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keskiviikko 4. helmikuuta 2015

Uruguay, Cool Facts #9

8. Paraguay <=                                                                                                            => 10. Venezuela


1. First Settlements 

In 1516 the Spanish conquistador Juan Diaz de Solis was the first European in Rio de la Plata (current Uruguay). The Charrua indians resisted the arrival of the Spanish and they killed Solis and his troops. Precious metals weren't found so the area was abandoned until the 1680s when Portuguese people from Brazil established the first permanent settlements. 



2. Argentina helped Uruguay in its Independence struggle

Argentina helped Uruguay to fight against Spain and Brazil for its independence. After 3 years of fighting Uruguay declared its independence in 1828. The flag was inspired by the flag of USA and colors and the symbol of freedom, the sun of May" was adopted from the Argentinean flag. 



3. 8-hour working day is from Uruguay 

The foundation for the current welfare state was created in 1903. The visionary president Jose Batlle y Ordonez was elected as the president and his presidency lasted until 1915. During his term Uruguay developed to a welfare state. 

Battle's regime's achievements: 

Free basic education 
Minimum wage 
Unemployment benefits 
Retirement pensions  
The death penalty was abolished
The church was separated from the state 
Gender equality was promoted
Uruguay nationalized energy utilities and its wool and cotton export profits were directed into public services 
The 8-hour working day laws were created in Uruguay as the first country in the world. 



4. South America's Switzerland

Because of its prosperous nation Uruguay is called the Switzerland of South America. There are no poor shantytowns and slums like in its neighbouring countries. The whole population descendants of Europeans, mainly with Spanish or Italian origins. 



5. The Era without presidents

In the years 1919-33 and 1951-66 Uruguay didn't have a president. They wanted to prevent the concentration of political power with this system which resembled Switzerland's political system. In Switzerland the executive power is in the hands of the seven-member Federal Council from which a president is elected for one year who actually doesn't have real power that much. 



Timeline

1516 The Spanish Juan Diaz de Solis arrives to Uruguay
1680 The Portuguese build permanent settlements
1726 The Spanish people establish the city of Montevideo pushing the Portuguese away and                destroying the natives. 
1777 Uruguay attached to La Plata of Spain. 
1828 Uruguay's Independence
1903-15 Jose Batlle y Ordonez's presidency
1930 Military coup during the recession
1973 Military coup 
1984 Return to civil power after demonstrations and a general strike 

Sources: 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruguay
Maailman liput maat ja historia - Kimmo Kiljunen

1 kommentti:

  1. There's a lot of Uruguayans of african descent as well (many arrived in the XIX century from their neighbour country Argentina), in fact they invented the "candombe", which is one of the most famous musical expressions from Uruguay.

    VastaaPoista