Oriental Republic of Uruguay

República Oriental del Uruguay

CAPITAL : Montevideo

FLAG : The flag, approved in 1830, has four azure blue horizontal stripes on a white background; on a white canton is a golden sun, alternately straight and wavy. This "Sun of May" symbolizes Uruguay's independence.

ANTHEM : Himno Nacional, which begins "Orientales, la patria o la tumba" ("Easterners [Uruguayans], our country or death").

MONETARY UNIT : The Uruguayan peso ( UP ), of 100 centésimos replaced the new peso in 1993 at the rate of UP 1=1,000 new pesos. There are coins of 10, 20, and 50 centésimos and 1, 2, 5, and 10 new pesos, and notes of 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 Uruguayan pesos. UP 1 = $0.0348 ($1 = UP 28.70) as of May 2003.

WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard, but some traditional measures also are used.

HOLIDAYS : New Year's Day, 1 January; Epiphany, 6 January; Landing of the 33, 19 April; Labor Day, 1 May; Battle of Las Piedras, 18 May; Birthday of Artigas, 19 June; Constitution Day, 18 July; Independence Day, 25 August; Columbus Day, 12 October; All Souls' Day, 2 November; Blessing of the Waters, 8 December; Christmas Day, 25 December.

TIME : 9 AM = noon GMT.


The inhabitants of Uruguay are primarily (about 88%) white and of European origin, mostly Spanish and Italian; a small percentage is descended from Portuguese, English, and other Europeans. Mestizos (those of mixed white and Amerindian lineage) represent 8% of the population, and mulattoes and blacks about 4%. The indigenous Charrúa Amerindians were virtually wiped out early in the colonial era.


Uruguay territorially is divided into 19 departments (provinces). Under the 1966 constitutional revision, each department had a unicameral legislature, but all 19 legislatures were dissolved by President Bordaberry on 28 June 1973. Following the installation of the democratic government in 1985, the departments returned to their pre-1973 status of limited autonomy under the central government.


Uruguay has no territories or colonies.


Finch, Martin H. J. A Political Economy of Uruguay Since 1870. New York: St. Martin's, 1982.

Finch, Martin. Uruguay. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Clio, 1989.

Garretón, Manuel Antonio, and Edward Newman, (eds.). Democracy in Latin America: (Re)constructing Political Society. New York: United Nations University Press, 2001.

Gillespie, Charles. Negotiating Democracy: Politicians and Generals in Uruguay. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Gonzalez, Luis E. Political Parties and Democracy in Uruguay. Notre Dame, Ind.: Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies, 1991.

Health in the Americas, 2002 edition. Washington, D.C.: Pan American Health Organization, Pan American Sanitary Bureau, Regional Office of the World Health Organization, 2002.

Hudson, Rex A., and Sandra W. Meditz (eds.). Uruguay, a Country Study. 2d ed. Washington, D.C.: Dept. of the Army, 1992.

Sosnowski, Saul, and Louise B. Popkin (eds.). Repression, Exile, and Democracy: Uruguayan Culture. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1993.

Weinstein, Martin. Uruguay, Democracy at the Crossroads. Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1988.

Also read article about Uruguay from Wikipedia

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