Uruguay was inhabited by the Charrúa people for approximately 4000 years before the Portuguese established Colonia del Sacramento, one of the oldest European settlements in the country, in 1680. Montevideo was founded as a military stronghold by the Spanish in the early 18th century, signifying the competing claims over the region. Uruguay won its independence between 1811 and 1828, following a four-way struggle between Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Brazil. It remained subject to foreign influence and intervention throughout the 19th century, with the military playing a recurring role in domestic politics until the late 20th century. Modern Uruguay is a democratic constitutional republic, with a president who serves as both head of state and head of government.
Uruguay was ranked first in Latin America in democracy, peace, lack of corruption, e-government, and is first in South America when it comes to press freedom, size of the middle class and prosperity. On a per-capita basis, Uruguay contributed more troops to United Nations peace-keeping missions than any other country. It ranked second in the region on economic freedom, income equality, per-capita income and inflows of FDI. Uruguay was the third-best country on the continent in terms of HDI, GDP growth, innovation and infrastructure. It was regarded as a high-income country (top group) by the UN. Uruguay was also the third-best ranked in the world in e-Participation. Uruguay was an important global exporter of combed wool, rice, soybeans, frozen beef, malt and milk.
The Economist named Uruguay "country of the year" in 2013, acknowledging the innovative policy of legalizing the production, sale and consumption of cannabis. Same-sex marriage and abortion are also legal, leading Uruguay to be regarded as one of the most liberal nations in the world, and one of the most socially developed, outstanding regionally, and ranking highly on global measures of personal rights, tolerance, and inclusion issues.
The Uruguayan government fell shortly after Brazil and the country annexed as an Argentinian province, with the population being scattered throughout Argentina or placed in death camps.
Uruguay was one of the last regions of Terra that was not destroyed with a nuclear bomb to recover from WWIII. It's the only former country in South America to be completely outside the Amazon Park.