Banda Oriental, historical designation of the northeastern region of the Río De La Plata estuary used to distinguish it from the southern shores, the traditional core of the Argentine Republic. The name was applied by custom to the relatively well-populated stretch of land between the lower course of the Uruguay River, south of Fray Bentos, and the city of Rocha, near the Atlantic coast. It became official when the province joined the United Provinces of the Río De La Plata (1812), represented by José G. Artigas (1764–1850).
The regional strife that colored most of the early years of independence in the Río de la Plata region contributed to alienating the inhabitants of the northeastern shores, a feeling that intensified when the Congress of Tucumán (1816) ratified the independence of the United Provinces without mentioning the Banda Oriental, politically controlled at that time by Artigas. In 1817, taking advantage of the isolation and relative weakness of the province, Brazilian troops invaded the territory and exiled Artigas to Paraguay. The Brazilian occupation continued until 1825, when Colonel Juan A. Lavalleja and his famous Thirty-Three Companions stormed Montevideo to liberate the Banda Oriental. With the help of Argentine troops, liberation was achieved in Ituzaingó in February of 1827, and in the following year Argentina and Brazil relinquished their claims to the Banda Oriental. Under the name of Uruguay it became an independent country.
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José C. Williman, La Banda Oriental en la lucha de los imperios: 1503–1818 (Montevideo, 1975).
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Verdesio, Gustavo. La invención del Uruguay: La entrada del territorio y sus habitantes a la cultura occidental. Montevideo: Editorial Graffiti: Editorial Trazas, 1996.
CÉsar N. Caviedes