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Brazil and the Paraguayan War: Conflicts and Interests

Summary and Keywords

In 1863 and 1864, historical and political contradictions in the River Plate region led to civil war in Uruguay, creating tensions with neighboring nations in the region. The Brazilian government intervened both politically and militarily in Uruguay to address the interests of ranchers in its province of Rio Grande do Sul, to distract the attention of the Brazilian citizens from domestic problems, and to preserve the political influence of the Empire of Brazil on Uruguay. This action by the Empire clashed with the new Paraguayan policy of political interference in the River Plate region and resulted in the declaration of war against Brazil by Paraguayan dictator Francisco Solano López. This conflict broadened into the Paraguayan War.

Keywords: Paraguayan War, Triple Alliance War, Uruguayan civil war, foreign policy of the Empire of Brazil, Francisco Solano López, Christie Affair


In the 1840s, D. Pedro II (1840–1889) consolidated the Empire of Brazil as a centralized monarchial state that remained as such under his long reign. The empire’s elites soon turned Brazil into a constitutional and parliamentary monarchy in which the principal vote was that of the emperor and the two existing parties, the Conservative and the Liberal, took turns in parliamentary power until 1889, when the Republic was installed by means of a military coup.1 The oligarchies of the southeastern provinces—Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and Minas Gerais—enriched by coffee exports, constituted the political core of this empire and enjoyed the support of other provincial oligarchies.

All the provincial elites had great interest in this centralized state because it maintained political stability, worked to preserve slavery by containing rebellions and by resisting the English pressure to end the slave trade from Africa to Brazil, and worked to uphold the unity of the vast territory.

In 1848 the Conservative Party governed the Empire of Brazil and implemented a clear policy regarding the relations of the country with neighboring states. Concerning the River Plate, two main goals were established: to restrain the regional influence of Buenos Aires and to ensure free navigation for Brazilian ships. The definition of the first goal had as contributing factors the heritage of the rivalry between the two former colonial powers, Portugal and Spain, regarding the Banda Oriental del Uruguay (Eastern Bank of Uruguay); the war between Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, from 1825 until 1828 over the referred territory, and, in particular, the refusal in 1843 of Juan Manuel de Rosas, governor of Buenos Aires and in charge of the external representation of the Confederation of Argentina, to ratify the treaty of friendship which he himself had once proposed. He had made this proposal arguing that it would be a way to put an end to the civil war in Uruguay and the “farroupilha” rebellion (Rebellion of the Ragamuffins) in the province of Rio Grande do Sul.2 In Rio de Janeiro, this refusal was interpreted as evidence that Rosas was the enemy of the Empire and that he had an expansionist project to unify, under a republic lead by Buenos Aires, the territory of the former Viceroyalty of the River Plate (the territory that today comprises Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay, and Uruguay). Therefore, the conservative government of the Empire decided to contain Buenos Aires, a policy guideline that persisted even after the fall of Rosas in 1852.

The concern of the imperial diplomacy to maintain the free navigation of the rivers Paraguay, Paraná, and Uruguay equally contributed to the contention policy regarding Buenos Aires. The reason for this lies in the fact that the regular administrative and commercial contact between Rio de Janeiro and the distant province of Mato Grosso, neighboring Paraguay, was maintained by vessels, given the fact that this territory was practically isolated from the rest of Brazil by dense forest. The vessels sailed from Rio de Janeiro to the River Plate and then along the rivers Parana and Paraguay to reach Cuiabá, the capital of Mato Grosso.

Each of those rivers was international given that their banks did not belong to one country only. This explained the defense made by the Empire of the independence of Uruguay and Paraguay and the consequent policy of containment regarding Buenos Aires by the Brazilian diplomacy. In 1844, Brazil was the first nation to recognize the independence of Paraguay, an act that led to protest by the Confederation of Argentina, for Rosas refused to recognize it.3

The Brazilian monarchial state was not interested in the emergence of a strong neighboring republic in South America. Such a republic could eventually become a military threat and, furthermore, serve as an incentive, as a successful example, for republican movements in Brazil.4 This position was a result of a foreign policy defined by a decision-making procedure characterized by the rational setting of goals and the establishment of measures in order to achieve them. Participating institutions of this process were the Parliament, the Council of State—an important advisory body to Pedro II composed of conservative as well as liberal politicians—the Cabinet of Ministers, and the emperor himself.5

The logic of containing the alleged expansionary project, by Juan Manuel de Rosas,6 of rebuilding the former Viceroyalty in the shape of a republic under the leadership of Buenos Aires explains the military intervention of the Empire in the River Plate. In 1851 this intervention took place in Uruguay, in favor of the colorado government that, then, defeated the blancos, supported by Rosas, in a civil war that had begun in 1839. This military intervention favored the interests of ranchers7 in Rio Grande do Sul who owned cattle farms in Uruguay and actively supported the colorados. The military and political interventions of the Empire in Uruguay throughout the 1850s, however, did not have as their main reason the defense of the interests of these farmers, even though they had been a consequence of them.

In 1852, as a result of the action in Uruguay the year before and the declaration of war by Rosas, the Empire allied with the Argentinean opposition, led by the powerful caudillo Justo José Urquiza from the province of Entre Ríos, against Rosas, the dictator of the Confederation who ended up defeated in the battle of Monte Caseros, in February of that year. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Empire, Paulino José Soares de Souza, justified the interventions in Uruguay and against Rosas by saying that Rosas had become “extremely powerful” ever since he got rid of both English and French naval blockades, respectively, in 1847 and 1848 and benefited from the withdrawal of military and financial support by England and France to the Uruguayan colorado government. Soares de Souza further argued that, should the blancos win the civil war in Uruguay, Rosas would prevail over the internal opposition in Argentina and, thereafter, annex Paraguay to the Confederation of Argentina. In this case, there would be no allies left in the River Plate on which the Empire could rely, and Rosas, as head of a politically and militarily strengthened Confederation, would wage war against Brazil “in a battle in which we would shed much blood and depend on huge sums.”8

After the interventions the Empire became hegemonic in Uruguay by means of the signature of several treaties, including an agreement settling the limits between both countries based on the criteria defended by the Brazilian diplomacy. A further consequence was the removal of the menace that Rosas represented, diverting a threat to free navigation in the region as well as obtaining the recognition of the independence of Paraguay by the new government of the Confederation of Argentina in 1852. Concerning its policy for the River Plate, the monarchial state still needed to settle the borders with both the Confederation and Paraguay based on the criterion of uti possidetis facto. According to this, a territory belonged to the government that, at the moment of independence, had its citizens or officials within it, a criterion that implied the consolidation of Portuguese territorial expansionism, during the colonial period, as Brazilian national territory.

The actual existence of two Argentinean regimes hindered Imperial diplomatic action regarding the settling of borders with the Confederation of Argentina. The defeat of Rosas did not mean the submission of Buenos Aires to the federalist political project of the other provinces. The economic strength of Buenos Aires as well as the strategic geographic location of its capital city, controlling the river access from the Argentinean interior to the sea, had made it possible for this province to become autonomous from the Confederation. Just as the Empire was not interested in a great and strong Argentina, it did not wish its fragmentation either, given that the resulting instability could threaten the free navigation in the region and have an effect on internal politics in Uruguay and, even, in Rio Grande do Sul. Furthermore, if the Confederation benefited from Buenos Aires’s wealth, it could write off the debt that Urquiza had contracted with the Imperial Treasury in order to finance the military operations against Rosas, a debt which had been assumed by the Confederation.9 The delicate situation in which the Brazilian diplomacy found itself was summed up, in 1855, by Paulino de Souza, Viscount of Uruguay, in a letter to José Maria da Silva Paranhos:

If war breaks out in the River Plate, we will be dragged into it. If we ally with Buenos Aires, we will have Urquiza against us who will soon make peace with [Carlos Antonio] López and the Paraná River navigation [will be] closed. If we ally with Urquiza we will ipso facto have Buenos Aires against us, for it will ally with Paraguay, and we will lose the important trade we have with Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires is likely to summon the Estado Oriental [Uruguay] and you rest assured that it will do so. We will remain with Urquiza only, who does not inspire any confidence. (…) I have a tremendous fear of finding ourselves involved in a battle which end is unpredictable.10

As a consequence, the Imperial government assumed a neutral position concerning the dispute between the Confederation and Buenos Aires. It did not prevent the Empire from supporting the Confederation financially and maintaining cordial relations with Buenos Aires. In 1857 the Empire and the Confederation signed treaties on navigation, extradition, and borders, but the latter agreement was not ratified by the Argentinean Congress. They also signed a military alliance agreement according to which the Confederation would support the Empire in its differences with Paraguay. In return, the Brazilian Treasury lent that government 314,000 “patacões.”11

The relations between the Brazilian and Paraguayan governments had deteriorated after the defeat of the common enemy, Rosas. An element of great friction in the bilateral relations was the litigation regarding the territory between the rivers Apa and Branco. The government of Carlos Antonio López affirmed that the river Branco ought to be the border and, in order to defend this position, appealed to treaties that had been signed between the former colonial powers. For the Empire, however, the limit between the two countries was the river Apa and, for this purpose, made use of the uti possidetis criterion. In 1856 the Brazilian and Paraguayan governments signed a Friendship, Commerce and Navigation Treaty which granted free navigation of the rivers Paraguay and Paraná by Brazilian vessels and put the decision concerning the territorial litigation on hold for six years. Notwithstanding the Treaty, the Paraguayan president, Carlos Antonio López, shortly afterward attempted to place the condition on free navigation with the definition of borders between both countries at the river Branco. But López backed away from this purpose due to the 1857 military cooperation agreement between the Confederation and the Empire, which warranted support to the Empire in case of a military conflict between Brazil and Paraguay.12

Brazil and the Paraguayan War: Conflicts and InterestsClick to view larger

Figure 1. Territorial Disputes in the Platine Region in 1864

(Courtesy of Hoodinski and Wikimedia Commons).

The Liberals in Power in Brazil and the Situation in the River Plate

In 1862 the Brazilian Liberal Party rose to power, replacing the Conservative Party that had dominated since 1848. A faction of this party, of moderate approach, had allied with the liberals and formed the so-called Progressive League, causing the fall of the conservative government of the Marquis of Caxias. In the following years, until 1868, internal struggles within the Liberal Party caused such political instability that Brazil had six liberal administrations in six years. These political struggles and the need to please the population in the prewar period, particularly the citizens of Rio de Janeiro and the ranchers of Rio Grande do Sul, had an influence in the decision-making process of the liberal governments concerning foreign policy, especially in the River Plate.13 In this region, important political changes took place in 1862. After a decade of division into two states, Argentina became a united republic under Bartolomé Mitre, although a weakened federalist opposition remained, led by Justo José Urquiza, caudillo of the province of Entre Ríos. In Paraguay, 1862 was the year in which President Carlos Antonio López died and was replaced by his son, Francisco Solano López, who implemented an active diplomacy regarding the River Plate, in contrast to the political pragmatism and caution of his father’s administration in the region.

In order to confront the government of Mitre, the Argentinean opposition established relations with political forces in the River Plate contrary to Buenos Aires: the blancos, in power in Uruguay since 1860, and the Paraguay government, which, eager to ensure and expand its commercial relations with the European markets, saw in the Port of Montevideo an alternative to the control exerted by the port of the Argentinean capital over the Paraguayan foreign trade. This Uruguayan port was also used by the Argentinean provinces of Entre Ríos and Corrientes for their exports.14 Thus, different regional interests converged in Uruguay, whose government, under Bernardo Berro, sought to weaken the hegemony of the Empire of Brazil in his country. Berro not only refused to renew the Trade and Navigation Treaty signed in 1851 but also took measures in order to impose Uruguayan laws and taxes on Brazilian ranchers of the Rio Grande do Sul who owned great land properties in the north of Uruguay.15 The Argentine and Brazilian governments had common interests in ending the blanco administration. In March 1863 the colorados, led by Venancio Flores, revolted against President Berro with the support of the Argentine government, the Brazilian ranchers settled in Uruguay, and, from mid-1864 onward, the Imperial government.

In order to deal with this delicate situation, the Uruguayan government sent Octávio Lápido on a mission to Paraguay in June 1863. His purpose was to obtain an alliance with Paraguay against Argentina and Brazil, but Francisco Solano López did not commit to the Berro government. Nevertheless, López associated the survival of the blanco government with the defense of the Paraguayan interests. As a consequence, in September of that year, the Paraguayan president wrote to Bartolomé Mitre warning that the Argentinean support for Flores conflicted with Paraguayan interests. In its answer, Argentina stated that its position regarding the civil war in Uruguay was neutral, although the country could change this position without being accountable to anyone. In February 1864 full military mobilization began in Paraguay.16

In Brazil in 1863, the image of the government suffered a blow regarding its ability to confront the nation’s foreign challenges. In the beginning of 1863, the Port of Rio de Janeiro was blocked by British warships, which, between January 1 and 6, confiscated five Brazilian merchant vessels in the Guanabara Bay. This hostile action had the goal of forcing the Empire to pay a compensation of 3,200 pounds sterling for the plundering of the British vessel, Prince of Wales, after it had sunk off the coast of Rio Grande do Sul in December 1861. Another demand was the rebuke of the chief of police for having arrested, for a few hours, three plainclothes British officers for causing disorder in the city streets. The rebuke never happened, but the Brazilian government, powerless to react to the British naval action, made the payment under protest, forced the British minister, William D. Christie, to leave the country, and, responding to the refusal of Great Britain to apologize for the naval aggression, broke off relations on May 25. This act by the Brazilian government did not change the popular perception in Rio de Janeiro that the liberal administration was militarily and politically powerless, in contrast to the previous government of the Conservative Party, which in the 1840s resisted British pressure regarding the renewal of commercial privileges and maintained a proud posture concerning the actions of British Navy against the slave trade between Africa and Brazil.17

The naval action Christie had ordered against the Port of Rio de Janeiro provoked fury among the citizens who took the streets shouting insults at the English and threatening to attack the British legation.18 This indignation was reproduced in the debates in the Brazilian Parliament, stirring the emotions in such a manner that an Argentine diplomat went so far as to say that “after the English affair” a war sentiment emerged in the Brazilian capital.19

It was a feeling that could not be expressed in an action against Great Britain, given its military and economic superiority, but which ended up being transferred in favor of a Brazilian military intervention in the Uruguayan civil war. This intervention was required in April 1864 by the ranchers of Rio Grande do Sul, who had their interests undermined by the blanco administration—at this point Berro’s term of office had ended and the new president was Atanásio Aguirre, a blanco as well—and who were interested in the victory of the colorados. The envoy of the ranchers to Rio de Janeiro, Antonio de Souza Neto, submitted a formal request for Brazilian military intervention against the Uruguayan government, whose officials were accused of promoting disorder at the country’s border and of acting violently against Brazilian citizens living in Uruguay.20

The Imperial administration, chaired by Zacarias de Góes e Vasconcellos, approached this request with caution. On one hand, the attempt of a republican secession of Rio Grande do Sul—the so called República Riograndense (1836–1845)—was relatively recent, on the other, sentiments against the Empire were likely to reemerge should Rio de Janeiro refuse the required intervention.

In the troubled and aggressive environment of Rio de Janeiro, the accusations made by the ranchers of Rio Grande do Sul spread and the prevailing opinion favored an intervention in Uruguay. The Brazilian government considered this intervention relatively safe, given that the blancos did not have enough military strength to resist and that this action would occur, as an unprecedented fact, in accordance with Buenos Aires. After all, in April that same year José Mármol had come to the Brazilian capital, sent by Mitre on a mission to prevent misunderstandings between Argentina and Brazil on their respective goals in Uruguay as well as to straighten bilateral relations, overcoming differences of the past. Mármol had received instructions to declare the Argentinean neutrality regarding any action Brazil would take in order to obtain an apology from the Uruguayan government for the alleged violence conducted by its officers against Brazilian subjects.21

The Brazilian Intervention in Uruguay

Under the given circumstances, the idea of an intervention came to be viewed favorably by the Imperial government. After all, it would serve as a tool for achieving a national objective by maintaining the political influence of the Empire in Uruguay. Furthermore, through this action the liberal administration would regain popularity and meet the claim of the ranchers of Rio Grande do Sul.22 Thereby the initial diplomatic complaints submitted to the government of Uruguay were followed by a more drastic measure: in 1864, José Antonio Saraiva, chairman of the Liberal Party, was sent on a mission to Uruguay accompanied by warships. He had received instructions to make the Uruguayan government respect the “rights” of the Brazilians settled in this country to require the punishment of the officers who committed abuse of authority as well as a compensation for the damages caused by these to the property of Brazilians.23 In reality, the Empire did not expect these demands to be met, but a negative response would serve as a justification to command the invasion of Uruguay by Brazilian troops. The main goal Saraiva had in negotiating with the Uruguayan government was to gain time while the Brazilian ground troops were organized and spread along the border.24 After all, despite its territorial magnitude, Brazil was militarily weak, consisting of an army of about 17,000 men spread throughout the vast national territory—in Rio Grande do Sul there were only 2,629 soldiers.25

The Empire’s concern in creating a context to justify military intervention can be explained by its caution toward Great Britain. According to the 1828 Treaty that created the República Oriental del Uruguay, the independence of this country was assured by Argentina, Brazil, and Great Britain, and, ever since then, the latter had demonstrated interest in the existence of a sovereign Uruguayan state. A military intervention of the Empire in Uruguay, without a previous diplomatic deadlock to justify it, could be interpreted by London as annexationist. Even in Argentina it could give rise to this suspicion in some political circles, which would lead the Empire to a position of international isolation.

The Aguirre administration was not intimidated by the arrival of Saraiva and the naval force that accompanied him, perhaps believing that he could count on the support of Paraguay against a military action of the Empire. In a note sent to Saraiva, Chancellor Juan José Herrera blamed Brazil and Argentina for the Uruguayan civil war—and rightly so, for without the support of both countries, Flores would not be able to fight—and called into question the arguments put forth by the Imperial diplomacy against his government. Herrera asked how the accusations of daily violence against 40,000 settled Brazilians in Uruguay could possibly be true if there had been only 63 complaints by the Imperial government in 12 years.26

In Montevideo Counselor Saraiva came to the conclusion that it would be possible for Brazil to achieve its goals in Uruguay—including safeguarding Brazilian citizens’ interests in the country—by promoting internal peace instead of acting to ouster the blancos from power. After all, there was no short-term prospective of victory of the Aguirre government, which did not have a cavalry to chase and defeat Flores, or of Flores, who lacked an infantry to occupy Montevideo. Saraiva found a political solution that would consist in restructuring the Uruguayan government by removing the elements opposed to the Brazilian interests and incorporating the colorados into the ministry. The Imperial government agreed to this plan.27

The Uruguayan peace, according to the terms conceived by Saraiva, would mean the victory, albeit partial, of the colorado rebels and the weakening of the blancos, affecting also the Argentinean federalist opposition that would not have managed to ensure their allies in the government in Montevideo. For this reason, Mitre decided to participate in Saraiva’s conciliatory initiative by sending his chancellor, Rufino de Elizalde, to Montevideo as well as requesting Edward Thornton, British envoy to Buenos Aires, to accompany him.28 Mitre authorized Elizalde to act in accordance with Saraiva in his work on behalf of peace, provided that the Brazilian counselor helped the Argentinean colleague in his claims. On June 6 Elizalde and Thornton disembarked in Montevideo, and in a meeting Saraiva assured both diplomats that he would collaborate with them in the effort to bring the civil war to an end.29

The British legation in Montevideo pressed Aguirre to receive Saraiva, Elizalde, and Thorton, who laid out the importance of pacifying Uruguay. The presence of Thorton served as an endorsement regarding the seriousness of the Argentinean and Brazilian mediation, and the initiative was well received by both the population and the press in Montevideo. The three diplomats, accompanied by Andrés Lamas, the Uruguayan representative in Buenos Aires, and by Florentino Castellanos, representing President Aguirre, went to meet Flores,30 arriving in his camp on June 16. They reached an immediate armistice agreement concerning the civil war, followed by the Puntas del Rosario Conference two days later. On this occasion, Flores, Lama, and Castellanos presented their peace terms, and a preliminary text of agreement was drafted. Aguirre accepted Flores’s terms, the main condition being the change of the ministry, removing radical blanco members and incorporating colorado politicians. When peace was already considered a fait accompli, the Uruguayan president withdrew, saying that he would consider the possibility of making changes in the ministry only after the demobilization of the colorado troops. On July 7 Aguirre made changes in the ministry, nominating ministers who were even more radical concerning their aversion to Flores than their predecessors.31 Elizalde, Saraiva, and Thornton declared their peace efforts ended, and immediate Brazilian military intervention did not take place only because there were still not enough troops in Rio Grande do Sul.32

The mediation failed to end the Uruguayan civil war, but it created an environment of mutual trust between Argentina and the Empire. On July 11 Saraiva met with Mitre in Buenos Aires in presence of his ministry and Thornton. On this occasion Mitre refused Saraiva’s proposal of a joint intervention by Brazil and Argentina in Uruguay in order to force the two warring parties to lay down arms.33 The president urged, however, not to see in the Brazilian action toward Uruguay any unjust goals or objectives incompatible with the independence and integrity of that country.34 Thus, Mitre maintained his formal neutrality in the Uruguayan civil war. Although leaving Brazil free to put pressure on Aguirre, Mitre managed, at the same time, not to provoke any opposing reaction of political anti-Brazilian sectors in Argentina against himself.

Aguirre, for his part, sent Antonio de las Carreras on a mission to Paraguay. Carreras told López that Brazil intended to annex part of Uruguay and that Argentina would remain with what was left or, even, the control over the government of the country.35 Carreras handed López a letter from Aguirre in which he urged Paraguay to intervene in the River Plate in order to prevent complications that would jeopardize security in the region.36 By this time, López was convinced that the Empire and Argentina were acting together regarding not only Uruguay but also Paraguay,37 with which both nations had border litigation.

On August 4, Saraiva, under instructions of the Imperial government, issued President Aguirre an ultimatum, giving him six days to abide by the Brazilian requirements that had been previously set, otherwise Brazilian troops would enter Uruguay in order to ensure the “rights” of the Imperial subjects settled there. Aguirre feared neither a Brazilian nor an Argentinean invasion, for he was convinced that he could rely on Paraguayan mediation and, if necessary, its military support.38

On August 11 Saraiva ended his mission and withdrew to Buenos Aires, where, on the August 22, he and Rufino de Elizalde signed a protocol declaring that peace in Uruguay was indispensable for solving the differences of this nation with Argentina and Brazil. In this document, the Argentinean and Brazilian governments mutually recognized their freedom of action toward the Uruguayan administration, provided it was carried out by licit means and respected the territorial integrity and independence of Uruguay. Argentina and Brazil promised mutual assistance in the efforts of each in solving their respective issues with the Aguirre government.39

Aguirre broke off diplomatic relations with the Empire of Brazil, and the Uruguayan representative in Asuncion, Vásquez Sagastume, handed the Paraguayan administration a copy of Saraiva’s note with the ultimatum. On August 30, the Paraguayan government objected before the Brazilian diplomatic legation against any occupation of the Uruguayan territory by Imperial forces. According to this document, such action would “offend the balance among the states of the River Plate,” which was of Paraguayan interest, and Paraguay would not take responsibility for the consequences of any Brazilian act.40

The War, the Triple Alliance, and Brazilian Internal Struggles

Within Brazilian political circles, no unanimity existed about the position the Empire should adopt regarding the Uruguayan crisis. Leaders of the Conservative Party such as the Marquis of Caxias and Senator José Maria da Silva Paranhos criticized the aggressive stand of the Imperial government toward Uruguay. Concerned about the safety of his investments in Argentina and Uruguay, the Baron of Mauá was interested in a peaceful solution of the Uruguayan situation as well. Furthermore, he sympathized with the blancos and despised Flores.41 Unanimous, however, was the underestimation of the threat of military action implicit in the Paraguayan objection of August 30. In addition, the Brazilian government believed that Paraguay would break off diplomatic relations.42 They also did not take the Paraguayan military strength seriously, for until then their only victorious battles had been under conditions of strong numerical advantage: against the column commanded by Manuel Belgrano, in 1811, and at the expulsion of 25 Brazilian soldiers from Sugarloaf Island, in the Paraguay river, in 1850.43

Furthermore, the Brazilian government could not see any reason for a military action by Paraguay, given that there was no hostility from the Empire toward this country. The Paraguayan note of August was interpreted as a form of diplomatic pressure, not representing any real threat. This conclusion was strengthened by the economic and demographic disproportion between the Empire and Paraguay (Table 1).

The size of the Paraguayan army was already the result of national mobilization, called in the beginning of 1864, while the size of the Brazilian army was a peacetime one. The higher the number of inhabitants of a country, the greater was its capacity of increasing its army. Thus, Brazil could significantly increase its army, while Paraguay was already reaching its limit of young men in physical condition to fight.

The reports of the Imperial legation in Asuncion, minimizing the Paraguayan military mobilization as well as Solano López’s aggressive intentions, also contributed to the Empire ignoring the threat in the Paraguayan note of August. On September 19 this legation began to express concerns regarding the threats of Solano López against Brazil and, even then, concluded that they were not to be taken seriously.44

Table 1. Economic and Demographic Disproportion Between the Brazilian Empire and Paraguay.69






Foreign trade in pounds sterling



Tax collection in pounds sterling



Army size



In any case, days before, the Imperial government had given Brazilian troops order to occupy the Uruguayan villages of Salto and Paissandú and recognized Flores as a warring party.45 On October 12 a Brazilian squad invaded Uruguayan territory and attacked the blancos.

Rumors of this invasion reached Asuncion on October 25. Since they were not officially confirmed, Solano López did not meet the request of the Uruguayan representative to provide the promised support to President Aguirre. The Brazilian representative in Asunción, César Sauvan Viana de Lima, interpreted this refusal as evidence that the dictator did not intend to help the Uruguayan government. The diplomat reaffirmed his doubts regarding a Paraguayan attack on Brazil, although Solano López and his ministers “continue stating that Paraguay would soon enter the war.”46 Sauvan de Lima, like the Brazilian government, analyzed the situation according to the logic of the disproportion between the Paraguayan and the Brazilian armies as well as to the inexistence of a military threat by Paraguay. The logic of Solano López, however, was that of a dictator used to making decisions alone and whose will was always to be fulfilled. Hence his excessive self-confidence and readiness to set in motion a war against the Empire and, thereafter, against Argentina.

On November 11 the Marquês de Olinda, a little Brazilian passenger ship that regularly sailed the route from Montevideo to Cuiabá, arrived in Asuncion. On it was the new president of the province of Mato Grosso, Colonel Carneiro de Campos, who, hours after leaving Asuncion, was reached by a Paraguayan gunboat and imprisoned in an act of disrespect to the Brazilian-Paraguayan Treaty on free navigation. Solano López did not understand how the Marquês de Olinda could possibly make this journey “after Brazil having declared war on us” by invading Uruguay even after the Paraguayan objection of August 30.47

In reality, the war was unleashed not by the Empire but by acts carried out by Solano López: the apprehension of the Marquês de Olinda and the imprisonment of a Brazilian authority without prior notice and for no reason; the breaking off, on November 12, of the diplomatic relations between his country and the Empire; and, the following month, the invasion of Mato Grosso. Four months later, on April 13, 1865, Solano López ordered the attack on the province of Corrientes, after Mitre denied passage to Paraguayan troops through the territory of Misiones in order to invade Rio Grande do Sul.

The invasion of Corrientes led to the signing, on May 1, 1865, of the Triple Alliance Treaty by Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay. Its content was secret and established a military alliance against Paraguay as well as the terms under which peace would be possible.48 The same day, the allied military operation plan was drafted, and its main goal was to take the war to the Paraguayan territory with operations converging to the Humaitá fortress. This fortress was the epicenter of a defensive system which controlled the navigation of the Paraguay river—the shortest access to Asuncion.49

On the side of the Empire, the Triple Alliance Treaty was negotiated by Francisco Octaviano de Almeida Rosa, who had been sent on a special mission to the River Plate in March 1865. He had instructions to strengthen the new Uruguayan colorado government of Flores as well as to verify the value of the damage caused to Brazilians by the Uruguayan civil war and, also, to find out how Uruguay could cooperate with Brazil in the war against Paraguay. As for Argentina, the goal was to prevent its government from creating obstacles to the action of the Empire against Solano López.50 All the Imperial government expected from Mitre was permission for the Imperial Navy to have access to Argentinean ports, for replenishment of coal and supplies.

The Paraguayan invasion of Corrientes changed this situation. The military aggression led Mitre to propose Brazil an alliance which would facilitate the action of the Empire against Solano López, and, even though Almeida Rosa did not have instructions to sign such treaty, it was urgent he do so in order to create a fait accompli. Thus the Imperial diplomat based his decision on the instructions he had received in the beginning of his mission regarding conditions under which peace could be signed with Paraguay: the Paraguayan government would have to pay compensation for the damage caused to Brazilian citizens as well as the Empire’s expenses; free navigation must be assured and the fortifications alongside the Paraguay river destroyed for that purpose; the border should be the one proposed by the Empire in 1853; and Solano López was to step down from power.51

Almeida Rosa included in the Triple Alliance Treaty an article (Article 9) according to which at the end of the war, Paraguayan independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity were guaranteed. However, the Treaty imposed on Paraguay the loss of territories, which, until then, had been under its sovereignty or were litigious, to the allied countries. The Chaco Boreal region—the land along the right bank of the Paraguay River stretching to the border with Mato Grosso—would be ceded to Argentina, as would the Misiones region. The Empire would claim the territory it had disputed with Asuncion for years.

In the Treaty of May 1, the allies declared that the war was against the Paraguayan government, not its people, but at the battlefront this distinction did not exist. The allied countries committed to continue the fight until the overthrow of Solano López, and it was forbidden to any of the allies to sign a separate peace treaty. For the Empire, the ouster of Solano López would ensure its own “safety” and regional peace, given the connections the dictator had to the Argentinean federalists and the blancos in Uruguay.52 In another agreement, the allies reserved the right of Bolivia to discuss its claim of sovereignty over the Chaco region and signed a protocol forbidding Paraguay to have fortifications that could hinder river navigation.53

The Triple Alliance Treaty was coldly received in Rio de Janeiro, where the prevailing opinion was that, in order to defeat Solano López, it would be entirely sufficient if Mitre merely did not create obstacles to the action of the Brazilian forces.54 The misinformation about the Paraguayan military capacity also spread in Argentina, where the government was convinced of a quick victory in Paraguay. For this reason, in 1865, Mitre presented to the Empire a project for peace, which Pedro II submitted to the Section of Foreign Affairs of the Council of State for analysis.55

The report of this section was against the project and critical of the alliance treaty. In this, the granting of the Chaco region to Argentina was classified as contrary to “the traditional policy” of the Empire, the goal of which was the maintenance of the independence of Paraguay, thereby preventing Mato Grosso from being bordered by Argentina. According to the report, the alliance treaty was a threat to Paraguayan independence, for it also recognized as Argentinean the territory of Misiones. Thus, Paraguay would be bordered by Argentina to the east and west, in addition to the already existing border in the south. The consultants also viewed with suspicion the assurance, contained in the Triple Alliance Treaty, of Paraguayan independence for a period of five years postwar and not perpetually and warned about the absence, in the Argentinean project for peace, of support by the government that would come to replace Solano López.

According to the report, the Triple Alliance was a fait accompli, and, under these circumstances, the best alternative would be that the Chaco would belong to Argentina stretching to the river Pilcomayio only. If the Argentinean government would not accept this reduction of land, it would be advisable for the Empire to increase its demands over Paraguayan territories, so as to leave “a more limited prey to be carried off by Argentina in the future.”

Almeida Rosa defended himself against these criticisms by accusing the “traditional policy” for the River Plate of worsening disputes dating back to the colonial period and maintaining that this policy had caused Brazil disappointments and war.56 He classified as “critical” the context in which he negotiated that treaty, given that the Empire had broken off relations with Great Britain; that Brazil was isolated from the neighboring republics due to unsolved border issues; and that there had been mistrust concerning the relations with the United States.57 As for the concession of the Chaco region, Almeida Rosa contended that, thanks to this compromise, Argentina recognized the borders between the Empire and Paraguay, further arguing that the Chaco territory was neither fertile ground nor populated.58

In Rio de Janeiro, the leaders of the Conservative Party defended the return to the “traditional policy” and the reconstruction of Paraguay in the postwar in order to enable this nation to defend itself from the alleged Argentinean expansionism. Although sympathetic toward Argentina, the liberals in power, confronted with the conviction expressed by the conservatives, did not dare to implement a policy of wide-ranging cooperation with Argentina.59

It was a long war, and in order to wage it, Brazil suffered great human and financial loss. From 1866 onward, part of the population and politicians, mainly those of the Conservative Party, defended a negotiated solution for the conflict. Refusing this option, D. Pedro II chose to carry on with the war until the overthrow of Solano López, who died in combat on March 1, 1870. In 1868 the emperor summoned the Conservative Party to constitute the new government and, thereby, the return to the containment policy of Argentina.

In 1872, two years after the end of the war, the Empire of Brazil signed a peace treaty with Paraguay without the participation of the other two allies. As had been required by Rio de Janeiro ever since the 1850s, the river Apa was settled as the Brazilian-Paraguayan border, and the other goals of the Empire—assured free navigation and the maintenance of the Brazilian military presence in Paraguay—were achieved as well. At the end of the war, a military division of the Empire—somewhat less than 4,000 men—remained near Asuncion, supporting the Brazilian diplomatic action of containing the Argentinean influence in Paraguay. The Treaty of Peace between Paraguay and Argentina was signed in 1876. According to this, Argentina remained with the territories of Misiones and the part of the Chaco region that stretches to the Pilcomayo river. The area between this river and the Verde River was submitted to arbitration of the president of the United States, who, in 1878, declared it part of Paraguay, which also remained with the rest of the Chaco region stretching to the border at Mato Grosso.

Since 1844 the relations between the Empire of Brazil and the Republic of Paraguay had been swinging between normality and tension. From 1862 until 1864 the political contradictions concerning the River Plate converged in Uruguay: namely, the interests of the ranchers of Rio Grande do Sul and the action of an interventionist Brazilian government, eager to divert attention from grave internal problems and to maintain the Brazilian claim over Uruguay. This action of the Empire conflicted with the new policy of Paraguay of getting actively involved in the events of the River Plate, leading to a war that lasted more than five years. There was no room for a negotiated solution, given that peace would be possible only with Solano López stepping down from power or at the expense of the survival of the Empire itself. If proven incapable of defending the national territory and of winning the war, the Empire would find itself threatened, externally, by other neighboring republics and, internally, by the reemergence of republican opposition. Neither Pedro II nor Solano López was ready to pay the price of peace.

Discussion of the Literature

There is a vast bibliography on the policy of the Empire of Brazil regarding the River Plate and the Paraguayan War. We have selected some studies that present a broader and more precise analysis of the historic context of the origins of the conflict and of its characteristics. In the classic Um estadista no Império; Nabuco de Araújo (there are several editions), Joaquim Nabuco, reporting on his father’s public life, makes an excellent political analysis of the Brazilian Empire and of the origins of the Paraguayan War, as well as of Brazil’s difficulty in handling it; most of Volume 2 deals with the conflict. In O expansionismo brasileiro: papel do Brasil na bacia do Prata—da colonização ao Império, Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandeira presents a well-documented analysis about Brazilian policy in the River Plate until 1870.60 It is a pioneer work in Brazil in contesting the interpretation according to which the war was caused by the British imperialism. The books Maldita Guerra, nova história da Guerra do Paraguai, by the author of this article, and La Guerra de la Triple Alianza; causas e inicios del mayor conflito bélico de América del Sur, by Thomas Whigham, are works that use extensive bibliography and documentation—some for the first time—in an effort at analysis and reconstitution of facts which encompasses the origins of the war; the five years of combat and the consequences of the Paraguayan defeat.61 In O Brasil no mundo, Leslie Bethell makes a summary of the foreign policy of the Empire of Brazil, as from 1830, and analyses the Paraguayan War.62 In Une guerre total. Paraguay, 1864–1870, essai d’histoire du temps present, the French historian Luc Capdevila studies the aspects of the conflict as well as the building of the memory of the war within the Paraguayan society.63 In Argentina, in La Guerra del Paraguay (using primary sources and a vast bibliography, Miguel Ángel de Marco analyzes the Argentinean involvement in the war and the performance of the Argentinean forces.64 For a revisionist analysis of the war, which makes British imperialism responsible for the conflict, see La Guerra del Paraguay; Estado, política y negócios by the Argentinean historian León Pomer.65 The rebuttal of this analysis can be found in Gran Bretaña y la Guerra de la Triple Alianza by the authors Juan Carlos Herken Krauer and Maria Isabel Gimenez de Herken.66 The Paraguayan historian Efraím Cardozo is the author of El Imperio del Brasil y el Río de la Plata; antecedents y estallido de la Guerra del Paraguay, which is a classic and essential reading, although written in 1960, without being able to use primary sources, which only became accessible to researchers at a later time.67 In the same category is The Origins of the Paraguayan War by the British historian Pelham Horton Box.68

Primary Sources—Brazil

The main Brazilian documentation about the origins of the Paraguayan War is available in Rio de Janeiro at: Arquivo do Exército (the Army Archives); Arquivo Histórico do Itamaraty (the Historical Archives of the Foreign Affairs Ministry); Arquivo Nacional (the National Archives); Arquivo Naval (the Navy Archives); and Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Brasileiro (the Brazilian Historic and Geographic Institute).

The National Library (Biblioteca Nacional), also in Rio de Janeiro, has maps, newspapers, documents, and rare books about the war.

The National Library of Brazil gives, in its website, online access to Brazilian newspapers of the time of the war.

Brazilian official documentation of the period, like reports of the Imperial Government Ministries and of the Presidents of the Brazilian Provinces, is available online through the Subject Guide to Statistics in the Presidential Reports of the Brazilian Provinces, 1830–1889.

A didactic documentary in Portuguese about the origins of the Paraguayan War and its military development is available through the website of the Brazilian Ministry of Education.

Further Reading

Diplomat Charles Ames Washburn, the United States representative in Paraguay, presents an enlightening report of the Paraguayan reality and the government of Solano López in: The history of Paraguay, with notes of personal observations (Boston: Lee, Shepard & Dillingham, 1871). The Paraguayan colonel Juan Crisóstomo Centurión, who fought in the war and, afterward, became a politician, wrote Memorias o reminiscencias históricas sobre la Guerra del Paraguay (Asunción, Paraguay: El Lector, 4 t., 1987), in which he gives an important account of the background of the conflict, the conditions under which it was fought, and the military commanders. The Brazilian intellectual Alfredo d’Escragnolle de Taunay, who participated in the war, presents his memories about the conflict in his Memórias (several editions). Also worth reading are the impressions of Sir Richard Francis Burton, eyewitness to events who published Letters from the battlefields of Paraguay in 1870 (several editions).


(1.) The emperor was the most important voter whenever he elected a politician to the office of president of the Cabinet of Ministers. This kind of prime minister appointed his minister, dissolved the Chamber of Deputies, in which the party formally in power had the majority, and called new elections. In these, only men with income could vote, and the result was manipulated in several ways by the new politicians in power. In this way, the political party of the new president of the Council won the elections. Hence, D. Pedro II was the most important voter.

(2.) Rosas had proposed the treaty when he was under naval threat by England and France (who supported the colorado government in the Uruguayan civil war) and fighting the revolt of the province of Corrientes. However, when Rosas received the treaty signed by D. Pedro II, the threats had ceased and the revolt had already ended.

(3.) Tomás Güido to Felipe Araña, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Confederation of Argentina, Rio de Janeiro, 24/7/1849. Archivo General de la Nación—Argentina, “Brasil—Ministro Plenipotenciário D. Tomás Güido,” X-1-7-9. Furthermore, in the case of Uruguay, independence was established in the Treaty of 1828—temporary, given that Buenos Aires had not signed a definitive treaty.

(4.) Gabriela Nunes Ferreira, O Rio da Prata e a consolidação do Estado Imperial (São Paulo: Hucitec, 2006), 221–224

(5.) Amado Luiz Cervo and Clodoaldo Bueno, História das Relações Internacionais do Brasil. 3d ed. (Brasília: Editora da UnB, 2008), 55, 131.

(6.) On this theme, see Paulo Cavaleri, La restauración del Virreinato; Orígenes del nacionalismo territorial argentino (Buenos Aires: Universidad Nacional de Quilmes Editorial, 2004), 17–72.

(7.) “Pecuaristas” are cattle farmers with great extensions of land and significant political influence.

(8.) Paulino José Soares de Souzain, Relatório da Repartição dos Negócios Estrangeiros, 1852, XIX–XX.

(9.) Bandeira, 190–191;and Cervo; Bueno, 97–98.

(10.) José Maria Arbilla, “A neutralidade limitada: o Império do Brasil e a divisão argentina (1852–62),” in Revista Múltipla (Brasília: UPIS), 70–71.

(11.) Bandeira, 199. The “patacão” was a silver coin current in Brazil and worth 320 réis.

(12.) Wanderley Pinho, Cotegipe e seu tempo (São Paulo: Cia. Editora Nacional, 1937), 254.

(13.) Joaquim Nabuco, Um estadista no Império; Nabuco de Araújo, Vol. 2 (São Paulo: Progresso), 74, 78, 81, 92–96.

(14.) Bandeira, 219.

(15.) José Pedro Barrán, Apogeo y crisis del Uruguay pastoril y caudillesco; 18391875 (Montevideo, Uruguay: Ediciones de la Banda Oriental, 1982), 70.

(16.) Thomas Whigham, La Guerra de la Triple Alianza; causas e inicios del mayor conflito bélico de América del Sur, Vol. 1 (Asunción, Paraguay: Taurus, 2010), 158–159, 203

(17.) CERVO; BUENO, 89–93; and Alan K. Manchester, Preeminência inglesa no Brasil (São Paulo: Brasiliense, 1973), 235–239.

(18.) Manchester, Preeminência inglesa no Brasil, 240.

(19.) Nabuco, Um estadista no Império, Vol. 2, 163; and José I. Garmendia, official of the Argentinean legation, to Rufino de Elizalde, Rio de Janeiro, May 5, 1864, Archivo Rufino de Elizalde, Vol. 4 (Buenos Aires: Facultad de Filosofia y Letras—Universidad de Buenos Aires, 1974), 372.

(20.) Whigham, La Guerra de la Triple Alianza, 162–163.

(21.) Rufino de Elizalde to José Mármol, confidential letter, Buenos Aires, May, 9, 1864, Archivo General de la Nación- Argentina, Colección de José Mármol—Correspondecia, VII-20-4-8, doc. 7657. When he had fulfilled his mission, José Mármol started for Buenos Aires in the beginning of June 1865.

(22.) Nabuco, Um estadista no Império, 504–505; and Lidia Besouchet, Mauá e seu tempo (Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira), 117.

(24.) Instruções da Missão Confiada em 1864 ao Conselheiro Saraiva, Rio de Janeiro, April 20, 1864, in Hélio Lobo, Antes da guerra (a Missão Saraiva ou os preliminares do conflito com o Paraguay) (Rio de Janeiro: Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Brasileiro, 1914), 292–294; and Saraiva to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Montevideo, May 14, 1864, in Bandeira, 305, 233.

(25.) Comment from Major Emilio Fernandes Sousa Docca in Cônego João Pedro Gay, Invasão paraguaia na fronteira brasileira do Uruguai (Porto Alegre, Brazil: Instituto Estadual do Livro, 1980), 198–199.

(26.) Note from the Uruguayan government to Saraiva, Montevideo, May 24, 1864. Relatório da Repartição dos Negócios Estrangeiros, 1865, p. 11.

(27.) Lobo, Antes da guerra, 299–300.

(28.) Thornton to Russel, Montevideo, June 11, 1864, in Pelham Horton Box, Los orígenes de la Guerra del Paraguay contra la Triple Alianza (Buenos Aires: Nizza, 1958), 118–119.

(29.) Box, Los orígenes de la Guerra, 119.

(30.) Box, Los orígenes de la Guerra, 120; comment of Barão do Rio Branco in Louis Schneider, A Guerra da Tríplice Aliança (anotado pelo Barão do Rio Branco), 2 vols. (São Paulo: Edições Cultura, 1945), 72.

(31.) Box, Los orígenes de la Guerra, 126–129.

(32.) Francisco Félix Pereira Costa, História da Guerra do Brasil contra as Repúblicas do Uruguay e Paraguay, Vol. 1 (Rio de Janeiro: Livraria A. G. Guimarães, 1870), 174.

(33.) Thornton to Russel, Buenos Aires, July 12, 1864, in Box, Los orígenes de la Guerra, 130.

(34.) Augusto Tasso Fragoso, História da Guerra entre a Tríplice Aliança e o Paraguai, Vol. 1 (Rio de Janeiro: Imprensa do Estado-Maior do Exército, 1934), 123.

(35.) Box, Los orígenes de la Guerra, 186.

(36.) Atanasio C. de Aguirre to Solano López, Montevideo, June 14,1864, Archivo Nacional de Asunción, Colección Rio Branco, doc. 2774.

(37.) José dos Santos Barbosa, Brazilian consul-general, to Chancellor Dias Vieira, confidential note, Asunción, June 16, 1864, Arquivo Histórico do Itamaraty (Rio de Janeiro), Repartições Consulares Brasileiras—Assunção, 238-3-2; Charles Ames Washburn to Seward, Asunción, June 1, 1864, in John Harvey Saunders, Diplomacy Under Difficulties: United States Relations with Paraguay During the War of the Triple Alliance, PhD Diss., University of Georgia, Atlanta, 1966.

(38.) Leonardo de Souza Leite Azevedo, in charge of the Portuguese affairs in the River Plate, to the minister of Foreign Affairs of Portugal, Montevideo, July 30, 1864, Arquivo do Ministério dos Negócios Estrangeiros (Portugal)—Consulado Geral e Legação de Portugal no Rio da Prata, box 788.

(39.) Box, Los orígenes de la Guerra, 134–135; and Tasso Fragoso, História da Guerra, Vol. 1, 128.

(40.) Note from the Paraguayan government to the Brazilian Legation in Asuncion, August 30, 1864, Relatório da Repartição dos Negócios Estrangeiros, 1865, 173–174.

(41.) Brígido Tinoco. As duas paixões de Caxias (Rio de Janeiro: Biblioteca do Exército, 1955), 178, 191; Senator Paranhos speeches, Senate sessions of June 4 and August 25,1864, Anais do Senado, Vol. 2, 34; Vol. 3, 143–145; and Besouchet, Mauá e seu tempo, 132.

(42.) Zacarias, Senate session of April 8, 1866, Anais do Senado, Vol. 4, 1866, 11.

(43.) Comment of Rio Branco in Schneider, A Guerra da Tríplice Alianca, 170.

(44.) Viana De Lima to Dias Vieira, confidential note, Asuncion, September 19, 1864, Arquivo Histórico do Itamaraty (Rio de Janeiro), 201-1-10.

(69.) Diego ABENTE, “La Guerra de la Triple Alianza; tres modelos explicativos,” in CENTRO PARAGUAYO DE ESTUDIOS SOCIOLÓGICOS. Pasado y presente de la realidade social paraguaya. Asunción: Ediciones y Artes, 1995, pp. 1.154–1.155. ESTADO-MAIOR DO EXÉRCITO. História do Exército Brasileiro. Brasília: Estado-Maior do Exército, 1972, v. 2, p. 582.

(45.) Nabuco, Um estadista no Império, Vol. 1, 48.

(46.) Viana De Lima to Dias Vieira, confidential note (partially encrypted), Asunción, April 11, 1864, Arquivo Histórico do Itamaraty (Rio de Janeiro), 201-1-10.

(47.) Solanolópez to Resquín, camp of Cerro Léon, November 15, 1864, Archivo Nacional de Asunción, Colección Rio Branco, doc. 2539, letter 30.

(48.) The Triple Alliance Treaty and its attachments are published in the Relatório da Repartição dos Negócios Estrangeiros from 1872, Anexo 1, 1–28.

(49.) Tasso Fragoso, História da Guerra, Vol. 2, 33–34; and Enrique I. Rottjer, Mitre Militar (Buenos Aires: Círculo Militar, 1937), 122–123.

(50.) Francisco Octaviano de Almeida Rosa to Dias Vieira, confidential note, Buenos Aires, April 20, 1865, Arquivo Histórico do Itamaraty (Rio de Janeiro), 272-1-21.

(51.) A Missão Especial no Rio da Prata, José Antonio Saraiva to Francisco Octaviano de Almeida Rosa, confidential note, November 29, 1865, Arquivo Nacional (Rio de Janeiro), Códice 551, Cartas a Caxias—cópias datilografadas.

(52.) Senator Zacarias, Senate session of 26.6.1869, Anais do Senado, Vol. 2, 1869, 285.

(53.) Nabuco, Um estadista no Império, Vol. 2, 207.

(54.) Arthur Silveira da Motta (Barão de Jaceguay), Reminiscências da Guerra do Paraguay (Rio de Janeiro: s.ed, 1935), 288.

(55.) Nabuco, Um estadista no Império, Vol. 4, fully reproduces the Argentinean project (244–252) as well as the report of the Section of Foreign Affairs of the Council of State (229–231).

(56.) Almeida Rosa to Saraiva, Buenos Aires, April 26, 1866, in Wanderley Pinho, Cartas de Francisco Octaviano (Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 1977), 160–161.

(57.) Senator Francisco Octaviano de Almeida Rosa, Senate session of July 13, 1870, Anais do Senado, Vol. 2, 1870, 98.

(58.) Almeida Rosa to Dias Vieira, Buenos Aires, May 4, 1865, Biblioteca do Senado Federal (Brasília), Atas do Conselho de Estado, September 30, 1865, Microfilme 02/72.

(59.) Nabuco, Um estadista no Império, Vol. 2, 293.

(60.) Luiz Alberto Moniz Bandiera, O expansionismo brasileiro: papel do Brasil na bacia do Prata—da colonização ao Império (Rio de Janeiro: Philobiblion, 1985).

(61.) Francisco Doratioto, Maldita Guerra, nova história da Guerra do Paraguai (São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2002); and Thomas Whigham, La Guerra de la Triple Alianza; causas e inicios del mayor conflito bélico de América del Sur, Vol. 1 (Asunción, Paraguay: Taurus, 2010).

(62.) Leslie Bethell, “O Brasil no mundo,” in História do Brasil Nação; a construção nacional (1830–1889), Vol. 2 (Rio de Janeiro: Objetiva/MAPFRE, 2012), 131–177.

(63.) Luc Capdevila, Une guerre total. Paraguay, 1864–1870, essai d’histoire du temps present (Rennes, France: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2007).

(64.) Miguel Ángel de Marco, La Guerra del Paraguay (Buenos Aires: Planeta, 1995).

(65.) León Pomer, La Guerra del Paraguay; Estado, política y negócios (Buenos Aires: Colihue, 208).

(66.) Juan Carlos Herken Krauer and Maria Isabel Gimenez de Herken, Gran Bretaña y la Guerra de la Triple Alianza (Asunción, Paraguay: Editorial Arte Nuevo, 1983.).

(67.) Efraím Cardozo, El Imperio del Brasil y el Río de la Plata; antecedents y estallido dela Guerra del Paraguay (Asunción, Paraguay: Intercontinental, 2012).

(68.) Pelham Horton Box, The Origins of the Paraguayan War.