Triple Alliance, War of the

Triple Alliance, War of the,

1865–70, fought between Paraguay on one side and an alliance of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay on the other. Brazil's military reprisals for injuries to Brazilian subjects in Uruguay's civil war brought a declaration of war against Brazil from Francisco Solano LópezLópez, Francisco Solano
, 1826?–1870, president of Paraguay (1862–70). He was the son of Carlos Antonio López, who made him a brigadier general at 18.
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, Paraguayan dictator, who favored the Blanco regime in Uruguay. Imprudently, he also declared war on Argentina after Bartolomé Mitre refused to allow Paraguayan troops to cross Argentine territory. A secret alliance, made by Brazil and Argentina with Gen. Venancio Flores of the Colorado faction (traditional enemies of the Blancos), brought Uruguay into the war. The heroic defense of Paraguay against powerful invaders lasted five years until the final stand at Cerro Corá, where the entire populous rallied around López. By the end of the war Paraguay was devastated and a considerable part of its male population killed. The war was the brutal consequence of López's provocations as well as of the abusive aggressiveness of the larger powers. It nevertheless opened the way for a development of constitutional government in Paraguay.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Triple Alliance, War of the


(in Russian, Paraguayan War), a war of aggression waged by Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay against Paraguay between 1864 and 1870. Great Britain, France, and the USA—seeking unhindered access for their capital in Paraguay—furthered the unleashing of a war that had long been planned by Brazilian slaveowners and the Argentinian bourgeois landowning elite.

The War of the Triple Alliance was preceded by the intervention of Brazil and Argentina into Uruguay, with Uruguay appealing to Paraguay for assistance. Paraguay feared that it would be isolated from the Atlantic Ocean if Brazil annexed Uruguay’s territory and tried to resolve the Brazil-Uruguay conflict peacefully; however, in November 1864, it was drawn into the war. An alliance was soon formed against Paraguay by Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay; Uruguay joined the alliance after it had been occupied by Brazil.

Until May 1866 the fighting took place in Brazil and Argentina; then the Paraguayans defended themselves on their own territory. The allies defeated the Paraguayan Army at Humaitá (July 1868), Pykysyry (December 1868), and Cêrro Corá (March 1870). Contributing to the allies’ victories were their numerical and technological superiority and the aid of Great Britain, as well as a conspiracy of Paraguayan reactionaries against the national government of F. S. López. The country was occupied by allied troops, approximately one-half of its territory was annexed, four-fifths of the population was wiped out, and power was assumed by reactionary landowners and members of the bourgeoisie linked with foreign capital.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.