Most Uruguayans are descended from Spanish settlers who came to the country in the 1600's and 1700's and Italian immigrants who arrived during the 1800's and early 1900's.
Spanish is the nation's official language.
Most Uruguayans live in urban areas, Montevideo, the capital and largest city, has about half of the nation's total population, and serves as the commercial, political, and cultural hub of the nation.
Mild climate and abundant natural pasture with large cattle and sheep ranches are the main base of the economy.
American Indians were the original inhabitants of Uruguay.
Spanish and Portuguese forces fought for over Uruguay during the 1700's, and Brazil later tried to dominate the country.
In 1828, Uruguay became an independent republic.
It developed into a prosperous and democratic nations in the early 1900's.
During the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's economic decline brought about a period of unrest and military rule.
Uruguay is a republic.
Democratic governments have ruled Uruguay during most of the 1900's, but remains saddled with substantial external debts.
Official language is Spanish.
Most Uruguayans belong to the Roman Catholic Church.
The government provides free public schooling up to university level.
Temperatures in Montevideo average 11 °C in July, the coldest month, and 23 °C in January, the warmest month.
Good roads and railway system link all parts of Uruguay.
An excellent government-operated bus system that serves the entire nation.
Montevideo serves as Uruguay's major ocean port.
The main international airport is located near Montevideo.
In 1825, a group of Uruguayan patriots called "The Immortal Thirty-three" revolted against Brazil and renewed the struggle for independence.
Within a few months, their armies held much of the countryside.
Argentina and the British supported the patriots in the war against Brazil.
In 1828, Brazil and Argentina recognized Uruguay as an independent republic.
In 1836 civil war broke out between Colorados (mainly urban dwellers) and the Blancos (rural dwellers and ranch owners).
Even today's main parties are successors of these parties.
Montevideo is the capital, largest city, and chief port of Uruguay and is situatiated where the Rio de la Plata meets the Atlantic Ocean.
Independence Plaza is the centre of the city, a park surrounded by highly decorative buildings.
The Avenida 18 de Julio runs east from the plaza and passes through the main business district and gets its name from July 18, 1830, when Uruguay adopted its first constitution.
An arch, west of the plaza leads, to a historic district called Old Town with many buildings that date from the 1700's or 1800's.
Most of Montevideo's people are of Spanish, or other European descent.
About half of all Uruguayans live in Montevideo and dwell in single-family houses or modern apartment buildings.
Montevideo was founded in 1726 by Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, the Spanish colonial governor of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Beginning in the late 1800's, the city expanded rapidly as the result of heavy immigration from European countries, including Spain, France, Hungary, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
This heritage makes Montevideo seem much like a European city.
Population over 4 million.
For more information about Southern Fuegian Railway see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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