The dried leaves and smaller twigs of mate (Paraguayan tea-hlex paraguayensis) are exported to the southern Spanish American republics, where (as in Rio Grande do Sul) the beverage is exceedingly popular.
Though the discord resulting between the states on account of this failure was subsequently allayed for a time by a treaty granting to Brazil the right to navigate the river, every obstacle was thrown in the way by the Paraguayan government, and indignities of all kinds were offered not only to Brazil but to the representatives of the Argentine and the United States.
The principal industries are the cultivation and preparation of yerba mate (Paraguayan tea), cattle-farming, fruitgrowing, tobacco-planting and timber-cutting.
Paraguayan tea is used in place of the ordinary tea or coffee in many parts of South America.
The staple diet of the Paraguayans is still, as when the Spaniards first came, maize and mandioca (the chief ingredient in the excellent chipa or, Paraguayan bread), varied, it may be, with the seeds of the Victoria regia, whose magnificent blossoms are the great feature of several of the lakes and rivers.
The Paraguayan Bank, with a capital of £600,000, was opened in 1905, and the state bank (Banco de la Republica), with a total authorized capital of £4,000,000, was opened on the 30th of June 1908.
The invasion of Paraguay then took place, and a struggle involving an enormous sacrifice of life and treasure lasted for five years, only coming to a close when the Paraguayan forces were totally defeated and Lopez was killed at the battle of Aquidaban on the 1st of March 1870.
During this warfare every male Paraguayan capable of bearing arms was forced to fight, whole regiments being formed of boys of from 12 to 15 years of age.
The main interest of recent Paraguayan history is economic rather than political.
Grubb, Among the Indians of the Paraguayan Chaco (London, 1904); E.
Uruguayana was captured by a Paraguayan force under General Estigarribia on the 5th of August 1865, and was recaptured without a fight by the allied forces under General Bartolome Mitre on the 18th of September.
The Paraguayan occupation left the town partially in ruins, and it remained in a decadent condition until near the end of the century, when reviving industries in the state and a renewal of railway construction promoted its commercial activity and growth.
A prominent industry is the gathering and preparation of mate or Paraguayan tea (Ilex paraguayensis), which is an article of export.