The Republic of Paraguay is a country in South America. The landlocked country is surrounded by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the north and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest.
The name Paraguay comes from the Guarani words “para” (this side) and “guay” (river). Although the Guarani used the name “Paraguay” for the present capital Asuncion, the Spaniards who took over the region used this name to describe the whole region.
The country, which was part of the Spanish Empire for nearly 300 years, gained its independence in 1811 with the revolutionary movement initiated by Simón Bolívar, who came from a Spanish noble family of Basque origin, at the beginning of the 19th century.
His son Francisco Solano López, who came to power after the death of Carlos Antonio Lopez in 1862, established a complete dictatorship in the country with the support of the army, as it was the unfortunate luck of the peoples of South America.
Paraguay entered a very bloody and long-lasting war with the coalition of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay in 1864. When the war ended in 1870 with the assassination of dictator López, Paraguay’s loss of land and people had reached incredible proportions. With the peace treaty, approximately 170,000 square kilometers of the country’s land was shared between Brazil and Argentina. In addition, the Paraguayan state had to pay a large war indemnity to these countries. Looking at the post-war situation, the country was devastated, the economy collapsed, the stable demographic structure was turned upside down, and also about half of the country’s population and 90% of the adult male population (about 28,000 men remained) died during the war. The situation we mentioned above has revealed a great imbalance in the ratio of women to men. Thereupon, in order to compensate for the enormous loss of population, the church made a decision that allowed a man to marry more than one woman.
In 1932, tensions with its northern neighbor Bolivia, with which it had border disputes, escalated into a heated conflict. This war, which would go down in history as the Chaco War, lasted for three years, and when it resulted in the decisive victory of the Paraguayan army in 1935, Paraguay captured 75% of the disputed land.
Paraguay has a bicameral parliament consisting of the Senate (45 deputies) and the House of Representatives (80 deputies).
Deputies are elected for a five-year term.