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Friday 15th December
Uruguay Facts
The highest point in Uruguay is the Cerro Catedral (514 m).

The people who lived in the region before the Europeans arrived included the Charrua and the Guarani.

The Oriental Republic of Uruguay (Republica Oriental del Uruguay) derived part of its full title from the early name for the area: Banda Oriental. Oriental is the Spanish word for eastern.

The River Uruguay separates Uruguay from Argentina. Uruguay is to the east of Argentina.

The Portuguese founded Colonia del Sacramento, now a World Heritage site, in 1680.

The Spanish built a fortress in Monetevideo in 1726.

During the eighteenth century the Portuguese and the Spanish brought African slaves to Uruguay.

In 1776 Uruguay became part of the Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata. The capital of the Viceroyalty was in Buenos Aires (Argentina).

The Viceroyalty of the Rio de la Plata took its name from the wide estuary of the same name.

1808 saw a Uruguayan rebellion against the Viceroyalty.

Jose Gervasio Artigas (1774-1850) led the campaign for independence from Spain.

The Portuguese (from Brazil) and the Spanish (from Argentina) fought for possession of Uruguay.

Uruguay was annexed by Brazil in 1821.

Every year people in Uruguay remember the day in 1825 that Juan Antonio Lavalleja and a group of soldiers, known as the patriots, marched back to Uruguay from Argentina and attacked the Portuguese.

The Treaty of Rio de Janerio, signed in 1828, ensured Uruguay's independence.

The British had a number of economic interests in Uruguay including agriculture and the railways.

In the UK the name Fray Bentos is synonymous with corned beef. The meat packing company in the town of Fray Bentos was originally German owned. The British took over the Fray Bentos company in the 1920s.

A number of migrants from Italy moved to Uruguay in the nineteenth century. More Italians arrived in the country after World War One (1914-18) and World War Two (1939-45).

Jose Batlle y Ordonez, a president of Uruguay in the early twentieth century, introduced a progressive welfare system, free education for children, and votes for women.

In 1971 the British ambassador to Uruguay, Geoffrey Jackson, was kidnapped by the Tupamaros, a revolutionary army. He was held captive for eight months.

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