Uruguay History

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URUGUAY

In colonial times, Portugal controlled much of Uruguay, although the Spanish had ben the first European explorers. By 1828, the Uruguayans has successfully expelled the Portuguese. Though a constitution was drafted, the country soon fell into civil war which continued for several decades. From 1865 to 1958 the Colorado party was the dominant force in Uruguay. During the early part of this period, Europeans settled in the country so enthusiastically that by 1880, newcomers constituted about fifty percent of the population. Still, civil war threatened with the last eruption occurring in 1904. Though a military coup succeeded in 1933, by 1951 the people were calling for a return to a plural system. Over the next decades, political tensions continued and the country witnessed the rise of the Tupamaros (the National Liberation Movement) in 1967 which further served to destabilize the country. In 1973, the military again took control in a repressive and brutal regime and it was not until over a decade later that a civilian presidential election was held.