Eastern Republic of Uruguay is a South American country that is bordered by Argentina and Brazil to the north and south/southwest, respectively. To the southeast, it is also bordered by the South Atlantic Ocean. Though it boasts borders with some of the larger South American countries, it is actually the second-smallest politically independent country on the continent. Only Suriname and French Guiana are smaller.
Proving size is not everything; Uruguay is home to over 3.45 million people, with over half of them residing in the country's capital of Montevideo. Size also has done little to limit the economy or the politics of the nation. Since the economy is predominately based on farming and agriculture, it is highly dependent on weather as well as global trade. Even though this has higher risk, the economy is still overall more stable than many of its neighboring countries. Uruguay has been a constitutional democracy since it won its independence in 1828, meaning that the president is head of state as well as head of government. Other notable political achievements are that it is the second-least corrupt country in Latin America and the first among them to recognize same-sex civil unions nationally.