Carlos Antonio López

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For other people also named Antonio Lopez, see Antonio Lopez (disambiguation).
This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is López and the second or maternal family name is Ynsfrán.
Carlos Antonio López
Carlos Antonio López.jpg
1st President of Paraguay
In office
March 13, 1844 – September 10, 1862
Vice President Mariano González (1844–1854)
Francisco Solano López (1854–1862)
Preceded by himself as Consul
Succeeded by Francisco Solano López
Consul of Paraguay
In office
March 12, 1841 – March 13, 1844
Preceded by Mariano Roque Alonso
Succeeded by himself as President
Personal details
Born November 4, 1792
Asunción, Paraguay (Then part of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata)
Died September 10, 1862(1862-09-10) (aged 69)
Asunción, Paraguay
Political party None
Spouse(s) Juana Pabla Carrillo
Children Francisco
Religion Roman Catholic

Carlos Antonio López Ynsfrán (November 4, 1792 – September 10, 1862) was the leader of Paraguay from 1841 to 1862.

López was born at Manorá (Asunción) on November 4, 1792, and was educated in the ecclesiastical seminary of that city. He attracted the hostility of the dictator José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, who was his uncle. This forced him into hiding for several years. He acquired, however, such a great knowledge of law and governmental affairs that, on Francia's death in 1840, he succeeded Francia as the country's leader.

Carlos Antonio López and his wife, Juana Pabla Carrillo.

He was briefly secretary of the military junta that ruled the country in the interval after Francia's death from 1840–1841. In 1841, he was chosen as the country's first consul—a post equivalent to that of president—ruling alongside Mariano Roque Alonso. In 1844, he exiled Roque and assumed dictatorial powers. On March 13, 1844, Congress approved the first Paraguayan Constitution, which is probably the work of Lopez himself. A few months later, Congress changed his post from consul to president, and elected him to the new post for a 10-year term. The constitution not only legally sanctioned López' dictatorial powers, but included no guarantees of civil rights, indeed, the word "liberty" was not even in the text. He was reelected for a three-year term in 1854, and then reelected by successive elections for ten and three years, and in 1857 again for ten years, with power to nominate his own successor.

His government was in general directed with wise energy towards developing the material resources and strengthening the military power of the country. He contracted numerous foreign technicians, mainly English, and built up the formidable Fortress of Humaitá.[1][2]

His approach to foreign affairs several times involved him in diplomatic disputes with Brazil, the Britain, and the United States, which nearly resulted in war, but each time he extricated himself by skillful diplomacy. Despite the lack of any civil rights, he was somewhat more tolerant of opposition than Francia had been. He released all political prisoners soon after taking full power, and also formally abolished slavery and torture.

His eldest son, Francisco Solano López (1826–1870), succeeded him as president after his death.

A barrio of Asuncion is named after him

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Plá.
  2. ^ Williams.


  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 
  • Plá, Josefina (1976). The British in Paraguay 1850-1870. The Richmond Publishing Co in association with St Antony’s College, Oxford.
  • Williams, John Hoyt (1977). "Foreign Tecnicos and the Modernization of Paraguay". Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs (Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Miam): pp. 233–257. Stable url=
Political offices
Preceded by
Mariano Roque Alonso
Consul of Paraguay
Succeeded by
himself as President
Preceded by
himself as Consul
President of Paraguay
Succeeded by
Francisco Solano López