Along with Robles' troops, a force of 12, soldiers under Col. Uruguaiana , to the south, was taken on 6 August with little resistance. On 11 June , the naval Battle of Riachuelo the Brazilian fleet commanded by Admiral Francisco Manoel Barroso da Silva destroyed the powerful Paraguayan navy and prevented the Paraguayans from permanently occupying Argentine territory. A separate Paraguayan division of 3, men that continued towards Uruguay under the command of Maj. The situation in Rio Grande do Sul was chaotic, and the local Brazilian military commanders were incapable of mounting effective resistance to the Paraguayans.
The baron of Porto Alegre set out for Uruguaiana , a small town in the province's west, where the Paraguayan army was besieged by a combined force of Brazilian, Argentine and Uruguayan units. The naval battle of the Riachuelo was a key point in the Paraguayan War, marking the beginning of the offensive of the Allies.
In subsequent months the Paraguayans were driven out of the cities of Corrientes and San Cosme , the only Argentine territory still in Paraguayan possession. By the end of , the Triple Alliance was on the offensive. Its armies numbered 42, infantry and 15, cavalry as they invaded Paraguay in April. Yet, the Allied advance was checked in the first major battle of the war, at Estero Bellaco , on 2 May Porto Alegre  won the Battle of Curuzu , putting the Paraguayans in a desperate situation. After the conference, the Allies marched into Paraguayan territory, reaching the defensive line of Curupayty.
Trusting in their numerical superiority and the possibility of attacking the flank of the defensive line through the Paraguay River by using the Brazilian ships, the Allies made a frontal assault on the defensive line, supported by the flank fire of the battleships. The Allied leaders blamed each other for disastrous failure at Curupayty. Flores had left for Uruguay in September and was murdered there in The Brazilian government decided to create a unified command over Brazilian forces operating in Paraguay, and turned to the year-old Caxias as the new leader on 10 October The Marquess of Caxias assumed command on 19 November.
During this period Caxias trained his soldiers, re-equipped the army with new guns, improved the quality of the officer corps, and upgraded the health corps and overall hygiene of the troops, putting an end to epidemics. From October until July , all offensive operations were suspended. To aid the war effort, Caxias used observation balloons to gather information of the enemy lines.
By , Paraguay had lost 60, men to battle casualties, injuries, or disease. Women were entrusted with all support functions. Soldiers went into battle without shoes or uniforms. By December , there were 45, Brazilians, 6, Argentinians and Uruguayans at the front. After the death of Argentinian Vice-President Marcos Paz , Mitre relinquished his position for the second, and final time on 14 January Resigned to frontal combat, Caxias ordered the so-called Piquissiri maneuver. While a squadron attacked Angostura, Caxias made the army cross to the west side of the river. He ordered the construction of a road in the swamps of the Gran Chaco along which the troops advanced to the northeast.
Instead of advancing to the capital, already evacuated and bombarded, Caxias went south and attacked the Paraguayans from the rear in December , in an offensive which became known as "Dezembrada". Martin T. On 5 January, Caxias entered the city with the rest of the army. By this time, Caxias was ill and tired. On 17 January, he fainted during a mass; he relinquished his command the next day, and the day after that left for Montevideo.
Very soon the city hosted about 30, Allied soldiers; for the next few months these looted almost every building, including diplomatic missions of European nations. Paranhos had to create a provisional government which could sign a peace accord and recognize the border claimed by Brazil between the two nations.
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On 31 March, a petition was signed by leading citizens asking Allies for a Provisional government. This was followed by negotiations between the Allied countries, which put aside some of the more controversial points of the Treaty of the Triple Alliance ; on 11 June, agreement was reached with Paraguayan opposition figures that a three-man Provisional government would be established. On 22 July, a National Assembly met in the National Theatre and elected Junta Nacional of 21 men which then selected a five-man committee to select three men for the Provisional government.
Decoud was unacceptable to Paranhos, who had him replaced witho Cirilo Antonio Rivarola. The government was finally installed on 15 August, but was just a front for the continued Allied occupation. The Provisional government did not last. However, the next day, 1 September, he was overthrown in a coup that restored Rivarola to power.
At the head of 21, men, Count d'Eu led the campaign against the Paraguayan resistance, the Campaign of the Mountain Range, which lasted over a year. On 1 March , the troops of Gen. Too weak to walk, he was escorted by his aide and a pair of officers, who led him to the banks of the Aquidaban-nigui River.
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Paraguay suffered massive casualties, and the war's disruption and disease also cost civilian lives. Some historians estimate that the nation lost the majority of its population. The specific numbers are hotly disputed and range widely. A survey of 14 estimates of Paraguay's pre-war population varied between , and 1,, Because of the local situation, all casualty figures are a very rough estimate; accurate casualty numbers may never be determined.
After the war, an census recorded , inhabitants, of which , were women, 28, were men, and 86, were children with no indication of sex or upper age limit. In the estimation of Vera Blinn Reber, however, "The evidence demonstrates that the Paraguayan population casualties due to the war have been enormously exaggerated". To establish the population before the war, Whigham used an census and calculated, based on a population growth rate of 1.
Based on a census carried out after the war ended, in —, Whigham concluded that ,—, Paraguayan people had survived, of whom only 28, were adult males. Of approximately , Brazilians who fought in the Paraguayan War, the best estimates are that around 50, men died. The high rates of mortality were not all due to combat. As was common before antibiotics were developed, disease caused more deaths than war wounds. Bad food and poor sanitation contributed to disease among troops and civilians. Among the Brazilians, two-thirds of the dead died either in a hospital or on the march.
At the beginning of the conflict, most Brazilian soldiers came from the north and northeast regions; the change from a hot to a colder climate, combined with restricted food rations, may have weakened their resistance. Entire battalions of Brazilians were recorded as dying after drinking water from rivers. Therefore, some historians believe cholera , transmitted in the water, was a leading cause of death during the war. Paraguayan women played a significant role in the Paraguayan War. During the period just before the war began many Paraguayan women were the heads of their households, meaning they held a position of power and authority.
They received such positions by being widows, having children out of wedlock, or their husbands having worked as peons. When the war began women started to venture out of the home becoming nurses, working with government, and establishing themselves into the public sphere. When The New York Times reported on the war in , it considered Paraguayan women equal to their male counterparts. Paraguayan women's support of the war effort can be divided into two stages. During this period of the war, peasant women became the main producers of agricultural goods.
At this stage, the number of women becoming victims of war was increasing. Women helped sustain Paraguayan society during a very unstable period.
War of the Triple Alliance
Though Paraguay did lose the war, the outcome might have been even more disastrous without women performing specific tasks. They were farmers, soldiers, nurses, and government officials. They became a symbol for national unification, and at the end of the war, the traditions women maintained were part of what held the nation together. Prior to the war, indigenous people occupied very little space in the minds of the Paraguayan elite.
Paraguayan president Carlos Antonio Lopez even modified the country's constitution in to remove any mention of Paraguay's Hispano-Guarani character. However, during the war, the indigenous people of Paraguay came to occupy an even larger role in public life, especially after the 'Battle of Estero Bellaco.
Paraguay overwhelmingly lost this battle, as well as "the males of all the best families in the country. The war also bonded the indigenous people of Paraguay to the project of Paraguayan nation-building. In the immediate lead up to the war, they were confronted with a barrage of nationalist rhetoric in Spanish and Guarani and subject to loyalty oaths and exercises. He knew he would have to bridge this divide or risk it being exploited by the 'Triple Alliance.
As a result of this, any attack on Paraguay was considered to be an attack on the Paraguayan nation, despite rhetoric from Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina saying otherwise. This sentiment increased after the terms of the Treaty of the Triple Alliance were leaked, especially the clause stating that Paraguay would pay for all the damages incurred by the conflict. Both free and enslaved Afro-Brazilian men came to compose the majority of Brazilian forces in the Paraguayan War. The Brazilian monarchy originally allowed creole-only units or 'Zuavos' in the military at the outset of the war, following the insistence of Brazilian creole Ouirino Antonio do Espirito Santo.
By , black-only units were no longer permitted, with the entire military being integrated just as it had been prior to the War of the Triple Alliance. While this had the effect of reducing black identification with the state, the overarching rationale behind this was the "country needed recruits for its existing battalions, not more independently organized companies. On the contrary, "impoverished gente de cor constituted the greater part of the soldiers in every Brazilian infantry battalion. Afro-Brazilian women played a key role in sustaining the Brazilian military as "vivandeiras.
However, the imperial Brazilian government actively worked to minimize the importance of their work by labeling it "service to their male kin, not the nation" and considering it to be "natural" and "habitual. Poor Afro-Brazilian women also served as nurses, with most of them being trained upon entry into the military to assist male doctors in the camps.
These women were "seeking gainful employment to compensate for the loss of income from male kin who had been drafted into the war. Paraguay permanently lost its claim to territories which, before the war, were in dispute between it and Brazil or Argentina, respectively. Those disputes had been longstanding and complex. In colonial times certain lands lying to the north of the River Apa were in dispute between the Portuguese Empire and the Spanish Empire. After independence they continued to be disputed between the Empire of Brazil and the Republic of Paraguay.
After the war Brazil signed a separate Loizaga — Cotegipe Treaty of peace and borders with Paraguay on 9 January , in which it obtained freedom of navigation on the Paraguay River. Brazil also retained the northern regions it had claimed before the war. After independence the Republic of Paraguay and the Argentine Confederation succeeded to these disputes, the details of which are complex, and are summarised in e. Professor Whigham's The Paraguayan War.
Perdon Paraguay (Che nyro Paraguai): Analisis historico de la Guerra de la Triple Alianza
After the war the disputed lands definitively became the Argentine national territory of Misiones, now Misiones Province. The Gran Chaco is an area lying to the west of the River Paraguay. Before the war it was "an enormous plain covered by swamps , chaparral and thorn forests With some exceptions, these were paper claims, because none of those countries was in effective occupation of the area: essentially they were claims to be the true successor to the Spanish Empire, in an area never effectively occupied by Spain itself, and wherein Spain had no particular motive for prescribing internal boundaries.
The exceptions were as follows. By the same treaty of 19 July between Paraguay and the Argentine Confederation, an undefined area in the Chaco north of the Bermejo River was implicitly conceded to belong to Paraguay. As already stated, the Argentine Congress refused to ratify this treaty; and it was protested by the government of Bolivia as inimical to its own claims.
After , and more especially after the State of Buenos Aires rejoined the Argentine Confederation, Argentina's claim to the Chaco hardened; it claimed territory all the way up to the border with Bolivia. However, the Brazilian government disliked what its representative in Buenos Aires had negotiated in this respect, and resolved that Argentina should not receive "a handsbreadth of territory" above the Pilcomayo River. It set out to frustrate Argentina's further claim, with eventual success. Argentina became the strongest of the River Plate countries.
Hayes was asked to arbitrate. His award was in Paraguay's favour. The Paraguayan Presidente Hayes Department is named in his honour. Further details are available in the article Treaty of the Triple Alliance. There was destruction of the existing state, loss of neighboring territories and ruin of the Paraguayan economy, so that even decades later, it could not develop in the same way as its neighbors.
The War helped the Brazilian Empire to reach its peak of political and military influence, becoming the Great Power of South America, and also helped to bring about the end of slavery in Brazil , moving the military into a key role in the public sphere. The war debt, alongside a long-lasting social crisis after the conflict,   are regarded as crucial factors for the fall of the Empire and proclamation of the First Brazilian Republic.
During the war the Brazilian army took complete control of Paraguayan territory and occupied the country for six years after In part this was to prevent the annexation of even more territory by Argentina, which had wanted to seize the entire Chaco region. During this time, Brazil and Argentina had strong tensions, with the threat of armed conflict between them.
In Brazil the war exposed the fragility of the Empire, and dissociated the monarchy from the army. The Brazilian army became a new and influential force in national life. It developed as a strong national institution that, with the war, gained tradition and internal cohesion. The Army would take a significant role in the later development of the history of the country. The economic depression and the strengthening of the army later played a large role in the deposition of the emperor Pedro II and the republican proclamation in Marshall Deodoro da Fonseca became the first Brazilian president.
As in other countries, "wartime recruitment of slaves in the Americas rarely implied a complete rejection of slavery and usually acknowledged masters' rights over their property. It also impressed slaves from owners when needing manpower, and paid compensation. In areas near the conflict, slaves took advantage of wartime conditions to escape, and some fugitive slaves volunteered for the army. Together these effects undermined the institution of slavery.
But, the military also upheld owners' property rights, as it returned at least 36 fugitive slaves to owners who could satisfy its requirement for legal proof. Significantly, slavery was not officially ended until the s. Due to the war, Brazil ran a deficit between and , which was finally paid off. At the time foreign loans were not significant sources of funds. Following the war, Argentina faced many federalist revolts against the national government. Economically it benefited from having sold supplies to the Brazilian army, but the war overall decreased the national treasure. The national action contributed to the consolidation of the centralized government after revolutions were put down, and the growth in influence of Army leadership.
It has been argued the conflict played a key role in the consolidation of Argentina as a nation-state. Uruguay suffered lesser effects, although nearly 5, soldiers were killed. As a consequence of the war, the Colorados gained political control of Uruguay and despite rebellions retained it until Interpretation of the causes of the war and its aftermath has been a controversial topic in the histories of participating countries, especially in Paraguay. There it has been considered either a fearless struggle for the rights of a smaller nation against the aggression of more powerful neighbors, or a foolish attempt to fight an unwinnable war that almost destroyed the nation.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia , considered the official encyclopedic source of the USSR , presented a short view about the Paraguayan War, largely favourable to the Paraguayans, claiming that the conflict was a "war of imperialist aggression" long planned by slave-owners and the bourgeois capitalists, waged by Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay under instigation of Great Britain , France and United States.
People of Argentina have their own internal disputes over interpretations of the war: many Argentinians think the conflict was Mitre's war of conquest, and not a response to aggression. In April Paraguay renewed demands for the return of the "Christian" cannon. Brazil has had this on display at the former military garrison, now used as the National History Museum, and says that it is part of its history as well. A popular belief in Paraguay, and Argentine revisionism since the s, blames the influence of the British Empire though the academic consensus shows little or no evidence for this theory.
In Brazil some have believed that the United Kingdom financed the allies against Paraguay, and that British imperialism was the catalyst for the war.
The academic consensus is that no evidence supports this thesis. From to Brazil and the UK had an extended diplomatic crisis and, five months after the war started, cut off relations. There is no evidence that Britain forced the allies to attack Paraguay. Some left-wing historians of the s and s, most notably Eric Hobsbawn in his work " The Age of Capital: — " claim that the Paraguayan War was caused by the pseudo-colonial influence of the British,   who needed a new source of cotton during the American Civil War as the blockaded Southern States had been their main cotton supplier.
The ignorant and barbaric people of Paraguay believe that it is under the protection of the most illustrious of the governments Charles Washburn, who was the Minister of the United States to Paraguay and Argentina, also claims that Thornton represented Paraguay, months before the outbreak of the conflict, as:. The extinction of Paraguay as a nation will be benefit, to all the world…  . His influence in Buenos Aires seems to have been used consistently during the next few months in the interests of peace.
Other historians dispute this claim of British influence, pointing out that there is no documentary evidence for it. It believed that war damaged international commerce, and disapproved of the secret clauses in the Treaty of the Triple Alliance. Britain already was increasing imports of Egyptian cotton and did not need Paraguayan products.
But when Thornton returned to the job in December , he threw his full backing behind Mitre. Since colonial times, yerba mate had been a major cash crop for Paraguay. Until the war, it had generated significant revenues for the country. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. South America; Paraguay , Brazil and Argentina. Empire of Brazil : 50, soldiers 50, civilians Republic of Argentina : 18, soldiers 13, civilians Oriental Republic of Uruguay : 3, Uruguayans. Paraguayan War. Main articles: Platine War and Cisplatine War. Main article: Uruguayan War. Pedro II , Emperor of Brazil from to Venancio Flores , President of Uruguay from to August 30, Main article: Treaty of the Triple Alliance.
Main article: List of battles of the Paraguayan War. Main article: Siege of Uruguaiana. Main article: Campaign of the Hills. Main article: Paraguayan War casualties. See also: History of yerba mate. Encyclopedia Britannica. Page Emilio Jourdan, cied by Augusto Tasso Fragoso, op. III, p. Rottjer, op. University of Texas Press — via Google Books.
Osprey Publishing. London: Penguin. Retrieved 26 October Women wandered the streets naked. After an eight-year occupation the country was run by Argentine carpetbaggers and exiles who had backed the allies. He had foreseen what would become of his reputation. Time would prove him right. By the s tensions were rising with Bolivia over the Chaco region, wrongly thought to be rich in oil. From the two countries went to war. This time Paraguay won. Their wool uniforms left them dehydrated in the arid Chaco.
His sword sits in a display case. Yet despite this clumsy hagiography, Paraguay has done little to tell the real story of the war. The river moves a few feet east every year, taking the border with Argentina with it. It now threatens to flood the ruins of a church destroyed by the invaders. There Brazilian troops cut the throats of everyone they could find, and locked the doors to a crowded hospital before setting it alight. A gruesome concrete relief, illustrating the horror, has been built on the site; the town has funded a one-room museum, which includes a single tuft of braided hair removed from the mass grave below its 18th-century church.
In the church itself, however, there is no sign of the history buried below the red-tiled floor.
Speakers blare Christian rock between services. His election was widely celebrated because it ended 61 years of unbroken rule by the Colorado Party, 35 of them under Alfredo Stroessner. Post-war governments distributed brochures offering immigrants a free trip to Paraguay and land. In descendants of that group set up the first Nazi party outside Germany. The national police director named his son Adolfo Hirohito; police cadets wore swastikas on their uniforms.
He also harboured numerous Nazi war criminals, including Josef Mengele. The Liberals abandoned him in part because they felt their support had not been adequately rewarded in policies and jobs. Instead Mr Lugo had packed his cabinet with leftist allies. But alienating the Liberals cost him his presidency, because the Paraguayan left was far too weak to protect him.
That too has roots in the war. The pretext for the impeachment also stems from the conflict. Before most Paraguayan land was state-owned. To pay reparations, post-war governments sold off huge plots to Argentine landowners.
Guerra de la Triple Alianza - Wikipedia
The broad subdivisions of Paraguay in s maps refer to individual possessions, not provinces. Those concentrated holdings still bedevil the country: they include the ranch where police fired on peasant squatters in June. They paired off with a rotating cast of itinerant men. But even that tradition did not prepare society for the post-war free-for-all. Mr Lugo might not have realised quite how far sexual mores had changed. Even priests could have children. Sexual violence during the war itself poisoned attitudes to race. The resentment lingers. Legend has it that the resulting black babies were killed.
Perhaps the final tragedy of the war is that it is so little known abroad. The past is divided between what happened, and what was supposed to but did not. Paraguayans still die in falls and accidents while digging for treasure supposedly buried by their forefathers during the war. Perhaps they can only truly understand the conflict in their mother tongue. They know full well the woes of the country they live in, but never forget the one that might have been. A blog post addressing some readers' responses to this article is available here.
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