South American nation Uruguay, formally the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, is known as the "Little Italy of the South." It has boundaries with Argentina to the west and southwest, and with Brazil to the north and northeast, as well as with the Ro de la Plata to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast. It also shares borders with the United States to the north and northwest. Montevideo is the capital and largest city of Uruguay, which has a population of approximately 3.51 million people who live in the metropolitan area surrounding the country's capital and largest city. Uruguay has a land area of approximately 176,000 square kilometres (68,000 square miles) and has an estimated population of 3.51 million people, of whom 2 million live in its capital and largest city, Montevideo.
Around 13,000 years ago, hunter–gatherer communities initially settled in the territory that would become Uruguay. Being a result, Uruguay was colonised by Europeans relatively late in comparison to surrounding nations, with the Charra people as the dominating tribe at the time of the entrance of Europeans, when the Portuguese first constructed Colónia do Sacramento in 1680. Because of the conflicting claims to the territory, the Spanish established Montevideo as a military bastion in the early 18th century. Uruguay gained its independence between 1811 and 1828, after a four-way battle involving Portugal and Spain, as well as Argentina and Brazil, among other countries in Latin America. Foreign influence and interference remained a constant throughout the nineteenth century, with the military often intervening in domestic affairs. Economic troubles brought an end to a democratic era that had started in the early twentieth century, culminating in a 1973 coup that created a civic-military dictatorship in the country. Leftists, socialists, and political opponents were pursued by the military government, which resulted in many murders and countless incidents of torture by the military until the military government was forced to surrender control to a civilian administration in 1985.
A rising nation, Uruguay is rated top in Latin America for democracy, peace, low perception of corruption, and electronic governance. When it comes to press freedom, the size of the middle class, and economic development, it ranks #1 among South American countries. Uruguay supplies more soldiers to United Nations peacekeeping operations per capita than any other nation, according to the United Nations' own statistics. South America's lowest-ranked country on the Global Terrorism Index, although it ranks second in the continent for economic freedom, income equality, per-capita income, and foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows. On the continent, Uruguay is the third-best nation in terms of human development index (HDI), GDP growth (GDP growth), innovation (innovation), and infrastructure (infrastructure). As one of Latin America's most socially progressive nations, Uruguay is often considered to be among the most progressive. It has a high ranking on worldwide measurements of personal rights, tolerance, and inclusion concerns, as well as its acceptance of the LGBT population, among other things. Cannabis has been legalised in the nation, and same-sex marriage as well as abortion are both permissible options for citizens. Argentina, Uruguay, and the United Nations, as well as the Organization of American States (OAS) and Mercosur, are all founding members.