Francisco Solano López was largely educated by his father, who made him a brigadier general at the age of 19.
He participated in a short war against the Juan Manuel de Rosas regime in Argentina in 1845.
Between 1853 and 1856 Francisco Solano López was in Europe, heading an effort to seek immigrants, investments, and armaments. His mission was successful, and in addition to many contracts, he brought back an Irish mistress, Elisa Alicia Lynch. He had a new diplomatic assignment from his father in 1859, seeking to mediate a conflict between the Province of Buenos Aires and the Argentine Confederation.
When Carlos Antonio López died in 1862, Franciso Solano López became his father’s successor.
He was finally killed in the Battle of Cerro Cora in 1870, after which the war ended.