History of Concepción del Uruguay

Concepción del Uruguay

Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepción del Uruguay (Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of the Uruguay), which would be its original name, is located on the right bank of the Uruguay River (a Guaraní word that means “river of the birds” or “river of the shell”), is the capital of the culture of Entre Ríos and keeps the secret of a special attractiveness for the traveler. The Charrúa and Guaraní Indians would dwell the region. The Charrúas would inhabit most of the Province of Entre Ríos around the XVII century. They were tall and sturdy and devoted tehmselves to hunting deer and rheas, whereas the littoral Charrúas would practice fishing in their long canoes. They complemented their feeding habits with rhea eggs, ceibo cores and wild fruit. They lived in huts built with bent branches, whose roofs were made of cow or horse fur. Their costumes consisted in a cotton or fur apron and sometimes a fur cape. The Guaraní Indians would belong to the great tupi-guaraní linguistic family. Of medium height, they used to wander about completely naked, except for some feather ornaments and small loincloths. They would also paint their bodies. They were sedentary. They built round huts, with walls of clay or straw, or community houses made of wood and leaves, where several families used to dwell. They cultivated tapioca, sweetpotato, maize and squash at the milpa. Their weapons were the bow, which used to be over two meters long, the arrows and the macana. They used to be great potters and very good sailors (their canoes were very long) and each community was ruled by a tubichá. Back in 1783, the village of Arroyo de la China was founded by Tomás de Rocamora on June 25 in the South of Entre Ríos, resting by one of the streams emptying into the Uruguay and under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception. In 1814, Supreme Director Gervasio de Posadas set this city as capital of the Province of Entre Ríos for long years by means of the extraordinary power granted to him by the Constitutional Convenion. In 1883, it was resolved that the capital would be the city of Paraná. Justo José de Urquiza, representative of the Legislature, succeeded in the passing of a law by which the village would be declared a city in 1826. In November, 1852, the men from Concepción del Uruguay fought boldly against the invasion sent from Buenos Aires and commanded by Madariaga in order to change Urquiza's plans and frustrate the meeting of the Constitutional Convenion, which was celebrating its first sessions at Santa Fe. In January 1860, the Provincial Convention, gathered at the Historical College precincts, passed the Constitution of Entre Ríos. Both General Francisco Ramírez and General Justo José de Urquiza became authentic leaders of the province, to such an extent that General Ramírez, confronting Buenos Aires' Unitarism, which restricted the commercial possibilities of the region, created the Republic of Entre Ríos. After the national organization, General Justo José de Urquiza, remarkable politician and statesman, became the first constitutional president of the country.

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