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History of Uruguay

History of the beginning and formation of Uruguay.

The territory in which the Oriental Republic of the Uruguay settles was inhabited, when Spain (1516) discovers it, for groups indigenous to primitive condition, but that demonstrated to possess an innate and indomitable fidelity to his freedom and independence defending them with bravery and determination before the step of the conqueror, being famous persons, between them, the Indians charrúas for his intrepidity and aggressiveness in the combat, from which the current expression came of "claw charrúa" between Uruguayans when of courage and exploits it talks each other.

On the other hand, there survive in the National Historical museum of Montevideo some utensillos and warlike pieces of the indigenous epoch, which they illustrate on the same one. In epoch of the big conquests and in search of the longed oceanic passage to "The Indies", Fernando V of Spain always sends to the New World an expedition supervised by his Biggest Pilot Juan Díaz de Solís who going with his ships to the south of the continent, arrives to the River Plate discovering his basin and the territory of the Uruguay (February, 1516), taking possession on behalf of the Spanish Crown. But, scarcely disembarked in the open territory, Solís and most of his men find the death under the accurate arrows of the indigenous inhabitants of the banks platenses.

The survivors of the expedition, on returning to Spain, baptize the wide river that Solís called "Mar Dulce", and the natives "Parana-Guazú" (big river like sea), it naming "Solís's Rio", in honor to his discoverer, name that in turn would not be late in being replaced by the definitive one of River Plate, motivated the same one, by the false belief of which there imagination of the explorers was, the nonexistent "silver Saw", for the fabulous treasures found in Mexico and Peru. After Solís the famous navigator Fernando de Magallanes, before completing his prowess across the seas, it comes to the River Plate (1520) dropping anchor in a bay, and says the chronicle that in view of his hill the watchtower exclaimed: "Mount vide eu" (I saw a mount), from which there would originate the name of the future capital of the Uruguay, founded many years later).

The stage of the conquest in the Oriental Band - since it was called then to the territory of the Uruguay by his place to the east of the river Uruguay - was extremely slow; busy and attracted the conquerors for other promisoras regions as Peru. It is newly in 1617 that Hernando Arias de Saavedra known by Hernandarias, the first governor of the River Plate, discovers the existing wealth in the prairies of the Uruguayan territory introducing in the same one the first bovine and equine cattle that under the benefits of the fertile soil and moderate climate multiply prodigiously, being the origin of the big cattle wealth of the Uruguay.

Between the consequences of the fact - new colonists, power supply, transport - it is of underlining the appearance in the middle of the "Oriental Band" of a new human archetype: "the gaucho". Free on his horse, equestrian hunter of the cattle, the gaucho enseñoreará of the Uruguayan field, which will cover along and across, bearing habits and customs that are still cultivated, some of them, in the country.

Another beneficent fact, although of different nature, under Hernandarias, it was the pacific conquest of the natives tackled on the part of the Franciscan missionaries and Jesuits who across his famous missions assumed the evangelización, defense and human promotion of the Indians with whom several peoples founded in Uruguayan territory, between them Santo Domingo of Soriano (1624), the most ancient of the country, in the coastal west; and in the north seven peoples of the oriental Missions of the river Uruguay. As for Montevideo, the city of San Felipe and Santiago de Montevideo, founded under orders of king Felipe V, for the governor of Buenos Aires, Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, one raises (1724-30) in order to contain the Portuguese expansion towards the River Plate, as it had happened years earlier with the foundation of the Cologne of the Sacramento opposite to Buenos Aires; hence his character of strong square of Spain, city fortified and walled with his citadel which door, still in foot, can turns located in the current Square Independence.

Between the events that upset the long colonial period the English invasions are to the River Plate (1806-1807) that took the riverside cities of the Virreinato as warlike stages, between them Montevideo, which after heroic defense is conquered, remaining under the English domain several months (February to September, 1807) until the Britons are defeated (in Buenos Aires), are forced to agree, the Spanish government being restored. The struggles for the independence, José Gervasio Artigas (1810-1820): Meanwhile, there was becoming more urgent, between the Spanish Americans, the desire to be governed by themselves, to be proprietors of his destination and of those of his native ground, desire that was accompanied and favored by events that there were happening in the world who sowed winds of freedom and independence that found deep echo in the heart of the Spanish-American peoples.

The struggles by the Independence were long and hard, extended his battlefields across mountain ranges and flatness of Spanish America. In the Oriental Band, since the Uruguay was still called, the pro-independence ideas thought who was capturing them and was channeling in the person of José Gervasio Artigas, founder of the Uruguayan nationality and his maximum hero, as well as one of the most notable statesmen of America, which political ideology on republicanism, sovereignty and defense of the peoples, supports full validity. Under the Artigas headquarters there went the whole people come from the campaign and from the cities, increasing the army artiguista that obtained his most resounding military victory over the Spanish in the Battle of the Stones (May 18, 1811).

To the struggles against Spain the dissents joined with Buenos Aires, and the begun ones by Portugal, which invade the Uruguayan territory for three fronts (1816) compromising the armies artiguistas in brave struggles, victories and defeats being alternated, until they conquer the Portuguese troops (January, 1820). On the other hand, Artigas, who had exercised his civil and military leadership, which he had led to his village in decisive instances, after having being proclaimed "a Protector of the Free Peoples" at his hours of glory and climax, withdraws from himself, for disagreements with his Allied Forces, the Paraguay (September, 1820), where September 23, 1850 dies.

The Liberating Crusade (1825-1830), independent Uruguay: But the native feeling lit by Artigas is recaptured promptly and it crystallizes in "The Liberating Crusade" destined to liberate the country, this time, of the mastery of the Empire of the Brazil, made independent of Portugal. Really then "Thirty three Oriental ones", organized secretly, and under the control of the chief artiguista Juan Antonio Lavalleja, disembark in native soil on April 19, 1825, meeting the patriots who were waiting for them and opening his flag of "Freedom or Death". This native exploit will culminate, after different events and struggles, in the declaration of the Independence on August 25, 1825, declaring the national territory "Free of all foreign power", the Oriental State of the Uruguay being constituted on October 8, 1828.

On July 18, 1830 the first Constitution of the Republic is sworn, being the first constitutional President General Fructuoso Rivera. Manuel Oribe will continue in the presidency, one of the chiefs of the "Thirty three Oriental ones", being generated in both personalities respectively, the traditional political parties of the country: the Divided Colorado and the White Party that, they will write nourished pages of the history of the Uruguay.
Avoided the difficulties of the new nation - internal struggles, external pressures, incipient economy - it was outlined, in the course of time and the irreplaceable contribution of out-standing citizens in the world of the politics and of the culture, the modern Uruguay that progressed in different orders of the civil life, strengthening his economy in several decades thanks to his traditional exports of meat, wool and leather.

Today Uruguay, recaptured his democratic vocation, is pawned to a politics of Latin-American integration, of expansion of his commerce and of technological progress to face with optimism the challenges of the future. Source: Department of Tourism The population of the Uruguay is of European, especially Spanish and Italian origin, without detriment to other nationalities, unmigratory product of a politics of open doors. Also there exists a limited presence of the black race that came to the country, of the African coasts, in times of the Spanish domination.
As for the indigenous population more than one century since the last Indians disappeared of the whole national territory, what it differentiates to the population of the Uruguay of that of other countries of Spanish America.

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