I'm worried that Uruguay and Riu de L'Argent may have to have the borders reqorked, since I can't find the original info about Nea Illenicia...I'll go trolling through the conculture Archive...but be warned, it may need to be adjusted. BoArthur 15:20, 14 April 2006 (PDT)
Ethnic and Immigrant Groups
Uruguai is by far more homogenous and overall less diverse than its sister dominion, but that does not mean that it's not multiethnic. On the contrary, Uruguai is one of the most diverse countries if not in the world then on the continent of South America.
At the time of the region's discovery by Europeans, it is estimated that there were only about 9,000 Charrúa and 6,000 Chaná/Guaraní in the 1600s. The Jesuits, frustrated with the lack of conversions to Catholicism from the Greeks down south, switched to working with the native peoples of the continent and bringing them Catholicism for the first time. In no time, they learned Guarani from captured youths and drew up plans for proselytizing to the natives and setting up a barebones system of government for them. In time, they convinced the natives to join these "Reductions" as they were called, but unfortunately the diseases brought by Europeans had already reached the "Banda Oriental" as Uruguai was known and illness set in. The infirmed survivors were nursed back to health and given supplies by the Jesuits, so the survivors felt honor-bound to join the mission system. Guaraní was the lingua-franca of this network of autonomous, communal villages, although the Jesuits did eventually learn and codify Charrúa and let the natives govern themselves in the language. By the time the Portuguese got around to forming Colónia do Sacramento across the bay from Buen Ayre, the European powers had no choice but to respect the Jesuit mission system for it was too heavily armed to destroy. Eventually, the Portuguese were able to dislodge the Jesuits and exile them back to the city of Rome, but the Jesuits got the last laugh because during their evacuation from the New World, they convinced the Natives to throw their lot in with Aragon by nominally recognizing the king in Zaragoza as their sovereign, not Portugal, and they left behind a unified front of armed Natives who understood European concepts and knew not to trust the Portuguese. Some historians believe the entire mission system nominally swearing fealty to Zaragoza over Lisboa is what tipped the scales in favor of Aragon over Portugal and why Uruguai is ultimately stayed loyal to Aragon. Many Jesuits went rogue and stayed behind as advisors, if not staying true to their clerical oath, then laicizing and marrying Native women. One thing the Jesuits could not stop was the Natives within their former Reduction from marrying Iberian outsiders. Integrating their missions into the Aragonese colonial state had the effect of high rates of endogamy and adoption of the Aragonese language. This is why to this day, most Uruguaians have some native ancestry, and hardly any Aragonese-Uruguaians are of 100% European ancestry. While such a person might exist in neighboring Riu de L'Argent, no one like that exists in Uruguai. In the country's northwestern corner neighboring Paraguai, people speak Yopará, mixed Aragonese-Guaraní, a separate language from standard Aragonese of the Uruguaian dialect.
Contrary to our real world where the average Uruguaian has 92% European, 7% African ancestry, & only 1% Amerindian ancestry, most people in Uruguai are pardos, people who have European (Iberian), Native, & African ancestry of varying degrees. The 19th & 20th Century waves of European (and Arab) immigrants changed the precarious mixture of the three groups and whitened the country greatly, although the Italians, Germans, English, & French certainly were not prejudiced enough to not marry mestizos & pardos. Far from; being of black and English ancestry or German, Italian, & native ancestry is not unheard of in Uruguai, especially not in Montevideo or the country's northwest. Unlike in nearby Riu de L'Argent, the European newcomers did not stay together and only marry people of their same ethnic group. This is a huge difference between the two sister dominions. As Uruguai does not keep statistics on its native populace, it's hard to come up with a realistic figure of people of native descent as this could mean anyone who has one native ancestor from the 1600's or 1700's to someone who's of more native ancestry than African or European.
Around 25% of Uruguai has at least one African ancestor, although for many people, this means that they are only 1/32nd, 1/64th, 1/128th, or even less African. Around 10% of the population is of majority African ancestry, which is a mixture of people whose ancestors were delivered into captivity directly from Africa to the Banda Oriental to people whose ancestors were forcibly sent to Riu de L'Argent, Paraná, Brazil, or Bahia first who then moved to the much more tolerant society of Montevideo or who were brought to the city of Colónia do Sacramento (founded by the Portuguese first) or during the Portuguese occupation of the country. When Portugal was chased out of Uruguai by Aragon, these Lusophone slaves had no reason to follow their masters and they all stayed behind in their new adoptive country as freemen and freewomen.
French Umbrella (Basques, Occitans, Corsicans, & assorted northerners)
Britons and the Irish
Uruguai is unique from most of Latin America in that its Arab population mostly came in the 1950's. Uruguai was the sole country to offer Sunni Muslims fleeing Ba'athist/SNORist rule in Syria safe-haven. Before that, the country had some Maronites and Druze, but nowhere near as many Arabs as its sister dominion RdlA or its neighbor Paraná. After 1949, however, Arabs came in the thousands almost overnight by plane to Montevideo. SNORist rule ended in 1955, and many Sunnis returned, but not all, perhaps not even most. Life was comfortable in Montevideo and there was money to be made there, but most importantly, it was safe, insulated from the sectarian and ethnic struggles of the Middle East. Familial networks between Montevideo and Damascus were formed, and Sunnis began coming in from neighboring Lebanon as well because the sect there felt that the Christians and Shia had won the immigration race to the rest of Latin America. Immigration from Syria & Lebanon tapered off in the 1990's, although by then there were families who immigrated between the two for decades. Just as the Levantine immigration came to a close, immigration from the Empire of Carthage in North Africa started. Tunisians are now the primary Arab group moving to Uruguai, even with the militant conservative Esperanza Rios in power. In fact, some Arabs (again, mostly Tunisians) have even moved from Riu de L'Argent to Uruguai because this dominion is more tolerant and less distrusting of Muslims than the current powers that be in Buen Ayre. There are also Maronites and Melkites in Uruguai, although these two groups tended to meld into the greater-Uruguaian society as Maronite rite and Byzantine rite priests were slow to come to the New World. The Druze also practice their rites in secret and have not set up more than two public houses of worship in the country. It's hard to say how many Catholics descended from Druze ancestors practice Druzism at home and how many have given up their secret rites and rituals and are just regular, old Catholics.