Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay, and today is home to 1.35 million people, over a third of the entire Uruguayan population. Originally founded in 1726, the city was heavily influenced by Britain from the early 19th century to the early 20th century, who used it as a means of circumventing commercial control by Argentina and Brazil. Between 1838 and 1851, Argentina’s dictator of the time, Juan Manuel de Rosas, repeatedly besieged the city with the aim of winning control of the region.
Situated on the northern mouth of the Plata River estuary, Montevideo is Uruguay’s
largest port. A period of economic prosperity in the late 19th century drew
many immigrants from Europe, however military dictatorship in the mid-20th century
led to an economic decline, the effects of which may still be seen today. During
this period, many rural poor flooded the city, however this trend has slowed
as the country has entered a period of economic recovery, with stronger regional
trade ties leading to renewed agricultural development.
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