Paraguay (/ˈpærəɡwaɪ/; Spanish pronunciation:[paɾaˈɣwaj]ⓘ), officially the Republic of Paraguay (Spanish: República del Paraguay; Guarani: Tavakuairetã Paraguái), is a landlocked country in South America. It is bordered by Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. It has a population of around 6.1 million, nearly 2.3 million of whom live in the capital and largest city of Asunción, and its surrounding metro area.
Although one of only two landlocked countries in South America (Bolivia is the other), Paraguay has ports on the Paraguay and Paraná rivers that give exit to the Atlantic Ocean, through the Paraná-Paraguay Waterway.
Following independence from Spain in the early 19th century, Paraguay was ruled by a series of authoritarian governments characterized by nationalist, isolationist and protectionist policies. This period ended with the disastrous Paraguayan War (1864–1870), during which the country lost half its prewar population and around 25–33% of its territory to the Triple Alliance of Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. In the 20th century, Paraguay faced another major international conflict—the Chaco War (1932–1935) against Bolivia – in which Paraguay prevailed. Afterwards, the country came under a succession of military dictators, culminating in the 35 year regime of Alfredo Stroessner, which lasted until his overthrow in 1989 by an internal military coup. This marked the beginning of Paraguay's democratic era, which continues to the present.
The majority of Paraguay's 6 million people are mestizo, and Guarani culture remains widely influential; more than 90% of the population speak various dialects of the Guarani language alongside Spanish. Paraguay's GDP per capita PPP is the seventh in south america. In a 2017 Positive Experience Index based on global polling data, Paraguay ranked as the "world's happiest place". (Full article...)
The Paraguayan War, also known as the War of the Triple Alliance, was a South American war that lasted from 1864 to 1870. It was fought between Paraguay and the Triple Alliance of Argentina, the Empire of Brazil, and Uruguay. It was the deadliest and bloodiest inter-state war in Latin American history. Paraguay sustained large casualties, but the approximate numbers are disputed. Paraguay was forced to cede disputed territory to Argentina and Brazil. The war began in late 1864, as a result of a conflict between Paraguay and Brazil caused by the Uruguayan War. Argentina and Uruguay entered the war against Paraguay in 1865, and it then became known as the "War of the Triple Alliance."
After Paraguay was defeated in conventional warfare, it conducted a drawn-out guerrilla resistance, a strategy that resulted in the further destruction of the Paraguayan military and the civilian population. Much of the civilian population died due to battle, hunger, and disease. The guerrilla war lasted for 14 months until President Francisco Solano López was killed in action by Brazilian forces in the Battle of Cerro Corá on 1 March 1870. Argentine and Brazilian troops occupied Paraguay until 1876. (Full article...)