Guaraní War

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Guaraní War
Reducciones.PNG
Location of the most important reductions, with present political divisions
Date February 1756
Location Misiones Orientales, South America (today in Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina)
Result Portuguese-Spanish victory
Belligerents
Portugal
Spain Spain
Guaraní tribes
Commanders and leaders
Gomes Freire
SpainJosé de Andonaegui
Sepé Tiaraju 
Strength
3,000 men Unknown
Casualties and losses
4 dead 1,511 dead

The Guarani War (Spanish: Guerra Guaranítica, Portuguese: Guerra Guaranítica) of 1756, also called the War of the Seven Reductions, took place between the Guaraní tribes of seven Jesuit Reductions and joint Spanish-Portuguese forces. It was a result of the Treaty of Madrid, which set a line of demarcation between Spanish and Portuguese colonial territory in South America.

The boundary drawn up between the two nations was the Uruguay River, with Portugal possessing the land east of the river. The seven Jesuit missions east of the Uruguay River, known as the Misiones Orientales, were to be dismantled and relocated on the Spanish western side of the river. The seven missions were called San Miguel, Santos Angeles, San Lorenzo Martir, San Nicolas, San Juan Bautista, San Luis Gonzaga, and San Francisco de Borja.

In 1754 the Jesuits surrendered control of the missions, but the Guarani led by Sepé Tiaraju, refused to comply with the order to relocate. Efforts by the Spanish army in 1754 to forcefully remove the Guarani from the missions failed. In February 1756 a combined force of 3,000 Spanish and Portuguese soldiers attacked the settlements. It resulted in the death of 1,511 Guarani, while the Europeans suffered only 4 deaths. In the aftermath of the battle, the joint Spanish-Portuguese army occupied the seven missions.

Eventually Spain and Portugal annulled the 1750 treaty in the Treaty of El Pardo (1761), with Spain regaining control over the seven missions and its surrounding territory.

The 1986 film The Mission is loosely based on these events.

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