The Jesuits realized that to protect the Indians had to do separate communities of the areas colonized by Europeans. There could live in freedom and dignity, but had to pay taxes to the Crown. So they came to establish and manage 30 villages in the area of the river Parana until their expulsion in 1768 by order of Charles III King of Spain. Today only persist eight of the others are only ruins and memories. Usually call them “the lost cities of Paraguay”. These Jesuitis missions are located in 3 countries, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil.
There were almost constantly in a state of siege, first Paulistas or Bandeirantes Portuguese and Spanish settlers lurking hunting slaves, on the other, the nomadic habits of the Indians who had never lived in cities.
To defend the Indians, the Jesuits successfully insisted that missionary work fell within the jurisdiction of the Pope and the kings of Spain. The Jesuits tried to keep their Indian isolates of Spanish colonists for two major reasons: to protect the Indians from being enslaved and isolate them from European diseases.
It is surprising and can only be explained as the work of God for 150 years, a group of only 50-60 priests ruled over 140,000 Indians giving them the Gospel, and the best of European culture. They did it without material gain. Men of a deep spiritual life solidly grounded in Christ. Men full of love for Christ and his people, willing and well trained to suffer what is necessary to “greater glory of God and the good of souls.” His spirituality was based on the “Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola” (which are a form of meditation disciplined to live the Gospel deeply) and the “discernment of spirits” (rules to distinguish the inspiration of good and evil spirit) .Theyalsohad a formidable training as Catholicpriests.
Rarely some Natives abandoned the Jesuit Reductions, and never killed any Jesuit. Reductions Indians never made an important attempt of rebellion. Something very extraordinary among human institutions. The communities were Christians. The love of Christ, the Church, Christian morality was the ideal he was teaching,
This Social Experience was based on free communities. Every Indian family had their private lives and personal property.
Urban planning was centredaround a large square. Along with this, the Church was the most important building. Also next to the square usually located the school for religious education and human formation.
There was a “safe house” for orphans and widows, workshops for stone and wood carving, make instruments of all types, including music, painting schools, orchards, livestock and a cemetery, a sacred place for the Indians.
Many, even among Christians criticize the missionary work to the Indians claiming that they should not be influenced in any way. They forget the mandate of our Lord to “preach the Gospel to all nations and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:18). It is true that one should not confuse the Gospel with all aspects of Western culture, but that did not happen in the Reductions. The Jesuits wanted to protect the Indians from the abuses of the Europeans.
They came in the name of Jesus Christ to share the greatest treasure: faith in Jesus Christ and at the same time give themselves by sharing love they knew he could help. For example Jesuit Reductions which abolished capital punishment was practiced at that time in all European countries (Western society were the first to abolish the death penalty). Moreover banned cannibalism was practiced in America. The Jesuits served as teachers and real parents.
The most serious problem and resulting consequences in the lives of the Guarani and the performance of the Company of Jesus was the Treaty of Madrid in 1750 and the swap of the seven eastern missions for Colonia del Sacramento, as this led to his expulsion.
The Colonia del Sacramento had lost its importance as the basis of English smugglers to install the seat in Buenos Aires British by the treaty of Utrecht. Pombal, favorite of Carvajal and Doña Bárbara, was proposed change by the burgeoning Eastern Missions consist of seven missionaries peoples east of the Uruguay River, and incidentally himself recognized Portuguese sovereignty in Rio Grande and Santa Catalina until then discussed by the Spanish. That, and a close alliance with Portugal, was the subject of the 1750 Swap Agreement.
This stipulated that the colony was returned permanently to Spain. But it had to give in compensation to Portugal all the territory between the rivers Uruguay and Ibicuy (Rio Grande do Sul), which were located seven villages founded and ruled by the Jesuits and inhabited by about 30,000 souls. Residents should withdraw to the west bank of Uruguay, leaving their hated enemies Portuguese all their houses, churches, lands and fields, for which compensation would be given in the sum of four thousand pesos for Colony.
The Jesuits claimed in all levels; protested to the Viceroy, the Hearing, the Council of the Indies, the confessor of the monarch and the monarch himself, supported his argument for more enlightened view of the province. But to no avail. It was useless to denounce the clear intention of penetrating Portuguese the way to the Peru to approach rich regions. King Ferdinand VI, was stubborn to abide by his royal mandate and sent a commission composed of the Marquis de Valdelirios and P. Lope Luis Altamirano to enforce it.
Andonaegui immediately noticed the mistake and tried to delay the execution, with the hope that the Crown, better informed steps back. I knew I would have to fight the militias selfless Guarani, whose loyalty to the Spanish monarchy and handheld devices with services rendered to the creditor made a more honorable action.
He must take the field and go through with the unfortunate task of combating secular faithful subject and brother in arms for the benefit and with the help of the traditional enemy.
The fight was hard and bloody. There were naturally prevail over Andonaegui military skills, which gave victory in a last battle fought on February 10, 1756, which killed 1,500 Guarani natives.
They were fulfilling the provisions of the treaty when he arrived in Buenos Aires Andonaegui successor, Don Pedro de Cevallos, a distinguished general who had become famous in the wars of Italy. Shortly after landing missions moved and established his headquarters in San Borja.
He soon took charge of the situation and realized the error and duplicity Lusitanian policy, especially information began carefully to flow through his government. The Portuguese boss, Freire Gomez field master, not only swelled the occupation of territory that corresponded, but moved slowly southward, taking positions outside the limits set by the treaty and back away from the colony, surreptitiously strengthened its defenses , encouraging smuggling intense from there. Given this evidence, Cevallos insistently asked Spain to send troops and weapons, while preparing for the fight to strengthen the garrison of Maldonado.
The happy circumstance of the death of Fernando VI, in August 1759, made him hear. The new King Carlos III was quick to cancel the Swap Agreement. Moreover, the change of policy which opened this reign and the signing of the new “family pact” made inevitable war with England and Portugal.