictator, at first for three years, and afterward for life. Henceforth, until his death on Sept. 20, 1840, he was the absolute ruler of Paraguay. He followed the example set by the Jesuits, and prohibited the entrance or exit of foreigners.
His rule was rigorous and often cruel, but he introduced many reforms, established schools, and devised a code of laws. During a brief interim the country was governed by a junta gubernativa, successively presided over by Dr. 0. L. Ortiz and Gen. Juan Jose Medina. On March 12, 1841, the consular system was reestablished, and Don Carlos Antonio Lopez and Don Mariano Roque Alonso were named consuls. In 1844 the title of the executive was again changed, and Lopez was made dictator for ten years; at the expiration of his term he was reelected for three years, and again in 1857 for seven years. His domestic government seems to have been as strong as Francia's, but he was more liberal to foreigners, and surrendered the control of church matters into the hands of the priesthood. The independence of Paraguay was not formally acknowledged by the other states of La Plata until Urquiza came into power in the Argentine confederation, and made a treaty with Lopez, July 14, 1852. It was recognized by Great Britain in January, 1853. In the same year the United States government sent the steamer "Water Witch, under Commander T. J. Page, to survey the river La Plata and its tributaries.
Capt. Page was well received by President Lopez, and his mission was successfully carried on until February, 1855, when the Water Witch, in the peaceful prosecution of her voyage up the Parana, was fired upon by the Paraguayan fort Itapirti, and one man killed. The fire was returned, but as the steamer was of small force and not designed for offensive operations, she soon retired from the conflict, and Capt. Page hastened to communicate the events to his government. Preparations were made at once to demand reparation, and a considerable fleet was sent to the Plata. A commissioner appointed to accompany the fleet opened negotiations with President Lopez, and by the mediation of Urquiza an arrangement was concluded by which Paraguay agreed to make compensation. Capt. Page resumed his surveys, and completed them in December, 1860. In 1858, by a convention with Brazil, the waters of the Paraguay were declared to be open to the mercantile marine of all friendly nations. The efforts to establish a systemetic and direct trade with Paraguay have not as yet been very successful. In 1853 an American company went out, but were forced to return the following year.
A French settlement was established in 1855, but meeting with no encouragement from the Paraguayan president, the colonists abandoned it the same year. Lopez died on Sept. 10, 1862, and was succeeded by his son Francisco Solano, commonly known as Marshal Lopez, under whose administration the government, though still nominally republican, was as despotic and absolute as in the days of Francia. Nevertheless, great progress was made; and had Lopez not been blinded by ambition, the country would have rapidly risen to importance. But, not satisfied with the title of marshal, he aimed at an imperial crown and at foreign conquest. His measures for the latter were chiefly directed against Brazil, and the desired opportunity for hostilities offered in 1864. The Brazilian government, having claims to urge against Uruguay for damages to Brazilian citizens resident in that republic, seized the opportunity to do so when Montevideo was besieged by revolutionary troops under Gen. Venancio Flores, chief of the colo-rados or liberal party, and late unsuccessful candidate for the presidency, against N. Aguir-re of the bianco party.
In spite of the repeated protests of Lopez, Brazil openly gave aid to Flores. Lopez, who had recruited a powerful army and erected fortifications along the river bank, on Nov. 11, 1864, captured a Brazilian steamer on its passage upward to Matto Grosso, detaining the passengers and crew as prisoners of war. This offensive step was followed in December by the invasion of Matto Grosso by a Paraguayan army, which sacked Cuyaba, the capital, and other towns, and seized the diamond mines of that province. Meantime Lopez had promised aid to Aguirre, but President Mitre of the Argentine Republic refused permission of transit for Paraguayan troops across the province of Corrientes. Flores, however, had been victorious, and entered upon the presidential functions early in 1865. Lopez, now fearing that the Argentines would take sides against him, captured two of their war vessels in the bay of Corrientes, April 13, 1865, invested the town of the same name next day, formed a provisional government composed of Argentine citizens, and declared the provinces of Oorrientes and Entre Kios to be annexed to the republic of Paraguay. On the 18th a mutual declaration of war was made by the two republics; and on May 1 an offensive and defensive alliance was secretly entered into by the Argentine Republic, Brazil, and Uruguay, these powers " solemnly binding themselves not to lay down arms until the existing government of Paraguay should be overthrown, nor to treat with Lopez, unless by common consent; providing for the guarantee of Paraguayan independence; fixing on that republic the responsibility for the expenses of the war; and agreeing that no arms or elements of war should be left to it." The sudden aggressions upon Brazil and the Argentine Republic, for which neither of those countries was prepared, and which led to the declaration of war, might easily have been followed by triumphs far above the expectations of Lopez, had his energy equalled his ambition; for he had at his command a well disciplined army 80,000 strong.
In June hostilities began; the Paraguayan fleet was defeated on the 11th by the Brazilians on the Parana; and the Paraguayan troops were compelled to evacuate the Argentine territory on Nov. 3, the town of Uruguayana on the Uruguay having in the mean time surrendered to the allies. During the remainder of 1865, and in the course of 1866 and 1867, numerous battles occurred both by land and on the river Paraguay, with varying success, and with considerable loss to the allied ranks; but the Paraguayan troops, who suffered equally in the field, were also considerably reduced by disease and privations. Thus, in spite of the undoubted courage of his soldiers, Lopez lost in quick succession his principal strongholds, and his capital was occupied by the invaders on Feb. 21, 1868. In June Humaita, his best fortress, commanding the junction of the rivers Paraguay and Parana, was bombarded and demolished. From that time Lopez, who had taken refuge in the mountain fastnesses of the interior, vainly persisted in a struggle which terminated only when he fell at Aquidaban on March 1, 1870. A provisional treaty, drawn up at Asuncion on June 20, declared peace to be restored between the belligerents, and the rivers Paraguay and Parana to be reopened to the merchant and military navies of the allies, free of all obstacles.
A new constitution was adopted, and promulgated on Nov. 25, providing for the free exercise of all religions, the encouragement of immigration and protection of immigrants, and the summary punishment of such persons as should in future attempt to assume the dictatorship. A provisional government, with C. A. Rivarola as president, was superseded in December, 1871, by Salvador Jove-llanos, in the course of the first year of whose administration the peace was disturbed by three revolutions, the government being shut up in Asuncion by the insurgents. In April, 1874, aided by the Brazilian troops, which still occupy Paraguay, the government was enabled to suppress the rebel movements; but the country is virtually under a Brazilian protectorate. In October, 1874, Jovellanos was succeeded by Juan Bautista Gil. - See Essai sur Vkistoire naturelle des quadrupedes du Paraguay, by Felix de Azara (Paris, 1801); " La Plata, the Argentine Confederation, and Paraguay," by Thomas J. Page (New York, 1859); Histoire physique, economique et politique du Paraguay et des etablissements des Jesuites, by Dr. Alfred Demersay (Paris, 1860-'65); "The War in Paraguay," by George Thompson (Lon.-don, 1869); "La Plata, Brazil, and Paraguay," by A. J. Kennedy (London, 1869); "Seven eventful Years in Paraguay," by G. F. Master-man (London, 1869); "Letters from the Battle Fields of Paraguay," by Capt. R. F. Burton (London, 1870); and " History of Paraguay," by Charles A. Washburn (Boston, 1871).
Paraguay, a river of South America, whose head waters descend from one of the seven lakes on the low swelling plateau commonly called the Serra Diamantina, in the Brazilian province of Matto Grosso, 160 m. N. of the city of Cuyaba, lat. 13° 20' S., Ion. 55° 50' W. The uppermost branch is the Rio Diamantino, and next are the Preto or Negro, the Sipotu-ba, and other smaller streams from the west, before the confluence of the Jauru, which doubles the volume of the Paraguay, in lat. 16° 23'. About 120 m. further S. it collects from the east the waters of the navigable river Sao Lourenco, a branch of which passes Cuyaba. Here the Paraguay has a width of 600 yards, which it retains, with a mean depth of 15 ft., to Asuncion, the capital of the republic of Paraguay. Below the junction of the Sao Lourenco it traverses the marshy region of Xareyes or Xarayes, draining the lakes of Oberava, Gahiba, and Mandiorc, and receiving the large river Taqnary, the Rio Blanco (formerly claimed by Paraguay as the northern boundary with Brazil), the Apa or Corrientes, the Ypan6, and the San Pedro from the east, and several from the west.
In the remaining 150 m. of its course, from Asuncion to its junction with the Parana from the east at Tres Bocas, lat. 27° 13', it receives its most important affluents, the Pilcomayo and the Ber-mejo, both from Bolivia. At Tres Bocas the main stream, after a course of over 1,000 m., exclusive of its numerous sinuosities, takes the name of the affluent; for such the Parana evidently is, inasmuch as the direction and all the geological characteristics of the river, down to the confluence of the Uruguay, are those of the Paraguay. From Asuncion to Tres Bocas the general width is half a mile, though in some parts it narrows to a quarter of a mile; the minimum average depth being 20 ft., and the maximum depth 72 ft. The ordinary velocity of the current is 2 m. an hour. Vessels drawing 16 ft. can generally ascend the Paraguay to the Brazilian town of Corumba, lat. 18° 55', and river steamers in all seasons to the junction of the Sao Lourenco. The Paraguay and the Amazon feeders Xingii and Tapajos take their rise within a few miles of one another, and the watershed is so low that wooden canoes ascending the Tapajos from Santarem are constantly carried over, and descend to Villa Maria; so that, with but little labor, almost uninterrupted navigation by steamers could be secured through the heart of the continent, from the mouth of the Plata to that of the Amazon. Up to Asuncion the navigation is easier than on the Parana; the waters are confined within narrower limits, the depth of the channel is more uniform, and no obstruction is to be apprehended.
The periodical rise of the river usually averages 13 ft., and occurs in January, February, and March, and in July, August, and September, thus almost corresponding to the periods of the fall in the Parana; hence the volume of the stream resulting from the union of the two rivers is nearly always the same. The banks of the Paraguay are generally sloping, and rarely exceed 25 ft. above the average height of the stream. They are clothed on both sides with a magnificent vegetation; forests with innumerable varieties of precious timber and ornamental woods alternating with palm groves and extensive grassy plains. The portion of the river comprised within the tropics abounds in ja-cares (caimans) and in excellent fish. Brazilian mail steamers ply monthly between Montevideo and Cuyaba, a distance of 2,000 m., making the trip in from 10 to 12 days; and there are several lines of steamers between Buenos Ayres and Asuncion. - The Paraguay forms a portion of the dividing line between Brazil and Bolivia, and the entire boundary of Paraguay with Bolivia and with the Argentine Republic on the west.
It was made free to ships of all nations in 1852, and has remained so to the present time (1875), except during the Paraguayan war of 1865-70.