Francisco Solano López


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Paraguayan statesman. Son of Carlos Antonio López, he became President (1862–70) on his father's death. He initiated grandiose building schemes and then led his country into a disastrous war with Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. This war (1865–70) was one of the fiercest and bloodiest ever fought in the New World. It halved the population of Paraguay and left the country in a state of economic collapse; López himself was defeated and killed. Considered a cruel and dictatorial caudillo in his lifetime, he afterwards came to be regarded as the champion of the rights of small countries against more powerful neighbours.

Subjects: World History.

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