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The invasion of Spain by the French, the abdication of CHARLES IV in favor of his son, FERDINAND VII, the captivity in France, of the latter King, and the accession of JOSEPH BONAPARTE to the throne of Spain, caused in Paraguay the same effect as in the rest of Spanish America, and paved the way to independence.

On the 14th of May, 1811, Don PEDRO JUAN CABALLERO, accompanied by a few men, attacked the barracks at Asunción and took possession thereof without resistance of any kind on the part of the garrison. On the morning of the 15th he demanded of VELAZCO, the Spanish governor, not to make any opposition to his plans, and Governor VELAZCO finally yielded to his wishes. A condition imposed upon the governor, which he accepted, was that he should associate himself with two citizens and divide his authority with them. The people adhered to this movement, and the revolution for independence was thus consummated.

The "Junta Gubernativa,” or governing board, of Paraguay was organized as follows: Governor VELAZCO, chairman, and Don GASPAR RODRIGUEZ DE FRANCIA and Don JUAN VALERIANO ZEBALLOS, members.

On the 9th of June, 1811, Governor VELAZCO was deposed by the troops, and RODRIGUEZ DE FRANCIA and ZEBALLOS remained, for the time being, in charge of the Government.

An assembly of Paraguayan deputies, whose sessions were inaugurated two days afterwards, passed a resolution by which all allegiance to Spain was renounced, and a new “Junta Gubernativa,” consisting of five members, namely: Don FRANCISCO YEGROS, Don GASPAR RODRIGUEZ DE FRANCIA, Don PEDRO JUAN CABALLERO, Don FRANCISCO JAVIER BOGARIN, and Don FERNANDO MORA, was created. YEGROS was made the chairman of this board and Mora the secretary.

A subsequent Congress, whose first meeting was held on October 1, 1813, ratified the declaration of independence, resolved that Paraguay should thereafter be a Republic, devised and adopted for it a national flag, and vested the Government, or the executive branch thereof, in two consuls, to be elected annually.

The first consuls, elected on October 12, 1813, were Dr. Don GASPAR RODRIGUEZ DE FRANCIA and Don FULGENCIO YEGROS. Difficulties having arisen between both functionaries, a new Congress decided (October, 1814) to make Doctor FRANCIA dictator for three years. Before the expiration of this term another Congress (1816) proclaimed, by a decree, that Doctor FRANCIA's dictatorship should be perpetual. Upon the death of Doctor FRANCIA, on September 20, 1840, a Provisional Government was created at Asunción, consisting of four military officers of high rank under the presidency of the mayor of Asunción, Don JOSÉ MANUEL ORTIZ; but shortly afterwards (January 23, 1841) this board, or junta, was superseded by a triumvirate, which in its turn was abolished by order of Congress (March 12, 1841) and replaced by the old consulate. The consuls chosen were Don CARLOS ANTONIO LOPEZ and Don MARIANO ROQUE ALONZO. The latter was a soldier of high rank.

In 1814, at the expiration of the term of office of the two consuls, the form of government was modified by Congress and a law was passed vesting the executive authority in a chief magistrate under the title of President of the Republic, who should serve for ten years. Don Carlos ANTONIO LOPEZ, having been elected for this position, completed his term of office in 1854, was reelected for three years, and in 1857 for ten years more. Upon his death, on the both of September, 1862, the government fell into the hands of his son, Don FRANCISCO SOLANO LOPEZ, as acting president at first, and almost immediately afterwards (October 16, 1862), under an act of Congress, as President of the Republic for ten years.

Upon the refusal by the Argentine Republic to permit the passage through her territory of certain Paraguayan troops, which were intended to operate against Brazil, the Paraguayan Congress issued (March 18, 1865) a declaration of war against the former country, and this brought about an alliance between Brazil, the Argentine Republic, and Uruguay, by whose action Paraguay was almost annihilated.

LOPEZ was killed in a battle on the 1st of March, 1870.

A committee of twenty-one prominent citizens then undertook the reorganization of the country. The administration of the Government was temporarily entrusted to a triumvirate, consisting of Don Cirilo ANTONIO RIVAROLA, Don Carlos LOIZAGA, and Don JOSÉ DIAZ BEDOY. These gentlemen worked faithfully, and fulfilled their delicate mission to the satisfaction of all. The difficulties of their work were rendered graver by the fact that the enemy had not yet evacuated Paraguayan territory. The old electoral districts were reestablished so far as practicable, and a constitutional convention, consisting of fifty-six delegates elected by the people, was called to assemble. This convention met on the 15th of August, 1870, and the constitution it framed, which was promulgated on the 25th of the following November, is still in force.


(Promulgated November 25, 1870.)

Nos, los representantes de la · We, the representatives of the Nación paraguaya, reunidos en Paraguayan Nation, by the free Convención Nacional Constitu- and spontaneous will of the Parayente por la libre y espontánea guayan people in national constivoluntad del pueblo paraguayo, tutional convention assembled, for con el objeto de establecer la jus- the purpose of establishing justice, ticia, asegurar la tranquilidad in- securing domestic peace, providing terior, proveer á la defensa común, for the common defense, promotpromover el bienestar general y ing the general welfare, and caushacer duraderos los beneficios de ing the benefits of liberty to be la libertad para nosotros, para lasting for ourselves, our descendnuestra posteridad y para todos ants, and in general all men who los hombres del mundo que lleguen may come and inhabit the Paraá habitar el suelo paraguayo, in- guayan soil-after having invoked vocando á Dios Todopoderoso, su- Almighty God, the Supreme Legispremo legislador del universo, lator of the Universe - do hereby ordenamos, decretamos y estable- ordain, decree, and establish this cemos esta Constitución para la Constitution of the Republic of República del Paraguay.


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ARTÍCULO 1. El Paraguay es y ARTICLE 1. Paraguay is and shall será siempre libre é independiente; be forever free and independent, se constituye en República una é constitutes itself in a Republic one indivisible, y adopta para su and indivisible, and adopts for its Gobierno la forma democrática government the democratic reprerepresentativa.

sentative form. ART. 2. La soberanía reside ART. 2. The sovereignty is esencialmente en la Nación, que vested essentially in the Nation, delega su ejercicio en las autori- and the Nation delegates it to the dades que establece la presente authorities established by the Constitución.

present Constitution. ART. 3. La religión del Estado ART. 3. The religion of the es la Católica, Apostólica Romana, State is the Roman Catholic debiendo ser paraguayo el Jefe de Apostolic, it being necessary for la Iglesia; sin embargo, el Con- the chief prelate of the Paraguayan greso no podrá prohibir el libre church to be a Paraguayan. Conejercicio de cualquiera otra re- gress, however, shall not have ligión en todo el territorio de la power to forbid the free exercise of República.

any other religion within the ter

ritory of the Republic. ART. 4. El Gobierno provee á ART. 4. The Government shall los gastos de la Nación con los provide for the expenses of the fondos del Tesoro nacional, for- Nation out of the funds of the namado del producto del derecho de tional treasury, which shall consist exportación é importación, de la of the product of export and import venta ó locación de tierras pú- duties, the sale or lease of public blicas, de la renta de correos, fe- lands, the proceeds of the postal rrocarriles, de los empréstitos y and railroad services, the loans and operaciones de crédito, y de los operations of credit which may be demás impuestos ó contribuciones contracted or made, and the taxes que dicte el Congreso por leyes of all kinds which Congress may especiales.

levy by special laws. ART. 5. En el interior de la ART. 5. The circulation in the República es libre de derecho la interior of the Republic of effects, circulación de los efectos de pro- the product or manufacture of the ducción ó fabricación nacional, Nation, shall be free from duty. así como también la introducción The same freedom shall be ende los artículos concernientes á la joyed by articles introduced from educación é instrucción pública, á abroad, for educational and agrila agricultura, las máquinas á cultural purposes, the steam envapor y las imprentas.

gines, and presses and material for

printing ART. 6. El Gobierno fomentará ART. 6. The Government shall la inmigración americana y euro- promote American and European pea, y no podrá restringir, limitar, immigration, and shall not restrict, ni gravar con impuesto alguno la limit, or burden with charges of entrada en el territorio paraguayo any kind, the admission into the de los extranjeros que traigan por Paraguayan territory of foreigners objeto mejorar las industrias, la- coming into it with the intention of brar la tierra é introducir y en- improving the Paraguayan indusseñar las ciencias у las artes. tries, cultivating the soil, or intro

ducing and teaching sciences or

arts. ART. 7. La navegación de los ART. 7. The navigation of the ríos interiores de la Nación es libre interior rivers of the Nation is free para todas las banderas, con suje- to all flags; but the rules and regución únicamente a los reglamentos lations which Congress may make que dicte al respecto el Congreso. for the proper use of this freedom

shall be observed. ART. 8. La educación primaria ART. 8. Primary instruction será obligatoria y de atención pre- shall be compulsory, and the Govferente del Gobierno, y el Con- ernment shall give to it preferent greso oirá anualmente los infor- attention. A report on this submes que á este respecto presente ject shall be submitted to Congress el Ministro del Ramo para pro- every year by the head of the edumover por todos los medios posi- cational department of the Govbles la instrucción de los ciu- ernment, and Congress shall prodadanos.

mote by all possible means the instruction of the citizens.

ART. 9. En caso de conmoción ART. 9. In case of internal disinterior ó ataque exterior que turbance, or foreign attack, of ponga en peligro el ejercicio de sufficient gravity to endanger the esta Constitución y de las autori- observance of the Constitution dades creadas por ella, se declarará and the exercise of the power and en estado de sitio una parte ó todo duties vested in the authorities el territorio paraguayo por un created by it, a part or the whole término limitado. Durante este of the Paraguayan territory may tiempo el poder del Presidente debe declared, for a limited time, to la República se limitará á arrestar be in a state of siege. During á las personas sospechosas ó tras such time the power of the Presiladarlas de un punto á otro de la dent of the Republic shall not go nación, si ellas no prefieren salir beyond the arrest of the suspected fuera del país.

persons, or their transfer from one place to another in the Republic, if they do not prefer to leave

the country. ART. 10. El Congreso promoverá ART. 10. Congress shall attend la reforma de la legislación que to the reform of the legislation existía anteriormente en todos sus hitherto in force. ramos

ART. 11. El derecho de ser juz- ART. 11. The right of trial by gado por jurados en las causas jury in criminal cases shall be criminales será asegurado a todos, guaranteed to all and shall be fory permanecerá para siempre in ever inviolable. violable.

ART. 12. Es deber del Gobierno ART. 12. It shall be the duty of afianzar sus relaciones de paz y the Government to affirm, by comercio con las naciones extran- means of treaties concluded in jeras por medio de tratados que conformity with the principles of estén de conformidad con los prin- public law established in this concipios de Derecho público estable- stitution, the relations of peace and cidos en esta Constitución.

commerce of the Republic with

foreign nations. ART. 13. El Congreso no podrá ART. 13. In no case shall Conjamás conceder al Poder Ejecutivo gress have authority to grant exfacultades extraordinarias, ni la traordinary powers to the Execusuma del poder público; ni otor- tive, or vest in it the entire public garle sumisiones ó supremacias por power, nor shall it give the Execulas que la vida, el honor y la pro- tive any authority or supremacy piedad de los habitantes de la which may cause the lives, the República queden á merced del honor, or the property of the inGobierno ó persona alguna. La habitants of the Republic to be at dictadura es nula é inadmisible en the mercy of the Government, or la República del Paraguay, y los of any individual person. Dictaque la formulen, consientan ó fir- torship is unlawful and inadmismen se sujetarán á la responsabili- sible in the Republic of Paraguay,

de los infames traidores and whoever may propose to estabá la patria.

lish it or consents or subscribes to its establishment, shall be held to be an infamous traitor to the country, liable as such to the penalties and responsibility established by law.

dad y pena

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