Triple Alliance, War of the

Triple Alliance, War of the, 1865–70, fought between Paraguay on one side and an alliance of Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay on the other. Brazil's military reprisals for injuries to Brazilian subjects in Uruguay's civil war brought a declaration of war against Brazil from Francisco Solano López, Paraguayan dictator, who favored the Blanco regime in Uruguay. Imprudently, he also declared war on Argentina after Bartolomé Mitre refused to allow Paraguayan troops to cross Argentine territory. A secret alliance, made by Brazil and Argentina with Gen. Venancio Flores of the Colorado faction (traditional enemies of the Blancos), brought Uruguay into the war. The heroic defense of Paraguay against powerful invaders lasted five years until the final stand at Cerro Corá, where the entire populous rallied around López. By the end of the war Paraguay was devastated and a considerable part of its male population killed. The war was the brutal consequence of López's provocations as well as of the abusive aggressiveness of the larger powers. It nevertheless opened the way for a development of constitutional government in Paraguay.

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