Uruguay

Thomas Nemanich

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Uruguay is the second smallest country in South America

The People

Uruguay has a relatively small population of about 3.3 million. Around 88% of the population is white, 8% mestizo (mixed), and 4% black. The official language of Uruguay is Spanish, and Roman Catholicism is the dominant religion with about 47% of its population practicing it. Uruguay is one of the few countries in South America with social security, educational, and health systems. Their entire population also has access to clean water. Unfortunately Uruguay has one of the smallest population growth rates, and as a result affects their economy and has caused waves of emigration in the past.

Uruguay is the only country that keeps track of 100% of its cattle

Montevideo

Being the capital and the most populated city of Uruguay, Montevideo is a bustling area filled with the culture from Uruguay. Founded in 1726 by the governor of Buenos Aires, Montevideo was mostly used as a Spanish garrison town. Independence was gained in 1830 and in a sudden boom of trade, the port of Montevideo became the major port of the Rio de la Plata. Montevideo is also home to Uruguay's university which was founded in 1849.

Salto

Salto is located in the Northwest and is the second most populated city in Uruguay. Its ports supply the Northwestern part of Uruguay and parts of Brazil. Salto is known for its wine production and meat processing, and part of Uruguay's university is located there. The area around it is suitable for farming and pastures, and there are many cattle and sheep ranches. Salto is linked to Montevideo via air, rail, highway, and river, as well as having their own television station.

Rivera

Rivera is a city located in the Northern part of Uruguay atop the basaltic Santa Ana Hills, and shares borders with part of Brazil. Rivera has become a manufacturing and commercial center for a country based on farming. Like Salto, the area is very suitable for farming and pastures, and is used accordingly. Rivera is linked to Montevideo and other cities via rail and highway. Many popular crops such as rice, sweet potatoes, and corn are grown and sold here.

Uruguay's national anthem is the longest in the world

Major Events of Uruguay

Uruguay gained its independence from Brazil on August 25, 1825. This sparked a 3-year war between Brazil and Argentina over who could annex the new country.After neither country could gain control of Uruguay, a peace treaty was signed in 1828 and Uruguay had successfully won its independence.
Fructuoso Rivera became the first president of Uruguay in 1830. Manuel Oribe bests him in office in 1835, but only trouble will arise later. Supporters are divided into the Colorados and the Blancos. After 1838 this rivalry escalates to civil war. Around 1843 Oribe besieges Montevideo and is assisted by Argentina. This siege goes on for 9 years and by the time its over Rivera escapes to Brazil. Oribe is later defeated and leaves in exile. The nation now has to repair their war-torn country.
From now until 1903 military generals will rule Uruguay with an iron fist and ultimately worsen the conditions for the people. Some generals are good, but most are corrupt and repressive. Finally in 1903, citizens are able to vote for candidates and the Colorado-Blanco rivalry begins again. After the election there is a Blanco revolt and a year of violence. Battle, the president during this time, accomplishes a lot during this time perios and helps the country grow. Unfortunately after the next president is elected, Uruguay's economy declines and military generals stage a coup in 1973.
For 11 years Uruguay is ruled by the military and its a time of terror. For many citizens torture and disappearances become everyday life. Many live in constant fear of starving or being captured as their economy spirals even further downward. Finally the military generals see a presidential election as the only way to improve the country. Democracy is restored in 1985.

Cows outnumber people 3:1

Government in Uruguay

Uruguay is a constitutional republic, but has been under military rule in the past. They have a system very similar to the United States, which includes a judicial branch with a Supreme Court, an executive branch, and a legislative branch. They also have a 2-house legislature. The current president of Uruguay is Tabare Vasquez.

About 3/4 of the country is grasslands

Connections to the US

Many people from Uruguay are immigrating to the US and other countries due to an economic decline. Most people who move here easily adapt to the cities because of their lifestyles over in Uruguay. Many pursue higher education and high paying jobs because education in Uruguay is very good and most know some amount of English.