Uruguay was the last colony settled by Spain in the Americas. Part of the Spanish viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata until revolutionaries expelled the Spanish in 1811 and subsequently a province of Brazil, Uruguay declared independence on 25 Aug. 1825. Conflict between two political parties, the blancos (conservatives) and the colorados (liberals), led, in 1865–70, to the War of the Triple Alliance. In 1903, peace and prosperity were restored under President José Battle y Ordónezo. Since 1904 Uruguay has been unique in her constitutional innovations, all designed to protect her from dictatorship. A favoured device was the collegiate system of government, in which the two largest political parties were represented.
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