Government Official Diary of John Smith
May, 1808 I am a Spanish government law official, working in Paraguay, a colony under Spanish rule. Back in 1776, Paraguay became a key member of the United provinces of Rio De La Plata. Other members of this viceroyalty include Argentina Bolivia and Uruguay. This only lasted until 1810 when Uruguay and Paraguay broke out of the pack one year after Argentina had (Source 2). Today, we just learned that Napoleon took the Spanish crown, and is now King of our home country Spain, and all of its colonies, including this one, Paraguay. It is important that the people of Paraguay show respect to Napoleon, since he is our king (Source 5.) The first European to come here many years ago, Alejo Garcia of Portugal, came here in search of gold and silver, to increase the wealth of Spain. However, that hasn’t happened as much as we’d have liked.(Source 2.) He was followed by Sebastian Cabot, who visited as a representative of the Spanish. The very first fort built and established by the Europeans was Nuestra Señora de la Asunción and it was on the Paraguay River. Mestizos and the people of Buenos Aires continue to try to take whatever gold and silver they find, and turn it into their own wealth, rather than Spain’s. This is unacceptable and shows that their loyalty is not directed towards spain.(Source 2.) These people continue to not make an effort to help Spain, but to only help themselves. That is why the King of Spain has decided to put in place an export tax. In addition to the export tax, the Spanish Government has put strict trade regulations in place.
It is now June, 1809. With the new export tax put into place by the Spanish King, the profits of the Mestizos have decreased, because they have to pay Spain for all of the cash crops they export, such as yerbamate and tobacco. These crops have helped them earn great wealth for themselves, but not Spain. This was a problem because Spain only sent them here to help Spain become wealthier, not themselves. This new export tax is helping to fix that problem. I am in favor of this new export tax(Source 7.)
It is now October, 1809 Tensions are starting to rise between us and the Mestizos. They seem to be very upset about what this new export tax is doing to their wealth, and the feel it is wrong of Spain to impose it on them. They are wrong however, because Spain did not send them here to improve their own prosperity, but to improve Spain’s wealth.(Source 7) These people need to realize that they are members of a Spanish colony and that is where they need to show their loyalty. They are being selfish by believing they deserve to be an independent nation. The continue to not take the SPanish authority seriously. However, they have yet to and show no sign of accepting the Declaration of Argentine Independence(Source 3.)
Now it is March, 1810. Buenos Aires is beginning to want control of other Spanish colonies in this area. Buenos Aires is becoming more and more violent with its surrounding colonies and shows an interest in controlling them, just like Spain controls some colonies in this area. This would be a very bad thing because if they become powerful, then they will then begin to cause problems for Spain and its colonies(Source 4.) Buenos Aires is becoming greedy after they just got independence from French rule, however the Mestizos and the Spanish army will not tolerate them controlling other colonies. There is tension and violence building up between them, and Spain will prevent these tensions from progressing any further. (Source 4.)
It is currently July, 1810. As a result of the increasing violence between the Spanish, the Mestizos, and Buenos Aires, a battle has broken out. We and the Mestizos just fought Buenos Aires to ensure that they do not gain control over any of the colonies in this area. Unfortunately, the battle got extremely violent, so the Spanish soldiers had to leave the fight. The Mestizos however did stay, and fight in the tough violent battle, but it was rewarded because they successfully fought off Buenos Aires, and will no longer be bothered by them. However, this could potentially lead Paraguay to believe they are strong enough to fight off other threats such as Spain (Source 3.)
The date is November, 1810. It seems as though now the Mestizos are becoming even more unhappy with our presence here. They feel as though it is us that is not just in being in this colony. How could they think this? Spain has brought them here, and provided support for them while they have been here, and all they ask for in return is to collect a tax on exports and continue to govern the colony. To me it seems as though that is very little to ask for, for all that Spain has done for them. After all, Spain only sent them here to find gold and silver, to improve their home country’s wealth, and they didn’t even want to help with that. (Source 4) Today, May 17, 1811, Paraguay has declared independence from their home country, Spain. I suppose after all that we have done for them, they no longer wanted our protection for their colonies. Now that this land is no longer under the control of Spain, my presences here is no longer required. I will begin my long journey back home to Spain, and continue to work as a government law official there (Source 1.)
Today is January 1814: Although I am no longer an active member of Paraguay's government system, the country's future concerns me. I have heard several rumors from source 7 saying that Jose Gaspar Rodriguez de Francia is soon to become dictator. I knew something like this would happen when the people of Paraguay don't have a strong government system like they did when Spain ruled them. This man who plans on becoming dictator admires the French Revolution. It is apparent that he will soon be taking control of the army. Paraguay is currently run by a democratic congress which is mainly run by rural poors. This congress plans on electing Mr. Rodriguez de Francia. Based on the research I have done on this man, I have come the the conclusion that he will rule with an autocratic style. He has shown complete disrespect towards the spanish government and believes that Paraguay is better off independent. I do not believe this is a wise choice made by the congress because in my opinion, Paraguay is not strong enough to sustain this kind of government without the help of Spain or Argentina. He believes that isolationism is the best way to become an independent nation, but I don't see Paraguay lasting for much longer under this style of rule. Isolationism will not last in a country that has been relying on trade for so long. However, since I am no longer a member of Paraguayan society, I do not have the ability to make much more of a difference in the laws and government. (Source 7.)