Uruguay Constitution Day takes place annually on July 18. Officially known as ‘Jura de la Constitucion de la Republica Oriental del Uruguay,’ the holiday commemorates the adoption of Uruguay’s first constitution on July 18, 1830. The constitution, which was in force until 1918, was drafted by the General Constituent and Legislative Assembly of the State. Taking notes from the French and American revolutions, the constitution split governmental powers among the executive, legislature, and judiciary arms.
History of Uruguay Constitution Day
Officially known as the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, this country is located in South America. It declared itself independent of Brazil on August 25, 1825. But the country’s independence was only recognized on August 27, 1828, when the Treaty of Montevideo was signed at the end of the three-year-long Cisplatine War. The outcome was that Brazil and Argentina agreed to recognize Uruguay as an independent “buffer” state between them. The country adopted its first constitution on July 18, 1830.
The constitution, which was in force from 1830 to 1918, was drafted by the General Constituent and Legislative Assembly of the State. Taking notes from the French and American revolutions, the constitution split governmental powers among the executive, legislature, and judiciary and has been regarded as Uruguay’s most technically perfect charter. It also established a unitary republic with a centralized form of government. Furthermore, the constitution vested the bicameral General Assembly with powers to elect a president who could lead the executive branch of government for a four-year tenure. The president was given the power to make executive decisions with the agreement of at least one of the three ministers recognized by the constitution.
The 1830 constitution established a General Assembly composed of a Chamber of Senators and a Chamber of Representatives. Although members of the General Assembly were empowered to pass laws, they lacked the authority to impeach the president or any of his ministers. As for the judicial branch of government, the constitution established a Supreme Court of Justice and lesser courts, with the General Assembly empowered to appoint members of the high court.
Uruguay Constitution Day timeline
On August 25, Uruguay declares its independence from Brazil.
Brazil and Argentina ratify the Treaty of Montevideo, recognizing Uruguay's independence.
The Constituent Assembly draws up the first Uruguayan Constitution; it’s sworn into effect by the populace in the Church of La Aguada.
A new constitution replaces the political one.
The United States recognizes Uruguay as an independent state.
Uruguay Constitution Day FAQs
What countries celebrate Constitution Day?
Constitution Day is a holiday set aside to honor a nation’s constitution. They include Mongolia, Netherlands, Niue, Norway, Pakistan, and Palau.
What is Uruguay known for?
Ranching is the leading industry in Uruguay. Uruguay has flat lands. Additionally noteworthy are its virtually unspoiled coastline, high standard of living, and recent track record of social liberalism. The ultimate emblem of Punta del Este is ‘The hand.’
Why is Uruguay so rich?
In the context of the Americas, Uruguay has long been a country that enjoys a fair amount of prosperity. The country’s economy, primarily fueled by beef, wool, crops, and dairy products, has been expanding since the dictatorship in the 1970s because of the increasingly trade-focused governments.
What is the official language of Uruguay?
The official language of Uruguay is Spanish, while the regional languages are Uruguayan and Portuguese.
What are people from Uruguay called?
People from Uruguay are Uruguayan.
How to Observe Uruguay Constitution Day
Sing the Anthem
The national anthem of Uruguay, which is about five minutes long, is one of the world's longest. It's not that long for most people, who only sing the first verse and chorus.
Listen to speeches
The time is right to pay attention to politicians and community leaders. They rehearse the history of the constitution and their commitment to the country.
Learn the culture
Take time off work and enjoy the people and places. There are parades, fireworks, festivals, and open-air performances. Food-wise, it's a great day as well, with Torta Fritas, Empanadas, Chivito, and Choripan taking center stage.
5 Facts About Uruguay
It’s a small nation
Uruguay is only larger than four European nations.
It was a disputed territory
From 1839 to 1851, rival factions engaged in a bloody civil war with the support of foreign powers.
Uruguay’s national anthem is long
Uruguay’s five-minute-long national anthem is the longest national anthem in the world.
It’s the 8th largest beef producer
Given its size, it is incredible that the nation still exports the eighth most beef among all countries, although its economy now heavily depends on services, tourism, and finance.
It has a high standard of living
With a roughly $16,000 GDP per capita, Uruguay’s income gaps are astonishing and, among the least, unequal.
Why Uruguay Constitution Day is Important
Democracy ensures equality
Uruguay is a democratic state, practicing a presidential system of government. This form of government ensures that the masses exercise their right to vote and elect their leaders. Democracy promotes equal opportunity for everyone.
Democracy prevents despotism
As opposed to democracy, dictatorships often lead to despotism and abuse of power. Practicing a democratic form of government ensures that arbitrary rule is prevented.
It has the Colonia del Sacramento
Uruguay is well known for its charming Colonia, founded in 1680. It is one of the oldest towns in Uruguay and has been a U.N.E.S.C.O. World Heritage Site since 1995.
Uruguay Constitution Day dates