Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Carlos Antonio López (politician)
López was born at Asunción on November 4th, 1790, and was educated in the ecclesiastical seminary of that city. He attracted the hostility of the dictator and uncle, José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia, and he was forced to keep in hiding for several years. He acquired, however, so unusual a knowledge of law and governmental affairs that, on Francia's death in 1840, he obtained an almost undisputed control of the Paraguayan state, which he maintained uninterruptedly until his death on the September 10th, 1862. He was successively secretary of the ruling military junta (1840-1841), one of the two consuls (1841-1844), and president with dictatorial powers (1844-1862) by successive elections for ten and three years, and in 1857 again for ten years, with power to nominate his own successor. Though nominally a president acting under a Republican constitution, he ruled despotically. His government was in general directed with wise energy towards developing the material resources and strengthening the military power of the country. His jealousy of foreign approach several times involved him in diplomatic disputes with Brazil, England, and the United States, which nearly resulted in war, but each time he extricated himself by skilful evasions.
His eldest son, Francisco Solano López (1826-1870), suceeded him as president after his death.
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