History of Paraguay

Pages: 3 (812 words) Published: April 19, 2013

The Republic of Paraguay is a land locked country in the center of South America, which is bordered by Brazil to the east and northeast, and Argentina to the south and southeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Paraguay lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, which runs through the center of the country from north to south. Due to its central location in South America, it is sometimes referred to as Corazon de America (Heart of America).

The Guarani have been living in Paraguay since before the Europeans arrived in South America in the 16th century, when Paraguay was forced to become a part of the Spanish colonial empire. Following there independence from Spain in 1811, Paraguay did not start out with anything close to democracy. They were unfortunately ruled by a series of dictators the ruled the country with a iron hand. Their leaders kept the people isolated and protected from outside influences as much as possible.

The Paraguay people suffered a devastating war from (1864-1870), the country lost 60% to 70% of its population and large amounts of their countries territory, and it took a long time for the people to recover from this.

Alfredo Stroessner, who held office for the majority of the 20th century, was South America’s longest-lived military dictator. In 1989 Stroessner was thrown out of office when the country held free elections in 1993. The following year, Paraguay joined Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay to found Mercosur. The purpose of this was to promote free trade with the surrounding countries of the Union of South American Nations.

Paraguay’s largest city and capital is called Asuncion, and the majority of Paraguayans are called Mestizo. As of 2009, Paraguay’s population was estimated to be around 6.5 million, most of whom are concentrated in the southeast of the country.

The official languages of Paraguay are Spanish and Guarani, 92% of the population speaks Spanish, and 98% of the population speaks Guarani....
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