Uruguay (Ooroogwi'; formerly known as the Banda Oriental or 'Eastern Bank' - i.e. of the Uruguay) is the smallest of the South American republics, although its area - 72,110 sq. m. - is three-fifths that of the United Kingdom. The Atlantic washes its shores for 120 miles, the Plate and Uruguay rivers for nearly 600 miles; the Rio Negro flows across the central portion. The country is full of low hills or ranges, the highest reaching only 1650 feet. Gold and copper mines are worked, but little has been done to exploit the varied mineral wealth of the country. The normal temperature is between 35° and 90° F. The pop., estimated at 684,000 in 1889, and at 964,600 in 1901, is made up mainly of half-breeds, including Gauchos; but the foreign element, largely Basques and Italians, is rapidly increasing. The leading industry is the raising of cattle and sheep; six-sevenths of all the exports is pastoral and saladero produce. Liebig's factory is at Fray Bentos (q.v.). Uruguay possesses some 17,000,000 head of sheep and 6,500,000 of cattle; the chief crops are wheat and maize. The imports have a value varying from 123,700,000 to $32,360,000 per annum; the exports from $27,700,000 to $29,000,000. Uruguay is divided into nineteen departments. The president is elected for four years, and with a strong military force (3500 men) he is practically master of the country. The navy has only 185 men and officers, manning three gunboats, seven steamers, etc. The revenue varies from $16,200,000 to $17,900,000; the expenditure statistics are not so reliable, but the accounts are supposed to balance, and the debt is $123,000,000 (largely for railways). The state religion is Roman Catholic, but all are tolerated. About 1000 miles of railway are open; and there are 4000 miles of telegraph lines. The chief towns are Montevideo (the capital), Paysandii, Colonia, and Minas. Uruguay was long a bone of contention between the Portuguese and Spaniards, and, after it became independent (1814), between Brazil and Argentina. In 1828 Brazil and Argentina guaranteed its independence; but a new series of wars began in 1839, and Montevideo sustained an eight years' siege. Uruguay, which has been shamefully misgoverned and plundered, joined Brazil and Argentina against Paraguay in 1868. See books on the Plate region by Mulhall and by Levey, and a work by W. H. Hudson (1885).