The Republic of Paraguay gained its independence from Spanish rule in 1811, and after a short government by two consuls, the supreme power was seized, in 1815, by Dr. José Gaspar Rodriguez Francia, who exercised autocratic sway as dictator till his death, September 20, 1840. Dr. Francia’s reign was followed by an interregnum, which lasted till 1842, when a National Congress, meeting at the capital, Asuncion, elected Don Mariano Roque Alonso and Don Carlos Antonio Lopez joint consuls of the Republic. Another Congress voted, March 13, 1844, a new Constitution, and, March 14, elected Don Carlos Antonio Lopez sole President; he was continued by another election, March 14, 1857. At the death of Don Carlos, September 10, 1862, his son, Don Francisco Solano Lopez, born 1827, succeeded to the supreme power. President Lopez, in 1864, began a dispute with the Government of Brazil, the consequence of which was the entry of a Brazilian army, united with forces of the Argentine Confederation and Uruguay, into the Republic, June, 1865. After a struggle of five years, in which Paraguay lost probably 500,000 men, Lopez was defeated and killed at the battle of Cerro Cora, March 1, 1870.
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