Paraguay: key historical events
Page last modified 25/6/2020
See also Central/South America for other Caribbean and Latin American states
1994, The Paraguayan Congress tried, but failed, to limit the power of the military.
3/2/1989, General Stroessner of Paraguay was ousted in a coup after eight terms and 35 years in office. General Andres Rodriguez, previously close to Stroessner, took control.
1973, Braziol and Paraguay agreed to build a large hydro-electric dam on the Parana River at Itaipu.
2/3/1954, President Lopez of Paraguay died, aged 54, as Asuncion. General Alfredo Stroessner was elected in his place; he gave refuge to Nazi war criminals.
10/10/1938, A meeting of Latin American Presidents awarded most of the Chaco Boreal to Paraguay, whilst providing that Bolivia should have a trade route to the Atlantic via the Paraguay River.
11/3/1936. Paraguay set up America’s first Fascist regime.
16/9/1929. Bolivia and Paraguay signed an agreement to end their 10 month border dispute.
3/11/1912. Alfredo Stroessner, President of Paraguay, was born.
1/3/1870, President Lopez of Paraguay was killed.
For map of earlier territories held by Paraguay, see https://www.timemaps.com/history/argentina-1837ad/
12/11/1864, Paraguay seized a Brazilian arms ship.
31/8/1864, President Francesco Lopez of Paraguay issued an ultimatum to Brazil not to interfere in Uruguay. In October 1864 Brazil invaded Paraguay.
10/9/1862, Carlos Lopez, dictator of Paraguay, died aged 75. He was succeeded by his 36-year-old son, Francisco Lopez.
17/7/1852, Argentina recognised the independence of Paraguay.
1842, Carlos Antonio Lopez became dictator, ruling until 1862.
20/9/1840, Jose Francia, dictator of Paraguay from 1814, died.
1814, Jose Gaspar Rodriguez Francia, ‘El Supremo’, came to power. Initially elected to serve three years, he obtained dictatorship for life. He was anti-Church, he ruled the country harshly, but free from corruption, until 1840. He was the first of three dictators.
14/5/1811. Paraguay proclaimed itself independent. It became a dictatorship, essentially isolated from the rest of the world.
1767, The Jesuits, who had arrived in Paraguay in 1588 to convert the Amerindians, were expelled.
1721, Paraguay achieved temporary independence from Spain as Jose de Antequera led a revolt. Spain regained control in 1731.
1617, Hernando Arias de Saavedra, Governor of Rio de la Plata province, split Paraguay off from Argentina.
1537, Asuncion was founded by the Spanish explorer, Juan de Salazar. It was established as a fort to enable further exploration of South America, in search of silver. The Guarani, a settled farming people, assisted the Spanish to settle, because the Spanish conquered the southern Chaco area, home to nomadic peoples who raided Guarani settlements.
1535, Paraguay was first settled by the Spanish.
1526, The Spanish first explored the upper reaches of the Paraguay River.