Uruguay, officially known as Republica Oriental del Uruguay, is a country in South America located in the Oriental part of the Southern Cone of America. To the North of Uruguay is Brazil and to the East is Argentina.
A little of History
When the territory that today is part of Uruguay was sighted in 1516 by the Spanish explorer Juan Díaz de Solís, it was populated by Charrúas (nomadic hunters), Chanaes (incipient farmers) and Guaraní (farmers who dominated pottery and river navigation). Solís went into the Río de la Plata, which he called Mar Dulce. The Indians ambushed and killed all the members of the expedition. The Spanish colonization in the Río de la Plata was delayed because the region was considered as "land of no profit", having no mineral wealth from Mexico and Peru. In 1611, the governor of Asunción, Hernando Arias de Saavedra (Hernandarias), introduced cattle and horses that, thanks to good pastures and the climate, reproduced on a large scale. The region became known as the "Vaquería del Mar". The Company of Jesus began its expansion in 1632, from Paraguay, to the eastern margin of Uruguay. From 1667 seven Eastern missionary towns were founded. In 1680 the Portuguese founded in front of Buenos Aires, the Colonia do Sacramento. The town was subject for a long time of disputes between Spain and Portugal. The foundation of Montevideo (1724), the only natural port of the Río de la Plata, by the Governor of Buenos Aires, Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, had its origin in the permanent struggle of both crowns across the borders. Attracted by the cattle, the ranchers (leather extractors) arrived from Brazil and Buenos Aires. El Gaucho, a product of European and indigenous cultural miscegenation, emerged during this period. The Indians were displaced towards the Jesuit missions in the north. The May Revolution that broke out in Buenos Aires in 1810 was rejected by the Montevidean upper classes, who represented the Spanish commercial monopoly. On the contrary, the campaign, where small and medium landowners and landless men abounded, rose up in arms. In front of the rebels was a Creole captain of the Spanish army, José Artigas. His republican and federal ideal, his proximity to the Indians and slaves, and his project of land distribution made him the leader of the insurrection. Artigas headed the Federal League formed by the Banda Oriental and the current Argentine provinces of Córdoba, Corrientes, Entre Ríos, Misiones and Santa Fe. The Portuguese army invaded the Banda Oriental in 1816. The invader counted on the tacit support of the upper classes of Buenos Aires and Montevideo, alarmed by the "artiguista chaos". Defeated, Artigas took refuge in Paraguay in 1820 where he died 30 years later. In 1823, when Brazil became independent from Portugal, the Banda Oriental joined the new kingdom under the name of «Cisplatin Province>>. In 1825 the second phase of the struggle for independence began, now against the Empire of Brazil. On August 25, the independence and will of the Orientals to join the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata was declared. The British diplomacy, interested in that both shores of the Silver were not Argentine and in defense of their commercial interests, fomented the creation of a small state in the region. In 1828, with the mediation of Lord Ponsonby, the war was ended and the country's independence was approved. In 1830 the Oriental Republic of Uruguay had its first Constitution, which established a republican government regime but excluded from the right to vote the majority of the population. In 1831 the Charrúas were exterminated in Salsipuedes by the first government of independent Uruguay. Survivors of the ethnic group were handed over as slaves and a handful, who were called "the last Charrúas", were sent to France and exhibited as curiosity. The second half of the nineteenth century was dominated by civil wars between the two political collectives of the country: the "White" or National Party, linked to the campaign and the landlords, and the "Colorado" Party, more linked to European capital and the liberal ideas. A weak State and a rural population accustomed to armed struggle, made possible the successive uprisings. In 1865, the Colorado dictator Venancio Flores joined the Triple Alliance (with Brazil and Argentina) that subdued Paraguay and forced it to open its borders to "free trade" (see Paraguay's history). In 1876 Colonel Lorenzo Latorre, began the period known as "militarism." In that stage (1876-1890) the power of the State was affirmed. The fencing of the fields, fixing the ownership of land and cattle, transformed the gaucho into a salaried worker. In 1903, the Colorado José Batlle y Ordóñez assumed the presidency, determined to modernize the state. A year later, the last rural revolt took place, led by the white caudillo Aparicio Saravia. Saravia died during the confrontation and Batlle laid the foundations of the modern Uruguayan state. The State became the main source of employment, developing a large, liberal middle class with a considerable level of schooling in state institutions. Church and state were separated and divorce was legalized. In 1917 a system of collegiate executive power was tried out. In 1932, the law of women's suffrage was passed. These changes gave the country the reputation of being the "Switzerland of America". Uruguayan exports grew during the two world wars. The Uruguayan meat and its derivatives were sent to the Allies and then to the US troops that fought in Corea. Foreign trade surpluses gave the country a strong currency position. Subsidies stimulated import substitution; The thriving construction industry maintained a high employment rate. But the breeding of sheep and cows, which generated most of the exports, stagnated in the 1908 figures. The landowners overturned their profits abroad, in financial speculation and in sumptuary consumption. In the decade of 1950 an industrial stagnation began that did not get to revert. The first white government of the century (1959) accepted the economic prescriptions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), accelerating the recession. The social conflict worsened as of 1968, when Jorge Pacheco Areco's Colorado government froze wages and tried to stop the unions. A broad mass movement led by the National Workers Convention (CNT) and the students confronted that policy. In parallel, the Tupamaros guerrilla movement (MLN) carried out actions of national impact. In 1971, the Frente Amplio, a left coalition based on a progressive program, was founded, which nominated retired General Líber Seregni in the presidential elections of that year. Juan María Bordaberry assumed the Presidency in 1972. The Parliament approved the "state of internal war". In 1972, the Tupamaros were defeated, after a rapid campaign in which the clandestine organization was disrupted. In June of 1973, Bordaberry and the Armed Forces gave a coup: the Parliament was dissolved and a civic-military government was established. Left political parties and trade unions were outlawed; torture and imprisonment of opponents was generalized. During the dictatorial period the concentration of wealth in the hands of transnational corporations increased, the real wage was reduced to half of the existing one before 1973 and the external debt reached 5,000 million dollars. In 1980, the government called for a constitutional plebiscite to institutionalize the authoritarian regime. The defeat suffered by the ruling party marked the beginning of the end of the dictatorship. The year 1983 saw the resurgence of social organizations: the fight against the regime became open and won the street. One of the most important mobilizations was called by the newly formed Intersindical Workers' Plenary (PIT), which was held on May 1, for the first time since 1973, under the slogans of Freedom, Work, Salary and Amnesty. That same month, the military began negotiations with the three authorized parties, excluding the Frente Amplio, whose president Líber Seregni was imprisoned since the coup d'état and the natural candidate of the national party, Wilson Ferreira Aldunate.
There is a lot of information about this country's history. This was a resume of it up to the year of its independence.