Timeline of Paraguayan history
Below is a timeline of the history of Paraguay:
1516: Conquistador Juan Díaz de Solís leads an unsuccessful expedition to explore the area later known as Paraguay.
1530: Conquistador Don Pedro de Mendoza attempts to reach the area, but fails at the banks of the River Plate. His second in command Juan de Ayolas sails up the River Paraguay and discovers Cabot's abandoned settlement. Domingo Martínez de Irala, another sailor, joins him and is appointed lieutenant to take charge of the region. Ayolas ventures into the Chaco and disappears.
1537: Explorers Juan de Salazar de Espinosa and Gonzalo de Mendoza sail upstream to meet Irala, who guides them to a safe area to dock. A fort is constructed on the bank on August 15 and named Asunción for the Catholic feast day. It becomes an entrepôt for goods being shipped up the continent and later the colony's capital. Settlers are given the right to elect leaders of the colony.
1541: The garrison of Buenos Aires evacuates and resettles in Asunción.
1543-44: War over the location of the seat of government breaks out. Vaca moves towards Lima, is defeated by the Indians and returns to Spain. Irala is re-appointed governor.
1544–1555: Irala modernizes Paraguay by introducing agriculture and local industry. He repairs relations with the natives.
1556: Irala dies.
1589–1639: Slave raids ravish Paraguay until natives are given the right to defend themselves by combat.
1640–1720: Spanish immigrants prosper under the Jesuits in Paraguay.
1721–1732: Settlers rebel against the Jesuits. Revolt put down.
1750: Jesuits lose the support of the Spanish government.
1750–1761: Guaraní War. Spanish–Portuguese forces sack the Jesuit missions, killing around 1500 Guaraní.
1767: Suppression of the Society of Jesus, the last Jesuits are expelled from colonial Paraguay.
1790–1805: Governor Lazaro de Rivera is put in charge of Paraguay. Heavy taxes imposed by the Spanish provoke a popular revolt, which he puts suppresses.
1810: Royalism declines in South America as the king of Spain is deposed by Napoleon. A final attempt by the British to keep Argentina under Spanish control failed two years earlier, and Argentina since gains independence, threatening pro-royalist Paraguay. To retain stability in the area, José Espínola y Peña is appointed governor of Paraguay. A hugely unpopular figure because of his ties with Rivera and his dishonesty.
1811: Espinola flees Asunción to Buenos Aires. Argentine general, Manuel Belgrano sends in an army of 1100 troops to capture royalist Asunción, and defeats a small force of Paraguayans at the Battle of Campichuelo, but is suddenly defeated when general Bernardo de Velazco musters 7000 regulars from the city and defeats the Argentinians at the Battle of Paraguarí, just outside the city. The remaining 500 of Belgrano's men are defeated once again at Tacuarí. Later that year, after being influenced by the power Paraguay alone could demonstrate, various soldiers and politicians group together and on the night of 14 May politician Pedro Caballero with a contingent of 34 men seized the armoury and courtyard of the government building. Afterwards, fellow soldier and politician Fulgencio Yegros came and demanded that the new governor Bernardo de Valesco resign. Independence is declared. Cabildo formed, with Yegros appointed consul alongside de Francia with other members of the cabinet being; Caballero, Mauricio Troche, Vicente Ignacio Iturbe, Antonio Tomás Yegros, Fernando de la Mora, Francisco Xavier Bogarin, Mariano Antonio Molas and Juan Bautista Rivarola.
1812: De Francia expelled from the Cabildo. Moves to the countryside to gain support from the rural population. Yegros Re-appointed
1813: First meeting of congress; de Francia regains popularity from the impoverished masses
De Francia era
1814: De Francia re-appointed consul.
1816: De Francia Declares himself supreme dictator (El Supremo) for life.
1820: Power of the clergy is abolished.
1821: Plot uncovered by slaves to de Francia that the ex-cabinet members are plotting against him. Revolt put down with members arrested. Spaniards of Asunción forced to pay 100 000 Pesos. Caballero commits suicide in his cell and Yegros is executed.
1824: Property of clergy confiscated.
1828: All private land confiscated. Education made compulsory.
1836: First public library opens.
1840: De Francia dies. Manuel Antonio Ortiz appointed consul.
1844: Carlos Antonio López, nephew of de Francia appointed president; abolishes slavery
1862: C. A. Lopez dies. Eldest son Francisco Solano López appointed president
Paraguayans succeed in conquering the Brazilian province of Mato Grosso
Allied victory at the Battle of Yatay. Paraguayan advance halted
1867: Fall of Humaitá. Allies begin march on Asunción
1868: Paraguay defeated at the Battle of Avay. Paraguayan army begins to collapse
1869: Regular Paraguayan army defeated at the Battle of Campo Grande. Lopez goes on the run with his wife Eliza Lynch and his children, as well as the remainder of his army, mostly children and elderly
1870: Battle of Cerro Corá. Last of the Paraguayan army destroyed, Lopez and his eldest son are killed and Eliza Lynch and her daughters are exiled. The war is over, with c.40% of Paraguay's population killed. Allies sanction Paraguay's bordering territory. Cirilo Antonio Rivarola appointed president
1871: Salvador Jovellanos appointed president.
Trams and proper sanitation introduced to the streets of Paraguay's cities
1874: Juan Bautista Gill appointed president. The perpetual dictatorship which governs Paraguay becomes increasingly unpopular
1875: Riots break out in Caacupé, and soon spread all over the country. Rebellion quashed
1878: Cándido Bareiro elected president
1880: Adolfo Saguier, vice president of Bareiro appointed president.
1881: Bernardino Caballero elected president
1887: Colorado Party established by Caballero
Ultra-Nationalist anti-Semite Bernhard Förster and his wife Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche (sister of philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche) establish Nueva Germania, an ultra-nationalist, white supremacist community in the San Pedro Department
1889: National University is founded. Electric power installed for the first time in the country.
Nueva Germania fails and Forster commits suicide
1890: Juan Gualberto González elected
1898: Emilio Aceval elected
1901: Metric System introduced
1905: Cecilio Báez elected
1906: Benigno Ferreira elected
1908: Ferreira dismissed and exiled in coup. Emiliano González Navero elected. Paraguayan cities re-developed.
1911: Manuel Gondra elected.
1912: Liberato Marcial Rojas elected. Navero re-installed. Army reformed
Eduardo Schaerer elected
1915: Revolt against Schaerer caused by censorship issues fails
1916: Manuel Franco elected
1919: Franco dies in office. José Pedro Montero appointed
1920: Gondra re-elected
1921: Eusebio Ayala elected
1928: José Patricio Guggiari elected
1933: First Battle of Nanawa. Paraguayans win, but are driven back at Campo Jordán. Paraguay re-captures Nanawa 5 months later. Stalemate breaks out at the Battle of Gondra, but is broken that October by the Paraguayans at 2nd Campo Grande, and re-capture the Chaco after the fall of Campo Vía. Ceasefire declared.
1934: Truce lifted, Bolivia re-launches offensive at the Battle of Cañada Strongest, but Paraguayans counterattack at Ybybobo.
1935: Bolivian-occupied Villa Montes falls to Paraguayans. The last of the Bolivians are pushed out by a small Paraguayan force at Ingavi. Bolivia surrenders
1936: Ex-officer Rafael Franco overthrows Ayala. Franco overthrown later that year
1937: Félix Paiva elected president
1939: José Félix Estigarribia is elected
1940: Estigarribia is killed in a plane crash, Colorado Higinio Moríñigo assumes power
1941: Morinigo bans all other political parties and un-sympathetic newspapers.
1945: Paraguay declares war on Germany, but does not see action
1955: Stroessner declares state of siege and removes various civil rights from the people.
1959: Achne tribe enslaved and wiped out by order of Stroessner
1965-66: Assists USA in the invasion of the Dominican Republic
1972: University of Asunción is destroyed by police. The Archbishop of Paraguay, Ismael Rolón Silvero, excommunicates chief of police and minister of the interior
1974: Human rights abuses in Paraguay come to notice internationally, and Stroessner is accused of Slavery, Genocide [of tribes], corruption, torture and kidnapping, as well as supposedly protecting ex-Nazis living in Paraguay
1988: Pope John Paul II visits Paraguay, increasing anti-Stroessner morale
1989: General Andrés Rodríguez starts an uprising against Stroessner, and succeeds after an artillery duel over Asunción, after which Stroessner flees to Brazil. Rodriguez appointed president after 35 years of oppression
1992: Rodriguez initiated reforms including the abolition of the death penalty. He releases many political prisoners and slaves. He prosecutes and imprisons the main perpetrators of Stroessner's regime.
1993: Juan Carlos Wasmosy is elected president. He frees several of Stroessner's associates from prison and reappoints them to their former government positions.
1996: Field marshal Lino Oviedo mounts a failed coup against Wasmosy. He is imprisoned, much to the distress of the Paraguayan public.
1998: Raúl Cubas Grau elected under promise that Oviedo would be released, but does not perpetrate action. After his vice president Luis María Argaña is murdered with Cubas himself implicated, mass protests erupt in Asunción, with seven people killed by riot police.
1999: Cubas resigns. Oviedo flees to Argentina. Luis Ángel González Macchi elected president.
2003: Nicanor Duarte is elected president.
2004: Fire breaks out in the Ycuá Bolaños supermarket. 400 people killed and 500 injured
2008: Fernando Lugo is elected president. After a 66-year era of Colorado rule, the Liberal Party has returned to power