Before the Spanish conquest, Indians lived on the territory of present-day Paraguay: in the eastern part, tribes from the Guarani and Tupi groups, in the western part, the Toba, Matako, Ashe, and others.
According to localcollegeexplorer, the Spanish conquest of the territory of Paraguay began in 1534. In 1537, the city of Asuncion was founded. The descendants of the Spaniards, the Creoles and Mestizos, who were born in Paraguay, fought for autonomy, including an armed uprising in 1717–35 led by the poet J. de Antequera.
To counter the expansion of the Portuguese, the Spanish authorities decided to use the services of the Jesuit Order, which from 1607 to 1768 had its missions in Paraguay and formed a network of self-sustaining Indian settlements (reductions) along the border with the Portuguese possessions. In treaties with Portugal in 1750, Spain ceded a significant part of the territory to the Jesuit missions, and in 1768 expelled the order, confiscating its property.
In 1774, Paraguay was annexed as a province to the Viceroyalty of La Plata. In 1811, the power of the Spanish governor was overthrown and the First Congress of Paraguayan Deputies was convened, which announced secession from Spain and created a governmental junta. In 1813–14, Congress transferred power to H.G. Rodriguez de Francia, who isolated the country from the outside world and ruled it until 1840.
After the death of Francia, the authorities softened the external isolation of Paraguay. In 1844, the Congress of Deputies elected Francia’s nephew C.A. Lopez (1791-1862). From 1843, all children of slaves born in Paraguay were declared free. In 1844, the Constitution of Paraguay was adopted. The Indians received citizenship rights and stopped paying the poll tax. Community lands were transferred to state ownership. In 1861 a railroad and a telegraph line were built. State industrial enterprises began to be built.
In 1842, an extraordinary Congress of Deputies adopted an act on the independence of the Republic of Paraguay. An active foreign policy began to be pursued, a friendship treaty was concluded with the neighboring Argentine province of Corrientes. In 1845, the Brazilian Empire, Venezuela, Uruguay, the USA, and Spain recognized the independence of Paraguay. In 1848, Paraguay announced the final occupation of the territory between the Paraguay and Uruguay rivers, which paved the way for war with Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. In 1856, Paraguay and the Argentine Confederation ratified an agreement on peace, friendship, trade, and navigation. Similar treaties were concluded with Great Britain, France, Sardinia, the USA and Prussia.
In 1862, Congress elected a son, K.A. Lopez – F.S. Lopez (1827-70) President of Paraguay. Intervening in the conflict between Uruguay and Brazil, F.S. Lopez aggravated relations with the latter, which led in 1865 to a war and the formation of a tripartite alliance (Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay) against Paraguay. The army of Paraguay was defeated, and the country was occupied by the troops of Brazil (until 1876) and Argentina. In 1874, Paraguay lost to Argentina all the disputed territories and the province of Formosa, as well as part of the disputed territories with Brazil. In 1872 Paraguay received loans from Great Britain. The public sector of the economy was eliminated.
In 1870, the liberal Constitution of Paraguay was adopted. In 1880, General B. Caballero (1839–1912) was elected president of Paraguay. He set a course for national reconciliation.
Two parties appeared in 1887—the Democratic Center (from 1891 the Liberal Party) and the National Republican Association (later the Colorado Party), which brought conservative values to the fore and proclaimed nationalism the highest principle. The Colorado Party was in power from 1890 to 1904. In 1904, as a result of a popular uprising, liberals came to power, who ruled the country until 1936.
In 1932–35, a war broke out with Bolivia over the sparsely populated region of northern Chaco, where oil was found. 2/3 of the territory went to Paraguay, but without oil zones.
Not having received what was promised, the veterans of the Chaco War, led by junior officers led by Colonel R. Franco, carried out a military coup in 1936 under nationalist slogans. They created the National Revolutionary Union – the Febrerist Party, R. Franco became the president of Paraguay.
In 1937, the top of the army carried out a coup d’état, defeated by the commander of the army of Paraguay during the Chaco war, Marshal H.F. Estigarribia (1888-1940). After his death, the new president, General I. Morinigo, ruled until 1947, turning Paraguay into a haven for fugitive Nazis. Only in February 1945 did Paraguay declare war on Nazi Germany.
In 1947, a democratic provisional government was formed in Concepción with the support of part of the army. But the reactionary part of the army crushed the democratic movement and brought the Colorado party to power. From 1949 to 1954 F. Chavez ruled in the name of this party, orienting himself towards Argentina. In 1954, General A. Stroessner (1912–89), commander of the army, took power. The United States built a military airfield in the Chaco for the Paraguayan Air Force, and in 1957 built its own military base to control the airspace in the south of the continent. Stroessner, backed by the army and the Colorado party, established a brutal police-military terrorist dictatorship. The opposition was driven underground. In 1967, Stroessner promulgated the Constitution, formally proclaiming political freedoms and elections.
In 1989, the Stroessner regime fell as a result of a military coup. In 1989-93, Paraguay was ruled by the army commander, General A. Rodriguez. In 1992 a new constitution was adopted and elections were held. They were won by H.K. Wasmoshi. Although power remained in the hands of the Colorado party, in the 1990s. there was a process of democratization and demilitarization of political life. In 1993, an alliance of opposition forces was formed – the National Meeting. The 1998 elections were won by the common candidate of the factions of the Colorado party fighting among themselves, R. Cubas Grau.
In 1999, protest demonstrations broke out in the capital, shot by the police. Congress passed a resolution to impeach Cubas and appointed its chairman, L.A., in his place. Gonzalez Macchi. In the 2003 elections, the Colorado Party won and N. Duarte Frutos became president.
Paraguay is an active member of MERCOSUR, takes part in the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism.
In 2000, an agreement on friendship, trade and cooperation with the Russian Federation was signed, an agreement was concluded on cooperation in the field of culture, science, education and sports; the Paraguayan-Russian Chamber of Commerce was formed.