History Of Uruguay

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Beatriz Davila
Latin America
Semester paper assignment
Period 2

Uruguay’s History:
In1516 Uruguay was discovered by the Spanish explorer Juan Diaz de Solis.
Uruguay became a zone of contention between the Spanish and the Portuguese empires. During 1603 the Spanish began to introduce cattle, which became a source of wealth in the region. The first permanent settlement on the territory of present-day Uruguay was founded by the Spanish in 1624 at Soriano on the Río Negro at Soriano. Between 1680 and 1683, Portuguese colonists in Brazil established several settlements along the Río de la Plata opposite Buenos Aires. However, the Spanish didn't make any attempts to remove the Portuguese until the year of 1723, when the latter began fortifying the heights around the Bay of Montevideo. A Spanish expedition forced the Portuguese to abandon this site, and there the Spanish founded the city of Montevideo in 1726 after being a member of the Vice-royalty of La Plata Uruguay rebelled following the overthrow of the Spanish monarchy by Napoleon Bonaparte. “The Vice- royalty was established in 1776 out of several former Viceroyalty of Peru dependencies that mostly extended over the Rio de la Plata basin, which are the present day territories of Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay”(BBCnews).

Montevideo was founded by the Spanish in the early 18th century when they took over Uruguay from the Portuguese. In 1806 and 1807, the British army attempted to seize Buenos Aires as part of their War with Spain. As a result, at the beginning of 1807, “Montevideo was occupied by a 10,000-strong British force that possessed Montevideo until mid-year when they left to attack Buenos Aires.” (BBCnews) A year after In 1808 Uruguay rebelled against the vice-royalty of La Plata after the overthrow of the Spanish monarchy by Napoleon Bonaparte and in 1814 they broke away from rule calling them The Federal League, but by 1816 Brazil decided it wanted to take Uruguay and invaded the land and in 1817 they claimed it for themselves. Short after in 1821 Brazil annexed Uruguay and they declared their Independence in 1828. Then in 1839 Uruguay found themselves in the middle on a civil war between Blanco’s and the Colorado’s. The Colorado’s represented the Business interest of Uruguay and the Blanco’s looked after the agriculture. “The civil war then ended in 1852 with the Colorado’s winning at the Battle of Caseros.” (Lenord Pg. 139) Uruguay, made prosperous by meat and wool exports, and founded a welfare state early in the 20th century under President José Battle y Ordonez, who ruled from 1903 to 1929. During the presidency of General A. Baldomir, whose cadency lasted from 1938 until 1942, “the country experienced a period of bourgeoisie democracy. In the early years of WWII Uruguay maintained neutrality, which shortly changed when, on the basis of the resolutions of the Pan-American Conference in 1942, Uruguay decided to terminate diplomatic relations with the Axis; on February 21st 1945 Uruguay formally declared war on both Germany and Japan.” (Lenord pg1472) At the time of the war's eruption the regular army of Uruguay numbered 9,000 soldiers. The enlistment was on a voluntary basis. It was composed of four cadre infantry divisions, two cavalry brigades, as well as technical and service sub-units. During the WWII years, Uruguay’s break down of the army was: “19 line battalions, four rifle companies, nine cavalry regiments, three field artillery regiments, a fortress artillery company, a machine gun company, one engineer battalion, and one bearer company.”(qtd leanord 1472) The air force did not constitute a separate branch of the armed forces, but instead it formed an integral part of the army; it consisted of three obsoletely equipped flights with a total of 45 planes in 1937. The Uruguayan navy possessed one small battle ship, a surveying vessel, three fairly modern patrol vessels, two training ships, and a small number of minor/auxiliary