Official Name: Oriental republic of Uruguay
Currency: uruguayan peso
Language: spanish 100%
Population: 3,34 million people
Religions: Christianity - 64,6 %(Catholics - 54%, protestants - 11%), Judaism - 1,2%
Area: 176 220 sq km
Landforms: The landscape features mostly rolling plains and low hill ranges with a fertile coastal lowland.
A dense fluvial network covers the country, consisting of four river basins or deltas; the Rio de la Plata, the Uruguay River, the Laguna Merin and the Rio Negro.
The highest point in the country is the Cerro Catedral at 514 metres in the Sierra Carape hill range. To the southwest is the Rio de Plata, the estuary of the Uruguay River, which forms the western border, and the Parana River.
Land Divisions: Uruguay consisits of 19 departments (Artigas, Canelones, Cergo Largo, Colonia, Durazno, Flores, Florida, Lavalleja, Maldonado, Montevideo, Paysandu,Rio Negro, Rivera, Rocha, Salto, San Jose, Soriano, Tacuarembo, Treinta y Tres)
Uruguay -- History --
The only documented inhabitants of Uruguay before European colonization of the area were the Charrua, a small tribe driven south by the Guarani of Paraguay. There have also been identified examples of ancient rock art, at locations such as Chamanga, and elsewhere.
The Spanish arrived in the territory of present-day Uruguay in 1516, but the people's fierce resistance to conquest, combined with the absence of gold and silver, limited settlement in the region during the 16th and 17th centuries. In 1669–71, the Portuguese built a fort at Colonia del Sacramento. Spanish colonization increased as Spain sought to limit Portugal's expansion of Brazil's frontiers.
Uruguay's early 19th century history was shaped by ongoing fights between the British, Spanish, Portuguese, and colonial forces for dominance in the Argentina-Brazil-Uruguay region.
In 1811, Jose Gervasio Artigas, who became Uruguay's national hero, launched a successful revolt against Spain, defeating them on May 18 in the Battle of Las Piedras. In 1814 he formed the Liga Federal (Federal League) of which he was declared Protector.19th century under a series of elected and appointed presidents saw interventions by — and conflicts with — neighboring states, political and economic fluctuations, and large inflows of immigrants, mostly from Europe.
The "Guerra Grande" 1839–1852
The political scene in Uruguay became split between two parties, the conservative Blancos ("Whites") and the liberal Colorados ("Reds"). The Colorados were led by Fructuoso Rivera and represented the business interests of Montevideo; the Blancos were headed by Manuel Oribe, who looked after the agricultural interests of the countryside and promoted protectionism. The two groups took their names from the color of the armbands that they wore; initially, the Colorados wore blue, but when it faded in the sun, they replaced it with red. The Uruguayan parties became associated with warring political factions in neighbouring Argentina.
all from Italy and Spain. The number of immigrants had risen from 48% of the population in 1860 to 68% in 1868. In 1857, the first bank was opened; three years later a canal system was begun, the first telegraph line was set up, and rail links were built between the capital and the countryside.
The economy saw a steep upswing after the "Guerra Grande", above all in livestock raising and export. Between 1860 and 1868, the number of sheep rose from three to seventeen million. The reason for this increase lay above all in the improved methods of husbandry introduced by European immigrants.
Montevideo became a major economic centre of the region. Thanks to its natural harbour, it became an entrepot for goods from Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. The towns of Paysandu and Salto, both on the River Uruguay, also experienced similar development.In the late 19 th century Uruguay finished its formation as a democratic country and has achieved remarkable economic and social success. Uruguay is one of the first countries established the right of divorce by law (1907) and the right of women to vote. Also, is the second country in the world, which by law regulates compulsory and free primary education (1877).
In economic policy is seen to government protectionism of local products over imported European ones. All this has repercussions in other areas - perfect infrastructure zdrveopazvane and education at European level, the tallest building in Latin America for many years (Palacio Salvo - 1925), the largest stadium in the world (Sentenario), double world champion football (1930 and 1950) - all this gives rise country to become internationally known as the "American Switzerland" during this period.
Military dictatorship (1973-1985)
At the end of Uruguay in 1950 entered into a serious crisis, economic problems, which are felt in the political life of the country. 60-years were marked by the rise of left-wing movements. Rise up against them ultradesni formations, mainly among students, and frequently come into direct clashes in the streets of major cities. The chaos spread to the state is well used by the military, which gradually become a major player in the political scene collectively. All this ultimately ended with a coup d'etat.
On June 27, 1973 incumbent President Juan Maria Bordaberi using military dissolved parliament and called announces. State Council, which pre-empt all state functions. Uruguay majority of society is immediately declared against the coup and is subject to continuous repression. Detainees are leaders of the Left, and many citizens expressed their position. In the Uruguayan prisons are dying over 1000 political prisoners and 140 others were missing and present.
Changes began slowly in the beginning of '80 years to reach full military withdrawal from power and re-elected civilian government of the whole March 1, 1985
Uruguay -- Economy --
Uruguay economy relies heavily on trade, particularly in agricultural exports, leaving the country particularly vulnerable to slumps in commodity prices and global economic slowdowns. After averaging growth of 5% annually in 1996–1998, in 1999–2001 the economy suffered from lower demand in Argentina and Brazil, which together account for nearly half of Uruguay's exports. Despite the severity of the trade shocks, Uruguay's financial indicators remained more stable than those of its neighbours, a reflection of its solid reputation among investors and its investment-grade sovereign bond rating—one of only two in South America. In recent years Uruguay has shifted some of its energy into devel oping the commercial use of technologies and has become the first exporter of software in Latin America. Typical products for the country are cattle, wool, milk and dairy products, rice.
Cattle were introduced to Uruguay before its independence by Hernando Arias de Saveedra, the Spanish Governor of Buenos Aires in 1603. Beef exports in 2006 amounted to around 37% of Uruguayan exports. Wool is a traditional product exported mainly to China, followed by the UK and India
Milk and dairy products. Conaprole, National Cooperative of Milk Producers is the main exporter of dairy products in Latin America (in 2006). The area of the country dedicated to the dairy food is located mainly in the south west.
Rice. Fine varieties are produced in the lowlands in the east of the country close to Merin lake on the Uruguay-Brazil border. The national company Saman claims to be the main exporter in Latin America. Countries it exports to include Brazil, Iran, Peru, South Africa, Chile, Senegal, Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, USA, Canada and China.
Economic properties: GDP – $32,2 milliard (2008); GDP per capita – $9845 (2008); GDP real growth – 8,9% (2008); Inflation rate – 9,16% (2008); Export – $5,47 milliard (2007); Import – $4,54 milliard (2007)
Uruguay -- Culture --
Uruguay has an impressive legacy of artistic and literary traditions, especially for its small size. The contribution of its alternating conquerors and diverse immigrants has resulted in native traditions that integrate this diversity. Uruguay has centuries old remains, fortresses of the colonial era. Its cities have a rich architectural heritage and an impressive number of writers, artists, and musicians. Uruguayan tango is the form of dance that originated in the neighborhoods of Montevideo, Uruguay towards the end of the 19th century. Tango, candombe, and murga are the three main styles of music.
Uruguay has a small but growing film industry, and movies such as Marcelo Bertalmio’s Los dias con Ana (2000: Days with Ana) have earned international honours.
Uruguay -- Political system, law and government --
The Politics of Uruguay abide by a presidential representative democratic republic, under which the President of Uruguay is both the head of state and the head of government, as well as a multiform party system. The president exercises executive power and Legislative power is vested in the two chambers of the General Assembly of Uruguay. The Judiciary branch is independent from that of the executive and legislature.
The General Assembly (Asamblea General) has two chambers. The Chamber of Deputies (Camara de Diputados) has 99 members, elected for a five year term by proportional representation. The Chamber of Senators (Camara de Senadores) has 31 members; 30 members are elected for a five year term by proportional representation and the Vice-president who presides over it.
The Supreme Court is the highest court. Its judges are elected for 10-year terms by the General Assembly. Below the Supreme Court are appellate and lower courts, as well as justices of the peace. There are also electoral and administrative ("contentious") courts, an accounts court, and a military justice system.