Carlos Antonio López
|Carlos Antonio López|
|1st President of Paraguay|
March 13, 1844 – September 10, 1862
Mariano González (1844–1854)|
Francisco Solano López (1854–1862)
|Preceded by||himself as Consul|
|Succeeded by||Francisco Solano López|
|Consul of Paraguay|
March 12, 1841 – March 13, 1844
|Preceded by||Mariano Roque Alonso|
|Succeeded by||himself as President|
November 4, 1792|
Asunción, Paraguay (Then part of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata)
September 10, 1862 69) (aged|
|Spouse(s)||Juana Pabla Carrillo|
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 - his reputed uncle. This forced him into hiding for several years. He acquired, however, such a great knowledge of law and governmental affairs that following Francia's death in 1840, he eventually became Paraguay's leader.
He served briefly as 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 - probably the work of López 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; the word "liberty" did not appear in the text. He was reelected for a three-year term in 1854, and then reelected in 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.
His approach to foreign affairs several times involved him in diplomatic disputes with the Empire of Brazil, the United States and the British Empire, which nearly resulted in war, but each time he extricated himself by skilful diplomacy or by astutely knowing when to back off. Despite the lack of any civil rights in Paraguay, he was somewhat more tolerant of opposition than Francia had been. He released all political prisoners soon after taking full power, and also took measures to abolish slavery and torture.
His eldest son, Francisco Solano López (1827–1870), succeeded him as president after his death.
A barrio of Asuncion is named after him
- Bannon, John Francis; Dunne, Peter Masten (1950). Latin America, an Historical Survey. Science and culture texts (2 ed.). Bruce Publishing Company. p. 587. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
[...] a wealthy creole landowner and reputed nephew of Francia, [...] Carlos Antonio Lopez.
Cooney, Jerry W. (1997). "Paraguay". In Rodriguez, Junius P. The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery. 2. ABC-CLIO. p. 492. ISBN 9780874368857. Retrieved 2016-02-25.
The rise to power of Carlo Antonio López after Francia's death in 1840 brought a cautious, gradualist approach to the abolition of Paraguayan slavery. The government decreed a Law of Free Womb in 1842, which freed children born to slaves.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "article name needed". 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=http://www.jstor.org/stable/174705.
Mariano Roque Alonso
|Consul of Paraguay
| Succeeded by|
himself as President
himself as Consul
|President of Paraguay
| Succeeded by|
Francisco Solano López