A republic in South America, on the Atlantic coast between Brazil and Argentina. During most of the colonial period, Uruguay was disputed between Spain and Portugal, finally passing into Spanish control in 1778. In 1811 it revolted against Spain and, after passing back and forth between Argentine and Brazilian occupation, Uruguay became an independent republic in 1828. Uruguay's history during the 19th century was one of anarchy and civil war, with occasional armed intervention by Argentina and Brazil. After 1900, a stable government enabled the country to make considerable economic and social progress, and Uruguay was a pioneer in creating the welfare state. The rise of radical terrorism by the leftist "Tupamaros" during the 1960s, however, disrupted the country, which was already straining to maintain a large and expensive bureaucracy and system of social programs. A military coup in 1973 brought into power a brutal military dictatorship. Civilian rule was reestablished in 1985.