Ever since it gained its independence in 1830, the 19th and early 20th century of Uruguay was characterized by mostly democratic and stable governments. However, that was put to an end when, on the 31st of March 1933, elected president Gabriel Terra of the Colorado party, with the support of the national police, led by Alfredo Baldomir Ferrari (his brother-in-law) and the National party, led by Luis Alberto de Herrera, successfully organized a coup d'etat, dissolving the parliament and censoring the press. His government was characterized by an authoritarian, anti-liberal and anti-communist sentiment and sympathy towards the Axis
In 1934, Terra enacted a new constitution and proposed new elections, which were held on the 19th of April, saw the re-election of Gabriel Terra, who ruled until 1938, where his brother-in-law Alfredo Baldomir was elected. Like his brother-in-law, Baldomir was anti-liberal, anti-communist and a sympathizer of the Axis, but despite that, maintained the uruguayan neutrality.
On the 14th of December 1939, citizens of Uruguay witnessed a naval battle on the nations coast, between the Graf Spee and 3 allied ships. This battle ended on a stalemate once all ships got damaged. Captain Langsdorff of the Graf Spee opted to dock on Montevideo, Uruguay to repair the ship and Uruguay, despite sympathizing towards the Axis, was pressured to only allow the ship to stay 72 hours, according to the 17th article of the Haya convention. On the 17th of December, the Graf Spee departed from the port of Montevideo, when the crew activated explosives placed on the ship by them, in order to sink the ship and avoid more deaths from the crew. Most of the crew went to live on Montevideo and Buenos Aires, Argentina
On the 25th of January 1942, Uruguay broke diplomatic relations with Germany. In the 29th of November 1942 general elections took place, which saw the victory of Jose Luis de Amezaga of the Colorado Party and after being pressured by the allies and to enter the United Nations, Uruguay declared war on the Axis powers on the 13th of February 1945.