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However, it is commonly translated either as the "Oriental Republic of Uruguay" Uruguay then became a zone of contention between the Spanish and Portuguese empires.

In 1603, the Spanish began to introduce cattle, which became a source of wealth in the region.

In Spanish colonial times, and for some time thereafter, Uruguay and some neighbouring territories were called the Cisplatina and Banda Oriental [del Uruguay] ("East Bank [of the Uruguay River]"), then for a few years the "Eastern Province".

Since its independence, the country has been known as la República Oriental del Uruguay, which literally means "the eastern republic of the Uruguay [River]".

The siege of Montevideo was lifted and the Guerra Grande finally came to an end.

In 1865, the Triple Alliance was formed by the emperor of Brazil, the president of Argentina, and the Colorado general Venancio Flores, the Uruguayan head of government whom they both had helped to gain power.

Their efforts proved ineffective and, by 1849, tired of the war, both withdrew after signing a treaty favorable to Rosas.The political scene in Uruguay became split between two parties: the conservative Blancos (Whites) headed by the second President Manuel Oribe, representing the agricultural interests of the countryside; and the liberal Colorados (Reds) led by the first President Fructuoso Rivera, representing the business interests of Montevideo.The Uruguayan parties received support from warring political factions in neighbouring Argentina, which became involved in Uruguayan affairs.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.With an area of approximately 176,000 square kilometers (68,000 sq mi), Uruguay is geographically the second-smallest nation in South America, before the Portuguese established Colonia del Sacramento in 1680; Uruguay was colonized by Europeans relatively late compared with neighboring countries.

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