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Montevideo was occupied by a British force from February to September 1807.

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The Brazilian Empire became independent of Portugal in 1822.

In response to the annexation, the Thirty-Three Orientals, led by Juan Antonio Lavalleja, declared independence on 25 August 1825 supported by the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata (present-day Argentina). Neither side gained the upper hand and in 1828 the Treaty of Montevideo, fostered by the United Kingdom through the diplomatic efforts of Viscount John Ponsonby, gave birth to Uruguay as an independent state.

With an area of approximately 176,000 square kilometres (68,000 sq mi), Uruguay is geographically the second-smallest nation in South America, after Suriname.

Uruguay was inhabited by the Charrúa people for approximately 4,000 years before the Portuguese established Colonia del Sacramento, one of the oldest European settlements in the region, in 1680.

In 1669–71, the Portuguese built a fort at Colonia del Sacramento.

Spanish colonization increased as Spain sought to limit Portugal's expansion of Brazil's frontiers.

It borders Argentina to its west and Brazil to its north and east, with the Río de la Plata (River of Silver) to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast.

Uruguay is home to an estimated 3.44 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the metropolitan area of its capital and largest city, Montevideo.

The Triple Alliance declared war on the Paraguayan leader Francisco Solano López and the resulting Paraguayan War ended with the invasion of Paraguay and its defeat by the armies of the three countries.

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