Província Cisplatina
Cisplatine Province
Province of Brazil

Flag Coat of arms
Flag Coat of arms
Location of Cisplatina
Uruguay under Portuguese and Brazilian rule from 1816 to 1824, then from 1824 to 1828 under Brazilian rule.
Capital Montevideo
 - 1816-28 Carlos Frederico Lecor
 - Invaded by Portugal Luso-Brazilian invasion 1816
 - Annexed to Brazil 1824
 - Treaty of Montevideo August 27 1828
Today part of  Uruguay

 Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

The Cisplatina Province (literally, Province of this side of the Rio de la Plata from the Brazilian perspective, c.f. Cisalpine) was a Portuguese and later a Brazilian province in existence from 1815 to 1828. The province was formed after the Portuguese captured and subsequently annexed the territory of the Banda Oriental, which today forms the independent nation of Uruguay.

The Banda Oriental had always been a sparsely populated contested border-area between the Spanish and Portuguese Colonial Empires. In the First Treaty of San Ildefonso in 1777 the control of the area was given to Spain.

In 1811, José Gervasio Artigas, who became Uruguay's national hero, launched a successful revolt against Spain, defeating them on May 18 in the Battle of Las Piedras. In 1814 he formed the Liga Federal (Federal League) of which he was declared Protector.

The constant growth of influence and prestige of the Federal League frightened Portugal (because of its republicanism), and in August, 1816 they invaded the Eastern Province, with the intention of destroying the protector and his revolution. The Portuguese forces, thanks to their numerical and material superiority, occupied Montevideo on January 20, 1817, and finally after a struggle for three years in the countryside, defeated Artigas in the Battle of Tacuarembó.

In 1821, the Provincia Oriental del Río de la Plata (present-day Uruguay), was annexed by Brazil under the name of Província Cisplatina. Brazil justified the incorporation of the province through the general acclamation of an Assembly of “Eastern notables” on July 18, 1821.

The borders of Cisplatina were: on the east the Atlantic Ocean, on the south the Rio de la Plata, on the west the Uruguay River and on the north the Cuareim river until la Cuchilla de Santa Ana. This means that territories traditionally belonging to the Banda Oriental had been annexed to the jurisdiction of Rio Grande do Sul.

The Latin prefix cis, meaning on this side, suggests that the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, had plans to also annex the present Argentine territory as the Transplatina Province, basing themselves on the hereditary rights of Charlotte of Spain.

Brazil became an independent nation in 1822. On September 15, 1823, the envoy of the Argentine president Bernardino Rivadavia, Valentín Gómez, wrote in Rio de Janeiro a memorandum in which it was stated that at no moment the Eastern Province had stopped belonging to the territory of the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata, present-day Argentina. Gómez received this answer:

"The incorporation of the Cisplatina Province into the Empire is an act of the free will of all its inhabitants, and Brazil, by the sacrifices it has done, is resolute to defend that territory, not allowing that the opinion with respect to the incorporation from that State to the United Provinces is raised again. (...) the Government of H.I.M. [His Imperial Majesty] (...) cannot enter with the one of Buenos Aires in negotiations that have as fundamental base the cession of the Cisplatino State, whose inhabitants do not have to leave".

As a reaction a group of Uruguayan nobles, the Thirty-Three Orientals led by Juan Antonio Lavalleja declared independence on August 25, 1825 supported by the United Provinces of the Río de la Plata.

This led to the 500-day Argentina-Brazil War. Despite the Argentine victory in the battle of Ituzaingó, neither side gained the upper hand, and in 1828 the Treaty of Montevideo, fostered by the United Kingdom, gave birth to Uruguay as an independent state, and - more importantly to planned British goals - established the international status of the Rio de la Plata, so that international commerce was easier to accomplish.


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