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Uruguay: The Origin and Development of the Armed Forces
Country Study > Chapter 5 > National Security > The Origin and Development of the Armed Forces


The military history of Uruguay is rooted in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century clashes between settlers from Spain's Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata ruled from Buenos Aires to the west and settlers from Portugal's Viceroyalty of Brazil to the northeast, which formed a buffer between the two viceroyalties. In 1720 Spanish colonists built a fortress at Montevideo as an overt manifestation of their interest in the Banda Oriental and to put a stop to Portuguese expansion.

Data as of December 1990

Last Updated: December 1990

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Uruguay was first published in 1990. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Uruguay Main Page Country Studies Main Page

Section 148 of 167


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