The Grandchildren of Solano Lopez: Frontier and Nation in Paraguay, 1904-1936 by Bridget Maria Chesterton

By Carletta, David M. | International Social Science Review, Spring 2015 | Go to article overview

The Grandchildren of Solano Lopez: Frontier and Nation in Paraguay, 1904-1936 by Bridget Maria Chesterton


Carletta, David M., International Social Science Review


Chesterton, Bridget Maria. The Grandchildren of Solano Lopez: Frontier and Nation in Paraguay, 1904-1936. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2013. xii + 179 pages. Cloth. $50.00.

After winning independence from Spain in the early nineteenth century, Paraguayans and Bolivians failed to agree over the boundary that separated them in the sparsely inhabited Chaco Boreal, a harsh wilderness of about 100,000 square miles between the Pilcomayo River and the Paraguay River. By the early twentieth century, interest in the Chaco Boreal increased. Defeated by Chile in the War of Pacific (1879-1883), Bolivia had lost control of disputed territory on the Pacific coast and hence access to the sea. Ravaged by Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay in the War of the Triple Alliance (1865-1870), Paraguay had lost most of its adult male population. The Paraguayan dictator Francisco Solano Lopez lost his life during the War of the Triple Alliance and was widely believed to have led Paraguay into ruin. Ultimately, both Paraguay and Bolivia looked to expand into the Chaco Boreal.

In The Grandchildren of Solano Lopez, historian Bridget Maria Chesterton tells the fascinating story of the role of the remote Chaco Boreal frontier in the development of Paraguayan nationalism. Chesterton begins her analysis in 1904, the year the Liberal Party took power in Paraguay. Comprised of Spanish-speaking urban intellectual elites, the Liberal Party "vilified Solano Lopez as a man who had single-handedly destroyed the Paraguayan nation" (p. 119). Chesterton's study culminates with the Chaco War, the Western Hemisphere's bloodiest international conflict in the twentieth century, fought between Paraguay and Bolivia from 1932 to 1935. Chesterton makes a stimulating and convincing case that, in addition to fighting for land and natural resources, the rural Paraguayan Guarani speaker who served as a soldier in the Chaco War was also struggling "to the redeem the honor of the nation--and Solano Lopez--after the insulting defeat of the War of the Triple Alliance, while simultaneously proclaiming his proud Guarani-speaking heritage" (p. 6). The Liberal Party maintained control of Paraguay until the end of the Chaco War, when Guarani-speaking veterans and rural Paraguayans supported a military coup, ousting the Liberals in a short-lived revolution that nevertheless transformed the cultural and political composition of the nation.

Using a variety of public and private libraries and collections, literary and student magazines, scientific and agricultural journals, school textbooks, newspapers, songs, poems, plays, postcards, and missionary reports, Chesterton describes how nationalism fueled Paraguay's ascent into conflict with Bolivia over the Chaco Boreal. Early twentieth-century Paraguayan scientists and naturalists made studies of the country's western Chaco frontier in an effort to incorporate the region into eastern Paraguay. Their research bolstered attempts by assorted politicians, government bureaucrats, and newspaper editors to validate Paraguay's legal claims to the Chaco Boreal. Various efforts were made to convey the notion that the western Chaco frontier was not a wasteland, but a region compatible with eastern Paraguay and full of economic potential. Over time, the enduring myth of Paraguayan nationalism that the country was a peaceable and congenial racial mix of native Guarani and colonizing Spaniards was extended to the native people of the Chaco Boreal, "who had never imagined themselves as part of a larger modern nation-state" (p. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Grandchildren of Solano Lopez: Frontier and Nation in Paraguay, 1904-1936 by Bridget Maria Chesterton
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.