Banda Oriental

Banda Oriental, or more fully Banda Oriental del Uruguay (Eastern Bank[1]), was the name of the South American territories east of the Uruguay River and north of Río de la Plata that comprise the modern nation of Uruguay; the modern state of Brazil Rio Grande do Sul; and some of Santa Catarina, Brazil. It was the easternmost territory of the Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata.

After decades of disputes over the territories, the 1777 First Treaty of San Ildefonso settled the division between the Spanish Empire and the Portuguese Empire: the southern part was to be held by the Spanish Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata and the northern territories by the Portuguese Capitania de São Pedro do Rio Grande do Sul (English: Captaincy of Saint Peter of the Southern Río Grande).

The Banda Oriental was not a separate administrative unit until the de facto creation of the Provincia Oriental (English: Eastern Province) by José Gervasio Artigas in 1813 and the subsequent decree of the Supreme Director of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata of 7 March 1814, which formally established the Gobernación Intendencia Oriental del Río de la Plata (English: Governorship-Intendency East of the Río de la Plata), making it a constituent part of the United Provinces of South America.

Indigenous tribes and the 16th century

Map of 1574 showing the Portuguese Captaincies

Before the arrival of the Spanish and the Portuguese, several tribes of indigenous people were living in this area as nomads. The principal ones were the Charrúas, the Chanás, the Guayanas and the Guaraníes. Juan Díaz de Solís discovered this territory in 1516. During the conquest of the Río de la Plata area by the "Adelantados" (1535–1590), the main concern was to reach the interior in search of precious metals, so this region remained mostly ignored.[2] The first ephemeral Spanish attempts to start populated centres in this territory happened between 1527 and 1577. These were the Fortín de San Lázaro (actual Carmelo) and the Puerto de San Salvador (1527–1530) by Sebastián Gaboto, the Real de San Juan (1542–1553) and the Real de San Gabriel y Ciudad de San Salvador (1573–1577) by Juan Ortiz de Zárate.[3]

In 1542 the Crown of Castile established the Viceroyalty of Peru, a colonial administrative district that originally contained most of Spanish-ruled South America, governed from the capital of Lima. The Banda Oriental was therefore officially under the administration of the Viceroyalty of Peru from 1542 up to 1776. Although the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) limited the Portuguese colonies to the east of the 46th meridian, in practice, the Portuguese were free to advance in most of the territory that was not colonized by the Spanish, which included most of the Banda Oriental.

17th century

In the early 17th century the territory was called Banda Charrúa, later Otra Banda ("other shore"), and then Banda Oriental.[4] Later the name was extended to encompass Entre Ríos, to describe the territories in those latitudes that lead to the Mar del Nord (Atlantic Ocean). The area north of the Banda Oriental was the territory called by the Guaraní word Mbiaza or Ibiazá, rendered in Spanish as La Vera.

Monumento a Hernandarias
Monument to Hernandarias in Montevideo

In 1618, during the governance of Hernando Arias de Saavedra (commonly known as Hernandarias), the Banda Oriental was integrated into the Spanish colonial Governorate of the Río de la Plata. Following the recommendation of the King of Spain, Hernandarias introduced a large amount of cattle in the Banda Oriental, an act which has played a decisive role in the future of the economy of the area. Starting around 1626, fathers of the Franciscan order attempted to establish reductions south of Río Negro. Some of them were short-lived missions like the San Francisco de los Olivares de los Charrúas, the San Antonio de los Chanáes and the San Juan de Céspedes. In contrast, the one of Santo Domingo Soriano, founded with Charrúas and Chanáes in Entre Ríos, Argentina, in 1664, was moved on the Isle of Vizcaíno, on the mouth of Río Negro and then in 1718 it was moved again at its present location in the modern Soriano Department.[3]

Tile panel depicting the foundation of Colonia del Sacramento in 1680

Another notable development came from the reductions of the Compañía de Jesús further north the Uruguay River, where indigenous Guaraníes and Tapes were being kidnapped from the missions by the bandeirantes to be used as slaves in the coffee plantations of São Paulo. To prevent this, in 1631, father Antonio Ruiz de Montoya migrated with 12,000 Guaraníes further east, in the modern State of Paraná of Brazil, while in 1636, father Nicolás del Techo migrated with another 12,000 Tapes towards the modern Rio Grande do Sul, which constituted the north part of the Banda Oriental of the times.[3]

Although Spain claimed the territory of the Banda Oriental, based on the Treaty of Tordesillas, it did not officially belong to the Spanish Crown during the 17th century. The Portuguese, being able to advance without resistance in the sparsely populated territory, founded the city Colonia del Sacramento on the banks of Rio de la Plata, across from Buenos Aires, in 1680. Apart from being seen as an evidence that the Portuguese intended to occupy all of the territory, this port in the mouth of the Uruguay River also permitted the Portuguese ships to carry out illegal trade evading Spanish taxation. Spain took the city twice, in 1681 and in 1705, but had to give it back by the Treaty of Utrecht of 1713.

18th century

Monumento a Zabala detalle
Monument to Bruno Mauricio de Zabala in Montevideo.

The following years saw an expansion of the Portuguese settlements around Colonia del Sacramento, until 1723, when Field Marshal Manuel de Freitas da Fonseca of Portugal built the Montevieu fort. As a reaction, on 22 January 1724 a Spanish expedition was sent from Buenos Aires, organized by the Governor of Río de la Plata, Bruno Mauricio de Zabala, who forced the Portuguese to abandon the location and founded and fortified Montevideo. The Spanish started populating the city, initially with six families moving in from Buenos Aires and soon thereafter by families arriving from the Canary Islands who were called by the locals "guanches", "guanchos" or "canarios".

In this way Montevideo became the center of Spanish control over the Banda Oriental. Its government was carried out by the Cabildo, in which criollos (locally born people of pure or mostly Spanish ancestry) could participate. In 1750, the office of Governor of Montevideo was created, with jurisdiction in the southern departments of the modern Uruguay. The rest of the territories of the modern Uruguay, along with part of the modern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul remained under the jurisdiction of the Superintendencia de Buenos Aires, while another part of the territory of the Banda Oriental at the northwest was governed by the authorities of the Missions.

The Portuguese, having lost the possibility of building a fort in Montevideo, established the Fort of San Miguel in 1737 and then the much larger Fortaleza de Santa Teresa in 1762 on the Atlantic coast of the current Rocha Department, in order to keep a route open for their southward advances into the sparsely populated territories of the Banda Oriental.

The Treaty of Madrid (13 January 1750) between the kings of Spain and Portugal, allowed further expansion of the Portuguese Empire west of the 46th meridian. The treaty also stipulated that Spain would receive Colonia del Sacramento and Portugal would receive the Misiones Orientales. This, however, resulted in the Guaraní War (1754–1756), after which the Treaty of El Pardo (1761) repealed all aspects of the previous treaty.

Spanish–Portuguese Wars

The First Cevallos expedition was a military action between September 1762 and April 1763, by the Spanish forces led by Don Pedro Antonio de Cevallos, Governor of Buenos Aires, against the Portuguese in the Banda Oriental as part of the Seven Years' War. The Portuguese territories of Colonia del Sacramento were conquered by the Spanish and the Anglo-Portuguese forces were defeated and forced to surrender and retreat. Colonia del Sacramento and the nearby territories came under Spanish control until the Treaty of Paris (1763), by which all the territory conquered by the first Cevallos expedition was given back to Portugal. Santa Tecla, San Miguel, Santa Teresa and Rio Grande de São Pedro, however, remained in Spanish hands, which became the cause of further Portuguese attacks.

At the conclusion of the Spanish–Portuguese War of 1776-1777, by the First Treaty of San Ildefonso, Spain returned the island of Santa Catarina to Portugal and recognized Rio Grande de São Pedro as Portuguese territory, but kept the Colonia del Sacramento, along with the Banda Oriental, and the Misiones Orientales. In this way the Banda Oriental became integrated into the Viceroyalty of Río de la Plata (1776–1814). The line that separated the Spanish from the Portuguese territories, however, was a sinuous one, which lacking any natural formations to define it precisely, underwent various changes during the next decades.

In 1796, the body of the Blandengues was formed to protect the ranchers and peasants from vagrancy, theft and contraband. The government, lacking resources, offered to pardon any outlaws that would join this body, and they in turn brought also their horses into it.

19th century

A result of the Anglo-Spanish War (1796–1808) in Europe, were the British invasions of the Río de la Plata of 1807-1808. The invasions occurred in two phases. A detachment from the British army occupied Buenos Aires for 46 days in 1806 before being expelled. On 3 February 1807, during the Battle of Montevideo, the British captured the city and occupied it for half a year. They had to abandon it after their defeat in the Second Battle of Buenos Aires and the armistice of 12 August 1807. The social effects of the British invasions have been among the causes of the May Revolution of 25 May 1810.

During the British occupation of Montevideo, José Gervasio Artigas, who had joined the body of Blandengues since 1797, organized groups of gauchos and engaged in guerrilla war against the invaders. As a result, he was promoted to Captain of the Blandengues by the Spanish in 1809. However, when the Primera Junta was proclaimed in Buenos Aires, Artigas abandoned the ranks of the Spanish and joined the revolution, which promoted him to Colonel. With little help from Buenos Aires, he was sent to organize a rebellion in the Banda Oriental, where Montevideo was now the new capital of the viceroyalty, with Francisco Javier de Elío as the new viceroy.

The Battle of Las Piedras (1811) was the decisive defeat of Elío by land, although he was still keeping Montevideo supported by naval forces. At this point, Elío allied himself with Brazilian forces and requested their intervention in the conflict. Fearing defeat, Buenos Aires signed a truce with Elío, recognizing him as the ruler of the Banda Oriental and half of Entre Ríos. Considering this a treacherous move, Artigas abandoned the blockade over Montevideo and moved to Entre Rios with his supporters.

Provincia Oriental (1813–1817)

Provincia Cisplatina (1817–1828)

The United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves conquered the southern part in 1817 and renamed it the Província Cisplatina. By the mid-1820s, the Thirty-Three Orientals led a revolution against its successor state (the Brazilian Empire), igniting the Cisplatine War. At its conclusion, in 1828, the former Provincia Oriental was declared an independent state, Uruguay, by the Treaty of Montevideo. Uruguaiana remained with Brazil.

The northern part, between the years of 1836 and 1845, formed a full independent republic, named as Riograndense Republic. This territory was reconquered by the Brazilian Empire in the Ragamuffin War, and rejoined the empire under the Poncho Verde Treaty. It is today the Brazilian State of Rio Grande do Sul.

See also


  1. ^ Dictionary of the Real Academia Española, "banda": Lado de algunas cosas. De la banda de acá del río, de la banda de allá del monte
  2. ^ Instituto Artiguista - Banda Oriental
  3. ^ a b c Carlos Soares de Lima (26 March 2009). "La Antigua Banda Oriental" (in Spanish). Asociación Patriada por la Historia. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
  4. ^ El País newspaper: Banda Charrúa, not Banda Oriental (in Spanish)

Further reading

  • Mulhall, Michael George, and Edward T. Mulhall. Handbook of the River Plate: Comprising Buenos Ayres, the Upper Provinces, Banda Oriental, Paraguay (2 vol. 1869) online
  • Salvatore, Ricardo, and Jonathan C. Browen. "Trade And Proletarianization In Late Colonial Banda Oriental: Evidence From The Estancia De Las Vacas, 1791-1805," Hispanic American Historical Review (1987) 67#3 pp 431–459. in JSTOR
  • Sarreal, Julia. "Disorder, Wild Cattle, and a New Role for the Missions: The Banda Oriental, 1776–1786." The Americas (2011) 67#4 pp: 517-545. online
  • Historia 2 - Mundo, América Latina y Uruguay Siglo XV al XIX, Ediciones Santillana Uruguay, ISBN 978-9974-95-457-1

External links

Argentine War of Independence

The Argentine War of Independence was fought from 1810 to 1818 by Argentine patriotic forces under Manuel Belgrano, Juan José Castelli and José de San Martín against royalist forces loyal to the Spanish crown. On July 9, 1816, an assembly met in San Miguel de Tucumán, declared full independence with provisions for a national constitution.

Battle of Pablo Perez

The Battle of Pablo Perez was an encounter between the Portuguese forces under Bernardo da Silveira and the Artiguist forces of Fernando Otorgués in Cerro Largo, modern-day Uruguay.

The encounter ended with a victory for the Banda Oriental.

Bolivia–Peru relations

Bolivia–Peru relations refers to the current and historical relationship between Bolivia and Peru. and then they are ruled by spain, Viceroyalty of Peru owns Upper Peru, before of Viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata falls since 1814, and Banda Oriental has fallen two. but now The two countries fought the War of the Pacific and were united as the Peru-Bolivian Confederation from 1836 to 1839.

In 2010, Peruvian President Alan García agreed to allow Bolivia to build a port south of Peru's port of Ilo.

Carlos Frederico Lecor, Viscount of Laguna

Carlos Frederico Lecor (October 6, 1764 – August 2, 1836) was a Portuguese general and politician. He was the first Baron of Laguna, in Portugal, and later ascended to Viscount of Laguna, in Brazil.

He was most notably the only non-British General to have commanded one of the Anglo-Portuguese divisions of Wellington's Peninsular Army (the seventh, in late 1813), as well as having commanded the Portuguese forces who invaded the Banda Oriental del Uruguay (Eastern Bank of Uruguay) in 1816.

His last name is sometimes written as Lecór or Le Cor. The latter is very common in English sources of the 19th century. Most Spanish sources give him as Carlos Federico Lecor.

Cisplatine War

The Cisplatine War, also known as the Argentine-Brazilian War, was an armed conflict over an area known as Banda Oriental or the "Eastern Bank" (roughly present-day Uruguay) in the 1820s between the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata and the Empire of Brazil in the aftermath of the United Provinces' independence from Spain.

Cry of Asencio

The Cry of Asencio (Spanish: Grito de Asencio) or Admirable alarm (Spanish: Admirable alarma) was an 1811 pronunciamiento that took place at the Banda Oriental (modern Uruguay) against the Spanish rule in Montevideo. Made in support of Buenos Aires, which had already ousted the viceroy and established a local government during the May Revolution, it is considered the beginning of the Oriental revolution.

Daniel Vidart

Daniel Vidart (October 7, 1920 in Paysandú – May 14, 2019) was a Uruguayan anthropologist, writer, historian, and essayist.He was one of the most notable social scientists of the region. In 2010 he was awarded the Grand National Prize for Intellectual Activity.

First Banda Oriental campaign

The first Banda Oriental campaign was a military campaign of the Argentine War of Independence, that attempted to capture the Banda Oriental (present-day Uruguay). It took place in 1810-1811. The countryside, led by José Gervasio Artigas, joined forces with Buenos Aires against Montevideo. The viceroy Javier de Elío requested help from colonial Brazil, forcing Buenos Aires to sign a controversial armistice.

Immigration to Uruguay

Immigration to Uruguay started with the arrival of Spanish settlers during the Colonial Period to what was then known as Banda Oriental. The immigration to Uruguay is very similar, if not the same, towards the Immigration to Argentina. Throughout history, Uruguay is known to gain massive waves of immigration all around the world, specifically European immigration, where today 90-95% of the Uruguayan population contains a European background. The climax of these immigration movements occurred during World War I and World War II, where the whole European continent was in a very unsettling position. The most highlighted group of immigrants in Uruguay are the Spaniards and Italians, both establishing the backbone of modern day Uruguayan culture and society.

José Gervasio Artigas

José Gervasio Artigas Arnal (Spanish pronunciation: [xoˈse ɣeɾˈβa.sjo aɾˈti.ɣas aɾˈnal]; June 19, 1764 – September 23, 1850) was a national hero of Uruguay, sometimes called "the father of Uruguayan nationhood".

Portugal–Uruguay relations

Portugal–Uruguay relations are foreign relations between the Portugal and Uruguay. Portugal has an embassy in Montevideo. Uruguay has an embassy in Lisbon.Ever since colonial times, Portugal has had interests in the Río de la Plata region; its relationship with the Banda Oriental began in 1680, when Colonia del Sacramento was established. For some years, the present territory of Uruguay was part of the Portuguese Empire under the denomination of Cisplatine Province.

Both countries are full members of the United Nations, of the Latin Union and of the Organization of Ibero-American States.

Portugal is becoming a significant trading partner for Uruguay. There is a Uruguayan-Portuguese Chamber of Commerce.In 2009, both countries undersigned a bilateral agreement to avoid double taxation.

Portuguese conquest of the Banda Oriental

The Portuguese conquest of the Banda Oriental was the armed-conflict that took place between 1816 and 1820 in the Banda Oriental, for control of what today comprises the whole of the Republic of Uruguay, the northern part of the Argentine Mesopotamia and southern Brazil. The four-year armed-conflict resulted in the annexation of the Banda Oriental into the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves as the Brazilian province of Cisplatina.

The belligerents were, on one side, the "artiguistas" led by José Gervasio Artigas and some leaders of other provinces that made up the Federal League, like Andrés Guazurary, and on the other, the troops of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, directed by Carlos Frederico Lecor.

On the naval front, the conflict far exceeded the Rio de la Plata and the Argentine coast to spread globally, as the Insurgent Privateers, most notably under the flag of Buenos Aires and flag of Artigas, harassed Portuguese and Spanish ships in Europe, Africa and the Caribbean.

Portuguese invasion of the Banda Oriental

Portuguese invasion of the Banda Oriental may refer to:

Portuguese invasion of the Banda Oriental (1811–12), the first (unsuccessful) attempt

Portuguese invasion of the Banda Oriental (1816), the second and last invasion

Portuguese invasion of the Banda Oriental (1811–12)

The Portuguese invasion of the Banda Oriental was a short-lived and failed attempt, beginning in 1811 and ending the following year, by the Portuguese Empire to annex the remaining territory of the Spanish Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata.

Quadrilateral Treaty

The Quadrilateral Treaty was a pact between the Argentine provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and Corrientes, signed on 25 January 1822. The treaty was intended to be an offensive-defensive pact between the signatories, in front of an attack by Luso-Brazilian invasion from the Banda Oriental (present-day Uruguay), which was seen as very probable. It also wanted to establish peace after the defeat of the caudillo from Entre Ríos, Francisco Ramírez, who in 1821 had invaded Santa Fe and Córdoba Provinces, without success.

The pact established:

Peace and union of the four provinces, and an alliance before a possible foreign invasion of Spaniards, Portuguese or Brazilians.

Free navigation rights in the rivers of the signatory provinces.

The retirement of the representatives from the small congress of Córdoba.

Any of the signatory provinces could convene a congress un congreso when it felt the opportunity and need arose.The alliance of Buenos Aires with the provinces of the Argentine littoral, insured through government subsidies, gave an opportunity to Buenos Aires of neutralizing the Governor of Córdoba Juan Bautista Bustos, who awaited the country's reorganization in a National Constitution since 1825.

Second Banda Oriental campaign

The Second Banda Oriental campaign was a military campaign of the Argentine War of Independence, that besieged and captured the Banda Oriental (present-day Uruguay) with joint operations against Montevideo by José Rondeau on land and William Brown on water.

Siege of Montevideo (1811)

The First Siege of Montevideo (Spanish: Primer Sitio de Montevideo) took place between May and October 1811, when the troops of the United Provinces of the River Plate unsuccessfully besieged the city of Montevideo, still held by Spanish loyalists.In 1810, the May Revolution had forced the Spanish to abandon Buenos Aires, but they held on to the Banda Oriental (present-day Uruguay), as Francisco Javier de Elío moved the headquarters of his Viceroyalty of the Río de la Plata to Montevideo. In May 1811, the revolutionary José Gervasio Artigas defeated the Spanish in the Banda Oriental at the Battle of Las Piedras. After the battle, the Royalists only remained in control of two cities: Colonia del Sacramento and Montevideo, which was besieged by Artigas and José Rondeau.

Montevideo had formidable fortifications and the Spanish controlled the Río de la Plata river.

When a Portuguese relief army entered the Banda Oriental at the request of Spain, Buenos Aires signed a truce with Elío, recognizing him as the ruler of the Banda Oriental. Artigas felt the truce to be treasonous. He broke relations with Buenos Aires, and lifted the blockade over Montevideo in October 1811.

The city would finally be conquered by Artigas and Rondeau in 1814 after the Siege of Montevideo (1812-1814).

Spain–Uruguay relations

Spain–Uruguay refers to the current and historical relations between Spain and Uruguay. Both nations are members of the Association of Spanish Language Academies and the Organization of Ibero-American States.

Spanish–Portuguese War (1735–1737)

The Spanish-Portuguese War between 1735-1737 was fought over the Banda Oriental, roughly present-day Uruguay.

At that time, this part of South-America was sparsely populated and was on the border between Portuguese Colonial Brazil and the Spanish Governorate of the Río de la Plata. Spain claimed the area based on the Treaty of Tordesillas of 1494, but Portugal had founded the first city there, the Sacramento Colony, in 1680. Spain had taken the city twice, in 1681 and in 1705, but had had to give it back to the Portuguese by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713.

The following years saw an expansion of the Portuguese settlements around the Sacramento Colony, in a radius of up to 120 km. As a reaction, capitán general of Río de la Plata Bruno Mauricio de Zabala had founded Montevideo on December 24, 1726 to prevent further expansion. But the Portuguese trade made the Spanish suffer, as they were still compelled to trade with Spain over the Viceroyalty of Peru, who imposed heavy taxes. Spain considered the Portuguese presence illegitimate and their trade contraband.

In March 1734, the new capitán general of Río de la Plata, Miguel de Salcedo y Sierraalta, received orders from Madrid to reduce the action radius of the Sacramento Colony to "a gunshot", say two kilometers. He sent an ultimatum to António Pedro de Vasconcelos, the Portuguese governor of the colony, who stalled for time.

In 1735 tensions raised between Spain and Portugal and Spanish ships under Alzaybar captured several Portuguese vessels. On April 19, Prime minister José Patiño ordered Salcedo to attack Sacramento.

Salcedo gathered 1500 men and marched slowly on Sacramento, wasting a lot of time attacking minor targets along the road. He was supported by 4,000 Guaraní warriors who came from the Jesuit Reductions. The siege started on October 14, 1735.

By that time Vasconcelos had prepared the defense with a garrison of about 900 men, and sent a messenger to Rio de Janeiro to ask for reinforcements. José da Silva Pais sent six Portuguese ships, which arrived on January 6 followed by 12 more ships a few days later. The Spanish had tried to impose a naval blockade, but the Portuguese had more ships and gained naval superiority.

In 1736 and 1737 more ships were sent from Spain and Portugal and an occasional confrontation between a few ships occurred. But Spain couldn't gain the upper hand and on September 6, 1736, the Portuguese even lay siege to Montevideo, but withdrew when Salcedo sent a relief force of 200 men.

On March 16, 1737 under influence of France, Great Britain and the Dutch Republic, a treaty was signed. In September the siege was lifted and the Spanish withdrew their forces and Miguel de Salcedo was disposed as governor of Buenos Aires.

The war was local and involved only a couple of thousand men on each side.

Political ideas
Military conflicts
Autonomist rebellions

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