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Uruguay History Timeline

Uruguay's Information

Flag of Uruguay
Land Area 175,015 km2
Water Area 1,200 km2
Total Area 176,215km2 (#89)
Population 3,351,016 (#135)
Population Density 19.15/km2
Government Type Presidential Republic
GDP (PPP) $73.25 Billion
GDP Per Capita $20,300
Currency Peso (UYU)
Largest Cities
1500s - 1800s
  • (1516) Spanish navigator Juan Diaz de Solis killed by indigenous people while exploring the Rio de la Plata
  • (1726) Spanish founded Montevideo; took Uruguay from Portuguese
  • (1776) Uruguay became part of Vice-royalty of La Plata, capital at Buenos Aires
  • (1808) Uruguay rebelled against Vice-royalty of La Plata followed by Napoleon Bonaparte overthrow of Spanish monarchy
  • (1812-20) Uruguayans from eastern side of River Plata fought against Argentinean, Brazilian invaders
  • (1825) Uruguay declared independence from Brazil
  • (1828) Brazil, Argentina renounced claims to territories which became the Eastern Republic of Uruguay
  • (1830) Constitution approved
  • (1838-65) Civil war between Whites, (future conservative party), Colorados or Reds (future liberals)
  • (1903-15) Reformist Jose Batlle y Ordonez (Colorado Party) gave women franchise, established a welfare state, disestablished church, abolished the death penalty during two successive terms as president
  • (1925) Uruguay became independent
  • (1933) Opposition groups excluded from politics followed military coup
  • (1951) President replaced with nine-member council in accordance with new constitution
  • (1962 - 1973) Campaign by Tupamaros guerrillas
  • (1971) British ambassador to Uruguay, Geoffrey Jackson, kidnapped by Tupamaros guerrillas, held for eight months
  • (1972) 16 survivors of Andes Uruguayan plane stayed alive by eating flesh of passengers who died; survivors, mainly members of Uruguayan rugby team, were trapped for 10 weeks
  • (1973) Uruguay armed forces overthrew democratic government, established brutal dictatorship presided by President Juan Maria Bordaberry
  • (1984) Violent protests against repression and deteriorated economic conditions
  • (1985) Army, political leaders agreed on return to constitutional government, release of political prisoners; law granted amnesty to members of armed forces accused of human rights violations during years of dictatorship; Julio Maria Sanguinetti became president
  • (1989) Referendum endorsed amnesty for human rights abusers; Lacalle Herrera elected president
  • (1994) Julio Maria Sanguinetti elected president
  • (1999) Jorge Batlle elected president
  • (2000) Commission began investigating fate of 160 people who disappeared during the years of military dictatorship
  • (2001) UN troops from Uruguay set up camp on Lake Tanganyika to end Congo Civil War
2000s continued
  • (2001-2004) 15% of Uruguay's population left country in search of work due to economic crisis
  • (2002) US Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill arrived in Uruguay, announced $1.5 billion temporary loan to stabilize the financial crises
  • (2003) World bank approved loans worth more than $250 million; Uruguay voters agreed 60-35% to keep state monopoly over oil industry
  • (2004) Official poverty rate in Uruguay was 31%; senate voted to reject bill towould legalize abortion; Tabare Vazquez won presidential election, became the nation's first leftist leader
  • (2005) President Vazquez sworn in; restored ties with Cuba, signed energy deal with Venezuela, announced welfare package to tackle poverty
  • (2006) International Court of Justice rejected bid by Argentina to suspend construction of two Uruguayan pulp mills; Juan Maria Bordaberry, former foreign minister arrested in connection with 1976 killings of four political opponents; Uruguay paid off billion-dollar debt to the International Monetary Fund
  • (2007) Hundreds of Argentineans crossed into Uruguay to protest outside a paper pulp mill
  • (2008) President Vasquez announced discovery of possible large natural gas field off Uruguay's Atlantic coast
  • (2009) Supreme Court ruled that a law shielding officials of the last military government from prosecution for human rights abuses is unconditional; former military ruler Gregorio Alvarez sentenced to 25 years in prison for murder, human rights violations; ruling Broad Front coalition won parliamentary election; former leftist rebel-turned-moderate Jose Mujica of the governing Broad Front won presidential election
  • (2010) Former president Juan Maria Bordaberry sentenced to 30 years in prison for murder, violation of the constitution in 1973 military coup; Jose Mujica took office as president

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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