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Uruguay, officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay and sometimes called the Eastern Republic of Uruguay, is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to 3.3 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area. An estimated 88% of the population is of European descent. With an area of approximately, Uruguay is the second-smallest nation in South America by area, after Suriname.Colonia del Sacramento, one of the oldest European settlements in the country, was founded by the Portuguese in 1680. Montevideo was founded by the Spanish in the early 18th century as a military stronghold. Uruguay won its independence between 1811 and 1828, following a four-way struggle amongst Spain, Portugal, Argentina and Brazil. It is a democratic constitutional republic, with a president who is both head of state and head of government.EtymologyLa República Oriental del Uruguay originally meant the republic east of the Uruguay , but is now usually translated into English as the Oriental Republic of Uruguay. The government of Uruguay normally uses simply Uruguay in English.