Francia, were described
by historians as "the fragile man dressed in black jacket",
admired and emulated the most radical elements of the French Revolution.
Although its character reflected a lot similar to jacobino leader
Maximiliano de Robespierre (1758-94), the ideal policies of France
came near more closely to François-Noël Babeuf, an utópico
French who wanted to abolish the private property and to communalize
the Earth as a prelude of an "Equal republic". Francia
disliked the political culture of the old regime. In the apogee
of their dictatorship, when Francia took a walk in the streets of
Asuncion, the passers-by had to stop and present themselves and
show him respect by taking off the hat like safety measure. And
because of that rule, very few contemporaries managed to see the
face of the “Supreme one”.
In his essence, the
government of the Karaí Guazú, was a dictatorship
without mercy that destroyed the power of elite and dominated the
interests of the common Paraguayans. He installed a system of inner
espionage that destroyed the freedom to express. Many people were
arrested and some were missing without more proceedings. There was
a terrible torture called "Camera of the Truth" that was
applied to those suspects which intrigued against Francia.
The Karaí Guazú
sent political prisoners, usually about 400 per year, to a halting
camping where shackles in jails were placed on them, with the minimum
medical care and the most limited use of average toilets it is believed
that its an indirect act of revenge against the people who had "impure
blood", Francia prohibited Europeans to marry with other European,
forcing elites to choose spouses in the local population. Francia
sealed the borders from Paraguay to the external world and executed
to whatever hermetically it tried to leave the country. The foreigners
who managed to enter Paraguay resigned to remain there for the rest
of their lives. The Paraguayan commerce declined at this time. That
declivity ruined the grass exporter along with killing the tobaccos.
These measures affected the members harshly of the old Spanish governing
class and their descendants, to stop jerarcas of the Church, military,
trading officials and great landowners.
Four years later Paraguayan congress named like Francia dictator
by life with the title of the "Supreme Dictator" in 1820.
The security system of Francia was discovered and squashed a group
of elite that was going to assassinate the Supreme one. Francia
arrested almost 200 prominent citizens and executed the majority.
Among them they were próceres of the independence, Yegros
that was executed the 17 of July 1820 and Pedro Juan Horseman whom
it preferred to commit suicide before the torment. In 1821 Francia’s
surprised return summoned approximately the 300 resident Spaniards
in Paraguay to the greater seat of Asuncion, the place that accused
them of treason, they were arrested quickly and it put them in prison
for 18 months.
Francia finally loosen after they accepted to pay an enormous collective
indemnification of 150,000 pesos (near 75% of the annual state budget),
also great amount that broke his predominance in the Paraguayan
economy. One of the special targets for Francia was the Roman Catholic
Church. The Church had provided ideological support to the Spanish
idea on the economic doctrine of the "divine right of kings"
and inculcando masses Indians with a fatalism resigned on its social
state and perspective. Francia prohibited nuns, closing in the country
and seminaries, secularizó monks and priests forcing them
to that they swore loyalty to the state, abolished the ecclesiastical
law, confiscated all property of the Church and subordinated the
finances of the Church under state control.
Chusma directly benefited
from the repression of elites traditional and the expansion of the
state. The state territories of elite and the church rented them
to the poor men. Approximately 875 families had home to territories
of closed seminaries. The fines and confiscaciones decreed against
the Creoles helped to reduce taxes for the others. As a result,
the state attacks Francia’s elite and their socialist policies
caused very little popular resistance. The fines, expropriations
and confiscaciones of property to foreigners allowed the state to
transform into the greatest landowner of the nation and happened
to operate 45 great farms in the future. Administered by personnel
of the army, the farms were as much successful.
In contrast with others
regional state, Paraguay was efficient and honestly administrated,
stable and strong. Crime continued existing under dictatorship but
they treated the criminals with indulgence. For example, they put
murderers to work on public construction. Paraguay also began to
become a political refuge for political people in trouble. Francia
was an extremely honest man. He doubled the budget after he rose
Under Francia’s rule Paraguay began to have its own industry
that included fabric textiles and naval construction, he invested
a lot on agriculture which also boosted the Paraguayan economy.
Francias biggest achievement was to maintain Paraguayan independence.
Francia isolated Paraguay and stopped foreign trade and political
influence. Tensions with Argentina grew more and more and a possible
war was prevailed. Francia controlled tightly the trade with foreign
nations in other to get what he wanted, especially weapons.
Francia is also recognized for creating a genuine Paraguayan nationality.
He achieved this by controlling the borders very strictly creating
a special difference in there culture and language with others nations.
He used natural barriers to stop foreign influence. For example
instead of killing of the Indians like all other dictators he allied
with them which helped them keep off foreign people from coming
in. All these political and economical achievements by Francia helped
Paraguay become an independent nation. Francia controlled personally
every aspect of Paraguayan public life no matter how detailed it
was. All of the Paraguayan Achievements in that time some how related