Philately

A fancy word referring to the hobby of collecting stamps.  The very first postage stamp was issued in 1840.

Stamps make learning about science, history, art, geography, nature, sports and much more, easy and fun! One of the many benefits of stamp collecting is discovering neat facts about our world.

Stamp collecting is the largest organized hobby in the world.  Over 16,000,000 Americans collect stamps, that is about one out of every 15 people you know.  The US Post Office is the largest stamp seller in the world.

A postage stamp is like a poster.  It can display the message of a country as it travels around the world and, in fact, it is often used to distribute a message.  In most cases each stamp honors a famous person, commemorates an important event, or depicts a natural wonderland.  They are true and often thrilling picture stories in miniature.

Looking up foreign stamps is not as difficult as it may seem.  Every country, except Great Britain, prints their name or identification on each stamp.  Of course, the country name will be in the native language.  Many are in English and should be no trouble to identify.  Others may be interpreted by looking at the various printed illustrations in some Albums or by checking a Stamp Identifier.

Check the yellow pages under "POSTAGE STAMPS" for the name and address of local stmap stores.  Also, you might find stamps in department stores, five and ten cent stores, and hobby stores.  Also, mail received at home is a great source for stamps.  Just soak the envelope in a basin of warm water and the stamps will float off.

As President Franklin D. Roosevelt, an avid stamp collector from early boyhood until the day of his death, so aptly expressed it: "The best thing about stamp collecting is that the enthusiasm which it arouses in youth increases as the years pass.  It dispels boredom, enlarges our vision, broadens our knowledge, and in innumerable ways enriches our life.  I also commend stamp collecting because I really believe it makes one a better citizen."

Stamp Albums

Your album will be the house into which you put your stamps.  Professional stamp albums are always arranged alphabetically by country.  Within each country, stamps are illustrated in the same order in which they were issued.  Albums that house stamps of just one country always begin with the oldest stamps and place special stamps in the back.  (Examples of special stamps would be airmail stamps, tax stamps, etc.). 

Hinges

Hinges are little pieces of specially glued paper used to hold your stamps in your album.  Moisten the short end and carefully attach it to the stamp; moisten the long piece and carefully attach it to your album page.  After the hinge has dried, the stamp can easily be removed without damage.

Ideas for Teaching with Stamps

Use Geosafari with stamps

Create Scavenger Hunt

Compare/contrast stamps

Combine stamps with literature – book character discussion

Scientists

Catchetmaking

LNG & Little Tigers


I belong to the following stamp societies:

American Philatelic Society

Chess on Stamps Study Unit

American Topical Society



Mobile Post Office Society

Presidential Stamps

In 1980, the U.S. had released 74 different stamps of George Washington.

In second place comes Benjamin Franklin, the Father of our Post Office appears on 28 different issues.

Abraham Lincoln came in 3rd place at 21 different issues.

In February 2009 commemorating the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth, the post office released four stamps showing him as a rail-splitter, lawyer, politician, and President.

Other Notables

On February 1, 1978, a commemorative was issued in honor of Harriet Tubman to go along with Black History month.

Susan B. Anthony's birthday is on Feb. 15th and Thomas Edison is on the 11th.  Stamps have been issued for both these individuals.

One of the most exciting stamp resources on the Internet is found at the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum's Arago site. 



Links

Below are the newest and the best links I have found on this topic:


















































Whit's First Day Covers

  • ArtCraft - The Washington Press, .us-NJ
  • Artmaster - Artmaster, Inc. .us-KY 40257
  • Benham House (FDC's) .uk-KT
  • Bevil Cachets - Kendal Bevil, .us-TX 77651 ; need addr
  • Colorano Silk Cachets (FDC & Event covers) .us-NY 11743
  • CompuChet Cachets by Helen Fowler (FDC's, cachets) ; 5/2
  • Cover Crafts - Artmaster, Inc. .us-KY 40257
  • Fleetwood - Unicover World Trade Corp., .us-WY 82008
  • Geesee Cachets (FDC's) .us-NY 14456
  • House of Farnam - Artmaster, Inc. .us-KY 40257
  • Noble's Catalog of Cacheted Inaugural Covers - Edward Krohn, .us-
  • Paslay Classic Cachets - James Paslay (Hand Painted FDC's) .us- ; addr?
    See Also:
  • (this index) : First Day Covers
  • Title Index : FDC's

  • FIRST DAY COVER CACHETMAKERS


    ANON E. Mouse Cachets, Cynthia Scott, 4505 Chapel Dr. Columbus, IN 47203 aemscott@aol.com













    TOPICALS

    Animals on Stamps
    Art on Stamps
    Automobiles on Stamps
    Baseball on Stamps
    Birds & Insects on Stamps
    Black Heritage on Stamps
    Chess on Stamps
    Christmas on Stamps
    Coins on Stamps
    Columbus on Stamps
    Communications on Stamps
    Fairy Tales on Stamps
    Fish on Stamps
    Flowers on Stamps
    Football on Stamps
    Freemasonry on Stamps
    John F. Kennedy on Stamps
    Lincoln on Stamps
    Medicine & Health (Red Cross) on Stamps
    Music on Stamps
    Olympic Games on Stamps
    Railroads on Stamps
    Red Cross on Stamps
    Religion on Stamps
    Franklin D. Roosevelt on Stamps
    Scouts on Stamps
    Ships on Stamps
    Soccer on Stamps
    Space (Outer Space) on Stamps
    Sports on Stamps


    George Washington on Stamps


    AMERICAN FIRST DAY COVER SOCIETYwww.virtualstampclub.com/afdcsappl.html

    ART KOBERhttp://www.artkober.com

    JULIAN & SHARON PUGH CACHETS, INC. - www.julianpugh.com

    AFDCS CLAUDE C. RIES CHAPTER - members/home.new/rieschapter

    PHILATELIC LITERATURE & U.S. CLASSICS- www.jameslee.com

    JAMES T. MCCUSKER - www.jamesmccusker.com

    JJF'S PHILATELIC LINKS (great site!) - spacecovers.com/links/links_philatelics.htm




     









     FDC:

     

    Chris Calle

     

    Art Kober *****

     

    Mary Fisher

     

    Fred Collins *****

     

    Julian Pugh **

     

    Chris Lazaroff

     

    Rollin Berger

     

    Thomas Peluso

     

    Barbara Montgomery *****

     

    Doris Gold

     

    Eric Peluso ********** (Rage Cachets)

     

    Sabrina Curtis

     

    David Curtis

     

    Larry Gassen

     

    Chris Calle & Chris Lazaroff *****

     

    Grant Berry

     

    Denise Lazaroff

     

    Ian Calle

     


    S & T Cachets

     

     

    FDC Storage & Show Boxes

     

     

    Larry Gassen

     

    John F. Jones

     

    www.20thonline.com

    www.academystamp.com

    www.acps.org

    www.alaiz.com

    www.alanecohen.com

    www.albanystmap.com

    www.albumpublisher.com

    www.aldrichstamps.com

    www.allstamp.net

    www.americanstampdelaer.com

    www.americantopicalassn.org

    www.andrewkupersmit.com

    www.angloamericanappaisal.com

    www.antoniotorres.com

    www.apfelbauminc.com

    www.argyll-etkin.com

    www.armandrousso.com

    www.aronrhalberstam.com

    www.artcoverexchange.org

    www.asc-stampclub.org

    www.asdaonline.com

    www.astampcoin.com

    www.astampdealer4u.com

    www.auction11.com

    www.auction-sfk.com

    www.auktionen-gaertner.de

    www.azstampcoin.com

    www.azusacollectibles.com

    www.baldwin.co.uk

    www.bardostamps.com

    www.baxleystamps.com

    www.belairestamp.com

    www.bellportgalleries.com

    www.bick.net

    www.biistamp.com

    www.biophilately.org

    www.bisonstamps.com

    www.bjstamps.com

    www.bretalex.com

    www.brianmoorhouse.com

    www.british-stamps.com

    www.brookmanstamps.com

    www.browsehouse.com

    www.btradeco.com

    www.calgaryphilatelicsociety.com

    www.canadarevenuestamps.com

    www.canalzonesstudygroup.com

    www.captaincooksociety.com

    www.casperstamp.com

    www.cavendish-auctions.com

    www.cefibol.com

    www.century-stamps.com

    www.championstamp.com

    www.cherrystoneauctions.com

    www.collectica.com

    www.collectingsupplies.biz

    www.collectinsure.com

    www.collectors.com

    www.collectorssupplyhouse.com

    www.collinsfirstdaycovers.net

    www.colonialstamps.com

    www.colorano.com

    www.commem.com

    www.conejocoin.com

    www.cosmosinc.net

    www.countrycollections.com

    www.covercrazy2.com

    www.coverspecialist.com

    www.craigselig.com

    www.crowncolony.com

    www.csadealer.com

    www.csalliance.org

    www.csastamps.com

    www.curtisgiddingstampstore.com

    www.dalestamps.com

    www.dallasstamps.com

    www.danthestampman.com

    www.davekaplan.com

    www.daviddelhaye.com

    www.delcampe.net/tiendas/dgstamps

    www.dorisgold.com

    www.douglasweisz.com

    www.downtownstamp.com

    www.dp38stamps.com

    www.duckstamps.com

    www.dunedinstamp.co.nz

    www.eandmrgradedstamps.com

    www.eastwestphilatelic.com

    www.ecastamp.com

    www.ejmcconnell.com

    www.ericjackson.com

    www.esjvandam.com

    www.esperstamps.org

    www.esphs.org

    www.estudio20.com

    www.euro-yu-oz.com

    www.fdauctioncentral.com

    www.ferristamp.com

    www.filateliagazzera.com

    www.filateliallach.com

    www.filatelie.net

    www.fipcovers.com

    www.frankestamps.com

    www.freakystamps.com

    www.fredschmitt.com

    www.friedbergstamps.com

    www.garyhoecker.com

    www.garylyon.com

    www.garyposner.com

    www.garyposnerinc.com

    www.geerlingsdesign.com

    www.gemstamps.com

    www.geocities.com/gmusante/wmps.html

    www.geocities.com/lakeshortampclub

    www.georgealevizos.com

    www.georgewildman.com

    www.georg-roll.com

    www.gilsgoldmine.com

    www.glabarre.com

    www.glenstephens.com

    www.globalphilatelics.com

    www.globalstamps.com

    www.gradedstamps.com

    www.graphics-stamps.org

    www.gregfree.com

    www.guyshaw.com

    www.hallsstamps.com

    www.hamcachets.com

    www.hans-grobe.de

    www.harmers.com

    www.harmerschau.com

    www.heharris.com

    www.heinrich-koehler.de

    www.hgitner.com

    www.hjwdonline.com

    www.home.earthlink.net/~pdib

    www.home.earthlink.net/~postmark1

    www.houstonstampclub.org

    www.hrharmer.com

    www.hughwood.com

    www.hungarianstamps.com

    www.huntstamps.com

    www.hwcn.org/link/cpc

    www.identry.com

    www.igpc.net

    www.igpci.com

    www.interpostusa.com

    www.iowastamps.com

    www.jamesbendon.com

    www.jamesjreeves.com

    www.jameslee.com

    www.jamesmccusker.com

    www.jamestownstamp.com

    www.japan-stamp.com

    www.jerryconnollystamps.com

    www.karamitsos.com

    www.kellerherauctions.com

    www.kenmorestamp.com

    www.knifka-philatelie.com

    www.lebstamp.com

    www.lewisburchett.com

    www.lighthouse.us

    www.lighthousestampsociety.org

    www.linder-usa.com

    www.lindner-usa.com

    www.linns.com

    www.lococollectors.com

    www.lopocollectors.com

    www.lwstampscovers.com

    www.mainstreet-philatelics.com

    www.malack.com

    www.markest.com

    www.mark-lanestamps.com

    www.maxstern.com.au

    www.megagoodstuff.com

    www.melvinstamps.com

    www.mepsi.org

    www.meterstamp-society.org

    www.metroexpos.com

    www.metropolitanstamps.com

    www.michaeleastick.com

    www.michaeljstern.com

    www.michaelrogersinc.com

    www.mid-citiesstampclub.com

    www.mike-holt.com

    www.militaryphs.org

    www.millerstamps.com

    www.minnstamp.com

    www.momenstamps.com

    www.mondialstamps.nl

    www.mophil.org

    www.mophphissoc.htm

    www.morvilletrading.com

    www.mowbrays.co.nz

    www.mrfancycancel.com

    www.mrussheet.com

    www.murrayhillgalleries.com

    www.murraypayne.com

    www.nalbandstamp.com

    www.nefed.org

    www.newstampissues.com

    www.newstampissues.com

    www.nokomiscollectibles.com

    www.nordicastamps.com

    www.northstamp.com

    www.northwesternauctions.com

    www.nutmegstamp.com

    www.nystampclubs.org

    www.oldhamptonstamps.com

    www.onedogfdcs.citymax.com

    www.ostolazastamps.com

    www.parkcitiesstamps.com

    www.patrioticcovers.com

    www.pennyred.com

    www.perfins.org

    www.philagallery.com

    www.philamax.com

    www.philangles.co.uk

    www.philatelic-traders-society.co.uk

    www.philatelie-pilatte-stamps.com

    www.philbansner.com

    www.philest.com

    www.philhun.hu

    www.pitteri.org

    http://stores.ebay.com/Plainsman-Stamps

    www.pnc3.com

    www.postal-history.com

    www.postalhistorycenter.com

    www.postalhistorystore.com

    www.postalhysteria.net

    www.postalmuseum.si.edu/activity/8B_quizzes.html

    www.postalmuseum.si.edu/deliveringhope

    www.postalnet.com/dontocher

    www.postalstationary.com

    www.postcardcovers.com

    www.postiljonen.com

    www.postiljonen.se

    www.potomacsupplies.com

    www.prestigephilately.com

    www.psestamp.com

    www.pughcachets.com

    www.qpc.asn.au

    www.qualityphilatelics.com

    www.railwaymailservicelibrary.org

    www.randyneil.com

    www.rap.com.au

    www.rarestampexchange.com

    www.raritanstamps.com

    www.rasdalestamps.com

    www.ravenstamps.com

    www.rayameen.com

    www.regencysuperior.com

    www.resstamps.com

    www.revenuer.org

    www.richardemurphy.com

    www.richardsstamps.com

    www.rkacovers.com

    www.robertjohnson.com

    www.robinlinke.com.au

    www.robinphila.com

    www.rotaryonstamps.org

    www.rpastamps.org

    www.rschneiderstamps.com

    www.rtellc.com

    www.rubystamps.com

    www.rumseyauctions.com

    www.rushstamps.co.uk

    www.safepub.com

    www.saskatoonstamp.com

    www.scribworld.net

    www.shaulisstamps.com

    www.shduck.com

    www.shipsonstamps.org

    www.showgard.com

    www.shpauctions.com

    www.shpbuy.com

    www.shpgraded.com

    www.shpstamps.com

    www.shreves.com

    www.sismondostamps.com

    www.siyer.com

    www.smpiller.com

    www.soleryllach.com

    www.sossi.org

    www.sportsstamps.com.au

    www.spstamps.com

    www.stampcampus.org

    www.stampconnections.com

    www.stampexpo400.org

    www.stamp-issue.com

    www.stampnews.com.au

    www.stampnewsnow.com

    www.stamp-one.com

    www.stampparlor.com

    www.stamps.delcampe.net

    www.stamps.fi

    www.stamps2go.com

    www.stampsandstones.com

    www.stampsbythemes.com

    www.stampshowsteve.com

    www.stampsinc.com

    www.stampsnorfolk.com

    www.stampsnstuff.com

    www.stampsoul.com

    www.stampsuniversal.com

    www.stamptique.com

    www.stampwants.com

    www.stargate.1usa.com/stamps

    www.starkweatherdesign.com

    www.stephentaylor.co.uk

    www.stevcrippe.com

    www.stuartkatz.com

    www.subwaystamp.com

    www.suncoaststamp.com


    Suncoast Philatelics

    Confederate Stamp Alliance

    The United States Stamp Society

    Smithsonian National Postal Museum


    www.sussmanphilatelie.fr

    www.swanclassic.com

    www.sxstamps.com

    www.syracusestampclub.org

    www.texasphilatelic.org

    www.thauctions.com

    www.thecoverconnection.com

    www.theexcelsiorcollection.com

    www.thefoldedletter.com

    www.thematic-club.com

    www.thematicsa.co.za

    www.thestampcenter.com

    www.topicalsetc.com

    www.topicalworld.com

    www.topperstamps.com

    www.torstenweller.com

    www.triadpublications.com

    www.triple-sonline.com

    www.unpi.com

    www.unstamps.un.org

    www.uqp.delcjr

    www.usa-stamps.com

    www.uscs.org

    www.usstamps.org

    www.vanceauctions.com

    www.vanduffel.be

    www.victoriastampco.com

    www.virtualstampclub.com

    www.vspanos.com

    www.vtrinder.co.uk

    www.warwickandwarwick.com

    www.washpress.com

    www.webuystamps.com

    www.westminsterstamp.com

    www.wfscstamps.org

    www.whits-first-dav-covers.com

    www.wildrosephilatelics.com

    www.wine-on-stamps.org

    www.wipstamps.com

    www.wlangs.com

    www.wnstamps.com

    www.worldstamps.com

    www.worldwide-postal-rates.com

    www.worldwidestamps.us

    www.wreckandcrash.org

    www.wsu.ontheweb.nl

    www.wu30.org

    www.wulffstamps.com

    www.zanaria.com

    www.zillionsofstamps.com

    www.zinoni.com

    First Day Cover Catalog (1901-1969)

    JJF'S PHILATELIC LINKS  

    JULIAN & SHARON PUGH CACHETS, INC.

    New Zealand Covers

    PHILATELIC LITERATURE & U.S. CLASSICS

    USCS Universal Cancellation Society

    www.ccps.maphist.nl

    www.geerlingsdesign.com

    www.jamesmccusker.com

    www.mcintoshcachets.com

    www.navalcovershop.com

    www.navycovers.com

    www.nojex.org

    www.postalhistory.com

     www.virtualstampclub.com/afdcsappl.html

    www.philatelicfoundation.org

     


    PHILATELIC (STAMP) LINKS

    Books, Stamps, Philatelic, Literature, Philately, Postal History, Place Names

    Chuck Hendricksen's Philatelic Links Home Page

    Faircloth Cachets: Hand-Painted First Day Covers

    Greg Manning Auction Antiquities, Asian and Ethnographic Arts

    NetStamps Internet Magazine For Stamp Collectors

    Paul's Home page (Stamps)

    Philately (Stamp Collecting)

    RAINBOW ONLINE (stamps)

    STAMP COLLECTIONS AUCTION

    The Andrew Levitt Website

    Welcome to The APS

    WWW.PHILATELIC.COM

    Mike Davenport's Collection Of Scanned U.S Stamp Images

    Yahoo! - Hobbies:Collectibles:Stamps

    USPS City State / ZIP Code Associations

    www.stmapwants.com/stores/garyposnerinc

     

    www.stlstampexpo.org

     

    www.edelmanscoins.com

     

    www.mountainsidestampsandcoin.com

     

    www.firbyauctions.com

     

    ebay seller: RUNFORCOVERS

     

    www.colonialstampcompany.com

     

    www.abnharmerauctions.com

     

    www.bondstampauctions.com

     

    www.garfieldperry.org


    COUNTRIES WITH STAMP ISSUES

    British Commonwealth countries
    Abu Dhabi
    Aden
    Aitutaki
    Anguilla
    Antigua
    Ascension
    Australia
    Bahamas
    Bahrain
    Bangladesh
    Barbados
    Barbuda
    Basutoland
    Bechuanaland
    Belize
    Bermuda
    Botswana
    British Antarctic Territory
    British Central Africa
    British East Africa
    British Guiana
    British Honduras
    British Indian Ocean Territory
    British Solomon Islands
    Brunei
    Burma
    Canada
    Cape of Good Hope
    Cayman Islands
    Ceylon
    Christmas Island
    Cocos Islands
    Cook Islands
    Cyprus
    Dominica
    East Africa and Uganda
    Falkland Islands (including South Georgia)
    Fiji
    Gambia
    German East Africa (British Occupation)
    Gilbert and Ellice Islands
    Ghana
    Gibraltar
    Gold Coast
    Great Britain (pre-Queen Elizabeth only)
    Great Britain (Queen Elizabeth decimal commemoratives only)
    Great Britain regional issues
    Great Britain: British offices abroad
    Great Britain: Guernsey, Alderney, Jersey and Isle of Man
    Grenada, including Grenadines
    Guyana
    Hong Kong
    India (officials only)
    Ireland
    Jamaica
    Kenya
    Kenya Uganda and Tanganyika
    Kiribati
    Kuwait
    Labuan
    Lagos
    Leeward Islands
    Lesotho
    Malawi
    Malaya and Malay States
    Malaysia and Malaysian States
    Maldive Islands
    Malta
    Mauritius
    Mesopotamia
    Montserrat
    Namibia
    Natal
    Nauru
    Nepal
    Nevis
    New Guinea
    New Hebrides (British)
    New Zealand
    Niger Coast
    Nigeria (North & South)
    Niue
    Norfolk Island
    North Borneo
    Northern Nigeria
    Northern Rhodesia
    N.W. Pacific Islands
    Nova Scotia
    Nyasaland
    Oman
    Orange River Colony
    Pakistan
    Pakistan: Bahawalpur
    Palestine
    Papua New Guinea
    Penrhyn Island
    Pitcairn Islands
    Queensland
    Rhodesia
    Rhodesia (North & South) & Nyasaland
    St. Christopher/St. Kitts
    St. Helena
    St. Kitts-Nevis
    St. Lucia
    St. Vincent
    St. Vincent Grenadines
    Samoa
    Sarawak
    Seychelles
    Sierra Leone
    Singapore
    Solomon Islands
    Somaliland Protectorate
    South Africa
    Southern Nigeria
    Southern Rhodesia
    South West Africa
    Sri Lanka
    Straits Settlements
    Sudan
    Swaziland
    Tanganyika
    Tanzania
    Tasmania
    Tobago
    Tokelau Islands
    Tonga
    Transvaal
    Trinidad
    Trinidad & Tobago
    Tristan da Cunha
    Turks Islands
    Turks & Caicos Isles
    Tuvalu
    Uganda
    Vanuatu
    Victoria
    Virgin Islands
    Western Australia
    Zambia
    Zanzibar
    Zimbabwe
    Zululand

    French Colonies
    Afrs & Isas
    Cameroun
    Central african Republic
    Chad
    Comoro Islands
    Dahomey
    French Equatorial Africa
    French Guiana
    Grench Guinea
    French India
    French Morocco
    French Polynesia
    French Southern & Antarctic Territories
    French Sudan
    French West Africa
    Gabon
    Guadeloupe
    Ivory Coast
    Madagascar (Malagasy)
    Mali
    Martinique
    Mauritania
    New Caledonia
    Niger
    Reunion
    St. Pierre & Miquelon
    Senegal
    Upper Volta
    Wallis & Futuna Islands

    Italian Colonies
    Italian East Africa
    Somalia

    Netherland Colonies
    Netherland Antilles
    Netherland Indies (Indonesia)
    Netherland New Guinea
    Surinam

    Portuguese Colonies
    Angola
    Cape Verde
    Macao
    Mozambique
    Portuguese Guinea
    Portuguese India
    St. Thomas & Prince Islands
    Timor

    Spanish Colonies
    Fernando Po
    Ifni
    Rio Muni
    Spanish guinea
    Spanish Morocco
    Spanish Sahara
    Spanish West Africa


    Foreign countries

    Abkhazia (1995-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 537,000 (1989).

    Description: An autonomous region of the republic of Georgia, located on the Black Sea. Since 1995, many pictorial sets and souvenir sheets, offered as local issues, have appeared on the market. These are bogus, issued by private individuals for sale to collectors.

    Abu Dhabi (1964-72)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.
    Population: 25,000 (1971 estimate).

    Description: A sheikhdom in the former Trucial States in eastern Arabia, bordering on the Persian Gulf.
    History: Under British protection 1862-1971, Abu Dhabi joined with the other Trucial States to form the independent United Arab Emirates on Dec. 2, 1971.

    Acores

    See Azores 

    Aden (1937-65)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.
    Population: 220,000 (1964 estimate).

    Description: Former British colony and protectorate in southwest Arabia.
    History: The colony of Aden was attached to India 1839-1937, and Indian stamps were used. Stamps of the colony were first issued in 1937, being used in most of the Aden protectorate area, as well as within the Aden colony itself. In 1963, the two districts, except for the eastern Kathiri and Qu'aiti states, united to form the Federation of South Arabia. Aden stamps were replaced by those of the Federation on April 1, 1965.

    Aegean Islands (individual islands' issues) (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: A number of Italian issues were overprinted with names of the various Aegean islands, including Calchi, Calino, Caso, Coo, Fero, Fisso, Nisiro, Patmo, Piscopi, Rhodes (Rodi), Scarpanto, Simi and Stampalia.

    Aegean Islands (Dodecanese) (1912-47)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.
    Population: 130,855 (1931).

    Description: A group of 14 islands in the southeastern Aegean Sea. Under Turkish rule since the early 16th century, the islands declared their independence in 1912, during the Italo-Turkish War, but were soon occupied by Italy. Greece recognized Italian control of the islands in 1920, and Turkey formally ceded them to Italy in 1923. The Aegean Islands were occupied by Germany from 1943-45 and by British forces from 1945-47. In 1947 they were annexed by Greece. Italy issued a large number of stamps for use in the islands from 1912-43, while the Germans overprinted a few issues from 1943-45. During 1945-47, stamps of the British Middle East Forces were used. In 1947, specially overprinted Greek stamps were used, and regular Greek issues have been used since 1947.

    Afars and Issas, French Territory of the (1967-77)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.
    Population: 150,000 (1974).

    Description: A French overseas territory in northeast Africa bordering on the Gulf of Aden. Formerly the Somali Coast, a French colony. On June 27, 1977, the territory became an independent republic, and its name was changed to Djibouti.

    Afghanistan (1871-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 22,664,136 (1996).

    Description: A republic in central Asia, bordering on Iran, India and Turkestan. Long divided and ruled by neighboring states, Afghanistan emerged as a unified state in the mid-18th century. During the 19th century, Afghanistan became a battleground in the competition between Russia and Great Britain for influence in Central Asia. During 1881-1919, the country was dominated by the British. Afghanistan regained its autonomy in 1907 and its independence in 1919. In 1973, the monarchy was replaced by a republican government. The republic was overthrown in a pro-Soviet coup in 1978. The new regime was unable to unify the country or to quell conservative resistance in the countryside. In December 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, establishing what it hoped would be a more effective government. The resulting civil war lasted a decade, as U.S.-supported rebels and the Soviet-supported regime fought to a bloody stalemate. During 1989-92, the Soviet Union and the United States withdrew their support, and by mid-1992, the Marxist regime had been ousted, and the various rebel groups began fighting among themselves. One of these groups, the Taliban, gained predominance during 1996 and by 1997 had occupied most of the country. Former seminarians, the Taliban have established a fanatically Islamic regime in Afghanistan. Although Afghanistan began issuing postage stamps in 1871, it did not join the Universal Postal Union until 1928. Until then, Afghani stamps were valid only within the country and required British Indian stamps to be carried abroad.

    Aguera, La (1920-24)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: District in the western Sahara on the Atlantic coast of Africa. A Spanish possession, La Aguera issued its own stamps until 1924, when it was attached to the Spanish Sahara.

    Aitutaki (1903-32, 1972-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 3,000.

    Description: One of the Cook Islands in the South Pacific Ocean, northeast of New Zealand. A dependency of New Zealand, Aitutaki issued its own stamps until 1932, when these were replaced by those of the Cook Islands. In August 1972, Aitutaki resumed issuing its own stamps.

    Ajman (1964-72)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.
    Population: 4,400.

    Description: One of the Trucial States in eastern Arabia. A sheikhdom under British protection from 1892-1971, Ajman joined the independent United Arab Emirates on Dec. 2, 1971. During 1964-71, Ajman issued 6,000-7,000 different stamps, all designed with worldwide collectors in mind. UAE issues replaced those of Ajman in 1972. Subsequent Ajman issues came onto the philatelic market after 1972, but these were not recognized as valid by the government.

    Aland (1984-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 21,211 (1978).

    Description: A group of 6,554 tiny islands, with a combined area of 572 square miles, in the Gulf of Bothnia between Finland and Sweden. On Feb. 5, 1982, the Finnish government gave the self-governing territory of Aland the right to propose stamps and denominations to Finnish postal authorities. The first Aland issues appeared on March 1, 1984. Although Finnish stamps remain valid for use on the islands, and mixed Finnish and Aland frankings do occur there, Aland stamps may not be used in Finland.

    Alaouites (1925-30)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.
    Population: 278,000 (1930).

    Description: A district of Syria, bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. Alaouites was a Turkish territory until 1918, when it was occupied by the French. During 1920-41, it was ruled by France under mandate from the League of Nations. In 1930, the name of the province was changed to Latakia, and stamps so inscribed came into use. In 1941, Latakia was annexed by Syria, and its issues were replaced by Syrian stamps.

    Albania (1913-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 3,249,136 (1996).

    Description: A republic in southeast Europe, bordering on the Adriatic Sea. Under Turkish rule from 1478-1912, Albania became independent after the first Balkan War. Overrun by German, Serbian, Montenegrin, Greek, Bulgarian, Italian, French and Austrian troops during World War I, foreign forces remained in Albania until 1921. An Albanian state was established in 1920, existing first as a republic and, after 1928, as a monarchy. In 1939, the country was occupied by Italy and, later, Germany. In 1944, British-supported communist guerrillas, led by Enver Hoxha, drove the Germans from the country and established a provisional government. In 1946, a communist people's republic was proclaimed. At first it appeared that Albania would become a satellite of Yugoslavia, but it maintained its independence, under Hoxha's repressive regime. In 1960, because of the Soviet Union's de-Stalinization campaign, Albania broke with the Soviet Union and aligned its foreign policy with that of the People's Republic of China. In 1978 China's liberalization brought a break between that country and Albania. From 1978 to 1991, Albania was one of the most economically undeveloped nations in Europe and one of the most isolated nations in the world. Since 1991, with the collapse of communism in Europe, Albania has instituted a democratic republican government. Economic reverses in 1997 threatened the country with a return to the anarchy that has characterized so much of its history.

    Alderney (1983-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 2,086 (1981 estimate).

    Description: A small English Channel island just off the French coast, near the tip of the Cherbourg peninsula. Alderney is part of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, which has been a British crown territory since the mid-13th century. After it began issuing stamps in 1969, Guernsey handled Alderney's postal affairs. Alderney's request to produce separate issues was rejected by Guernsey in 1975, but a later compromise allowed Alderney to issue occasional sets of stamps. Alderney's issues - typically about one set each year - are produced under the aegis of the Bailiwick of Guernsey Post Office in consultation with Alderney's parliamentary finance committee.

    Aledschen (Alsedziai) (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: A city in Lithuania. In 1941, the local German military commander overprinted Russian stamps "Laisva/Alsedziai/24-VI-41" for use in the area.

    Alexanderstadt (Bolschaja Alexan-drowka) (1941-42)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: A city in the Ukraine. During 1941-42, the local German military authorities issued Russian stamps surcharged with a "16.8.41/B.ALEX." swastika overprint and surcharged with new values for use in the district.

    Alexandretta (1938)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: A district of southern Turkey, bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. Alexandretta was part of the Ottoman Turkish Empire for several hundred years, until its occupation by the French in 1918. It was administered as part of the French mandate of Syria until 1938, when it became autonomous from Syria, its name being changed to Hatay. Stamps of Hatay replaced those of Alexandretta. In 1939, the territory was returned to Turkey, and Turkish stamps have since been in use.

    Alexandria (1899-1931)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.
    Population: 699,400 (1937 estimate).

    Description: An Egyptian port on the Mediterranean Sea. The French Post Office in Alexandria operated from 1830 through March 31, 1931. Regular French issues were used until 1899, when separate issues were created for Alexandria.

    Algeria (1924-58, 1962-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 28,133,082 (1996).

    Description: A republic in Northern Africa. Algeria was a territory of the Ottoman Turkish Empire from 1518-1830 and during this period was one of the centers of the Barbary pirates. France seized the coastal region in 1830 and during the 19th century expanded its rule inland. After World War II, Algerian nationalism increased, and French efforts to retain control resulted in a bitter civil war. In 1958, Algeria became an integral part of France, and French stamps replaced those of the colony. This effort to maintain the territory's association with France failed, and in 1962 Algeria became independent and resumed issuing its own stamps. Since independence, Algeria has been ruled by socialist and military governments. The first democratic elections in 1991 produced a victory for Islamic fundamentalists, and the military acted to nullify the electoral results. This provoked a bloody terrorist campaign by the fundamentalists, which continues and has claimed tens of thousands of civilian lives.

    Algerie

    See Algeria

    Allenstein (1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.
    Population: 540,000 (1920 estimate).

    Description: A district of East Prussia, Allenstein was one of those territories administered by the Allies until 1920, when a local plebiscite resulted in the area's return to Germany. German stamps overprinted for Allenstein were used during the plebiscite period. Since the end of World War II, Allenstein has been a part of Poland.

    Alaouites  (1925-1930)

    Description: A division of Syria which became an independent state in 1924 and was administered as a French Mandate. In 1930, the area was renamed Latakia.

    Alsace and Lorraine (1870-72, 1940-41)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: Two districts lying between France and Germany. Long disputed between the two powers, Alsace and Lorraine were annexed by Germany in 1871, retaken by France in 1918, again occupied by Germany in 1939, and finally reoccupied by France in 1945. German occupation issues for Alsace and Lorraine were used throughout occupied France during 1870-71 and in the two provinces during 1870-72, after which regular German issues were used until 1918. Individual overprints on German stamps were produced for Alsace and for Lorraine in 1940. On Jan. 1, 1942, they were replaced by regular German stamps.

    Altai Region (1993)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.
    Population: 2,820,000 (1989).

    Description: A Russian territory in southwestern Siberia, bordering Kazakstan. Several local issues, consisting of overprints on Soviet stamps, appeared during 1993. They were not recognized by the Russian authorities and are probably philatelic creations.

    Alwar (1877-1902)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: A former feudatory state in Northern India, southwest of Delhi. Separate issues were used until 1902, after which they were replaced by Indian stamps.

    Amiens (1909)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.
    Population: 93,207 (1914).

    Description: A city in northern France. During a May 13-19, 1909, strike by postal employees, local provisionals were issued by the Chamber of Commerce.

    Amur Province (1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: Between February and April 1920, a People's Revolutionary Committee ruled at Blagoveschensk, in southeastern Siberia. The Amur Province was absorbed by the Far Eastern Republic, when that state was formed on April 6, 1920.

    Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1942)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive
    Population: about 21,000 (1936).

    Descirption: Located in the Indian Ocean, these islands were first settled by the British in 1789. Subsequently, they fell under the administration of the governor-general of India and now form part of the Indian republic. During World War II, the islands were occupied by the Japanese. At this time, contemporary British Indian stamps were crudely surcharged for use in the islands.

    Andorra (1928-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 72,766 (1996).

    Location: South West Europe

    Area: 180 sq. mi (466 sq. km)

    Capitol: Andorra la Vella

    Government: Principality under joint Spanish-French suzerainty since 1278.

    Description: An autonomous enclave in the Pyrenees Mountains, since 1278 jointly administered by France and the Spanish bishop of Urgel. Stamps are issued by both France and Spain for use in the principality.

    Angola (1870-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 10,342,899 (1996).

    Location: South West Africa

    Area: 481,351 sq. mi (1,246,696 sq. km)

    Capital: Luanda

    Government: Portuguese colongy from 16th century; became an Overseas Province of Portugal in 1951; independent republic 1975.

    Description: A republic in southwestern Africa. The Angolan coast came under Portuguese control in the 16th century, and the interior was conquered during the late 19th century. Angolan nationalist groups waged a guerrilla war against the Portuguese during 1961-74, and on Nov. 11, 1975, Angola became an independent nation. With the withdrawal of Portugal, the three largest of the nationalist groups quickly fell out over the composition of the new government. The ensuing civil war caused most of the whites remaining in Angola to emigrate and brought the economic collapse of the country. The Soviet-supported faction, with the aid of Cuban troops, controlled the central government and the western portion of the country, while a South African supported faction (Unita) controlled much of the interior. An agreement ending the civil war was implemented in 1997 but soon fell apart. Hostilities continue, with the Unita forces controlling much of the country.

    Angra (1892-1906)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: An administrative district of the Azores, in the central Atlantic. Angra's stamps were replaced by those of the Azores in 1906. Since 1931, regular Portuguese stamps have been used in the district.

    Anguilla (1967-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 10,424 (1996).

    Description: A small island in the Caribbean, formerly attached to St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla. In September 1967, Anguilla declared its independence from both that state and Great Britain. In 1971 direct British control was re-established.

    Anjouan (1892-1914)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.
    Population: 20,000 (1912).

    Description: One of the Comoro Islands in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar. The sultanate of Anjouan came under French protection in 1886, and separate stamp issues began in 1892. Stamps of Anjouan were replaced by those of Madagascar in 1914. In 1950, issues of the Comoro Islands came into use.

    Annam and Tonkin (1888-92)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.
    Population: 14,124,000 (1890).

    Description: Roughly, the area of Tonkin and Annam Protectorates corresponds with modern Vietnam. From 1892, regular issues of French Indochina were used, although in 1936, Indochina issued a separate set for Annam. After 1945, stamps of the People's Democratic Republic of Vietnam were used in the north, while those of the republic of Vietnam were used in the south from 1954-75.

    Antequera (1936)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: A city in the province of Malaga, in southern Spain. Contemporary Spanish stamps were overprinted for local use on the authority of the Falangist military commander in October 1936.

    Antigua (1862-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active
    Population: 65,647 (1996).

    Description: A state in association with Great Britain, comprising the island of Antigua and several smaller islands in the eastern Caribbean, southeast of Puerto Rico. Under British rule since 1632, Antigua became a separate colony in 1956. In 1967 Antigua became self-governing and became the independent state of Antigua-Barbuda in 1981.

    Arad (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.
    Population: 63,166 (1914).

    Description: A district of pre-World War I Hungary, occupied by France in 1919, at which time overprinted Hungarian stamps were issued. The district is now a part of Romania.

    Arbe (Rab) (1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: An island in the Mali Kvarner, off the northwestern coast of Yugoslavia. During d'Annunzio's occupation of Fiume, issues were overprinted for Arbe.

    Argentina (1858-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 34,672,997 (1996).

    Description: A republic in southern South America. Independent from Spain in 1816, Argentina was torn by regional separatism through much of the 19th century. This is reflected in the issuing of separate stamps by several Argentine provinces during 1858-80. Large-scale European immigration and investment after the 1880s made Argentina the most economically advanced nation in South America. Since 1930, Argentina has, more often than not, been ruled by authoritarian military regimes. During World War II, the government was sympathetic to the Axis, and after the war, a large number of ex-Nazis found sanctuary in Argentina. In 1946, Juan Domingo Peron was elected president, and he dominated the country's political life until his death in 1974, although he was in exile 1955-73. Chronic, unresolved economic and social tensions erupted into virtual civil war during 1976-80. Both leftist guerrillas and the military government used terror and violence to further their ends, and thousands died in the conflict. During this period, the Argentine economy deteriorated badly. High unemployment and spiraling inflation provoked intense popular dissatisfaction with the ruling junta. Argentina's invasion of the Falkland Islands in early April 1982 was, at least in part, an attempt to unify the nation. Since 1983, Argentina has been ruled by a succession of civilian regimes. Since 1991, the government has been working to deregulate and stimulate the economy, with mixed results.

    Argyrokastron (Gjinokaster) (1914)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: A city in Southern Albania. Turkish stamps were surcharged for use during the area's occupation by Greece.

    Armavir (1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: A city in northern Caucasus, Russia. Two Russian stamps were surcharged by the local authorities.

    Armenia (1919-23, 1992-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 3,463,574 (1996).

    Description: The southernmost area of the Caucasus. Long under a vague Turkish suzerainty, Armenia was conquered by the Russians during the 19th century. During World War I, Armenia was occupied by Turkish and German forces. Between May 1918 and December 1920, and again between February and April 1921, it existed as an independent republic, issuing its own stamps. In 1923, it joined the Transcaucasian Federation of Soviet Republics. Transcaucasian issues were soon superseded by those of the Soviet Union. With the breakup of the Soviet Union, Armenia again became an independent republic. A long-standing dispute with neighboring Azerbaijan over the enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory completely encircled by Moslem Azerbaijan but populated mostly by Christian Armenians, has led to hostilities between the two countries in recent years.

    Army of the North (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: During 1919, the Army of the North, under Gen. Rodzianko, fought against the Soviet forces in the Petrograd (St. Petersburg) area. The Army of the North was subsequently incorporated into Gen. Nikolai N. Yudenitch's Army of the Northwest.

    Army of the Northwest (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: An anti-Bolshevik force under the command of Gen. Yudenitch, which operated in northwestern Russia around the city of Pskov. Between June and November 1919, this army threatened the Soviets in Petrograd (St. Petersburg). In November it was defeated by the Red Army and dissolved.

    Army of the West (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: The Western Army was formed in Courland in 1919 to maintain German influence in the Baltic States. It was primarily an instrument of the German High Command, which was forbidden to operate directly in the region. The Army of the West was concerned less with the threat of the Bolsheviks in Russia than with restoring the domination of German landholders, and so refused to cooperate with Yudenitch in fighting the Russians. In November 1919, the army attacked Riga but was thrown back by an Anglo-Latvian counteroffensive, which brought about the force's dissolution.

    Artsaki (Karabakh Republic, Berg Republic)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.
    Population: 188,000 (1989).

    Description: An Armenian enclave within Azerbaijan, this area, also known as Nagorno Karabakh, has been the object of military hostilities between the two countries since the collapse of the Soviet Union. A number of local issues of undetermined status have appeared on the collector market.

    Aruba (1986-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 66,404 (1996).

    Description: Southwesternmost of the six islands in the Netherlands Antilles of which it was formerly a part, Aruba is an island of 69 square miles, located east of Curacao and north of Venezuela's Paraguayana Peninsula. Aruba enjoys a separate status within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and began issuing its own stamps Jan. 1, 1986.

    Ascension (1922-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 1,700.

    Description: An island in the South Atlantic Ocean. Occupied by the British in 1815, Ascension was attached to the crown colony of St. Helena in 1922.

    Asch (1938)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.
    Population: 22,943 (1937).

    Description: A city in the Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia). Local authorities overprinted Czech stamps in 1938, upon the area's cession to Germany.

    Aunus (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: Aunus, the Finnish name for Olonets, a Russian town, was occupied by Finnish forces in 1919. Finnish stamps overprinted with the town name were used during the occupation.

    Australia (1902-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 18,438,824 (1997).

    Description: An island continent between the Pacific and Indian oceans, southeast of Asia. British settlement began in the late 18th century, with six colonies developing -- New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania. Each of these states initially issued its own stamps. These colonies united to form the Commonwealth of Australia on Jan. 1, 1901, although each continued to issue its own stamps for a number of years. Australia has rich natural resources and, since World War II, has developed into one of the major economic powers of the region. It has maintained close ties with the United States since 1945, although in recent years Japan has replaced the United States as Australia's main economic partner. Australia administers a number of island groups in the South Pacific and plays a leading role in the region.

    Australian Antarctic Territory (1957-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. A large portion of Antarctica is claimed by Australia, which maintains scientific research stations there. Stamps of the Australian Antarctic Territory are also valid for postage in Australia.

    Austria (1850-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 8,047,000 (1997).

    Description: A republic in central Europe, Austria was the center of the Hapsburg Empire, which during the 16th to 19th centuries controlled (at one time or another) Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Belgium, the Netherlands and large portions of Yugoslavia, Poland, Romania, Italy and Germany. After 1815, Austrian power declined with the growth of nationalism among its subjects. In 1867, the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy was created to appease Hungarian nationalists, but the government resisted similar concessions to other national groups. The assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, in Sarajevo, Bosnia, on June 28, 1914, began the series of events that quickly led to World War I. During World War I, Austrian troops were active in the Balkans, Romania, Poland, Russia and Italy, but by October 1918, Austria's armies were routed, and the monarchy collapsed. The empire dissolved rapidly, and Austria emerged much reduced in size, representing the German-speaking area of the empire. In 1918 the republic of "German Austria" was formed, and there was considerable sentiment for union with Germany. By the Treaty of St. Germain (1922), such a union was expressly forbidden, and the country's name became simply "Austria." During the 1930s, an Austrian fascist regime attempted to maintain independence, but in March 1938, Germany invaded and quickly occupied the country, merging it into the Third Reich with only a token protest from the Allies. After Germany's defeat in World War II, the Austrian Republic was re-established, and the country was divided into zones of occupation by the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain and France. In 1955, foreign troops were withdrawn, and Austria proclaimed its political neutrality. Austria maintains close economic ties with much of western Europe.

    Austrian Offices in Crete (1903-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: Like several other European nations, Austria maintained its own post offices in Crete, using stamps valued in French centimes and francs. Although intended for use in Crete, these issues were available for use at Austrian post offices throughout the Turkish Empire.

    Austrian Offices in the Turkish Empire (1867-1914)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: Austria began using special stamps for its offices in the Turkish Empire in 1867, having previously used its issues for Lombardy-Venetia for these offices. Austrian post offices in the Turkish Empire were closed Dec. 15, 1914.

    Avila (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: The capital city of the province of the same name, in central Spain. A Nationalist overprint was applied to contemporary Spanish stamps by the local authorities.

    Azerbaijan (Iranian) (1945-46)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive.

    Description: A province in northwestern Iran. Occupied by Soviet forces during World War II, a puppet government was established in May 1945, at which time contemporary Iranian stamps were overprinted for use. In March 1946, Soviet troops withdrew, and Azerbaijan became an "autonomous" government. In December 1946, full Iranian administration was restored.

    Azerbaijan (Russian) (1919-24, 1992-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 7,735,918 (1997).

    Description: The eastern portion of the Caucasus. Occupied by Russia in the 19th century, Azerbaijan declared its independence in 1917, after the Russian Revolution. Turkish and British occupation was followed by the establishment of a communist regime in 1920. Azerbaijan was incorporated into the Transcaucasian Federated Republic in 1923. Soviet stamps were used from 1924-91. With the breakup of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan again became independent and resumed issuing its own stamps. An ongoing war with neighboring Armenia has drained the country, but its large oil reserves promise eventual economic development and prosperity. These reserves, and its strategic location in the region make Azerbaijan the object of international attention, as it is courted by Turkish, Iranian and Western interests.

    Azores (1868-1931, 1980-Present)

    Stamp-issuing status: active.
    Population: 238,000 (1993 estimate).

    Description: A group of islands in the North Atlantic. The islands used Portuguese stamps until 1868, when overprinted stamps came into use. Separate Azores issues were replaced by regular Portuguese stamps in 1931. In 1980 Portugal again began to issue separate stamps for the Azores.

    Baden (1851-71, 1946-49)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former grand duchy in southwestern Germany on the Rhine River. In 1870, it joined the German Empire. After World War II, Baden was included in the French zone of occupation, and separate issues were again in use from 1945-49, with some issues valid for use in the German Federal Republic until March 31, 1950.

    Baena (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in the province of Cordoba in southern Spain. In July 1937, contemporary Spanish stamps were overprinted to commemorate the anniversary of the Nationalist landing at Cadiz and the Nationalist occupation of Baena.

    Bahamas (1859-)

    Population: 246,500 (1990)

    Location: Northern West Indies

    Area: 5,353 sq. mi (13,864 sq. km)

    Capital: Nassau

    Government: British COlony until 1964 when it became internally self-governing; independence 1973; member of British Commonwealth

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 262,034. A scattered group of some 700 islands and 2,000 islets in the Atlantic Ocean, east of Florida. One of the Bahamian islands, San Salvador (Watling Island) was the site of Columbus' first landfall in the New World. After Columbus, the Bahamas were largely bypassed by Europeans until British settlement began in 1647. In 1783, the Bahamas became a British colony. The Bahamas became self-governing in 1964 and fully independent in 1973. International banking and tourism are the country's major industries.

    Bahawalpur (1945-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A state of Pakistan. In 1947, the Moslem emir declared independence from India and joined Bahawalpur to Pakistan.

    Bahrain (1933-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 603,318. An archipelago in the Persian Gulf. Under British protection 1861-1971, Bahrain used a variety of stamps: Indian stamps from 1884 to 1933, overprinted Indian issues 1933-48, overprinted British issues 1948-60 and its own designs from 1960. Oil was first discovered in 1932 and, until the depletion of reserves in the 1970s, brought enormous wealth to this tiny country. Today, Bahrain is a center of international banking. Tensions between the Sunnite majority (60 percent) and Shi'ite minority (40 percent) have grown since the establishment of the fundamentalist Shi'ite regime in Iran. Violence in 1996 by Shi'ite dissidents brought a crackdown by the Sunni-led government.

    Bamra (1888-94)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A feudatory state in eastern India. Bamra issued separate stamps until 1894, when its issues were replaced by those of India.

    Banat, Bacska (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district of south central Europe, formerly under Hungarian rule. In 1919, postal authorities at Temesvar overprinted Hungarian stamps, which were used largely to pay the salaries of postal workers. The area is now divided between Yugoslavia and Romania.

    Bangkok (1882-85)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital of Thailand. During 1855-85, Britain exercised extraterritorial privileges in Bangkok, which included the right to use its own stamps. Straits Settlements stamps overprinted "B" were used until July 1, 1885.

    Bangladesh (1971-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active;

    Population: 125,340,261.

    Location: South Central Asia

    Area: 55,598 sq. mi (143,998 sq. km)

    Capital: Dacca

    Government: Part of British India until 1947 when it became East Pakistan; declared independence as Bangladesh 1971; member of British Commonwealth

    A republic in the Bengal region of south Asia. In the partition of British India in 1947, Moslem Bangladesh comprised East Pakistan. Years of resentment with the domination of the country by West Pakistan finally erupted in a bitter civil war in March 1971. Indian intervention in December 1971, after the deaths of an estimated 1 million Bengalis, resulted in a quick Pakistani defeat, and Bangladesh became an independent republic. Since independence, Bangladesh has suffered continuing economic problems and political instability. In foreign affairs, it is closely linked to India. Before the issue of Bangladesh's first definitive set (and for some time thereafter), existing stocks of Pakistani stamps were overprinted locally, creating thousands of varieties that are not listed in the major stamp catalogs.

    Banja Luka (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 22,177 (1943). A city in northern Bosnia. During World War II, two Yugoslavian stamps were overprinted by the local partisans for use in the area.

    Baranya (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Hungarian district briefly occupied by Serbia after World War I.

    Barbados (1852-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 257,731. An island in the West Indies, Barbados was a British colony from 1628-1966. On Nov. 30, 1966, Barbados became an independent state within the British Commonwealth.

    Barwani (1921-48)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in western India. Barwani stamps were replaced by those of India on July 1, 1948.

    Base Atlantica (1943-44)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During World War II, the Supreme Commander of Italian submarine forces authorized the overprinting of a number of Italian stamps for use by Italian military personnel stationed in Bordeaux, France.

    Basel (1845)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Capital of the canton of the same name, in northern Switzerland. Basel is situated on the Rhine and borders on both France and Germany. In 1845 the famous "Basel Dove" was issued. Now regarded as one of the most beautiful of the classic issues, the stamp was not popular among the townspeople and was soon withdrawn.

    Basutoland (1933-66)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 750,000 (1964 estimate). A former British crown colony surrounded by South Africa. Under British control after 1871, Basutoland became the independent state of Lesotho on Oct. 4, 1966. Stamps of the Cape of Good Hope were used 1871-1910 and those of the Union of South Africa 1910-33, when the colony began to use its own issues.

    Batum (1919-20)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 30,000 (1914). A Georgian port on the Black Sea, Batum was annexed by Russia from Turkey in 1878 and became a major Russian naval base. During World War I, Batum was occupied by the Germans and the Turks, and in December 1918 by British forces. The port was evacuated by the British in July 1920. During the British occupation, three series of lithographed stamps (two overprinted "British Occupation"), as well as a number of Russian stamps overprinted and surcharged, were in use. After the British evacuation, stamps of Georgia were used, these being replaced by Russian stamps in 1923. Georgian issues replaced those of the Soviet Union in 1990. Since 1994, a large number of pictorial sets and souvenir sheets, described as local stamps, have appeared on the market. They are bogus, issued for sale to collectors, and have seen no postal use in Batum.

    Bavaria (1849-1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 7,150,146 (1919). Former kingdom in southern Germany. Bavaria joined the German Empire in 1870, retaining its own monarchy. The country was briefly independent following World War I. Bavarian stamps were replaced by German issues in 1920.

    Bechuanaland Protectorate (1888-1966)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 540,400 (1964). District in south-central Africa, directly north of the Republic of South Africa. A British protectorate was established over the region in 1885, ending with the area becoming independent as the Republic of Botswana in 1966.

    Beirut (1909-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 210,000 (1914). The capital of Lebanon. Prior to World War I, a number of European nations maintained their own postal systems in Beirut. The Russian post office used stamps of the Russian Levant overprinted "Beyrouth" after 1909. In January 1905, the French authorities overprinted a contemporary French Offices in Turkey stamp for provisional use in Beirut. In July 1906, a similar provisional was used by the British authorities in Beirut. Both are scarce.

    Bejuma (1854)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A small town near Valencia, Venezuela. In 1854, the postmaster issued local stamps to frank mail to Valencia.

    Belarus (1992-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,439,916. A republic in eastern Europe. The area of Belarus was part of the Lithuanian-Polish state during the Middle Ages and was conquered by Russia in the 18th century. Belarus, then called White Russia, was divided between Poland and the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution but was reunited after WWII as the Belyorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, within the Soviet Union. In 1991, Belarus became an independent state. During 1996-97, Belarus signed several accords with Russia, closely linking the two countries politically and economically.

    Belgian Congo (1886-1960)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 12,660,000 (1956). A former Belgian colony in central Africa. In 1885, the Congo Free State was established under the personal rule of Leopold II. Abuses of the colonial administration, harsh even by contemporary standards, prompted the Belgian government to assume administration of the region, renamed the Belgian Congo. In 1960 the Belgian Congo became independent, as the Republic of the Congo. 

    See Zaire.

    Belgie

    See Belgium

    Belgique

    See Belgium

    Belgium (1849-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,203,683. A constitutional monarchy in northwest Europe, bordering on the English Channel. Conquered by Julius Caesar in the first century B.C., Belgium was ruled by a succession of foreign nations for nearly 2,000 years. In 1830, Belgium became independent from the last of these foreign rulers, the Dutch. Because of its strategic position, Belgian independence and neutrality was guaranteed by the major European powers. In 1914, Germany occupied most of the country, although Belgium's spirited resistance throughout the war earned worldwide respect. Germany again occupied Belgium during World War II. After 1945, Belgium aligned itself with the West and is a member of both NATO and the Common Market. Its prosperity is built on its foreign trade.

    Belize (1973-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 224,663. An independent republic in central America. Belize was formerly the British colony of British Honduras. The name "Belize" was adopted in 1973. Belize became independent on Sept. 20, 1981. Neighboring Guatemala has long claimed Belize, although tensions between the two countries has eased in recent years.

    Benin (1892-99, 1976-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,902,178. The coastal area of Dahomey, on the Gulf of Guinea, Benin was occupied by the French in the 19th century. Separate stamps were issued from 1892. In 1895, the area was grouped with recently conquered inland territories to form the French colony of Dahomey. In November 1975, Dahomey changed its name to the People's Republic of Benin.

    Bequia (1976-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. Bequia is the nearest neighbor of St. Vincent and the northernmost in a group of small subsidiary islands in the Lesser Antilles, north of Trinidad and South America. Following the proliferation of Grenadines of St. Vincent issues that began in the early 1970s, stamps began to be issued for Bequia in 1976.

    Bergedorf (1861-68)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A town in northern Germany, originally owned by Hamburg and the Free City of Lubeck (1420-1867). In 1867, it passed into the sole possession of Hamburg. Bergedorf began issuing stamps in 1861, these being replaced by those of the North German Confederation in 1868.

    Berlin (1948-90)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.8 million. The capital of Prussia and, after 1871, of Germany. Surrounded by the Soviet Zone of Occupation, Berlin was divided into U.S., British, French and Soviet sectors in 1945. In 1948, political tension brought the creation of the zones of West (Allied) Berlin and East (Soviet) Berlin. The two zones each issued separate series of stamps, the East Zone in 1945 (the "Berlin Bears") and the West Zone from 1945 until 1990. Stamps of West Berlin were discontinued in 1990, with the reunion of the two Germanys, and they became obsolete December 31, 1991.

    Bermuda (1848-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 62,569. A group of islands in the west-central Atlantic Ocean. A British colony since 1609, Bermuda was granted internal self-government in 1968. In 1995, in a referendum on independence, voters chose by a wide margin to retain their colonial status.

    Bhopal (1876-1950)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in central India. Bhopal issued separate stamps for ordinary use until 1908, when they were replaced by Indian stamps. Bhopal continued to issue its own official stamps until 1950, when these, too, were replaced by Indian issues.

    Bhor (1879-1902)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in western India, Bhor issues were replaced by those of India in 1902.

    Bhutan (1955-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,865,191. Kingdom in the eastern Himalayas between India and Tibet. Bhutan was under Tibetan rule from the 16th century. In 1910 it became a British protectorate. In 1949 it became independent, although it continues to be guided in foreign relations by India, with whom it carries on 99 percent of its commerce. Since 1966, Bhutan has issued large numbers of attractive (and philatelically inspired) stamps. Among the novel forms these issues have taken are: gold, silver and steel foil, designs printed on silk, 3-D plastic stamps and souvenir sheets, miniature plastic records, plastic bas-relief and designs printed on rose-scented paper.

    Biafra (1968-70)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 14 million (1968 estimate). The eastern region of Nigeria, in which is concentrated the Ibo tribe. On May 30, 1967, the Ibos proclaimed the independent Republic of Biafra, and on Feb. 5, 1968, the first Biafran postage stamps were issued. On Jan. 9, 1970, after a bitter civil war, Biafra surrendered to armies of the central government. Since that time, stamps of Nigeria have been in use. During 1968-70, some 68 major varieties were issued, as well as several overprinted sets that appeared on the market after Biafra's defeat.

    Bialystok (1916)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 76,500 (1914). A city and province in northeastern Poland. In 1916, the local German military commander issued stamps for use in the area.

    Bijawar (1935-39)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in central India. Bijawar issued stamps from 1935-39, after which they were replaced by Indian stamps.

    Bilbao (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 185,898 (1937). The major port of northern Spain, located on the Bay of Biscay. Spanish stamps were overprinted in July 1937 to celebrate the occupation of the city by Franco's Nationalist forces.

    Bohemia and Moravia (1939-45)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A German puppet-state created from the western provinces of Czechoslovakia prior to World War II. Bohemia and Moravia were reincorporated into Czechoslovakia following the war.

    Bolivia (1867-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population 7,669,868. A land-locked republic in South America, Bolivia was part of the Inca empire during the 13th-16th centuries. It was conquered by Spain in the 1530s and, as the Presidency of Charcas, was attached to the viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata. Notable primarily for its rich silver mines, which were exploited and depleted by the Spanish, Bolivia was an imperial backwater for three centuries. In 1825, the Spanish were expelled, and Bolivia, taking its name from the Great Liberator Simon Bolivar, became independent. Bolivia has been beset by numerous wars and revolutions. In the first 100 years of its independence, Bolivia lost territory to Chile, Brazil and Paraguay, three of its four neighbors. Its only coastal territory was lost to Chile in the War of the Pacific (1879-84). Chronic internal instability has given Bolivia one of the lowest standards of living in Latin America. Its government has been a bewildering succession of military dictatorships. In recent years, anti-American feeling has grown because of the government's efforts, under U.S. pressure, to limit the traffic in coca, the raw material for cocaine. Because of frequent shortages of regular postal issues, revenues, postage dues and bisects frequently are used provisionally by Bolivian post offices.

    Bophuthatswana (1977-94)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of South Africa's so-called Bantustans or Bantu homelands, a scattering of nominally semi-autonomous states for otherwise disenfranchised black South Africans, located on the sites of reserves set up under the policies of the white-run apartheid government prior to World War II. Bophuthatswana was in fact made up of seven small independent tracts of territory within the eastern half of South Africa, six of which were in the northern part of the nation near the border with Botswana. Although not accorded international recognition as a sovereign state, Bophuthatswana's stamps were generally accepted on international mail. Bophuthatswana ceased to exist April 27, 1994.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina (1879-1918, 1992-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,607,734. Located in southwestern Yugoslavia, the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina were long ruled by their various neighbors. After nearly five centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule, they were placed under Austrian protection in 1878, and a year later their first separate stamps appeared. In 1908, Austria-Hungary formally annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina, arousing the fears of Serbian nationalists, who sought to add the area to the Kingdom of Serbia. In 1914, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand, heir to the aging Austrian emperor, was assassinated at the capital, Sarajevo, by agents of the Serbian secret police, setting off the series of events that culminated in World War I. After World War I, Bosnia and Herzegovina became part of the newly established Kingdom of Yugoslavia. During World War II, ancient ethnic antagonisms were renewed and reinforced as Croats, Serbs and Muslim Bosnian forces fought one another. In 1991 the Bosnia and Herzegovina parliament declared the states sovereign and in early 1992 declared independence from Yugoslavia. This was bitterly opposed by ethnic Serbs, and a three-way civil war broke out, with the loosely allied Croat and Muslim factions, backed by Croatia and later NATO, fighting the Bosnian Serbs, supported by Yugoslavia, which was by now reduced to the core Serbian state. This civil war was marked by atrocities and by the Serbs' ruthless policy of ethnic cleansing, the expulsion or execution of non-Serb minorities in the areas they controlled. In 1995 a peace agreement divided the country between the Croat-Muslims and the Serbs and created a collective government. Since then, a shaky peace has been maintained by a large international peace-keeping force.

    Botswana (1966-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active;

    Population: 1,500,765.

    Location: Central South Africa

    Area: 230,000 sq. mi (595,700 sq. km)

    Capital: Gabarone

    Government: Formerly British Protectorate of Bechuanaland 1884; became independent republic of Botswana within the British Commonwealth 1966

    A republic in central southern Africa, directly north of the Republic of South Africa. Formerly the British Bechuanaland Protectorate, the republic became independent as Botswana on Sept. 30, 1966. Many Botswanans are migrant workers in South Africa, with which Botswana is closely linked.

    Brac (Brazza) (1944)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island in the Adriatic Sea, off the coast of Yugoslavia. In 1944, Yugoslavian stamps were overprinted by the German military authorities for use in the island.

    Brasil

    See Brazil

    Brazil (1843-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 164,511,366. A large republic, occupying nearly half of South America. Brazil was discovered by Europeans in 1500, and Portugal soon began colonizing the coastal areas. During 1808-21, after Napoleon had occupied Portugal, Brazil was the seat of the Portuguese empire. In 1821 the Portuguese king returned to Lisbon, leaving his son, Dom Pedro, to act as regent in Brazil. In 1822 Dom Pedro declared the independence of the Empire of Brazil. Although Dom Pedro and his son, Dom Pedro II, were popular, the feeling grew that an American monarchy was an anachronism, and in 1889 a bloodless coup established the republic. Since 1930, Brazil has often been ruled by various military regimes. A civilian government was in power 1956-64, and civilian rule was re-established in 1985. Ambitious industrial and agricultural programs since 1930 have capitalized on the country's enormous natural resources, and Brazil has become the leading industrial nation of Latin America. Economic growth has been slowed in recent years by income maldistribution and inflation.

    Bremen (1855-68)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 122,402 (1871 estimate). A major German seaport in northwestern Germany, Bremen was a free city and a member of the German and, later, the North German Confederations, joining the German Empire in 1870. Bremen used its own stamps from 1855-68, after which issues of the North German Confederation came into use.

    British Antarctic Territory (1963-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 300. A British territory in the south Atlantic Ocean, forming part of the Falkland Islands Dependencies.

    British Bechuanaland (1886-98)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 84,210 (1904 estimate). Located in southern Africa, British Bechuanaland was a British crown colony until 1895, when it was annexed to Cape Colony. It is now part of the Republic of South Africa. Overprinted stamps of Cape Colony were in use from 1886 to 1898, when they were replaced by regular Cape Colony stamps. Since 1910, stamps of South Africa have been used, although most Cape Colony stamps remained valid until 1937.

    British Central Africa (1891-1908)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.6 million (1907 estimate). A former British territory in central Africa. In 1907, British Central Africa adopted the name Nyasaland Protectorate, which subsequently became independent as the Republic of Malawi.

    British Columbia and Vancouver Island (1860-71)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 650,000 (1869 estimate). A Canadian province on the northwest coast of North America, bordering on the Pacific Ocean. The two British colonies of Vancouver (established 1849) and British Columbia (established 1858) united in 1866 and joined the Canadian Confederation in 1871.

    British East Africa (1890-1903)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Territories originally under control of the British East Africa Co., after 1895 directly under British administration. In 1903 the area was reformed as the East Africa and Uganda protectorates. During 1895-1903, this area used overprinted stamps of Britain, India and Zanzibar, as well as its own issues. In 1903, East Africa and Uganda issues came into use.

    British Guiana (1850-1966)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 630,000 (1966 estimate). A former colony on the northern coast of South America, British Guiana became an independent republic in 1966, assuming the name Guyana. Early issues of British Guiana include a number of major rarities, among them "The World's Most Valuable Stamp," the 1¢ black on magenta of 1856. This stamp is unique and has passed through the hands of some of the giants of philately.

    British Honduras (1866-1973)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 135,000 (1973 estimate). Located in Central America on the Caribbean Sea, this area was contested by the British and Spanish until 1798, when British authority was secured. In 1862 it became a British colony under Jamaican administration and in 1884 became a separate colony. In 1973, British Honduras changed its name to Belize.

    British Indian Ocean Territory (1968-76, 1990-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. A group of British-owned coral atolls in the Indian Ocean. Formerly dependencies of Mauritius and the Seychelles, the atolls and three islands were organized as a crown colony on Nov. 8, 1965. On June 29, 1976, Aldabra, Farquhar and DeRoches islands were returned to Seychelles. The terrritory today comprises the Chagos Archipelago (Diego Garcia is the largest of five atolls).

    British Offices in China (1917-30)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Britain long maintained post offices in various Chinese cities. Stamps of Hong Kong were used in these offices until Dec. 31, 1916, after which Hong Kong stamps overprinted "China" were used. On Nov. 30, 1922, all British post offices in China were closed, except in the leased territory of Wei-hai-wei, which used British Offices in China issues until Sept. 30, 1930.

    British Offices in Morocco (1898-1957)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. British post offices in Morocco used overprinted contemporary stamps of Gibraltar (1898-1906) and Great Britain. Separate issues were used in the Spanish Zone, the French Zone and Tangier, as well as the general issues used throughout the country. Regular British stamps were also often used.

    British Offices in the Turkish Empire (1885-1914, 1919-23)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Until 1885, regular British stamps were used by British post offices in the Ottoman Empire. After that date, British stamps surcharged in Turkish currency or overprinted "LEVANT" were used. British post offices in the area were closed Oct. 1, 1914, reopened March 1919, and finally closed Sept. 27, 1923.

    British Virgin Islands (1866-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 13,367 (1997 estimate). A group of islands in the West Indies, southeast of Puerto Rico. The western portion of the Virgin Islands was under Danish rule until 1917, and under the United States since. The 30 eastern islands, which make up the British Virgin Islands, were under Dutch control until 1666, when they passed to Britain. Until 1956, they were administered as part of the Leeward Islands colony. In 1956 the British Virgin Islands became a separate crown colony and in 1967 became an Associated State, with Britain retaining control of foreign affairs and defense.

    Brunei (1906-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active;

    Population: 307,616.

    Location: South-East Asia

    Area: 2,226 sq. mi (5,765 sq. km)

    Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan

    Government: British Protectoate 1888; internal self-government 1971; independence 1984; member of British Commonwealth

    A sultanate on the northwest coast of Borneo, situated between the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. The state of Brunei was a regional power in the 16th century but, after a long decline, came under British protection in 1888. Brunei secured full self-government in 1971 and became fully independent in 1984. Its oil and natural gas industry has made the country quite wealthy in recent years, and the Sultan of Brunei is one of the world's richest men.

    Brunswick (1852-68)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former duchy in northern Germany, joining the German Empire in 1870. Brunswick's issues were used from 1852-68, when they were replaced by those of the North German Confederation.

    Buenos Aires (1858-64)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Buenos Aires, long the chief port and commercial center of Argentina, was independent from the rest of the country at various times in the 19th century. Since 1862, however, it has formed a province of Argentina, whose stamps have been in use since 1864. A British post office in the city used regular British stamps (canceled "B-32") from 1860 to 1873.

    Bulgaria (1879-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active;

    Population: 8,652,745.

    Locaton: South-EastEurope

    Area: 42,820 sq. mi (110,912 sq. km)

    Capital: Sofia

    Governent: Under Turkish suzerainty until independence declared 1908; monarchy abolishedand communist republic proclaimed following referendum 1946.

    During the 10th and 12th centuries, the Bulgars ruled much of the Balkan peninsula but subsequently declined in power, falling under Turkish control in 1396. In 1878, Bulgaria became an autonomous principality under nominal Turkish rule. In fact, Bulgaria was independent -- more closely aligned with Russia than with Turkey -- and this independence was formalized in 1908. The Treaty of San Stefano (1878) established a "Greater Bulgaria," which included all Bulgars and encompassed territory that now forms parts of Macedonia, Greece, Romania and Turkey. The powers, fearing the expansion of Russian influence in the Balkans through such a large client-state, overturned that treaty at the Congress of Berlin later in the year. Bulgaria's foreign policy from 1878 through 1944 was based on the creation of this Greater Bulgaria. In 1885, Bulgaria absorbed Eastern Rumelia, and in the Balkan Wars (1912-13) further expanded its borders. Its defeat by the Allies in World War I cost Bulgaria its Aegean coastline, and its defeat in World War II brought the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of a communist regime. In 1990 the Bulgarian Parliament ended the monopoly of the Communist Party on political power in the country, and the communist leadership was replaced by democratic opponents. Bulgaria's economy is going through a wrenching transition, as the country works to overcome years of neglect, to modernize and integrate with the rest of Europe.

    Bundi (1894-1948)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in northwestern India, Bundi issued stamps from 1894 to 1902 and from 1915 to 1948. During 1902-15 and after 1950, stamps of India were used. From 1948-50, stamps of Rajasthan were in use.

    Burgos (1936-38)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province in north-central Spain. Burgos was occupied by the Nationalists early in the Spanish Civil War, and a large number of overprinted Spanish postage and fiscal stamps were used in the province during this period.

    Burkina Faso (1984-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,891,159. A poor, landlocked republic in the Savannah region of West Africa, formerly the French colony of Upper Volta, bounded by the states of Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast. Following a 1983 coup d'etat, Upper Volta's name was changed to Burkina Faso on Aug. 4, 1984. The name is a transliteration of indigenous words meaning "country of incorruptible men." The first stamps bearing the new name were in an airmail set issued on May 23, 1984.

    Burma (1937-89)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 36 million. A republic in southeast Asia. Burma was a part of British India until 1937, when it became a separate territory under Britain. Occupied by Japan 1942-45, Burma was reoccupied by Britain, which granted independence on Jan. 4, 1948. Following independence, Burma maintained a nationalistic policy of socialism, restricting the economic and political freedoms of its people, especially non-Burman minorities. In 1989 the name of the country was changed to Myanmar.

    Burundi (1962-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 6,052,014. A republic in Central Africa. As Urundi, it was part of German East Africa 1899-1914 and was then administered by Belgium, under a United Nations mandate, until it became an independent kingdom in 1962. In 1966, the monarchy was overthrown by a military coup. Traditionally, Burundi has been ruled by the Tutsi (Watusi) tribe, which comprises only 14 percent of the population. In 1972-73, the Bantu Hutus, who make up 85 percent of Burundi's population, revolted, sparking a genocidal civil war in which 150,000 Hutsi and 10,000 Tutsi were killed. Another 100,000 Hutsi fled to Tanzania and Zaire. Attempts to reconcile the two groups have failed, and a 1993-96 civil war resulted in the deaths of at least 150,000 Burundians.

    Bushire (1915)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An Iranian port on the Persian Gulf. Bushire was occupied by British forces from Aug. 8, 1915, to Oct. 16, 1915. During the British occupation, Persian stamps were overprinted and used in Bushire.

    Bussahir (Bashahr) (1895-1901)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Bussahir was a former feudatory state in northern India. Bussahir stamps were replaced by those of India. With the closing of the state post office, large numbers of remainders and reprints were released to the philatelic market. These exist both unused and canceled "19 MA 1900."

    Barwani (1921-48)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in western India. Barwani stamps were replaced by those of India on July 1, 1948.

    Base Atlantica (1943-44)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During World War II, the Supreme Commander of Italian submarine forces authorized the overprinting of a number of Italian stamps for use by Italian military personnel stationed in Bordeaux, France.

    Basel (1845)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Capital of the canton of the same name, in northern Switzerland. Basel is situated on the Rhine and borders on both France and Germany. In 1845 the famous "Basel Dove" was issued. Now regarded as one of the most beautiful of the classic issues, the stamp was not popular among the townspeople and was soon withdrawn.

    Basutoland (1933-66)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 750,000 (1964 estimate). A former British crown colony surrounded by South Africa. Under British control after 1871, Basutoland became the independent state of Lesotho on Oct. 4, 1966. Stamps of the Cape of Good Hope were used 1871-1910 and those of the Union of South Africa 1910-33, when the colony began to use its own issues.

    Batum (1919-20)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 30,000 (1914). A Georgian port on the Black Sea, Batum was annexed by Russia from Turkey in 1878 and became a major Russian naval base. During World War I, Batum was occupied by the Germans and the Turks, and in December 1918 by British forces. The port was evacuated by the British in July 1920. During the British occupation, three series of lithographed stamps (two overprinted "British Occupation"), as well as a number of Russian stamps overprinted and surcharged, were in use. After the British evacuation, stamps of Georgia were used, these being replaced by Russian stamps in 1923. Georgian issues replaced those of the Soviet Union in 1990. Since 1994, a large number of pictorial sets and souvenir sheets, described as local stamps, have appeared on the market. They are bogus, issued for sale to collectors, and have seen no postal use in Batum.

    Bavaria (1849-1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 7,150,146 (1919). Former kingdom in southern Germany. Bavaria joined the German Empire in 1870, retaining its own monarchy. The country was briefly independent following World War I. Bavarian stamps were replaced by German issues in 1920.

    Bechuanaland Protectorate (1888-1966)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 540,400 (1964). District in south-central Africa, directly north of the Republic of South Africa. A British protectorate was established over the region in 1885, ending with the area becoming independent as the Republic of Botswana in 1966.

    Beirut (1909-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 210,000 (1914). The capital of Lebanon. Prior to World War I, a number of European nations maintained their own postal systems in Beirut. The Russian post office used stamps of the Russian Levant overprinted "Beyrouth" after 1909. In January 1905, the French authorities overprinted a contemporary French Offices in Turkey stamp for provisional use in Beirut. In July 1906, a similar provisional was used by the British authorities in Beirut. Both are scarce.

    Bejuma (1854)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A small town near Valencia, Venezuela. In 1854, the postmaster issued local stamps to frank mail to Valencia.

    Belarus (1992-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,439,916. A republic in eastern Europe. The area of Belarus was part of the Lithuanian-Polish state during the Middle Ages and was conquered by Russia in the 18th century. Belarus, then called White Russia, was divided between Poland and the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution but was reunited after WWII as the Belyorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, within the Soviet Union. In 1991, Belarus became an independent state. During 1996-97, Belarus signed several accords with Russia, closely linking the two countries politically and economically.

    Belgian Congo (1886-1960)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 12,660,000 (1956). A former Belgian colony in central Africa. In 1885, the Congo Free State was established under the personal rule of Leopold II. Abuses of the colonial administration, harsh even by contemporary standards, prompted the Belgian government to assume administration of the region, renamed the Belgian Congo. In 1960 the Belgian Congo became independent, as the Republic of the Congo.

    See Zaire

    Belgium (1849-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,203,683. A constitutional monarchy in northwest Europe, bordering on the English Channel. Conquered by Julius Caesar in the first century B.C., Belgium was ruled by a succession of foreign nations for nearly 2,000 years. In 1830, Belgium became independent from the last of these foreign rulers, the Dutch. Because of its strategic position, Belgian independence and neutrality was guaranteed by the major European powers. In 1914, Germany occupied most of the country, although Belgium's spirited resistance throughout the war earned worldwide respect. Germany again occupied Belgium during World War II. After 1945, Belgium aligned itself with the West and is a member of both NATO and the Common Market. Its prosperity is built on its foreign trade.

    Belize (1973-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 224,663. An independent republic in central America. Belize was formerly the British colony of British Honduras. The name "Belize" was adopted in 1973. Belize became independent on Sept. 20, 1981. Neighboring Guatemala has long claimed Belize, although tensions between the two countries has eased in recent years.

    Benin (1892-99, 1976-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,902,178. The coastal area of Dahomey, on the Gulf of Guinea, Benin was occupied by the French in the 19th century. Separate stamps were issued from 1892. In 1895, the area was grouped with recently conquered inland territories to form the French colony of Dahomey. In November 1975, Dahomey changed its name to the People's Republic of Benin.

    Bequia (1976-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. Bequia is the nearest neighbor of St. Vincent and the northernmost in a group of small subsidiary islands in the Lesser Antilles, north of Trinidad and South America. Following the proliferation of Grenadines of St. Vincent issues that began in the early 1970s, stamps began to be issued for Bequia in 1976.

    Bergedorf (1861-68)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A town in northern Germany, originally owned by Hamburg and the Free City of Lubeck (1420-1867). In 1867, it passed into the sole possession of Hamburg. Bergedorf began issuing stamps in 1861, these being replaced by those of the North German Confederation in 1868.

    Berlin (1948-90)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.8 million. The capital of Prussia and, after 1871, of Germany. Surrounded by the Soviet Zone of Occupation, Berlin was divided into U.S., British, French and Soviet sectors in 1945. In 1948, political tension brought the creation of the zones of West (Allied) Berlin and East (Soviet) Berlin. The two zones each issued separate series of stamps, the East Zone in 1945 (the "Berlin Bears") and the West Zone from 1945 until 1990. Stamps of West Berlin were discontinued in 1990, with the reunion of the two Germanys, and they became obsolete December 31, 1991.

    Bermuda (1848-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 62,569. A group of islands in the west-central Atlantic Ocean. A British colony since 1609, Bermuda was granted internal self-government in 1968. In 1995, in a referendum on independence, voters chose by a wide margin to retain their colonial status.

    Bhopal (1876-1950)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in central India. Bhopal issued separate stamps for ordinary use until 1908, when they were replaced by Indian stamps. Bhopal continued to issue its own official stamps until 1950, when these, too, were replaced by Indian issues.

    Bhor (1879-1902)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in western India, Bhor issues were replaced by those of India in 1902.

    Bhutan (1955-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,865,191. Kingdom in the eastern Himalayas between India and Tibet. Bhutan was under Tibetan rule from the 16th century. In 1910 it became a British protectorate. In 1949 it became independent, although it continues to be guided in foreign relations by India, with whom it carries on 99 percent of its commerce. Since 1966, Bhutan has issued large numbers of attractive (and philatelically inspired) stamps. Among the novel forms these issues have taken are: gold, silver and steel foil, designs printed on silk, 3-D plastic stamps and souvenir sheets, miniature plastic records, plastic bas-relief and designs printed on rose-scented paper.

    Biafra (1968-70)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 14 million (1968 estimate). The eastern region of Nigeria, in which is concentrated the Ibo tribe. On May 30, 1967, the Ibos proclaimed the independent Republic of Biafra, and on Feb. 5, 1968, the first Biafran postage stamps were issued. On Jan. 9, 1970, after a bitter civil war, Biafra surrendered to armies of the central government. Since that time, stamps of Nigeria have been in use. During 1968-70, some 68 major varieties were issued, as well as several overprinted sets that appeared on the market after Biafra's defeat.

    Bialystok (1916)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 76,500 (1914). A city and province in northeastern Poland. In 1916, the local German military commander issued stamps for use in the area.

    Bijawar (1935-39)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in central India. Bijawar issued stamps from 1935-39, after which they were replaced by Indian stamps.

    Bilbao (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 185,898 (1937). The major port of northern Spain, located on the Bay of Biscay. Spanish stamps were overprinted in July 1937 to celebrate the occupation of the city by Franco's Nationalist forces.

    Bohemia and Moravia (1939-45)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A German puppet-state created from the western provinces of Czechoslovakia prior to World War II. Bohemia and Moravia were reincorporated into Czechoslovakia following the war.

    Bolivia (1867-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population 7,669,868. A land-locked republic in South America, Bolivia was part of the Inca empire during the 13th-16th centuries. It was conquered by Spain in the 1530s and, as the Presidency of Charcas, was attached to the viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata. Notable primarily for its rich silver mines, which were exploited and depleted by the Spanish, Bolivia was an imperial backwater for three centuries. In 1825, the Spanish were expelled, and Bolivia, taking its name from the Great Liberator Simon Bolivar, became independent. Bolivia has been beset by numerous wars and revolutions. In the first 100 years of its independence, Bolivia lost territory to Chile, Brazil and Paraguay, three of its four neighbors. Its only coastal territory was lost to Chile in the War of the Pacific (1879-84). Chronic internal instability has given Bolivia one of the lowest standards of living in Latin America. Its government has been a bewildering succession of military dictatorships. In recent years, anti-American feeling has grown because of the government's efforts, under U.S. pressure, to limit the traffic in coca, the raw material for cocaine. Because of frequent shortages of regular postal issues, revenues, postage dues and bisects frequently are used provisionally by Bolivian post offices.

    Bophuthatswana (1977-94)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of South Africa's so-called Bantustans or Bantu homelands, a scattering of nominally semi-autonomous states for otherwise disenfranchised black South Africans, located on the sites of reserves set up under the policies of the white-run apartheid government prior to World War II. Bophuthatswana was in fact made up of seven small independent tracts of territory within the eastern half of South Africa, six of which were in the northern part of the nation near the border with Botswana. Although not accorded international recognition as a sovereign state, Bophuthatswana's stamps were generally accepted on international mail. Bophuthatswana ceased to exist April 27, 1994.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina (1879-1918, 1992-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,607,734. Located in southwestern Yugoslavia, the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina were long ruled by their various neighbors. After nearly five centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule, they were placed under Austrian protection in 1878, and a year later their first separate stamps appeared. In 1908, Austria-Hungary formally annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina, arousing the fears of Serbian nationalists, who sought to add the area to the Kingdom of Serbia. In 1914, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand, heir to the aging Austrian emperor, was assassinated at the capital, Sarajevo, by agents of the Serbian secret police, setting off the series of events that culminated in World War I. After World War I, Bosnia and Herzegovina became part of the newly established Kingdom of Yugoslavia. During World War II, ancient ethnic antagonisms were renewed and reinforced as Croats, Serbs and Muslim Bosnian forces fought one another. In 1991 the Bosnia and Herzegovina parliament declared the states sovereign and in early 1992 declared independence from Yugoslavia. This was bitterly opposed by ethnic Serbs, and a three-way civil war broke out, with the loosely allied Croat and Muslim factions, backed by Croatia and later NATO, fighting the Bosnian Serbs, supported by Yugoslavia, which was by now reduced to the core Serbian state. This civil war was marked by atrocities and by the Serbs' ruthless policy of ethnic cleansing, the expulsion or execution of non-Serb minorities in the areas they controlled. In 1995 a peace agreement divided the country between the Croat-Muslims and the Serbs and created a collective government. Since then, a shaky peace has been maintained by a large international peace-keeping force.

    Botswana (1966-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,500,765. A republic in central southern Africa, directly north of the Republic of South Africa. Formerly the British Bechuanaland Protectorate, the republic became independent as Botswana on Sept. 30, 1966. Many Botswanans are migrant workers in South Africa, with which Botswana is closely linked.

    Brac (Brazza) (1944)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island in the Adriatic Sea, off the coast of Yugoslavia. In 1944, Yugoslavian stamps were overprinted by the German military authorities for use in the island.

    Brasil

    See Brazil

    Brazil (1843-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 164,511,366. A large republic, occupying nearly half of South America. Brazil was discovered by Europeans in 1500, and Portugal soon began colonizing the coastal areas. During 1808-21, after Napoleon had occupied Portugal, Brazil was the seat of the Portuguese empire. In 1821 the Portuguese king returned to Lisbon, leaving his son, Dom Pedro, to act as regent in Brazil. In 1822 Dom Pedro declared the independence of the Empire of Brazil. Although Dom Pedro and his son, Dom Pedro II, were popular, the feeling grew that an American monarchy was an anachronism, and in 1889 a bloodless coup established the republic. Since 1930, Brazil has often been ruled by various military regimes. A civilian government was in power 1956-64, and civilian rule was re-established in 1985. Ambitious industrial and agricultural programs since 1930 have capitalized on the country's enormous natural resources, and Brazil has become the leading industrial nation of Latin America. Economic growth has been slowed in recent years by income maldistribution and inflation.

    Bremen (1855-68)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 122,402 (1871 estimate). A major German seaport in northwestern Germany, Bremen was a free city and a member of the German and, later, the North German Confederations, joining the German Empire in 1870. Bremen used its own stamps from 1855-68, after which issues of the North German Confederation came into use.

    British Antarctic Territory (1963-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 300. A British territory in the south Atlantic Ocean, forming part of the Falkland Islands Dependencies.

    British Bechuanaland (1886-98)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 84,210 (1904 estimate). Located in southern Africa, British Bechuanaland was a British crown colony until 1895, when it was annexed to Cape Colony. It is now part of the Republic of South Africa. Overprinted stamps of Cape Colony were in use from 1886 to 1898, when they were replaced by regular Cape Colony stamps. Since 1910, stamps of South Africa have been used, although most Cape Colony stamps remained valid until 1937.

    British Central Africa (1891-1908)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.6 million (1907 estimate). A former British territory in central Africa. In 1907, British Central Africa adopted the name Nyasaland Protectorate, which subsequently became independent as the Republic of Malawi.

    British Columbia and Vancouver Island (1860-71)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 650,000 (1869 estimate). A Canadian province on the northwest coast of North America, bordering on the Pacific Ocean. The two British colonies of Vancouver (established 1849) and British Columbia (established 1858) united in 1866 and joined the Canadian Confederation in 1871.

    British East Africa (1890-1903)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Territories originally under control of the British East Africa Co., after 1895 directly under British administration. In 1903 the area was reformed as the East Africa and Uganda protectorates. During 1895-1903, this area used overprinted stamps of Britain, India and Zanzibar, as well as its own issues. In 1903, East Africa and Uganda issues came into use.

    British Guiana (1850-1966)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 630,000 (1966 estimate). A former colony on the northern coast of South America, British Guiana became an independent republic in 1966, assuming the name Guyana. Early issues of British Guiana include a number of major rarities, among them "The World's Most Valuable Stamp," the 1¢ black on magenta of 1856. This stamp is unique and has passed through the hands of some of the giants of philately.

    British Honduras (1866-1973)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 135,000 (1973 estimate). Located in Central America on the Caribbean Sea, this area was contested by the British and Spanish until 1798, when British authority was secured. In 1862 it became a British colony under Jamaican administration and in 1884 became a separate colony. In 1973, British Honduras changed its name to Belize.

    British Indian Ocean Territory (1968-76, 1990-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. A group of British-owned coral atolls in the Indian Ocean. Formerly dependencies of Mauritius and the Seychelles, the atolls and three islands were organized as a crown colony on Nov. 8, 1965. On June 29, 1976, Aldabra, Farquhar and DeRoches islands were returned to Seychelles. The terrritory today comprises the Chagos Archipelago (Diego Garcia is the largest of five atolls).

    British Offices in China (1917-30)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Britain long maintained post offices in various Chinese cities. Stamps of Hong Kong were used in these offices until Dec. 31, 1916, after which Hong Kong stamps overprinted "China" were used. On Nov. 30, 1922, all British post offices in China were closed, except in the leased territory of Wei-hai-wei, which used British Offices in China issues until Sept. 30, 1930.

    British Offices in Morocco (1898-1957)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. British post offices in Morocco used overprinted contemporary stamps of Gibraltar (1898-1906) and Great Britain. Separate issues were used in the Spanish Zone, the French Zone and Tangier, as well as the general issues used throughout the country. Regular British stamps were also often used.

    British Offices in the Turkish Empire (1885-1914, 1919-23)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Until 1885, regular British stamps were used by British post offices in the Ottoman Empire. After that date, British stamps surcharged in Turkish currency or overprinted "LEVANT" were used. British post offices in the area were closed Oct. 1, 1914, reopened March 1919, and finally closed Sept. 27, 1923.

    British Virgin Islands (1866-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 13,367 (1997 estimate). A group of islands in the West Indies, southeast of Puerto Rico. The western portion of the Virgin Islands was under Danish rule until 1917, and under the United States since. The 30 eastern islands, which make up the British Virgin Islands, were under Dutch control until 1666, when they passed to Britain. Until 1956, they were administered as part of the Leeward Islands colony. In 1956 the British Virgin Islands became a separate crown colony and in 1967 became an Associated State, with Britain retaining control of foreign affairs and defense.

    Brunei (1906-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 307,616. A sultanate on the northwest coast of Borneo, situated between the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. The state of Brunei was a regional power in the 16th century but, after a long decline, came under British protection in 1888. Brunei secured full self-government in 1971 and became fully independent in 1984. Its oil and natural gas industry has made the country quite wealthy in recent years, and the Sultan of Brunei is one of the world's richest men.

    Brunswick (1852-68)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former duchy in northern Germany, joining the German Empire in 1870. Brunswick's issues were used from 1852-68, when they were replaced by those of the North German Confederation.

    Buenos Aires (1858-64)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Buenos Aires, long the chief port and commercial center of Argentina, was independent from the rest of the country at various times in the 19th century. Since 1862, however, it has formed a province of Argentina, whose stamps have been in use since 1864. A British post office in the city used regular British stamps (canceled "B-32") from 1860 to 1873.

    Bulgaria (1879-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 8,652,745. During the 10th and 12th centuries, the Bulgars ruled much of the Balkan peninsula but subsequently declined in power, falling under Turkish control in 1396. In 1878, Bulgaria became an autonomous principality under nominal Turkish rule. In fact, Bulgaria was independent -- more closely aligned with Russia than with Turkey -- and this independence was formalized in 1908. The Treaty of San Stefano (1878) established a "Greater Bulgaria," which included all Bulgars and encompassed territory that now forms parts of Macedonia, Greece, Romania and Turkey. The powers, fearing the expansion of Russian influence in the Balkans through such a large client-state, overturned that treaty at the Congress of Berlin later in the year. Bulgaria's foreign policy from 1878 through 1944 was based on the creation of this Greater Bulgaria. In 1885, Bulgaria absorbed Eastern Rumelia, and in the Balkan Wars (1912-13) further expanded its borders. Its defeat by the Allies in World War I cost Bulgaria its Aegean coastline, and its defeat in World War II brought the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of a communist regime. In 1990 the Bulgarian Parliament ended the monopoly of the Communist Party on political power in the country, and the communist leadership was replaced by democratic opponents. Bulgaria's economy is going through a wrenching transition, as the country works to overcome years of neglect, to modernize and integrate with the rest of Europe.

    Bundi (1894-1948)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in northwestern India, Bundi issued stamps from 1894 to 1902 and from 1915 to 1948. During 1902-15 and after 1950, stamps of India were used. From 1948-50, stamps of Rajasthan were in use.

    Burgos (1936-38)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province in north-central Spain. Burgos was occupied by the Nationalists early in the Spanish Civil War, and a large number of overprinted Spanish postage and fiscal stamps were used in the province during this period.

    Burkina Faso (1984-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,891,159. A poor, landlocked republic in the Savannah region of West Africa, formerly the French colony of Upper Volta, bounded by the states of Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast. Following a 1983 coup d'etat, Upper Volta's name was changed to Burkina Faso on Aug. 4, 1984. The name is a transliteration of indigenous words meaning "country of incorruptible men." The first stamps bearing the new name were in an airmail set issued on May 23, 1984.

    Burma (1937-89)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 36 million. A republic in southeast Asia. Burma was a part of British India until 1937, when it became a separate territory under Britain. Occupied by Japan 1942-45, Burma was reoccupied by Britain, which granted independence on Jan. 4, 1948. Following independence, Burma maintained a nationalistic policy of socialism, restricting the economic and political freedoms of its people, especially non-Burman minorities. In 1989 the name of the country was changed to Myanmar.

    Burundi (1962-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 6,052,014. A republic in Central Africa. As Urundi, it was part of German East Africa 1899-1914 and was then administered by Belgium, under a United Nations mandate, until it became an independent kingdom in 1962. In 1966, the monarchy was overthrown by a military coup. Traditionally, Burundi has been ruled by the Tutsi (Watusi) tribe, which comprises only 14 percent of the population. In 1972-73, the Bantu Hutus, who make up 85 percent of Burundi's population, revolted, sparking a genocidal civil war in which 150,000 Hutsi and 10,000 Tutsi were killed. Another 100,000 Hutsi fled to Tanzania and Zaire. Attempts to reconcile the two groups have failed, and a 1993-96 civil war resulted in the deaths of at least 150,000 Burundians.

    Bushire (1915)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An Iranian port on the Persian Gulf. Bushire was occupied by British forces from Aug. 8, 1915, to Oct. 16, 1915. During the British occupation, Persian stamps were overprinted and used in Bushire.

    Bussahir (Bashahr) (1895-1901)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Bussahir was a former feudatory state in northern India. Bussahir stamps were replaced by those of India. With the closing of the state post office, large numbers of remainders and reprints were released to the philatelic market. These exist both unused and canceled "19 MA 1900."

    C.C.C.P.

    See Union of Soviet Socialist Reppublics (Soviet Union)

    Cabo Gracias a Dios (1904-12)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A cape and seaport in the extreme northeast of Nicaragua. The circulation of two radically different currencies in the country necessitated the overprinting of Nicaraguan stamps for use in the province.

    Cabo Verde

    See Cape Verde

    Cadiz (1936-37)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 78,986 (1937). A major Spanish port on the Atlantic Ocean, located in southern Spain. Contemporary Spanish stamps were overprinted by the Nationalist local authorities during the Spanish Civil War.

    Caicos Islands (1981-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. The northwesternmost six principal islands of the Turks and Caicos Islands, located in the West Indies, south of the Bahamas. Stamps overprinted "Caicos Islands" appeared in mid-1981, followed by purpose-inscribed issues in 1983 and since. These have been accompanied by a continuing steady flow of emissions from Turks and Caicos Islands.

    Calimno (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. Calimno was under Turkish rule from the 16th century. It was occupied by Italy in 1912. Italian stamps overprinted "Calimno" were used from 1912-29, when they were replaced by Aegean Islands' general issues. Sets overprinted with the island's name were released in 1930 and 1932.

    Cambodia (Kampuchea) (1951-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 11,163,861. A constitutional monarchy in southeast Asia. It lies in Indochina and borders Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. During the 9th-13th centuries, Cambodia was the center of the Khmer empire, which ruled Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and southern Vietnam. By the 19th century, Khmer power had long been declining, and in 1863 a French protectorate was established over Cambodia. A constitutional monarchy was established in 1941. In 1951, Cambodia became a separate member of the French Union, and in 1955 it became fully independent. During the Vietnamese War, Cambodia attempted to maintain its independence and neutrality. In 1965, relations were broken with the United States, after ARVN forces attacked Viet-Cong bases in Cambodia. By 1969, the Viet-Cong-supported Khmer Rouge rebels posed such a threat that relations were restored. In 1970, the monarchy was deposed, and a pro-western republic was established. In 1971, the name Khmer Republic was adopted. There followed several years of intense fighting between the North Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and the U.S.-backed forces of the republic. More than 100,000 died during 1971-75. The communists quickly defeated government forces after the U.S. withdrawal from South Vietnam. There followed one of the more bizarre and horrifying episodes in recent history. The Khmer Rouge broke with their Vietnamese allies and began a systematic reign of terror that claimed one million lives during 1975-78. During this period (1977-78), Cambodia was renamed Democratic Kampuchea. In 1978, border skirmishes with Vietnam erupted into war, and in January 1979, a Vietnamese-backed regime was established. During 1983-89 Vietnam effectively occupied Cambodia, reducing the Khmer Rouge to guerrilla resistance in remote rural areas. In 1993 U.N.-sponsored elections led to the restoration of the monarchy. Khmer Rouge resistance to the new government continued through most of the 1990s.

    Cameroun (1897-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 14,677,510. A republic in West Africa. Cameroun was a German protectorate until 1915, when it was occupied by the British and French. In 1922, it was mandated to these countries by the League of Nations. The French portion became the independent State of Cameroun in 1960, with the southern portion of the British mandate joining it in 1961. The northern portion of the British mandate joined Nigeria. In 1972, Cameroun changed its official designation to the United Republic of Cameroon. Politically stable, Cameroon has enjoyed considerable development in agriculture and transportation since independence.

    Campeche (1876)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Mexican state occupying the western part of the Yucatan peninsula. Provisional stamps were produced for use there during the struggle by Juarez against Emperor Maximilian.

    Campione D'Italia (1944-52)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A small Italian enclave in Switzerland, which for a time issued stamps valid for postage to Switzerland and Italy. These issues were used during the period when northern Italy was controlled by the Italian Social Republic, while Campione remained loyal to the royalist government, from which it was unable to secure supplies of stamps.

    Canada (1851-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active;

    Population: 29,123,194.

    Location: Northern North America

    Area: 3,851,787 sq. mi (9,976,128 sq. km)

    Capital: Ottawa

    Government: The orignial territory of Canaa was composed of Upper and Lower Canada (Ontario and Quebec); Novia Scotia and New Brunswick united under British North America Act 1867; Territor added by expansion to north and west; last province to enter union was Newfoundland in 1949.

    An independent state within the British Commonwealth, occupying the northern part of North America. Under French rule until 1763, when it was transferred to Britain, modern Canada was formed with the union of the various individual British colonies in North America in 1867. British Columbia and Vancouver Island were added in 1871, Prince Edward Island in 1873, and Newfoundland in 1949. Canada possesses rich natural resources. The majority of the population is English-speaking and of British descent, while in Quebec 80 percent are of French descent.

    Canal Zone (1904-79)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A strip of land 10 miles wide lying on either side of the Panama Canal, from the Atlantic to Pacific oceans, dividing the Republic of Panama into two parts. Thwarted by Colombia from building the Panama Canal through its territory, the U.S. supported the Panamanian revolution of 1903, and almost immediately received a perpetual lease to the territory. In 1978, the United States and Panama agreed to a revised treaty, allowing for the gradual transfer of control of the Canal to Panama by the end of the century. On Sept. 30, 1979, the U.S. Canal Zone Postal Service ceased operation, and on Oct. 1, the Panamanian Postal Service took charge.

    Canary Islands (1936-39)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, located off the northwestern coast of Africa. Under Spanish rule since the 15th century, the Canary Islands have normally used regular Spanish issues. During the Spanish Civil War, however, a large number of overprinted stamps were used on mail carried by a provisional airline service linking Las Palmas with Seville, where it was linked to the rest of Europe. These issues were in use until the re-establishment of the Spanish state service in May 1938.

    Canouan Island (1976-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. One of the Grenadines of St. Vincent, a group of small islands in the Lesser Antilles, north of Trinidad and South America.

    Cape of Good Hope

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 2,564,965 (1911). Located at the southern tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope was originally a Dutch colony, passing to the British after the Napoleonic Wars. Conflict between English immigrants and established Dutch settlers (Boers) led to the withdrawal of the Boers into the interior after 1836. These tensions, intensified by the discovery of rich diamond and gold deposits, increasing English immigration and Britain's imperialistic policy, resulted in the Boer War of 1899-1902, which ended with British occupation of the formerly independent Boer republics. In 1910, Cape Colony joined with Natal, Transvaal and the Orange River Colony to form the Union of South Africa. During the Boer War, a number of provisionals appeared, the most famous of which were issued at Mafeking, where the defending British force was commanded by Gen. Robert S.S. Baden-Powell, who later established the Boy Scouts.

    Cape Juby (1916-48)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 9,836. A Spanish possession in the western Sahara on the Atlantic coast, opposite the Canary Islands. Secured by agreement with France, Spanish troops occupied Cape Juby in 1916, at which time overprinted stamps of Rio de Oro were issued. From 1916 to 1919, stamps of Rio de Oro and Spanish Morocco were used in the area. In January 1919, overprinted stamps again appeared, and these remained in use until 1948, when they were replaced by those of the Spanish Sahara.

    Cape Verde (1877-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 393,843. A group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, west of Senegal. Cape Verde was uninhabited when first discovered by the Portuguese in 1456 or 1460. The first Portuguese settlers arrived in 1462, and black slaves were introduced soon thereafter. The modern Cape Verdeans are descendents of the two groups. In 1975, Cape Verde became independent, with close ties to Guinea-Bissau (the former Portuguese Guinea). Drought and famine in recent years have created major difficulties for this already impoverished nation.

    Caroline Islands (1900-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 40,000 (1915 estimate). A large group of islands in the western Pacific Ocean. The Carolines were purchased by Germany from Spain in 1899. They were captured by Japan in 1914 and subsequently administered by the Japanese under a mandate from the League of Nations. In 1944, they were occupied by the United States and after 1947 were administered by the United States, under a mandate from the United Nations, as part of the Pacific Islands Trusteeship. The western portion of the Caroline Islands became the autonomous republic of Palau in 1981, and the rest of the group became the Federated States of Micronesia in 1986. Japanese stamps were used from 1914 to 1944, and U.S. issues 1944-84.

    Carpatho-Ukraine (1939, 1944-45)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The easternmost province of pre-Munich Czechoslovakia. It was created as an autonomous state and swiftly annexed by Hungary in 1939. With the Axis withdrawal in 1944, the area became independent for a brief time, reverting to Hungary in 1945. In 1949, it was annexed by the Soviet Union.

    Carchi (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Turkish Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. Carchi was occupied by Italy in 1912. Italian stamps overprinted "Karki," "Calchi" or "Carchi" were used until 1929, when the general Aegean Islands issues came into use. Two sets overprinted with the island's name were issued in 1930 and 1932.

    Carupano (1902-03)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A port of Venezuela, near Trinidad. During the Anglo-German-Italian occupation of La Guaira, Carupano was isolated and soon ran out of stamps, necessitating the issue of provisional issues until regular stocks could be obtained.

    Caso (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. Caso was under Turkish rule from the 16th century. It was occupied by Italy in 1912, at which time Italian issues overprinted "Caso" were placed in use. These were replaced in 1929 by the general Aegean Islands issues, although two sets overprinted for the island were issued in 1930 and 1932.

    Castellorizo (1920-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 2,238 (1936 estimate). Small island in the Mediterranean off the southwest coast of Turkey. Occupied by France in 1915, Castellorizo was transferred to Italy in 1920. After World War II, the island, along with the rest of the Dodecanese Islands, passed to Greece.

    Cattaro (1944)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Croatian province on the Adriatic, occupied by the Italians from 1941-43, and Germans, 1943-45, during World War II. In 1944, Italian and Yugoslavia issues were overprinted for use in Cattaro by the German Occupation Authorities.

    Cavalla (1893-1914)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A town in northern Greece. The French post office in Cavalla used unoverprinted French stamps (canceled "5156" within a diamond-shaped grid of dots) after 1874. During 1893-1914, it used stamps overprinted or inscribed "Cavalle." Seized by Bulgaria from Turkey in 1912, Cavalla was taken by the Greeks in 1913. Bulgarian stamps overprinted by the Greek occupation authorities were used pending the arrival of regular Greek stocks.

    Cayman Islands (1901-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 36,153 (1997 estimate). Three islands in the Caribbean Sea, northwest of Jamaica. The Cayman Islands have been a British colony since its settlement in the 18th century. During the 1970s, the Caymans became a tax-free haven for banking, and many Western banks have branches in the colony.

    Cayes of Belize (1984-85)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A group of sparsely populated islands in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Belize. During 1984-85, a number of sets were released, primarily for sale to collectors. Regular Belize stamps have always been used in the territory.

    Central African Empire

    See Central African Republic

    Central African Republic (1959-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 3,342,051. A landlocked nation in central Africa, surrounded by Chad, Cameroon, Congo, Zaire and the Sudan. Formerly the French colony of Ubangi-Shari, the Central African Republic was established Dec. 1, 1958, and became fully independent Aug. 13, 1960. Although possessed of substantial mineral resources, the country has been unable to develop economically and has been politically unstable since independence. During 1960-65, the CAR was a center of Chinese influence in Africa. In 1965 the pro-Chinese regime was overthrown, and Jean-Bedel Bokassa came to power. On Dec. 4, 1976, Bokassa proclaimed the country the Central African Empire, with himself as Emperor Bokassa I. Bokassa's rule was marked by almost unrelenting cruelty and barbarism, characterized by rumors that the emperor himself practiced cannibalism. On Sept. 20, 1979, Bokassa was overthrown in a bloodless coup supported by French troops, flown in from bases in Gabon and Chad. In the years since, Central Africa's political turbulence has continued, with periodic French intervention to restore or to maintain order.

    Central Albania (1915)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During World War I, Albania was overrun by various foreign armies. From January 1914 to February 1916, the central portion of the country was controlled by a provisional regime under Essad Pasha. Essad was supplanted by the Austrians in 1916.

    Central China (1949-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The Communist Central Chinese Liberation Area included the provinces of Honan, Hupeh, Hunan and Kiangsi. Separate issues for the region were used after the occupation of Hankow from the Nationalists.

    Central Lithuania (1920-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Historically a part of Lithuania, this territory was under Russian rule until 1915, when it was occupied by the Germans. German stamps overprinted for Lithuania were used until December 1918, when regular Lithuanian stamps were issued. In October 1920, the area was occupied by Polish forces, who established an autonomous state, which issued its own stamps during 1920-22. In 1922, it was annexed by Poland, but in 1939 it was occupied by Soviet forces and returned to Lithuania.

    Cephalonia and Ithaca (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Two of the Ionian Islands, off the western coast of Greece. The islands were occupied by Italian forces in 1941, when Greek stamps were overprinted for use in the two islands by local Italian military authorities. These were soon superseded by the general occupation issues for the Ionian Islands.

    Ceskoslovensko

    See Czechoslovakia

    Ceylon (1857-1972)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 12,670,000 (1971). Island in the Indian Ocean, off the southeast coast of India. Much of the island was ruled by Portugal during the 16th and 17th centuries, and later by the Dutch. From 1795, the British ruled Ceylon. In 1948, it became a self-governing dominion, and in 1972, it became independent as the Republic of Sri Lanka.

    Chad (1922-36, 1959-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 7,166,023. A republic in central Africa. A former dependency of Ubangi-Shari, Chad was occupied by the French during 1897-1914, after defeating fierce native resistance. In 1920, Chad became a separate colony, joining in French Equatorial Africa in 1934. In 1958, the Chad Republic became an independent state in the French Union, and in 1960, it became fully independent. Following independence, Chad retained close ties with France, which provided economic aid and support in the government's civil war with Libyan-backed Arab guerrillas after 1966. In 1981, Libyan forces occupied Chad at the request of a coalition government. Libya's efforts to merge the two nations, however, alarmed even the pro-Libyan elements of the regime, and international pressure brought a rapid Libyan withdrawal. Libyan forces remained in the northern part of the country until 1987, and Libya continued to claim the mineral-rich Aozou strip until 1994. After years of civil war, of foreign invasions, and of coups and counter-coups, Chad adopted a new constitution and held its first multiparty elections in 1996.

    Chamba (1886-1950)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 168,908 (1941 estimate). A state in northern India, Chamba became independent of Kashmir in 1846. In 1886, its postal service was joined to that of India, and overprinted Indian stamps came into use. These overprinted issues were replaced by Indian stamps April 1, 1950, although they continued to be postally valid until Jan. 1, 1951.

    Charkari (Charkhari) (1894-1950)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in north-central India, Charkari's stamps were replaced by those of India on May 1, 1950.

    Chechen Republic (1992-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. An autonomous territory in the central Caucasus. With the break-up of the Soviet Union, Muslim Chechnya resisted Russian authority and pressed for full independence. From December 1994 to January 1997, Russian troops attempted to suppress Chechnyan resistance, without success. Several Chechnyan stamp issues appeared after 1992, which may have been legitimately issued and used in the country. More recently, a number of attractive pictorial sets and souvenir sheets have been offered by a philatelic promoter as Chechnyan local stamps. These are probably bogus.

    Checiny (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in southern Poland. Local stamps were issued in 1919 under the authority of the municipal authorities.

    Chelyabinsk (1920-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 45,000 (1914). A city in southwestern Siberia. Russian stamps were overprinted for local use by the municipal authorities during 1920-22.

    Chiapas (1866)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A state of southern Mexico, bordering on Guatemala and the Pacific Ocean.

    Chihuahua (1872)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital city of the State of Chihuahua in northern Mexico.

    Chile (1853-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 14,508,168. A republic in southwest South America. Chile was settled by Spain as early as 1540, although Indian resistance in the south was not overcome until the late 19th century. During 1817-18, Chile secured its independence, with the aid of Argentine forces under San Martin. During the 19th century, Chile aggressively expanded its borders, acquiring nitrate-rich northern districts from Peru and Bolivia during the War of the Pacific, 1879-84, and subduing Indian resistance in the south. After 1891, Chile was a liberal republic, but economic problems in the 1970s and 1980s produced social unrest and radical regimes, both Leftist and Rightist. Since 1989, Chile has prospered under restored civilian rule.

    Chimarra (Himera) (1914, 1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city on the southern coast of Albania. Philatelically inspired issues were released during the Greek occupation of the port.

    China (1878-)

    Stamp-issuing status: (People's Republic) active, (Empire and Republic) inactive; Population: (People's Republic) 1,210,004,956, (Empire and Republic) 462,798,093 (1948). An ancient country occupying a large area in eastern Asia, between Turkestan and the China Sea and stretching from Siberia to Indochina. Chinese civilization appeared in the 3rd millennium B.C., producing one of the earliest sophisticated cultures. China was long divided into numerous states, within a feudal system. China was unified under the Chin and Han dynasties (255 B.C.-220 A.D.), but again broke into contending states after the fall of the Hans. Unification was achieved under the Sui and T'ang dynasties (589-907), but internal division again appeared. In the early 13th century, the Mongols overran China, establishing the Yuan dynasty, which at its height (circa 1300) ruled China, Turkestan, Korea and Indochina. In 1368, the Ming dynasty expelled the Yuan and inaugurated a period of dynamic growth. In 1644, the Manchu dynasty overthrew the Ming and created a vast and powerful empire. During 1840-1900, China was defeated in a series of wars, which secured for the European powers numerous concessions within the Chinese empire. In 1892, Dr. Sun Yat-sen founded the Regenerate China Society, which began to foment revolution. In 1911, the empress-dowager was deposed, and a republic proclaimed. A period of civil war and internal division under local warlords ensued, until Chiang Kai-shek, commanding the Nationalist armies, was able to re-establish some unity during the 1920s. In 1927, Chiang moved against Soviet influence in the Nationalist government, and the communists split with the regime, launching a guerrilla war against the central government. In 1931, Japan occupied Manchuria and began to expand into China, openly invading the country in 1937. The Nationalists and communists maintained an uneasy truce during World War II, but with the defeat of Japan and the occupation of Manchuria by the Soviets, the civil war began in earnest. By 1949, the Nationalists had been defeated and driven to the island of Formosa (Taiwan). Since that time, the Chinese People's Republic on the mainland and the Republic of China on Taiwan have both claimed to represent the rightful government of China. The Chinese People's Republic was closely linked with the Soviet Union during the 1950s, but by the 1960s this relationship had deteriorated. Conflicting nationalisms became identified with ideological differences, and the two nations each came to regard the other as its principal enemy. U.S. relations with the mainland regime, broken in 1950, became increasingly close after 1972. On Dec. 15, 1978, the United States formally recognized the People's Republic as the sole legal government of China. Under Mao Zedong, China was thoroughly communized, and all political opposition suppressed. Ongoing economic miscalculations and brutal attempts to bring about economic progress based on Maoist principles were unsuccessful. In 1975 Mao died, and by 1978 Deng Xiaoping had established himself as "paramount leader." Deng pursued a far more liberal, and far more successful, policy. While political expression remained tightly controlled, there were no more wholesale purges, and ideology was adapted to market realities. As a result, China has advanced dramatically, and in the 1990s, its economy has been one of the fastest growing in the world. The Nationalist regime on Taiwan has been politically isolated in recent years. In 1971, it was expelled from the United Nations, in favor of the People's Republic, and in 1978, the United States, its principal ally and supporter, severed formal diplomatic relations. Taiwan has been able, however, to maintain extensive informal contacts abroad through its active international commercial operations.

    China Expeditionary Forces (1900-21)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A total of 33 stamps of British India overprinted "C.E.F." were used by the British Expeditionary Force in China in 1900-21.

    Chinese Treaty Ports (1865-97)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Before establishment of the imperial posts in 1897, a number of Chinese treaty ports issued local stamps. These include Chungking (1894), Foochow (1895), Hankow (1893), Ichang (1895), Kewkiang (1894), Nanking (1896), Wuhu (1894) and Shanghai (1865).

    Chios (1913)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island in the Aegean Sea, Chios was captured by Greece from Turkey in 1912. In 1913, an overprinted Greek stamp was issued. Stamps of Greece have since been used.

    Christmas Island (1958-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 813. An island in the Indian Ocean. Under the British colony of Singapore from 1900-58, Christmas Island was transferred to Australian administration in 1958.

    Cilicia (1919-21)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district of southern Turkey, northwest of Syria. Cilicia was occupied by the British and French from Turkey in 1918. In 1919, France assumed sole control and in 1920 received the territory as a mandate from the League of Nations. In 1921, however, Turkish forces expelled the French, and in 1923 France gave up its claims to the area. During 1919, Cilicia used Palestinian stamps, and during 1919-21, the French regime issued overprinted stamps of Turkey and France.

    Ciskei (1981-94)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of South Africa's so-called Bantustans or Bantu homelands, a scattering of nominally semi-autonomous states for otherwise disenfranchised black South Africans located on the sites of reserves set up under the policies of the white-run apartheid government prior to World War II. Ciskei was the most southerly of these, consisting of a wedge of coastal territory southwest of the city of East London. Although not accorded international recognition as a sovereign state, Ciskei's stamps were generally accepted on international mail. Ciskei was dissolved as a separate administrative unit April 27, 1994.

    Citta Del Vaticano

    See Vatican City

    Coamo (1898)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Puerto Rico. U.S. forces issued a stamp for provisional use in August-September 1898, after the city was wrested from Spanish control.

    Cochin (1892-1949)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Early a center of foreign traders, the Portuguese established a trading station at Cochin, a port city in southern India, in 1502. The British followed in 1635 but, along with the Portuguese, were expelled by the Dutch in 1663. In 1795, the area passed to the British. Cochin issued its own stamps until 1949, when it joined with Travancore and the coastal towns of Tangasseri and Anjengo to form the United State of Travancore-Cochin, whose issues then came into use. Indian stamps replaced these issues on April 1, 1951.

    Cochin China (1886-92)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The southernmost area of Vietnam. Occupied by France from 1863-67, Cochin China served as the base for French expansion in the region. In 1887, Cochin China was incorporated into French Indochina, whose stamps were used after 1892.

    Cocos Islands (Keeling Islands) (1963-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 609. A group of tiny islands in the Indian Ocean under Australian administration. Stamps of the Cocos Islands are also valid in Australia.

    Colombia (1859-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population 37,418,290. A republic in northwest South America. The seat of the Spanish viceroyalty of New Granada after 1718, Colombia declared its independence in 1810, finally ousting the Spanish in 1824. Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador made up the State of Greater Colombia until 1830 when the three nations separated. In 1903, the northern province of Panama broke away from Colombia and, with U.S. support, became independent. Colombia is one of the few democracies in Latin America, although it has been plagued by chronic violence and disorder. "La Violencia" of 1948-58 claimed 200,000 lives, and political violence, albeit much abated, continues. Colombia has been officially named the Republic of New Granada (1831-58), the Grenadine Confederation (1858-61), the United States of New Granada (1861), the United States of Colombia (1861-85) and the Republic of Colombia (since 1885).

    Colombia-States Issues (1863-1904)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Until 1885, the various Colombian states were sovereign, possessing the right to issue their own stamps. In 1886, a national convention abolished most of the states' rights, transferring sovereignty to the central government. The states, however, retained the right to issue stamps, and did so as late as 1904. The states that used their own stamps, along with national issues, were Antioquia, Bolivar, Boyaca, Canca, Cundinamarca, Panama, Santander, the city of Cucuta and Tolima.

    Comoro Islands (1950-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 589,797. A group of islands in the Mozambique Channel between Mozambique and Madagascar. Under French rule since the 19th century, the Comoros were attached to Madagascar from 1911-46, being reorganized as an Overseas Territory in 1946. Since 1950, the Comoros have issued their own stamps. The Comoros became independent in 1975, except for Mayotte, which voted to remain French. A coup soon after independence placed a leftist regime in power, but its increasingly eccentric rule brought another coup in 1978, which replaced it with a pro-French government.

    Confederate States of America (1861-65)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 9 million (1865 estimate). The southern states of the United States, seceded from the Union in 1861 and attempted to establish an independent confederation. After initial successes against the U.S. forces, the Confederacy was on the defensive after 1863. By early 1865, the rebellious areas had been overrun, and the states were reincorporated within the United States.

    Confederate States of America-Provisional Issues (1861)

    In the early months of the Civil War, many southern post offices were without regular stocks of stamps. U.S. stamps in rebel territory were demonetized after June 1, 1861, and general Confederate issues were not available until October 1861. During the interim, many local postmasters issued provisional stamps and postal stationery. Occasionally, such provisionals appeared later during the war, when regular Confederate stamps were unavailable.

    Congo Democratic Republic (1960-71, 1997-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 47,440,362. In January 1960, Belgium agreed to grant independence to the Belgian Congo, and general elections were held May 31. On June 30, the country became independent. The Congo was immediately torn by domestic violence, causing most whites to flee and two of the richest regions, Katanga and South Kasai, to secede. In August, Belgian troops were replaced by United Nations forces, which gradually restored order and suppressed the independence movements in the south. In 1963 Katanga was reunited with the Congo, and on June 30, 1964, its president, Moise Tshombe, became president of the Congo. Within months of the U.N. withdrawal (June 1964), yet another separatist movement broke out, when leftists proclaimed a people's republic in Stanleyville. The central government suppressed this uprising, with the support of Belgian and white mercenary troops. In 1965, General Joseph D. Mobutu became president. He began an Africanization program, wherein all Congolese with Christian names were required to adopt African names (he became Mobutu Sese Seko), Congolese place names were changed and, in 1971, the Congo itself was renamed the Republic of Zaire. After more than two decades of corrupt and inefficient rule, Mobutu was overthrown in 1997, and Zaire again became the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Congo Republic (1959-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,583,198. A republic on the north bank of the Congo River, in west central Africa. The former French colony of Middle Congo, the Congo became a member state in the French community in 1958 and gained independence in 1960. After 1963, the Congo government alligned itself with both the Soviet Union and China. U.S. relations, severed in 1965, were restored in 1977. In 1990, Maoism was renounced, and opposition parties were legalized. The official name of the country, changed to the People's Republic of the Congo in 1970, was changed back to the Republic of the Congo. A democratically elected government came to power in 1992. During 1997, the country was torn by ethnic and regional civil war.

    Constantinople (1909-14, 1921-23)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1,200,000 (1914). The capital of the Ottoman Empire, situated on the Hellespont between the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea. During 1873-81, Turkish stamps were overprinted for local use within the city, and a number of private posts issued stamps. Italian stamps overprinted "Constantinopoli" were used by the Italian post in the city from 1909-14. These issues were again used from 1921-23 by the Italian garrison in Constantinople. Stamps of the Russian Levant overprinted with the name of the city were used by the Russian postal service in Constantinople from 1909-14. During 1919, Romanian forces in the city used contemporary Romanian stamps overprinted "Posta Romana Constantinopl" with the emblem of the Romanian PTT.

    Cook Islands (1892-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 19,776. A group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, northeast of New Zealand. In 1901, the Cook Islands became a dependency of New Zealand, gaining internal self-government in 1965.

    Cordoba (1858-65)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province in central Argentina, Cordoba issued its own stamps from 1858 to 1865, when they were replaced by the issues of the central government.

    Corfu (1923, 1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The major island of the Ionian Islands, off the western coast of Greece in the Ionian Sea. Corfu, under Greek control since 1864, was occupied by Italy in 1923 and 1941-43. Stamps of Italy and Greece were overprinted by the Italians for use on the island.

    Corrientes (1856-80)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The northeast province of Argentina, Corrientes issued its own stamps until 1880, when they were replaced by regular Argentine issues.

    Cos (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. Cos was under Turkish rule from the 16th century. It was occupied by Italy in 1912, at which time overprinted Italian stamps were issued. These were superseded by the general Aegean Islands issues in 1929, although two sets overprinted "Coo" were issued in 1930 and 1932.

    Costa Rica (1863-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 3,534,174. A republic in Central America, located between Nicaragua and Panama. Under Spain until 1821, Costa Rica's subsequent history has been mostly peaceful, enabling it to develop a relatively high standard of living. Still chiefly an agricultural country, Costa Rica finds tourism an increasingly important industry.

    Cote D'Ivoire

    See Ivory Coast


    Coudekerque (1940)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northern France, near Dunkerque. For a time after the German occupation in World War II, overprinted French stamps were used in the city.

    Courland (1945)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In October 1944, German forces in the Courland peninsula were cut off from Germany by the advancing Soviet army. In April 1945, the local German commander overprinted four German stamps for use in the area.

    Crete (1898-1910, 1944)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 335,000 (1910 estimate). A large island in the Aegean Sea, Crete was a province of Turkey from the 15th century. Continuous religious civil strife between the Christian and Muslim natives provided an excuse for the Great Powers to intervene in the island's affairs in 1898. In 1899, the island was declared an autonomy under Prince George of Greece. In 1908, the Cretan Assembly voted for union with Greece, which finally occurred in 1913. Crete used Turkish stamps until 1899. Stamps of Crete were used until 1913, when Greek stamps came into use. During 1898-1914, various stamps were issued by the Powers for use in their districts of Crete, including Britain (1898-99), Russia (1899), Austria (1903-14), France (1903-13) and Italy (1900-12). During World War II, German military air parcel post stamps were overprinted "Inselpost" for use by German troops on Crete and nearby islands, after their isolation following the German withdrawal from Greece.

    Crimea (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A large peninsula on the Black Sea, south of the Ukraine. From the Crimea, the Krim Tatars ruled a powerful state in southern Russia during the 15th-17th centuries. They later came under Turkish rule, which was supplanted by Russian rule in 1783. During World War I, the Crimea was occupied by the Germans, who in June 1918 set up a Tatar government in the area. With the German withdrawal in November, a provisional government was established and several stamps were issued. The Crimea was subsequently occupied by the French, the Bolsheviks, Gen. Denikin's Volunteer Army, and finally by the Bolsheviks a second (and final) time. During World War II, the Crimea was again occupied by the Germans and was included in the Ukraine administrative district. Since 1992, a large number of purported local issues have appeared on the market. A few are dubious; most are bogus.

    Croatia (1941-45, 1991-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,026,995. A district of northern Yugoslavia, bordering on the Adriatic Sea. Croatia was a province of Hungary until 1918, when it became a part of Yugoslavia. In 1941, a German puppet state was created in Croatia. Nominally a kingdom under an Italian prince, in fact the state was ruled by the Croat fascist party. Croatia was overrun by Russian and Yugoslavian partisan forces in 1945 and re-incorporated into Yugoslavia. In 1991 Croatia declared its independence, and there followed a civil war between ethnic Serbs and Croats. Initially, the Serbs, with Yugoslav support, controlled about one-third of the country, declaring their territory the republic of Krajina, which issued its own stamps. By 1995, the Croatian government had recaptured almost all of the Serb-held areas.

    Cuautla (1867)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A town in the State of Morelos in central Mexico, a simple provisional issue was produced there during the struggle against Emperor Maximilian.

    Cuba (1855-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,999,041. The largest island of the West Indies, located south of Florida. Under Spanish rule from 1511-1898, Cuba was the scene of intense revolutionary activity after 1868. In 1898, the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana harbor precipitated the Spanish-American War, which ended with the U.S. assuming trusteeship of the island. In 1902, the Cuban republic became independent, although the United States actively intervened in Cuban affairs until the 1930s. In 1959 a liberal guerrilla movement, led by Fidel Castro, overthrew the repressive government of Fulgencio Batista, who had ruled Cuba since 1952. Castro, influenced by his brother Raul and Che Guevera, soon began to purge the revolution of its non-Marxist elements. The regime nationalized foreign holdings and began the program of collectivization that took most of the agricultural sector out of private hands. A large number of Cubans preferred exile to the new order, and many hundreds of thousands have fled the island, most settling in the United States. Castro linked Cuban policy closely with that of the Soviet Union, which soon established a strong military presence on the island. U.S.-Cuban relations deteriorated rapidly. In 1961, the United States backed an abortive invasion by a Cuban exile force, and in 1962 the discovery of nuclear missiles at Soviet bases in Cuba brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of war. The United States imposed a total trade embargo on Cuba in 1962, which was supported by the Organization of American States in 1963. In the years since, the Castro regime has improved the standard of living in Cuba and has largely overcome illiteracy. Long dependent on massive Soviet economic support, the Cuban economy was badly shaken when the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s ended economic aid. Tightened U.S. trade restrictions in 1992 and 1996 have made matters worse. Increasing popular discontent has forced the government to take steps to liberalize the economy and to loosen some restrictions on emigration. The U.S. Treasury Department prohibits the importation of Cuban postage stamps into the United States through the mail.

    Cuernavaca (1867)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital city of the State of Morelos in central Mexico. A simple provisional issue was produced there during the struggle against Emperor Maximilian.

    Cyprus (1880-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 752,808. A large island in the eastern Mediterranean. Cyprus was a Turkish possession from 1571 to 1878. In 1878, the British occupied the island, formally annexing it in 1914. Tension between Greek and Turkish elements, each of which sought union with their respective mother country, erupted into violence in 1955. An agreement between Britain, Greece, Turkey and Cypriot leaders provided for the creation of an independent republic, with guarantees to the Turkish minority, and in 1960 independence was achieved. Continuing conflict between Greek and Turkish factions led to the intervention of a United Nations peace-keeping force in 1964, which has since remained on the island. On July 15, 1974, a pro-Greek coup, led by Greek army officers deposed the elected government. Five days later, Turkey invaded Cyprus and quickly occupied the northeastern 40 percent of the island. In 1975, Turkish Cypriots in the occupied area voted to establish a separate state. In 1983 this government declared its independence as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    Cyrenaica (1923-35, 1950-51)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 225,000 (1934 estimate). A district of North Africa, west of Egypt. Cyrenaica was under Turkish control until 1912, when it was ceded to Italy and incorporated with Tripolitania to form the colony of Libia. In 1942, it was occupied by the British and became part of the independent kingdom of Libya in 1951.

    Czechoslovak Legion Post (1918-20)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During World War I, many Czech nationalists fought against Austria on the Russian front. After the Russian Revolution, these units attempted to move across Siberia to sail to the western front to continue fighting, but clashes with the Bolsheviks en route to Vladivostok led to the Czechs' involvement in the Russian Civil War. The Czechs achieved notable successes, for a time holding large areas along the Trans-Siberian Railroad. News of these successes created sympathy for the cause of Czechoslovak independence. During this period, the Czech Legion issued a number of stamps for use by its forces in Russia.

    Czechoslovakia (1918-93)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 15.5 million (1986). A former republic in central Europe. Czechoslovakia comprised the medieval kingdom of Bohemia, which came under Austrian Hapsburg rule in 1526, and Slovakia, long a part of the Kingdom of Hungary. During the 19th century, as nationalism became a potent force throughout Europe, the desire for independence from Austro-Hungarian rule grew. With the defeat of the Central Powers in World War I and the subsequent breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, Czechoslovakia became independent. Tensions between the major ethnic groups were never entirely overcome, and by the mid-1930s there was considerable sentiment for autonomy in Slovakia, while the German minority in the Sudetenland sought union with a resurgent Germany. In 1938, Czechoslovakia lost border territories to Germany, Hungary and Poland, and in 1939 the balance of the country was occupied by Germany. During World War II, both Slovakia and the truncated Czech state, renamed Bohemia-Moravia, were under German control. In 1945, the country was liberated by Allied forces and the Czechoslovak republic was re-established, with the easternmost region, Carpatho-Ukraine detached and absorbed into the Soviet Union. In February 1948, the communists seized power and by September had effectively suppressed opposition. There followed a long period of violent repression and purges of liberal party leaders. In January 1968, Alexander Dubeck replaced Antonin Novotny as party leader and launched a program aimed at establishing a democratic communist system. The Soviet Union feared that the success of such reforms would weaken its control over its Eastern European satellites, and relations between the two governments became increasingly cool. In August, Soviet, Polish, East German, Hungarian and Bulgarian forces invaded Czechoslovakia and put an end to the liberalization. Nearly a third of the Czechoslovak Communist Party members were expelled, and some 40,000 Czechs fled the country. The government thereafter maintained a repressive, staunchly pro-Soviet policy. In 1989, a democratic government was established, and in 1990, the country was renamed the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic. In July of that year, Slovakia declared sovereignty, and an agreement was quickly reached to dissolve the Czech and Slovak union. On January 1, 1993, Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

    Czech Republic (1993- )

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,318,958. A republic in central Europe, comprising the Czech portion of the former Czechoslovakia, corresponding to the historic Bohemia. The Czech Republic became a separate independent state on January 1, 1993, and has continued the steady progress toward a free-market economy begun in 1989. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999.

    Dahomey (1899-1945, 1960-76)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 3.1 million (1975 estimate). A former republic in West Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea, situated between Togo and Nigeria. During 1863-92 France occupied the area, consolidating its holdings as the colony of Dahomey in 1899. In 1904, it became part of French West Africa. In 1958, Dahomey became an autonomous republic within the French Community, and in 1960 it became an independent republic. In 1974, Dahomey assumed the name Benin.

    Dalmatia (1919-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Area on the coast of Croatia around the port of Zara. Dalmatia was occupied by Italy in 1918 and became part of Yugoslavia after World War II.

    Danish West Indies (1855-1917)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 27,500 (1917 estimate). A small group of islands east of Puerto Rico. Having passed through the hands of Spain, France, The Netherlands, Great Britain, the Knights of Malta and Brandenburg (Prussia), the islands finally came under Danish rule in 1733 and 1754 (St. Thomas). In 1916, the colony was sold to the United States, which took possession on April 1, 1917. They were renamed the U.S. Virgin Islands, and U.S. stamps replaced those of the colony.

    Danmark

    See Denmark

    Danube Steam Navigation Company (1866-80)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. This company carried mail along the Danube, serving all countries through which the river passed, as well as the Russian port of Odessa on the Black Sea.

    Danzig (1920-39)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 407,000 (1939 estimate). A port on the Baltic Sea. Part of Prussia until after World War I, Danzig and adjacent territory was made a "Free City and State" under the protection of the League of Nations in 1920. In 1939, the district was occupied by Germany and, in 1945, was annexed by Poland.

    Dardanelles (1904-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A port on the strait of the same name between the Aegean and Mamara Seas. Issues of the Russian Levant were overprinted for use at its post office at Dardanelles.

    Debrecen (1919-20)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Hungarian district occupied by Romania after World War I, but later returned to Hungary.

    Dedeagatch (1893-1914)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A seaport in northern Greece. The French post office in Dedeagatch used unoverprinted French issues (canceled "5155" in a diamond-shaped grid of dots) from 1874-93 and stamps overprinted or inscribed "Dedeagh" from 1893 until August 1914. During the first Balkan War (1912), Dedeagatch was occupied by Bulgaria from Turkey. In 1913, Greece occupied the city from Bulgaria. Overprinted Bulgarian stamps, along with a typeset provisional issue, were used pending the arrival of regular Greek stamps.

    Denmark (1851-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,268,775. A kingdom in northwestern Europe, located strategically between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Denmark was one of the chief Viking centers and for centuries was one of the leading powers in northern Europe. At one time or another during the Middle Ages, Denmark ruled Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and England. During the 17th-19th centuries, Danish power declined, and defeats by Sweden, Britain and Prussia forced it back to, roughly, its present boundaries. After 1815, Denmark adopted a policy of neutrality, which it maintained for 130 years. This policy was abandoned after World War II, during which the country was occupied by Germany. Denmark was a charter member of NATO and joined the Common Market in 1960. A rich country agriculturally, Denmark has undergone an industrial boom since 1945. A long tradition of democracy and social cooperation mark the country's political life.

    Deutsche Demokratische Republik

    See Germany, Democratic Republic (East Germany)

    Deutsche Bundespost

    See Germany, Federal Republic (West Germany)

    Dhar (1897-1901)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in west-central India, Dhar issues were replaced by those of India on April 1, 1901.

    Diego-Suarez (1890-96)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 12,000 (1896). A port at the north end of Madagascar, Diego-Suarez was a French colony and naval base from 1885 to 1896, when it was attached to Madagascar.

    Djibouti (1977-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 434,116. The former French overseas territory of Afars and Issas in northeast Africa became independent on June 17, 1977. Somali Coast and Obock issues also received Djibouti overprints and surcharges in 1894-1902. Djibouti is supported by French aid, and a French garrison remains in the country.

    Dobrudja (1916-18)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Romanian territory on the Black Sea, comprising the area south of the Danube River. Dobrudja was occupied by Bulgaria during World War I, during which time overprinted Bulgarian stamps were used in the district.

    Dodecanese Islands (1947)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The former Italian Aegean Islands, occupied by Greece after World War II. Overprinted Greek stamps were used until their replacement by regular Greek issues.

    Dominica (1874-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 83,226. An island in the Caribbean southeast of Puerto Rico. Dominica was a British Crown Colony 1833-1968 and an Associate State 1968-78. On Nov. 3, 1978, it became independent.

    Dominican Republic (1865-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population 8,228,151. A republic occupying the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola in the West Indies. The Dominican Republic was ruled by Spain until c.1800, thereafter falling under periods of Spanish, French and Haitian rule until 1844. In 1861-65, the republic was again occupied by Spain. A Dominican request for annexation by the United States was rejected in 1865. The first stamps used in the country were Spanish colonial issues for Cuba and Puerto Rico. After the Spanish withdrawal, the Dominican Republic began issuing its own stamps. The rest of the 19th century was marked by political instability. From 1916 to 1922, the country was under U.S. military administration, and U.S. troops remained until 1924. In 1930, Gen. Rafael Trujillo Molina came to power and ruled the country for the next three decades. Trujillo maintained order (at the expense of individual liberties) and brought a degree of economic development. Increasing popular dissatisfaction with Trujillo's repressive regime brought his assassination in 1961 and the fall of his designated successor the following year. Free elections were held in 1962, but the president was deposed in 1963. In 1965, the ousted leader's followers staged a revolt, and U.S. troops occupied the country to restore order, remaining, along with small contingents from five South American countries, as a peacekeeping force until September 1966. Since that time, the Dominican Republic has enjoyed relative stability and economic progress.

    Don Cossack Government (1918-19)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. On June 5, 1918, the Don Cossacks established a republic at Rostov, in southern Russia. Allied with Gen. Denikin's Volunteer Army, the government fell to the Soviets after Denikin's withdrawal from Rostov in February 1920.

    Dubai (1963-72)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A sheikhdom in the Trucial States in east Arabia in the Persian Gulf. Dubai was under British protection from 1892-1971 when it became a part of the independent United Arab Emirates.

    Dunkerque (1940)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 31,017 (1943). A French port on the English Channel. During July 1-Aug. 9, 1940, 15 French stamps overprinted locally by the German military authorities were in use in the area around Dunkerque.

    Durango (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in the province of Vizcaya in northern Spain. A 16-value set was overprinted by local authorities in 1937 to commemorate the occupation of the city by the Nationalists.

    Durazzo (1909-11, 1916-18)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An Albanian port. Italian stamps overprinted "Durazzo" and surcharged in Turkish currency were used by the Italian post office in the city from February 1909 to 1911.

    Duttia (Datia) (1893-1921)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in north-central India, Duttia's stamps were replaced by Indian issues in 1921.


    East Africa Forces (1943-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A total of nine British stamps were overprinted "E.A.F." or "Somalia" for use in Italian Somalia under the British occupation.

    East Africa and Uganda Protectorates (1903-21)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 6.5 million. A former British administrative unit in eastern Africa, comprising Kenya and Uganda.

    East China (1938-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The Communist East China Liberation Area included the provinces of Shantung, Kiangsu, Chekiang, Anhwei and Fukien. Fourteen postal districts within East China issued stamps during 1938-49.

    Eastern Rumelia (1880-85)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Bulgarian district in the southeast Balkan Peninsula. After Turkey's defeat by Russia in 1877-78, Eastern Rumelia became autonomous. In 1885, a coup overthrew the vestiges of Turkish control and South Bulgaria was established.

    Eastern Silesia (1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former Austrian territory in central Europe. After World War I, it was disputed between Czechoslovakia and Poland, being divided between the two countries in 1920.

    Ecuador (1865-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 11,690,535. Republic on the western coast of South America. Ecuador was the site of a number of early Indian cultures and was the center of the northern Inca empire at the time of its conquest by Spain (1533). In 1822, Ecuador became independent as part of Bolivar's Great Colombia. In 1830, it withdrew to form a separate nation. Despite substantial petroleum deposits (it is an OPEC member), Ecuador remains an underdeveloped nation. A series of military and civilian regimes have alternated control in recent years. Since 1979, a democratic civilian government has ruled the country. A long-standing border dispute between Ecuador and Peru remains unresolved. Armed hostilities occasionally erupt between the two countries, most recently in January 1995

    Eesti

    See Estonia.

    Egypt (1866-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 64,791,891. A republic in northeast Africa. Egypt was one of the centers of the development of western civilization. The dominant power in the region for 3,500 years, Egypt passed through periods of strength and weakness until 330 B.C., after which it was ruled by foreign states and dynasties until modern times. After 1517, Egypt was under Turkish control. In 1882, Britain occupied Egypt, although a nominal Turkish suzerainty remained until 1914. Egypt was a British protectorate until 1922, after which time it was virtually independent. British troops remained until 1951, when Egypt became completely independent. The corruption and extravagance of the monarchy brought the overthrow of King Farouk in 1952 and the establishment of a republic in 1953. In 1954, Lt. Col. Gamel Abdel Nasser, one of the leaders in the 1952 coup, came to power and ruled until his death in 1970. Nasser pursued a pan-Arab policy and attempted to unite the Arab world under his leadership. The United Arab Republic joined Egypt and Syria 1958-61, but attempts to maintain the union or to include Iraq and Yemen during this period failed. Nasser's foreign policy, technically neutral, was in most instances aligned with that of the Soviet Union, and by the time of his death, thousands of Soviet advisors were in Egypt. Nasser was succeeded by Anwar Sadat, who expelled Soviet advisers in 1971 and who pursued an increasingly pro-Western policy after 1974. Egypt fought wars with Israel in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973. In each instance, Israel won. In 1979, Egypt and Israel signed a formal peace treaty, establishing formal diplomatic relations, setting a timetable for Israeli withdrawal from Egyptian territory occupied since 1967, and providing for the establishment of a Palestinian state. In October 1981, Sadat was assassinated. He was quickly succeeded by his vice president, Hosni Mubarak. Mubarek has resisted the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Egypt during the 1990s.

    Eire

    See Ireland

    Elobey, Annobon and Corisco (1903-09)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 3,000 (1910 estimate). A group of islands near the Guinea coast off west Africa. The islands were acquired by Spain in 1778. Stamps of Fernando Po were used from 1868 to 1903. In 1909, the islands were attached to Spanish Guinea, now the Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

    Elwa (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Estonia. Some 58 Russian stamps were provisionally overprinted "Eesti Post" by the German military authorities for use in the city.

    Epirus (1914-16)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A region in southeast Albania. Inhabitants set up a provisional government in February 1914, and were united with Greece in December 1914. In 1916, Franco-Italian forces occupied the area, giving it to Albania after World War I.

    Equatorial Guinea (1968-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 442,516. A republic in the Gulf of Guinea, in West Africa, comprising the former Spanish colonies of Fernando Po and Rio Muni. Equatorial Guinea became independent Oct. 12, 1968. In 1972, Masie Ngeuma Biyogo became president for life. He ruled by terror, reviving slavery, killing some 50,000 people and driving tens of thousands more into exile. The United States suspended relations with the Biyogo government in 1976. The Soviet Union, China and North Korea maintained close relations, and Cuba maintained a military advisory mission in the country. On Aug. 5, 1979, Masie was overthrown, and a junta assumed power. The coup halted the production of vast numbers of brightly colored stamps (perfs, imperfs, souvenir sheets, gold-foil sheets) that were issued by Equatorial Guinea in the 1970s.

    Erseka (1914)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in southeastern Albania, occupied by Greece in 1914. During the Greek occupation, the local authorities issued a set of seven stamps for use in the area.

    Eritrea (1892-1937, 1948-52, 1991-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 3,589,687. A republic in northeast Africa, bordering on the Red Sea. Long under general Ethiopian domination, the area was occupied by Italy during 1870-85. In 1890, Italian possessions in the region were consolidated into the colony of Eritrea. In 1936, Eritrea was absorbed into Italian East Africa. It was occupied by the British in 1941, and overprinted British stamps were used. In 1950, Eritrea became an autonomous part of Ethiopia, and in 1962 was annexed as a province. Eritrea never accepted Ethiopian rule, and after a 31-year civil war, became an independent republic in 1993.

    Espana

    See Spain

    Estonia (1918-40, 1991- )

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,444,721. A republic in northern Europe bordering on the Baltic Sea and the Gulf of Finland. Estonia was for centuries a Swedish possession. Conquered by Russia in 1721, it was under Russian rule until 1917, when it became independent. In 1939, Soviet forces occupied the country, absorbing it in 1940. Occupied by Germany from 1941-44 and administered as part of Ostland, Estonia was re-occupied by the Soviet Union. after World War II. In 1990, Estonia declared itself an "occupied nation" and on August 20, 1991, declared its independence. Russia accepted Estonia's declaration in September, and the last Russian troops were withdrawn in 1994.

    Ethiopia (Abyssinia) (1894-1938, 1942-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 58,732,577. A republic in northeast Africa. Ethiopia was an ancient empire, isolated from the rest of the Christian world after the Muslim conquests of the 7th century. Although Ethiopia subsequently broke up into several petty states, it maintained its unique culture and its political independence for centuries, as surrounding nations were conquered, first by the Arabs, Turks and Egyptians, later by the various European imperial powers. During the 19th century, the country was again united. An Italian invasion was crushed in 1896, but many outlying areas were gradually lost to the British, French and Italians. In 1935-36, Ethiopia was defeated by Italy, and in 1936, with Eritrea and Italian Somaliland, it was organized into the colony of Italian East Africa. Italy's East African empire was short-lived, and in 1941, Ethiopia was liberated with the help of British forces, and independence was restored. In 1974, Emperor Haile Selassie I, who had reigned since 1922, was deposed, and a socialist military regime assumed power. The new government abolished the monarchy, curbed the powers of the ancient Coptic Church, launched radical land reforms and violently suppressed political opposition. In 1978 Soviet advisers and 20,000 Cuban troops helped Ethiopia defeat Somalia in a border war in the Ogaden. By the early 1980's, chronic civil war, the upheaval caused by the displacement of farmers in collectivization programs, and a disastrous drought created a devastating famine in the country. The death of as many as a million Ethiopians brought a massive international relief effort, beginning in 1984. In 1991, a coalition of rebel armies overthrew the socialist military regime and created a transitional government. In 1994, a new constitution was adopted, and in 1995 Ethiopia's first multiparty national elections were held.

    Eupen and Malmedy (1920-25)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Two towns in western Germany annexed by Belgium after World War I. A total of 68 overprinted stamps of Belgium were used until 1925, when regular Belgian issues came into use.


    Falkland Islands (1878-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,317. The Falkland Islands (with its dependencies) comprise some 200 islands off the southeastern coast of South America. Only the two main islands, East and West Falkland, are inhabited. Ninety-eight percent of the Falklanders are of British descent and have British nationality. The Falklands were discovered by the British in 1592 but were uninhabited until a French settlement was established in 1764 and a British settlement in 1765. The two countries disputed sovereignty until 1770 when France sold its claim to Spain. Spain and Britain disputed ownership of the islands until 1806, when the Spanish withdrew their settlement. Although Spain ceased pressing its claim at that time, the newly independent United Provinces of Rio de la Plata claimed the Falklands after 1816. A settlement was maintained 1820-33, when the British re-occupied the islands and peacefully expelled the Argentine garrison. Argentina has maintained its claim to the Falklands and, on April 2, 1982, seized the islands. A British fleet was immediately dispatched to oust the Argentines, and successfully recaptured the islands.

    Falkland Islands Dependencies (1946-85)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Several island groups in the South Atlantic Ocean and the British sector of Antarctica. In 1944, Graham Land, South Georgia, the South Orkneys and South Shetlands received separate stamp sets, overprinted on Falkland issues, and in 1946, general issues for the territory began. In 1962 this area was reorganized as the British Antarctic Territory, with South Georgia remaining attached to the Falklands. In October 1985, two of the principal dependencies, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, ceased to be dependencies of the Falkland Islands and began to issue their own stamps.

    Far Eastern Republic (1920-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.5 million (1920 estimate). The Far Eastern Republic, comprising eastern Siberia from Lake Baikal to the Pacific Ocean, was formed on April 6, 1920, to act as a buffer between the Soviet Union and Japan. The state was immediately beset by intrigues between pro- and anti-Bolshevik factions, with the former finally gaining the upper hand. Japanese forces were forced to withdraw from Vladivostock in November 1922, and soon thereafter the Far Eastern Republic joined the Soviet Union.

    Faridkot (1879-1901)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former principality in the Punjab area of India. Faridkot issued stamps and maintained its own postal system until Jan. 1, 1887, when it signed a postal convention uniting its postal system to that of India. Overprinted Indian stamps were used until March 31, 1901, when they were replaced by regular Indian issues.

    Faeroes (1919, 1940-41, 1975-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 43,057. A group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. The Faeroes, long a Danish possession, are now a self-governing part of the kingdom of Denmark. The islands were occupied by Britain during World War II, after Denmark's occupation by Germany. Separate stamp issues have been released by the Faeroes since 1975.

    Fernando Po (1868-1909, 1929, 1960-68)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 63,000 (1968 estimate). An island in the Gulf of Guinea, off the west coast of Africa. Fernando Po was acquired by Spain in 1778 and was incorporated into Spanish Guinea in 1909. In 1960, it became an overseas province of Spain, but in 1968 united with Rio Muni to form the independent republic of Equatorial Guinea.

    Fezzan-Ghadames (1943-51)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Districts in the interior of Libya, occupied by French forces during 1942-43, Fezzan and Ghadames were transferred to the kingdom of Libya in December 1951.

    Fiji (1870-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 792,441. A group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean. Fiji was a British colony from 1874 to 1970 when it became an independent dominion within the British Commonwealth. Since independence, tensions have run high between native Fijians and the descendents of Indians brought to the islands as contract laborers in the 19th century. A 1990 constitution favored native Fijians, who comprise 49 percent of the population, but who control 83 percent of Fiji's land. In July 1997, it was amended to afford more equitable rights to the Indian Fijians.

    Finland (1856-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,109,148. A republic in northern Europe. Under Swedish rule 1187-1809, Finland became a grand duchy with the Russian tsar as grand duke in 1809. In 1899, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire, but in July 1917, the Finnish Diet proclaimed independence. After several years of warfare, Russia accepted Finnish independence in 1919. In 1939, Finland was invaded by the Soviet Union and, in 1940, was compelled to cede extensive eastern territories to the Soviets. Finland subsequently allied itself with Germany in an attempt to regain these lands, but its defeat cost even further concessions. Although economically and culturally oriented toward the West, after World War II Finland pursued a policy of acquiescence to the Soviet Union. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Finland has strengthened its ties with the West, and in 1995 joined the European Union.

    Fiume (1918-24)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 44,956 (1924 estimate). A city on the Adriatic Sea. A former Hungarian port, Fiume was disputed by Italy and Yugoslavia after World War I. An Italian private army occupied the city in 1919, and a free state was subsequently established during 1920-22. A fascist coup brought Italian occupation in 1922. In 1924, Fiume was annexed to Italy, while adjacent territory was annexed to Yugoslavia. In May 1945, Fiume was occupied by Yugoslav partisans. Italian stamps were overprinted for use in the area during 1945-46, after which regular Yugoslavian issues came into use.

    France (1849-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 58,040,230. A republic in western Europe. After five centuries of Roman rule, the province of Gaul, which generally corresponded to modern France, was overrun by the German Franks in the 5th century. During the 8th century, the Frankish kingdom stopped the Arab advance into Europe, and by c. 800 A.D. the Frankish Empire, under Charlemagne, ruled most of western and central Europe. In 843, the empire was partitioned, and the western kingdom became the foundation of modern France. During the Middle Ages, France lacked any strong central government, being divided among numerous feudal states. The English dominated much of the area during the 11th-15th centuries, but they were finally expelled after 1453. France emerged from a century of warfare with England as a major power. The French Revolution (1789) began a series of wars in Europe that lasted until the final defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815. During the second half of the 19th century, France built a far-flung overseas empire, in competition with Britain overseas and with Germany and Austria on the continent. France was defeated by Prussia and its allies in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 and lost the disputed provinces of Alsace and Lorraine to the new German state. During World War I, France suffered greatly, and most of the bitterest fighting was on French soil. France emerged from the war the pre-eminent power on the continent, but in the 1930s it lost ground to a re-emerging Germany. France quickly crumbled before Germany's invasion in May and June 1940. The northern and western portions of the country were occupied by Germany, and a German puppet regime was established in the south. A Free French government, based in Africa, continued the war against the Axis overseas. Following World War II, France rapidly rebuilt its economy and again played a major role in world affairs. During 1958-70, Gen. Charles de Gaulle's policies of economic and technological development and independence in foreign affairs were aimed at re-establishing France's greatness. De Gaulle disengaged France from its colonial commitments, and during 1958-62, most of French Africa became independent. France, however, retains close economic and political ties with many of its former colonies.

    French Colonies (1859-1906, 1944-45)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During 1859-92, general French colonial issues were used in French possessions not issuing their own stamps. General postage dues were in use until 1906 and during 1944-45. The French colonial semipostal issues of 1943-44 were intended for use in the colonies, but were actually used in parts of France occupied by the Free French.

    French Congo (1891-1906)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The territory occupied by France, north of the Congo River, at times including Gabon, Ubangi and Chad, as well as the area now included in the Congo People's Republic. The French Congo issued stamps from 1891 until 1906 when the administrative area was broken up into the separate colonies of Gabon and Middle Congo.

    French Equatorial Africa (1936-58)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 4.5 million (1958 estimate). The French possessions north of the Congo River, formerly included in the French Congo. Stamps inscribed French Equatorial Africa were used from 1936 to 1958, when the area was divided into four republics -- Chad, Congo, Gabon and Central African Republic -- which have since issued their own stamps.

    French Guiana (1886-1946)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 29,000 (1947 estimate). A former French colony on the northeastern coast of South America, north of Brazil. Separate issues were used in French Guiana from 1886 until 1946, when the area became an overseas department of France, using regular French issues.

    French Guinea (1892-1944)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 5.8 million. A former French colony on the western coast of Africa. During 1892-1944, French Guinea used its own stamps. In 1944, these were replaced by those of French West Africa. In 1958, the colony became independent as the republic of Guinea, and again began issuing its own stamps.

    French India (1892-1954)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 400,000 (1954 estimate). Several French enclaves on the east coast of India, dating from the period of French domination of the region in the 18th century. Separate stamp issues were in use from 1892 until 1954, when the last of the French holdings were transferred to India, and Indian stamps came into use.

    French Morocco (1891-1956)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 8.3 million (1956 estimate). Former French protectorate in northwest Africa. The greater part of Morocco became a French protectorate in 1912. In 1956, the French and Spanish zones were united as the independent kingdom of Morocco.

    French Offices in China (1894-1922)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Until Dec. 31, 1922, France maintained an extensive postal system in China. In addition to a general series of stamps for these offices, individual issues were used at French post offices in Canton, Hoi Hao, Mongtsen, Pakhoi, Tch'ong K'ing (Chunking) and Yunnan Fou (Kunming). In addition, stamps were issued for Kwangchowan, a leased territory administered by French Indochina.

    French Offices in Crete (1902-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. France issued two series of stamps for use in its post offices in Crete during the period of that country's autonomous regime.

    French Offices in Egypt (1899-1931)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Until April 1, 1931, France maintained post offices in Alexandria and Port Said, issuing stamps for use in both cities.

    French Offices in Turkey (1885-1914, 1921-23)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Like many other European nations, France maintained its own postal services within the Ottoman Empire. Aside from a general issue, individual issues were used in Cavalle (Cavalla), Dedeagh (Dedeagatch), Port Lagos and Vathy (Samos).

    French Offices in Zanzibar (1894-1906)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During the late 19th century, France competed with England for influence in East Africa, including Zanzibar. French post offices in Zanzibar were closed in 1906 when Britain assumed direct control over the sultanate.

    French Polynesia (1892-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 233,488. After 1842, France expanded its holdings in the South Pacific, consolidating these into the Oceanic Settlements in 1885. This group was renamed the French Oceanic Settlements in 1903. In 1957, the colony was renamed French Polynesia and in the following year became an Overseas Territory of the French Republic.

    French Southern and Antarctic Territories (1955-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 200. The French overseas territory comprising its holdings in the Antarctic area. Formerly dependencies of Madagascar, this administrative unit was established in 1955 to strengthen France's claims in the region.

    French Sudan (1894-1943)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 3.8 million (1941 estimate). Former French colony in northwest Africa. Separate issues were in use from 1894-1943, when they were replaced by those of French West Africa. In 1959, this area joined with Senegal to form the independent republic of Mali.

    French West Africa (1943-59)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 18 million (1959 estimate). Former French administrative unit comprising the African colonies of Senegal, French Guinea, Ivory Coast, Dahomey, French Sudan, Mauritania, Niger and Upper Volta. Although French West Africa was formed in 1895 as an administrative unit, the various colonies continued to issue their own stamps until 1943, when French West African issues came into use. These, in turn, were replaced by the separate issues of the territories as they became republics during 1958-59.

    Fujeira (1964-72)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the sheikhdoms that comprised the Trucial States in southeast Arabia, in the Persian Gulf. Fujeira was under British protection from 1892 to 1971, when it became a member of the independent United Arab Emirates. From 1964 to 1972, Fujeira produced a huge number of gaudy topical stamps for sale to collectors.

    Funafuti (1984-88)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of nine small islands in the Tuvalu Islands, formerly the Ellice Islands group in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. The island chain is located east of the Solomon Islands and north of Fiji in the southeastern central Pacific Ocean. Like the other Tuvalu Islands, Funafuti issued a flurry of stamps depicting such diverse subjects as cars, locomotives, cricket players and the British Royal Family in the mid-1980s.

    Funchal (1892-1905)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 150,000 (1905 estimate). City in the Madeira island group in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Funchal issues were replaced by those of the Azores in 1905. Since 1931, regular Portuguese stamps have been in use.


    Gabon (1886-1936, 1959-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,190,159. Republic in western Equatorial Africa, north of the Congo region. Gabon was one of the four French colonies making up French Equatorial Africa. In 1958, Gabon became a republic and, in 1960, gained independence from France. Gabon possesses abundant natural resources, and through foreign aid and government development, it has become one of the most prosperous Black African nations.

    Galapagos Islands (1957-59)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A group of islands in the eastern South Pacific Ocean. Ecuador issued stamps for this province from 1957 to 1959. Although intended for use in the Galapagos, these issues were commonly used throughout Ecuador.

    Gambia (1869-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,248,085. Republic in West Africa. Gambia became Britain's first African colony in 1588. In 1902, the inland territory, along the Gambia river, was occupied. In 1965, Gambia became independent, and in 1970, it became a republic. Early in 1982, following a period of political instability, Gambia formed a federation, Sene-Gambia, with Senegal, which, except for a small length of coastline, surrounds it. This union was dissolved in 1989.

    Geneva (1843-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A canton of Switzerland, almost surrounded by France. Geneva issued several stamps, which were used until the issue of national Swiss stamps in 1850.

    Georgia (1919-20, 1993-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,174,642. A region in the western Caucasus, south of Russia and north of Turkey. Long under Turkish influence, the region of Georgia was conquered by Russia during 1810-78. In May 1918, following the withdrawal of German forces that had occupied the area during World War I, Georgia declared its independence. Georgia was recognized by the League of Nations, but on Feb. 25, 1921, it was occupied by Soviet forces. The Georgian Soviet Republic was merged into the Transcaucasian Federation of Soviet Republics in March 1922, and issues of the federation replaced those of Georgia on Oct. 1, 1923. Georgian nationalist sentiment remained strong under Soviet rule, provoking repression and massive purges after 1972. Despite this, illegal private enterprise and nationalism remained potent forces and brought further Soviet attempts at repression in 1989. Georgia declared its independence in April 1991. Its recent history has been marked by civil war during 1991-92 and by a rebellion in the province of Abkhazia, on the Black Sea. Supported by Russia, Abkhazia became autonomous in 1994.

    German East Africa (1893-1916)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 7.7 million (1916 estimate). A former German colony in eastern Africa, on the Indian Ocean. The area was long dominated by the Arab Sultanate of Zanzibar, but German influence in the region was recognized after 1886. Stamps for the colony were in use from 1893 to 1916. After World War I, the colony was divided into Tanganyika (British), Ruanda-Urundi (Belgian) and Kionga (Portuguese).

    German New Guinea (1888-1914)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 600,000 (1919 estimate). A former German protectorate, comprising the northeastern portion of New Guinea and the adjacent islands. Regular German stamps were used from 1888 to 1898 when they were replaced by separate issues. In 1914, the area was occupied by Australian forces, and stamps of New Guinea replaced those of the German administration.

    German South-West Africa (1897-1915)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 95,000 (1919 estimate). A former German colony on the southwestern coast of Africa. Regular German stamps were used from 1888 to 1897, and stamps of the colony from 1897 to 1915. In 1915, South African forces occupied the area, and stamps of the Union of South Africa came into use. In 1919, South Africa was granted a mandate over the territory. Since 1923, stamps of South-West Africa have been used.

    Germany (1872-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 84,068,216.

    State in central Europe. Traditionally divided into numerous petty sovereignties, German unification began with the growth of Prussian power in the 19th century. French occupation during the Napoleonic Wars brought the dissolution of many of the smaller states and stimulated German nationalism, which looked more and more to Prussia for leadership. The German Confederation (1815-66) and North German Confederation (1867-71) paved the way for unification. The Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71 brought the German states (except Austria) together to defeat France, and the German victory saw the creation of the German Empire with the Prussian king as emperor. Germany quickly emerged as the dominant military power on the continent. In August 1914, after many years of tension, war between the major powers finally erupted, with the Central Powers (Germany and Austria-Hungary; later including Bulgaria and Turkey) pitted against the Allies (Britain, France and Russia, later joined by many other nations, including the United States and Japan). Both sides anticipated a short war and quick victory, but stalemates arose on all major fronts, and years of trench warfare ensued. During 1916-17, the Central Powers advanced in Russia, and the Russian front collapsed. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (March 3, 1918) gave Germany large areas of European Russia and much of the country's industry and mineral resources. The Central Powers were less successful elsewhere: during the fall of 1918, Turkey surrendered to advancing British and Arab forces, Bulgaria surrendered and Austria-Hungary collapsed. By this point, Germany itself was near economic collapse. The kaiser abdicated in November 1918, and a republic was established, soon after which Germany surrendered unconditionally. The Treaty of Versailles (1919) stripped Germany of its overseas empire and transferred German European territories to France, Belgium, Poland and, after plebiscites, to Denmark and Lithuania. The harshness of the treaty's terms and the economic dislocation following the war provided fertile ground for political extremism, which culminated in the naming of Adolph Hitler as chancellor in 1933. Hitler's National Socialist German Workers' Party quickly suppressed all political freedoms and began openly to re-arm Germany. In 1936, Germany remilitarized the Rhineland, and in 1938, Austria and the Sudetenland (German-speaking Czechoslovakia) were annexed. In 1939, Germany signed a non-aggression pact with the Soviet Union, and on Sept. 1, German forces invaded Poland, precipitating World War II. Through 1942, Germany enjoyed an almost unbroken string of military successes. The entry of the United States into the war, however, shifted the balance in favor of the Allies, and during 1944-45, Germany was on the retreat. In April 1945, soon after Hitler's suicide, Germany surrendered unconditionally. Germany lost all territory acquired after 1919, as well as much of that which had been left to it after its defeat in World War I. The country was divided into four zones of occupation, administered by the United States, Great Britain, France and the Soviet Union. In 1949, the German Federal Republic was formed from the three western zones, and the German Democratic Republic was created out of the Soviet zone. The German Federal Republic became fully independent in 1955. During the 1950s and 1960s, West Germany underwent an economic boom and became one of the world's major industrial powers. During the 1970s, West Germany normalized relations with its communist neighbors and dramatically expanded its trade with Eastern Europe. Reunification of the two Germanys was always the highest priority of the West German government. With the fall of the East German communist regime in 1989, reunification proceeded rapidly, and by the end of 1990 the German Federal Republic and the German Democratic Republic had again become one nation.

    German Democratic Republic (1949-90)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 16.7 million. During 1945-49, the Soviet Union occupied the eastern zone of Germany, which included the provinces of Saxony-Anhalt, Saxony, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg and Thuringia. On Oct. 7, 1949, the Russian zone was united as the German Democratic Republic. Although East Germany became fully independent in 1954, some 400,000 Soviet troops remained in the country. The East German economy was held back by heavy-handed central planning until the mid-1960s. A relaxation of controls brought rapid industrialization, and by the early 1970s, East Germany was the ninth ranked economic power in the world. Economic progress stalled during the 1970's, and many young East Germans emigrated to the West. East Germany's communist regime was always among one of the most repressive in the Soviet Bloc, and it resisted the Soviet policy of glasnost in the late 1980s. Popular demonstrations forced the resignation of the unpopular government of President Erich Honecker in October 1989. Within a month the new government had opened its borders with Czechoslovakia and West Germany, and East and West Germany began negotiations for reunification. On October 3, 1990, formal reunification took place.

    Germany (Soviet Zone Local Issues) (1945-46)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During 1945-46, the Soviet-occupation postal authorities authorized issues for a number of localities - Berlin-Brandenburg (Berlin Postal Administration); Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern); Saxony (Hall Postal Administration); East Saxony (Dresden Postal Administration); Thuringia (Erfurt Postal Administration); and Western Saxony (Leipzig Postal Administration).

    German Offices in China (1898-1917)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Germany maintained post offices in various Chinese cities after 1886, with specially overprinted German stamps in use from 1898 to 1917.

    German Offices in Morocco (1899-1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. German post offices in Morocco began using overprinted German stamps in 1899. In 1914, these offices were closed in the French zone and, in 1919, in the Spanish zone.

    German Offices in Turkey (1870-1914)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. German post offices began operating in Turkish cities in 1870, using unoverprinted stamps of the North German Postal District. In 1872, these were replaced by regular German issues, and in 1884, overprinted German stamps came into use.

    Ghana (1957-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 18,100,703. A republic in west Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea. Formed from the former British colony of the Gold Coast and the mandated territory of British Togoland in 1957, Ghana became fully independent in 1960. During 1957-66, Ghana was ruled by Kwame Nkrumah, one of the leaders of its independence movement. Nkrumah launched major economic projects but, in the process, built up a huge foreign debt. His economic mismanagement and repression of political opposition created popular dissatisfaction, and in 1966, he was overthrown in a military coup. The new regime expelled Chinese and East German advisers, and in 1969 civilian government was restored. During 1972-81, there were a number of military coups, and from 1981 to 1992 the military ruled the country, suspending the constitution and outlawing political parties. A new constitution providing for a democratic multiparty system was adopted in 1992.

    Gibraltar (1886-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 28,913. A fortified promontory on the European side of the Strait of Gibraltar. Strategically located, Gibraltar has passed under a number of rulers over the centuries. Britain occupied the area in 1704 and has held it since, although Spain maintains its claim to the colony. United Nations resolutions in 1967 prompted a referendum that overwhelmingly endorsed the continuation of British rule.

    Gilbert Islands (1976-79)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 52,000 (1973 estimate). A group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, northeast of Australia. Formerly part of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, the Gilberts became a separate British crown colony in 1976. The Gilbert Islands became the independent Republic of Kiribati on July 12, 1979.

    Gilbert and Ellice Islands (1911-75)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 58,000 (1975 estimate). Two groups of islands in the Pacific Ocean northeast of Australia. A British colony after 1915, the groups were separated in 1975, the Ellice Islands renaming themselves Tuvalu.

    Gold Coast (1875-1957)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 3.1 million. Former British colony in Africa on the Gulf of Guinea. Originally held by a variety of European powers, control of the coastal area was consolidated by Britain by 1871. The interior was conquered by 1901. In 1957, the Gold Coast became the independent state of Ghana. The first separate stamps for the Gold Coast were issued in 1875. Gold Coast issues continued in use until their replacement by Ghanan stamps in 1957.

    Granada (1936)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 118,179 (1937). A city and province in southern Spain. During the siege of Granada in July 1936, the Nationalist administration issued a stamp for local use. After the siege was lifted, this stamp was used in other parts of Spain occupied by the Nationalists.

    Grand Comoro (1897-1911)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Comoro Islands in the Mozambique Channel near Madagascar. In 1911, it was attached to the French colony of Madagascar, whose stamps were used until 1947 when the Comoro Islands were separated, issuing their own stamps in 1950.

    Great Britain (1840-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 58,610,182. Kingdom in northwest Europe comprising England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. After the accession of the Tudor dynasty (1485), Britain became unified and began to develop into a world power. British overseas expansion began in the late 16th century, and in the following 200 years, Britain emerged as the dominant European naval and colonial power, supplanting the Spanish and Dutch. After its victory in the Napoleonic wars, Britain was the dominant world power, building an empire that, by 1900, included large areas throughout the world. Although victorious in World War I, Britain suffered severe losses in manpower and resources. The postwar period saw the loss of Ireland (1921) and the development of nationalism in India. During World War II, Britain again suffered terribly. For a year following the fall of France (June 1940), Britain was the only major power to stand against Germany. After Germany's invasion of Russia (June 1941) and Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor (December 1941), it gained powerful allies but continued to bear the brunt of German air attacks. Britain emerged from World War II again victorious, but battered and exhausted. Industrial growth has continued, although it has lost its former predominant economic position. The two decades following World War II saw the dissolution of the empire, and Britain's overseas dominion today mostly consists of small scattered island possessions in the West Indies and in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. Britain issued the world's first regular adhesive postage stamp in 1840.

    Great Britain-Regionals (1958-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. In 1958, Britain began issuing regional definitive issues for various areas within the country. Such regionals are sold only at the post offices within the respective regions, but are valid for postage throughout the country. Regional issues have been released for Guernsey (1958-69); Jersey (1958-69); Isle of Man (1958-73); Northern Ireland (1958-); Scotland (1958-); and Wales and Monmouthshire (1958-).

    Greece (1861-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,583,126. Republic in southeastern Europe. Greece was the center of the Minoan civilization of Crete during the 2nd millennium B.C., and of the Hellenic civilization after c. 800 B.C. After the 7th and 8th centuries B.C., Greek colonies were established throughout the Mediterranean, producing a civilization that greatly influenced subsequent European development. The conquests of Alexander the Great spread Greek culture throughout western Asia, and Alexandrine successor states maintained Greek cultural dominance in the Middle East and northern India for two centuries. By 146 B.C., Greece was conquered by Rome, although the Romans soon became thoroughly Hellenized and so perpetuated Greece's cultural influence. Greece remained a part of the Eastern Roman Empire until it was occupied by the French and Italian crusaders. In 1456, the country was conquered by the Ottoman Turks. Greek nationalism began to emerge in the late 18th century, culminating in revolution in 1821. By 1832, Greece had become an independent kingdom. Greece has since expanded to include Greek-speaking territories in the southern Balkans, as well as Crete and the Aegean Islands. The period 1912-19 saw the rapid expansion of Greece's borders, producing many occupation issues. Greece successfully resisted an Italian invasion in 1940, but German intervention in 1941 brought the country's rapid defeat and occupation by Germany, Italy and Bulgaria. Communist elements, defeated by the royalist government and Britain in 1944-45, waged a guerrilla war against the regime during 1947-49. The communists were suppressed, with U.S. assistance. In the postwar years, Greece experienced rapid economic growth. Increasing tension between liberal and conservative factions, however, brought a military coup in 1967. After unsuccessfully attempting to moderate the harshness of the regime, King Constantine and the royal family fled the country. In 1973, this government was overthrown in a second military coup. The new government, in turn, was overthrown in 1974, and democratic civilian government was restored.

    Greenland (1905-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 58,768. The world's largest island, located in the Arctic, northeast of Canada. Greenland was occupied by the Norsemen during the 10th-15th centuries, but the deteriorating climate and increasingly aggressive Eskimo inroads finally wiped out the European settlements. In 1721, Denmark again began colonization. In 1953, the colony became an integral part of the kingdom of Denmark. In 1979, home rule was extended to Greenland, and a socialist-dominated legislature was elected. Native place names have come into use, and the official name for Greenland is now Nalatdlit Nunat. Greenland was a U.S. protectorate from 1940-45, during the German occupation of Denmark.

    Grenada (1861-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 95,537. An island in the West Indies. A British colony since the 18th century, Grenada became an independent state in 1974. A military coup in 1983 prompted an invasion by the United States, with the participation of six neighboring Caribbean nations. Cuban military advisers were expelled, and civilian government was restored. Allied forces withdrew in 1985.

    Grenada-Grenadines (1973-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 6,000. A small group of islands in the West Indies administered by Grenada. Since 1973, Grenada has issued more than 2,000 different stamps for the Grenadines. There is no postal need for these issues. Although postally valid, they are issued primarily for sale to collectors.

    Griqualand West (1874-80)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Located in South Africa, north of the Orange River, this territory was occupied by the British in 1871, and established as a British crown colony in 1873. It was annexed to Cape Colony in 1880 and since 1910 has been part of South Africa. Griqualand West issued one provisional at Kimberley in 1874 and many varieties of the overprint "G" on various Cape Colony stamps during 1877-78. From 1871 to 1877 and after 1880, Cape Colony stamps were in use.

    Grodno (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 44,000 (1914). A city in Belarus, formerly part of Poland. After World War I, the German military commander issued stamps overprinted on Ukrainian and Russian stamps.

    Gronland

    See Greenland

    Guadalajara (1867-68)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital of the state of Jalisco in northwestern Mexico. Guadalajara is one of the major cities of the country and, during the war against French-supported Emperor Maximilian, issued a number of provisional postage stamps.

    Guadeloupe (1884-1947)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island in the West Indies, under French rule since 1635. From 1775 to 1946, Guadeloupe was a French colony and since 1946 has been an overseas department of France. French stamps replaced those of Guadeloupe in 1947.

    Guam (1899-1901, 1930-31)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 9,500. The largest of the Mariana Islands in the western Pacific, Guam was ceded to the United States by Spain in 1898, after its capture by U.S. forces during the Spanish-American War. Occupied by the Japanese in 1941, the island was recaptured and served as a base for U.S. bomber attacks on Japan during the last months of World War II. Guam is now administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior. U.S. stamps overprinted "GUAM" were used from 1899 to 1901, when they were replaced by regular U.S. stamps, although the overprinted stamps remained in use for several years. During 1930-31, Philippine stamps overprinted "GUAM GUARD MAIL" were used by the local military forces.

    Guanacaste (1885-91)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province of Costa Rica. During 1885-91, the government granted a substantially larger discount on stamps purchased by this province, in order to encourage additional sales to offset the high transportation costs to the area. Stamps used in the province during this period were overprinted to prevent their purchase in Guanacaste and resale elsewhere.

    Guatemala (1871-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 11,558,407. Republic in Central America on the southern border of Mexico. The center of the Maya-Quiche Indian civilization, Guatemala was conquered by the Spanish in the early 16th century. The center of the Audiencia of Guatemala, which included all of Central America and the Mexican state of Chiapas, Guatemala remained under Spanish rule until 1821 when it declared its independence. During 1822-23, it was part of Mexico, and during 1823-39, it formed part of the Republic of the United States of Central America. Since 1839, Guatemala has been completely independent. Guatemala's economy is land-based, with ownership concentrated in the hands of a relatively small Spanish-descended oligarchy. Most menial labor is done by Indian laborers. Since independence, Guatemala has been ruled by an almost unbroken succession of military dictatorships. During 1961-96, the country was torn by a bloody civil war, in which more than 100,000 people died and a million more became refugees. In recent years, civilian governments and military regimes have alternated.

    Guayana (1903)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A state in eastern Venezuela. In 1903, a revolutionary group issued stamps for use in the area.

    Guernsey (1941-45, 1958-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 54,500. An island in the English Channel. A bailiwick under the British crown, Guernsey was occupied by Germany from 1940-45, during which time bisected British issues and locally printed stamps were used. During 1958-69, regional issues, valid throughout Britain but sold only in Guernsey, were in use along with regular British stamps. On Oct. 1, 1969, the Guernsey postal administration was separated from that of Britain, and the bailiwick has issued its own stamps since that time.

    Guidizzolo (1945)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northern Italy. Overprinted Italian stamps were used provisionally, following the collapse of the Italian Social Republic.

    Guinea (1959-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 7,405,375. Republic in West Africa. Formerly the colony of French Guinea, Guinea became independent on Sept. 28, 1958. After independence, Guinea was aligned with the Soviet Bloc. Since 1984, it has been ruled by the military, although some efforts toward democratization have been made.

    Guinea-Bissau (1974-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,178,584. Independent republic on the coast of Africa, bordered by Senegal and Guinea. Guinea-Bissau was formerly Portuguese Guinea, becoming independent Sept. 10, 1974. After a decade of one-party rule, Guinea-Bissau began to liberalize in the mid-1980s, and the first multiparty elections were held in 1994.

    Guinee

    See Guinea

    Gutdorf (Moisakula) (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Estonia. Overprinted Russian and Estonian stamps were used for a time during the German occupation in World War II.

    Guyana (1966-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 706,116. A republic on the northeast coast of South America. Formerly the colony of British Guiana, which became independent in 1966. The republic was established in 1970. Guyana's boundaries with Venezuela, which had claimed half of the country, were settled in 1989, but Guyana's boundary with Suriname remains in dispute. Since 1981, Guyana has issued a bewildering variety of stamps. Some 4,000 issues (through 1998), including a large number of provisional overprints on obsolete stamps, as well as the productions of several different agents, have been created for sale to collectors.

    Gwalior (1885-1950)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A state in north-central India, Gwalior united its postal system with that of India through a postal convention. Overprinted Indian stamps were used 1885-1950 when they were replaced by regular Indian issues.

    Hadhramaut, Kathiri State in (1967)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A region in southwestern Arabia, formerly part of the Aden Protectorate. A number of large, colorful pictorial sets and souvenir sheets were released to the collector market in the months preceding the territory's absorption by the People's Democratic Republic of Southern Yemen.

    Haiti (1881-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 6,611,407. A republic occupying the western third of the island of Hispaniola in the West Indies. The Spanish occupied the island after its discovery by Columbus in 1492, enslaving the Indian population, which was soon exterminated. In time, the Spanish partially abandoned the island, and the western portion became a base for pirates. This area gradually came under French control, which was recognized by Spain in 1697. Under the French, African slaves were imported to work the sugar plantations, which were the mainstay of the colony's economy. In 1804, the descendants of these slaves expelled their French masters. The Republic of Haiti split into two parts in 1811, but in 1820, it was reunited and enlarged by the conquest of the eastern portion of the island (lost in 1844). During the 19th century, anarchy and foreign indebtedness increased, finally bringing U.S. occupation in 1915. U.S. troops withdrew in 1934, and the last U.S. controls ended in 1941. From 1957 to 1986, Haiti was ruled by the Duvaliers, first by Dr. Francois Duvalier ("Papa Doc") and, after his death in 1971, by his son, Jean-Claude ("Baby Doc"). After a period of popular unrest, Jean-Claude Duvalier fled Haiti in 1986, and the country's politics since have been chaotic. U.S. troops interceded in 1994-96 to restore the popularly elected president, who had been overthrown by the Haitian military. A small contingent of U.N. peacekeeping troops remain in Haiti.

    Hamburg (1859-67)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A seaport and former Free City in northern Germany. Hamburg's stamps (1859-67) were replaced by those of the North German Confederation on Jan. 1, 1868.

    Hanover (1850-1866)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former kingdom in northern Germany. United with Britain from 1714 to 1837 through a common monarch, Hanover supported Austria in the Austro-Prussian War (1866) and was annexed by Prussia. Hanover's stamps were first issued in 1850, being replaced by those of Prussia in 1866.

    Hatay (1939)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. As a semi-autonomous district of Syria under French mandate, this area issued stamps as Alexandretta. In 1938, it was renamed Hatay, and in 1939 it was absorbed by Turkey.

    Haute-Volta

    See Upper Volta, now named Burkino Faso

    Hawaii (1851-1900)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 150,000 (1900 estimate). An island group in the north-central Pacific, Hawaii became a united kingdom in the late 18th century. During the late 19th century, American immigrants became increasingly influential in Hawaiian economic and political affairs and sought union with the United States. After a period of constitutional unrest fomented by American interests, the native monarchy was overthrown in 1893. The provisional government, initially unsuccessful in joining the United States, proclaimed Hawaii a republic. In 1898, the area was annexed by the United States, and the Territory of Hawaii was established in 1900. In 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state of the United States. Hawaiian stamps continued in use after the islands' annexation, being finally replaced by regular U.S. stamps in 1900.

    Hejaz (1916-25)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Located on the western coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Hejaz includes the Moslem holy cities of Mecca and Medina. In 1916, the grand sherif of Mecca proclaimed the Hejaz independent of Turkish rule and joined the British against Turkey in World War I. After Turkey's defeat, the Hashemite family, which had long ruled the Hejaz, provided rulers for the new states of Iraq and Trans-Jordan. After World War I, the independence of the Kingdom of the Hejaz was confirmed, but in 1924, it was invaded by the Hashemite's traditional rivals, the Wahabbis of eastern Arabia, led by Ibn Saud. The Hejaz was quickly conquered and absorbed into the Wahabbi kingdom. In 1932, the united kingdoms were renamed Saudi Arabia.

    Hela (1945)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A peninsula on the Gulf of Danzig in northern Europe. German forces on the peninsula were cut off by the advancing Russians and issued a provisional stamp for use on mail to be carried back to Germany proper. This "U-Boat" stamp was used briefly, although it never actually became necessary to use U-boats to carry this mail.

    Helsingfors (Helsinki) (1866-91)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital of Finland. Stamps were issued by the local postmaster and were valid throughout the district.

    Heligoland (1867-90)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 12,307 (1900 estimate). A strategically located island in the North Sea, Heligoland was ceded to Great Britain by Denmark in 1807. Britain transferred the island to Germany in 1890, in exchange for some German claims in East Africa. Heligoland was the site of a major German naval base, destroyed by the British after World War II. Heligoland was returned to Germany in 1952. Stamps of Hamburg were used in Heligoland from 1859 to 1867, when separate issues came into use. These were among the most attractive of British colonial issues. The plates used in printing Heligoland's stamps passed into private hands after the island's transfer to Germany, and many reprintings were made. Since 1890, German stamps have been used.

    Helvetia

    See Switzerland

    Honan (1941-42)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province in central China. Overprinted Chinese stamps were issued by the Japanese during World War II.

    Honduras (1866-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,751,384. Republic in Central America. Honduras was part of the Maya homeland, one of the centers of that pre-Columbian culture. Spanish explorers arrived in 1502, and within a few decades Honduras was conquered by Spain and ruled as part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Until 1838, its history follows that of Guatemala. In 1838, it became independent. Honduras' chief export is bananas, and the country has been the stereotypical "banana republic" since the last century. In 1975, Gen. Oswaldo Lopez Arellano, president since 1963, was ousted by the army over charges of widespread bribery. Since that time, the Honduran government has pursued a number of ambitious social programs, and free elections were held in 1981. Honduras remains one of the poorest countries in Latin America. Honduras fought a brief war with its neighbor, El Salvador, in 1969, and continuing tensions prompted border clashes in 1970 and 1976. During the 1980s, Honduras cooperated with the United States in supporting the Contra rebels in Nicaragua, provoking Sandinista incursions in 1988.

    Hong Kong (1862-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 6.4 million. A peninsula and island at the mouth of the Zhu Jiang River in southeast China. Hong Kong was a British dependency from 1842 to 1997. On July 1, 1997, it was transferred to China, which administers it as a Special Administrative Region. Under British rule, Hong Kong became one of the most active seaports in the Far East. The colony's economy boomed after World War II, as its light manufacturing and banking industry flourished. During the 1970s, Hong Kong came to enjoy one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. In 1984, Britain and China agreed upon Hong Kong's return to China and began a process of transition, with guarantees of the territory's political and economic freedoms. Since Hong Kong's return to China, political opposition has been curtailed and the number of voters reduced. A degree of autonomy remains, however, and Hong Kong continues to maintain its own currency and issues its own stamps.

    Hopei (1941-42)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province in northern China, surrounding Peking and Tientsin. Regular Chinese stamps were overprinted by occupying Japanese forces during World War II.

    Horta (1892-1905)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 49,000 (estimate). A district of the Azores. From 1868 to 1892 and from 1905 to 1931, stamps of the Azores were used. Since 1931, regular Portuguese stamps have been in use.

    Hungary (1871-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 9,935,774. A republic in East Central Europe. This area of flat plains and grasslands, bisected by the Danube River, was a favorite route of eastern tribes invading southern and western Europe. From the 4th to the 9th centuries, succeeding immigrations of Germans, Huns, Avars and other peoples passed through the region. Toward the end of the 9th century, Hungary was settled by the Magyars, who established a kingdom that embraced what is now Hungary, Croatia, Slovakia, and large parts of Serbia, Bosnia and Romania. For nearly a century the Magyars raided throughout central Europe, but under Stephen I (977-1038), they were converted to Christianity. For the next 500 years, Hungary served as Europe's eastern bulwark against the Asian tribes. In the early 16th century, the Ottoman Turks destroyed Hungarian power. Most of the country was conquered by the Turks, and the remaining northern and western fringe came under the rule of Hapsburg Austria. During 1686-1718, the Austrians expelled the Turks from Hungary. Austria completely dominated Hungary until the mid-19th century. Magyar nationalism forced the creation of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1867, after which Hungary was an equal partner with Austria. Having achieved its own nationalist goals, Hungary denied similar nationalist ambitions among its subject peoples. The Dual Monarchy's defeat in World War I brought the disintegration of the empire and of the Kingdom of Hungary. During 1918-20, the country was overrun by Serbian, French and Romanian armies and was torn by civil war between royalist and Bolshevik factions. Hungary emerged in 1920 as a nationalist state, having lost 50 percent of its population and 75 percent of its territory to Yugoslavia, Romania and Czechoslovakia. In 1938, Hungary participated in the dismemberment of Czechoslovakia and, during World War II, joined the Axis, regaining much of its former territory. In 1944-45, it was defeated by the Soviet Union and reduced to its pre-1938 boundaries. On Feb. 1, 1946, a republic was established, but in 1947, the communists ousted the president and purged noncommunist elements from the government. Demonstrations in October 1956, turned into open revolt against the regime. In early November, some 200,000 Soviet troops crushed the uprising, and a hard-line regime was re-established. Some 40,000 Soviet troops remained in Hungary, and Hungarian forces participated in the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. Always one of the most liberal of the East Bloc nations, the Hungarian communist government allowed considerable economic freedom, at least by Soviet standards. As a result, Hungary was more economically developed and has enjoyed a smoother, more rapid conversion to a free market economy following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 1989, the Communist Party was dissolved, and in 1991, the last Soviet troops left the country. Wary of a revived Russian threat in the future and desiring to integrate its economy with Western Europe, Hungary has sought firm ties with the rest of Europe. In 1999, it joined NATO.

    Hvar (Lesina) (1944)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island in the Adriatic Sea, off the coast of Yugoslavia. In 1944, Yugoslavian stamps were overprinted for use on the island by the German military commander of the Dalmatian Province.

    Hyderabad (1869-1950)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 16.3 million (1941 estimate). The largest of the princely states, Hyderabad (Deccan) was the most powerful of the native states in southern India. Hyderabad became independent from the Mogul Empire in the early 18th century and allied itself to Britain after c.1760. After Britain's withdrawal from the subcontinent in 1947, the Moslem rulers of the state resisted domination by Hindu India, but Indian authority was firmly established in September 1948. Hyderabad maintained separate stamp issues until April 1, 1950, since which time Indian stamps have been used.


    Icaria (Nicaria) (1912-13)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island in the Aegean Sea. In July 1912, Icaria declared its independence from Turkey. In November, the island was occupied by Greece, and Icarian issues were replaced by overprinted Greek stamps, which, in turn, were replaced by regular Greek stamps.

    Iceland (1873-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 272,550. A large island in the North Atlantic. Iceland was colonized from Norway after c. 870, and after 1380 was under Danish rule. In 1918, Iceland became independent, united with Denmark only in the person of the Danish monarch. In 1944, Iceland severed this last tie with Denmark and became a republic. Since 1949, Iceland has been a member of NATO, and the United States maintains a sizable base on the island.

    Idar (1939-44)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 262,660. A former feudatory state in western India.

    Ifni (1941-69)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 52,000 (1968 estimate). A Spanish enclave on the western coast of Morocco. Ceded to Spain in 1860, Ifni was occupied in 1934. In 1969, Spain returned the area to Morocco, whose stamps replaced those of the colony.

    Ili Republic (1945-49)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A short-lived state established by the Uighurs in northwestern Sinkiang. At the end of 1949, the state was integrated into the Chinese People's Republic.

    India (1854-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 967,612,804. Republic in south-central Asia, occupying the greater part of the Indian subcontinent between the Himalaya Mountains and the Indian Ocean. One of the world's earliest civilizations was located in the Indus valley after c. 4000 B.C. This culture was overrun by the Aryans who conquered India 2400-1500 B.C. During most of its history, India has been divided into many independent, frequently warring states. In 1498, the Portuguese reached India and quickly began building a commercial empire that dominated the coastal areas for a century. The Portuguese were supplanted by the Dutch in the early 17th century, who in turn were succeeded by the British in the late 17th century. Anglo-French rivalry for influence over the local princes was intense until Britain's military defeat of the French forces in 1760. During the next 100 years, the British East India Co. constantly expanded Britain's holdings in the subcontinent. In 1857, the British government took over the governing of India directly. In 1877, the empire of India was proclaimed with Queen Victoria as empress. In the early 20th century, Indian nationalism became an increasingly powerful force. After World War I, Mohandas K. Gandhi organized the All-India Congress Party, which assumed the leadership of the Indian independence movement. Later, the Moslem nationalists withdrew from the predominantly Hindu Congress Party to form the Moslem League under Mohammed Ali Jinnah. After years of agitation and negotiation, the British gave up control of India on Aug. 15, 1947, and the country was partitioned into Hindu (India) and Moslem (Pakistan) states. Religious riots and war between the two nations began almost immediately. Settled only with great difficulty, war has erupted several times since, most recently in 1971-72. Tensions among India's many racial and religious groups remains high, especially between Hindus and Muslims and between the Hindus and the Sikhs. India absorbed the remaining French holdings in 1956 and seized Portugal's Indian territory in 1961. In 1962, communist Chinese forces occupied disputed areas in the north.

    India Convention States (1884-1950)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During 1864-86, six Indian states joined their postal services to that of British India, using overprinted Indian stamps. The states entering into such postal conventions were Chamba, Faridkot, Gwalior, Jhind, Nabha and Patiala. The stamps of the convention states were valid throughout India. They were replaced by those of the Republic of India on Jan. 1, 1951.

    India-Feudatory States (1864-1951)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. After 1862, many rulers of the semi-autonomous native princely states began to establish modern public postal systems, utilizing their own stamps. These systems existed alongside that of British India, with the stamps normally valid only within the state where they were issued. The Indian feudatory states issuing their own stamps were: Alwar (1877-1902); Bamra (1888-94); Barwani (1921-48); Bhopal (1876-1950); Bhor (1879-1902); Bijawar (1935-39); Bundi (1894-1920, 1940-48); Bussahir (1895-1901); Charkhari (1894-1950); Cochin (1892-1949); Dhar (1897-1901); Duttia (1893-1921); Hyderabad (1869-1950); Idar (1939-44); Indore (1886-1950); Jaipur (1904-49); Jammu and Kashmir (1866-94); Jasdan (1942-50); Jhalawar (1887-1900); Jhind (1874-85); Kishangarh (1899-1949); Las Bela (1897-1907); Morvi (1931-50); Nandgaon (1892-95); Nawanagar (1875-95); Orchha (1913-50); Poonch (1876-94); Rajasthan (1948-50); Rajpeepla (1880-86); Saurashtra (1864-1950); Sirmoor (1879-1902); Travancore (1888-1949); Travancore-Cochin (1949-51); and Wadhwan (1888-95).

    Indian Expeditionary Forces (1914-22)

    During and after World War I, Indian forces fighting with the Allies used 10 stamps of British India overprinted "I.E.F." An "I.E.F. D/i" overprint was similarly applied to eight Turkish stamps used by the British during the occupation of Mesopotamia.

    Indochina (1889-1949)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 27 million (1949 estimate). Former French administrative unit in southeast Asia, comprising Cochin-China, Cambodia, Annam and Tonkin, and Kwangchowan. The area broke up in 1949 to form the states of Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, within the French Union, with the issues of the separate states replacing those of Indochina.

    Indonesia (1945-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 209,774,138. A republic occupying most of the Malay Archipelago in southeastern Asia; formerly the Netherlands East Indies. Portugal dominated this region during the 16th century but was supplanted by the Dutch after 1595. Except for a period of British occupation during the Napoleonic wars (1811-16), the area remained under Dutch control until its occupation by Japan in 1942. After the surrender of Japan in August 1945, Indonesian nationalists under Achmed Sukarno proclaimed the independent Republic of Indonesia in central Java and throughout most of Sumatra. The ensuing civil war was finally ended by the withdrawal of the Dutch in December 1949. In 1950, Indonesia was unified as a republic. In 1963, Western New Guinea (West Irian), which had remained under Dutch control, was seized by Indonesia. During the early 1960s, Indonesia was aligned with the Soviet Union, but an abortive communist uprising in 1965 brought massive retaliation by the military. President Sukarno, who had ruled as a dictator since 1960, was deposed, and some 300,000 communists were executed. The new regime, under Gen. Suharto, restored peaceful relations with Indonesia's neighbors, restored popular elections and has actively promoted economic development. Oil exports drove the country's economic growth during the 1970s and '80s, and Indonesia became one of the most dynamic Pacific Rim economies. The corruption centering around President Suharto's family and friends, and the regime's authoritarian rule, brought increasing opposition. Matters came to a head with the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98. Violent domestic unrest forced Suharto's resignation in 1998, after the collapse of the rupiah in January. The Indonesian economy, always vulnerable because of a weak banking system and widespread corruption, remains battered, while ethnic and religious unrest further divides the country. In 1975, Indonesia invaded the Portuguese colony of Timor and in 1976 annexed the territory. Since that time, Timorese nationalist resistance has been brutally suppressed. The current economic and political turmoil in Indonesia has brought the issue of Timorese independence back into the headlines.

    Indore (Holkar) (1886-1949)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in west-central India. Indore used its own stamps from 1886 to 1949. With its merger into Rajasthan, stamps of that state were used from 1949 to April 1, 1950. Stamps of India are now in use.

    Inhambane (1895-1914)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 248,000 (1917 estimate). A district of southern Mozambique. Its stamps were superseded by those of Mozambique.

    Inini (1932-46)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 5,024 (1941 estimate). The interior of French Guiana, on the northeastern coast of South America. During 1930-46, this area was separated from French Guiana, being reunited when the area was reorganized as an Overseas Department of France in 1947.

    Ionian Islands (1859-64, 1941-43)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A group of islands off the western coast of Greece. Occupied at various times by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, Turks, French, Russians and British, the islands were united with Greece in 1864. Three stamps were issued by the British (1859-64), and an additional 13 during World War II by the occupying Italian forces (1941-43).

    Iran (Persia until 1935) (1870-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 67,540,002. Islamic republic in western Asia. Iran was the seat of the ancient kingdom of Elam (c. 3000-640 B.C.), which competed with the Mesopotamian states to its west. The area was settled by the Iranians, an Aryan people, c.1800 B.C., from whom arose the Medes, Persians and Parthians. At various times from the 7th century B.C. to the 7th century A.D., Persian states dominated the Middle East, at times ruling territory from Egypt and Thrace to India. Debilitating wars with Rome weakened Persia, making it easy prey to the Arabs in the 7th century. With the decline of the caliphate after 1040, Persia was torn by centuries of war and anarchy, complicated by Turkish immigration and Mongol invasions (13th-15th centuries). National unity was re-established under the Safawid dynasty (1502-1722), and Persia re-emerged as a dominant power in the region. After the mid-18th century, Persia weakened, losing its outlying provinces (Afghanistan, the Caucasus, etc.) and gradually fell under European influence. Russia and Britain carved out spheres of influence in the 19th century and occupied portions of the country in World War I and World War II. In 1921, Riza Pahlavi, a military chief, led a coup and assumed virtual control of the government, becoming shah in 1925. He began to radically modernize Persia, a program continued by his son and successor, Mohammed Riza Pahlavi. Mohammed Riza Pahlavi attempted to modernize Iran rapidly and used the country's substantial oil revenues toward this end. While his policies brought a social and economic transformation of Iran, the shah ruled absolutely, and political opposition was suppressed. Increasing dissatisfaction with the regime brought the coalition of many disparate elements in Iranian society. Anti-government riots brought martial law in September 1978, but the government's position deteriorated rapidly. On Jan. 16, 1979, the shah left Iran, and in mid-February, the caretaker regime of Shahpur Baktiar, a longtime opponent of the shah, was overthrown amid popular demonstrations by supporters of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. On April 1, the Ayatollah declared Iran an Islamic republic and immediately set about creating a theocratic regime, reflecting staunchly conservative Islamic values. Khomeini accused the United States, which had strongly supported the shah, of being the source of most of the country's problems. Relations between the two countries quickly deteriorated, and in November 1979, student demonstrators seized U.S. embassy personnel in Tehran. The embassy staff was held hostage, pending the return of the shah to Iran, where he was to be tried by revolutionary courts. The death of the shah in July 1980 did not bring a resolution of the problem, which continued until the captives' release in January 1981. In September 1980, Iraq attacked Iran, beginning a bitter war that drained the resources of both nations, until a cease-fire ended hostilities in 1988. Political and economic instability became the norm in Iran. Political terrorism and government repression, as bad or worse than under the shah, were institutionalized by the Muslim clerics. In the 1990s there has been some movement toward liberalization, driven by increasing popular discontent with the repressive fundamentalist regime. In 1997, Mohammed Khatami, a moderate Shiite Muslim cleric was elected president, leading many in the West to hope for a gradual moderating of the Iranian government's policies.

    Iraq (1923-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 22,219,289. A republic in western Asia, occupying the Tigris and Euphrates valley, north of Arabia. Mesopotamia, which corresponds with the modern area of Iraq, was the center of the Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian civilizations for thousands of years, until its conquest by Persia in the 6th century B.C. For the next 24 centuries, the region was ruled by a succession of foreign powers: Persians, Greeks, Parthians, Romans, Arabs, Mongols and Turks. In the early 16th century, it was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, and its first stamps were those of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. During World War I, Mesopotamia was occupied by British forces, and it became a British mandated territory in 1920. In 1921, a kingdom was established under Faisal I, son of King Hussein of Hejaz and leader of the Arab Army in World War I. Britain withdrew from Iraq in 1932, although it intervened during World War II to overthrow a pro-Axis ministry. In 1958, the monarchy was deposed, and a pan-Arab, pro-Soviet republic was established. The new regime nationalized most Iraqi industry and broke up large land holdings. Iraq maintained close ties with Syria, which is ruled by another branch of the same Baathist political party that overthrew the monarchy and with the Soviet Union. In 1973, Iraq sent troops to support Syria in its war with Israel. In 1975 it brutally repressed Kurdish nationalist agitation in the north. In 1978, relations with the Soviet Union cooled, and a number of communists were executed. In 1979, Saddam Hussein became president, quickly establishing his power in a bloody purge. In September 1980, Iraq, prompted by a long-standing border dispute and by the new Iranian regime's attempts to foment revolution among Iraq's Shi'ite minority, invaded Iran. Strong Iranian resistance soon brought the war to a standstill, despite periodic heavy fighting. Both nations suffered terrible losses, both human and financial, in the course of an eight-year war. In 1988, a cease-fire was negotiated. Determined to establish Iraqi preeminence in the region, Saddam attacked and quickly occupied its oil-rich southern neighbor, Kuwait, in August 1990. This prompted an international crisis and the rapid creation of a coalition of nations, led by the United States, aligned against Iraq. A massive allied build-up followed, and in January 1991, heavy strategic bombing of Iraq began. In February, allied forces liberated Kuwait and invaded Iraq, which was soundly defeated within four days. To the surprise of most Americans and Westerners, the allied force stopped short of deposing Saddam. In the months following his defeat, Saddam was faced with numerous revolts throughout the country. These were suppressed ruthlessly, especially those of the Shi'ites in the south, who have traditionally sought union with their co-religionists in Iran, and the Kurds in the north. The two groups, given half-measures of protection by the allies, have continued to be the victims of Iraqi persecution, including poison gas attacks against civilians in rebellious areas. In 1993 and 1996, the United States targeted Iraqi sites for missile attacks, following Saddam's involvement in a plan to assassinate President Bush and in retaliation for his attacks against Kurds in a protected neutral zone in the north. As a part of the cease-fire agreement, the Iraqi government agreed to discontinue its nuclear weapons program, which was only a few years away from development of effective nuclear devices. It also agreed to halt its huge chemical and biological weapons program. Since then, it has almost certainly continued chemical and biological weapons development, and has prevented United Nations teams from inspecting its research and storage sites. This prompted a crisis in early 1998, as the United States moved forces into the region and threatened military enforcement of the agreement. An eleventh-hour agreement to allow U.N. inspectors free access to all sites halted U.S. military action for the time being. The Iraqi economy has been hurt by an embargo linked to the regime's honoring of the 1991 cease-fire, and the Iraqi people have suffered badly, as food and medical supplies are often in short supply. The Iraqi government has continued to maintain large military budgets, however, and Saddam has managed to erect many presidential palaces throughout the country.

    Ireland (1922-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 3,555,500. An island in northwestern Europe, west of Britain. After the Celtic conquest of the British Isles in the 4th century B.C., Ireland was a center of Gaelic culture in Western Europe. After its conversion to Christianity by St. Patrick in the 5th century A.D., it was a center of Christian scholarship and an outpost of Christian culture, amidst pagan German and, later, Norse, incursions in Northwest Europe. In the 12th century, England began invasions of Ireland and eventually conquered the island. The Irish never accepted the harsh English rule, and there was constant pressure for independence. Open revolution during 1916-19 brought freedom to most of the country in 1921, as the Irish Free State, a dominion within the British Commonwealth. In 1937 the name Eire was adopted and independent sovereignty was proclaimed, following a national plebiscite. In 1948-49 full independence was proclaimed and recognized by Great Britain. A continuing source of tension is the status of Ulster, the six counties of Northern Ireland, which has remained part of the United Kingdom. There, the Protestant majority resists union with the Catholic Irish republic, and centuries of antagonism between Protestants and Catholics continue in bloody terrorist acts from extremists on both sides. Negotiations on the future status of Ulster are ongoing.

    Israel (1948-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,534,672. Republic in western Asia, comprising the former British mandated territory of Palestine. Under the British mandate, Jewish and Arab elements in Palestine came into bitter conflict over the future of the nation. The Jews wished to create a homeland for their people, while the Arabs advocated the creation of a secular Palestinian state in which the rights of the Jewish minority would be respected. On May 14, 1948, British troops were withdrawn from Palestine, and the Jewish National Council immediately proclaimed the state of Israel in areas of the country under Jewish control. Israel was immediately attacked by its Arab neighbors but defeated their forces, emerging from the 1949 cease-fire with its territory approximately 50 percent larger than that initially allocated for it by the U.N. partition plan. In 1956, Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal and barred Israeli shipping. Israel invaded Egypt and occupied Gaza and the Sinai. After U.N. intervention, Israel withdrew. In 1967, after a year of Arab guerrilla raids from Jordan and bombardment of Israeli settlements from Syria, war again broke out. Israel defeated Egypt, Syria and Jordan in the Six-Day War, occupying the West Bank from Jordan, the Golan Heights from Syria, and Sinai and Gaza from Egypt. On Oct. 6, 1973, after several years of failure to negotiate a settlement, Arab forces attacked Israel again, re-occupying some lost territory in the Sinai. After initial Arab gains, Israel counterattacked quickly, occupying territory on the west bank of the Suez Canal and advancing in Syria. A cease-fire was negotiated Oct. 24. Peace negotiations proceeded very slowly during 1973-77, but began to move rapidly after November 1977, when Egyptian President Anwar Sadat visited Jerusalem in an attempt to break the deadlock. On March 26, 1979, Egypt and Israel signed a formal peace treaty, ending hostilities and establishing diplomatic relations. Under the terms of the peace treaty, Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt. Relations between Israel and its neighbors continue to be strained, although a 1993 agreement with the Palestine Liberation Organization, which led the terrorist resistance to Israel, makes an eventual settlement possible. Israel and the Palestine authority, the autonomous Palestinian state created under PLO direction, maintain a strained negotiation for the eventual creation of an independent Arab Palestine alongside a Jewish Israel, recognized by its Muslim neighbors.

    Istria-Slovene Coast (1945-47)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Former Italian provinces on the Adriatic Sea, occupied by Yugoslavia after World War II.

    Italia

    See Italy

    Italian Colonies (1932-34)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During 1932-34, a series of general issues was released for use in all Italian colonies.

    Italian East Africa (1938-41)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 12 million (1941 estimate). A former Italian colony in East Africa, formed from Eritrea, Italian Somaliland and Ethiopia. It was occupied by the British in 1941 and, after World War II, was dissolved.

    Italian Offices Abroad (1861-1923)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Italy maintained many post offices abroad, utilizing a general overprint on Italian stamps (1874-90), overprints for specific cities or territories, and unoverprinted stamps distinguishable only by their cancellations. Italian post offices were maintained in Egypt, Tunisia, Tripolitania, Eritrea, China, Crete, and many cities in the Turkish Empire and Albania.

    Italian Offices in Albania (1902-09)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During the 19th century, Italy operated its own post offices in a number of Albanian cities, using regular Italian stamps. In 1883, the Turkish government suppressed these offices, but in 1902, they were reopened using Italian stamps overprinted "Albania" and surcharged in Turkish currency. In 1909, these issues were replaced by those of the various cities where Italian post offices were in operation.

    Italian Offices in China (1917-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During 1901-17, Italian troops in China, as well as legation and consular personnel, were permitted to use unoverprinted Italian stamps. From September 1917 to Dec. 31, 1922, Italian stamps overprinted for Peking and Tientsin were used.

    Italian Social Republic (1943-45)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The Italian puppet state under Mussolini, which nominally ruled those areas under German occupation during the final days of World War II.

    Italy (1862-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 57,534,088. A republic in western Europe. Italy was the center of the Roman Empire, which until the 5th century ruled southern and western Europe, North Africa and much of the Middle East. After the collapse of Rome, Italy was ruled by a succession of foreign powers: Ostrogoths, Lombards, Franks, Arabs, Normans, Germans, Spanish, Byzantines and French. By 1815, the country was roughly divided into several spheres: the Sardinian kingdom, which ruled the island of Sardinia and northwestern Italy; the Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom, which was ruled by Austria, in the north; the Papal States, which controlled the central portion of the peninsula; and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies in the south. During the 19th century, Italian nationalism grew in strength, and there was increasing sentiment for unification. During 1859-61, nationalist uprisings deposed local rulers and united most of Italy with Sardinia. On March 17, 1861, the united Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed under the House of Savoy. Italy acquired several African colonies during the late 19th century and, in the Italo-Turkish War (1911-12) and World War I, acquired territory from Turkey and Austria. Domestic unrest after World War I brought the Fascist party to power in 1922, although the monarchy was retained. The Fascists, under Benito Mussolini, built up Italy's military forces and pursued an aggressive foreign policy, conquering Ethiopia (1935) and Albania (1939). Italy entered World War II in 1940 as an ally of Germany, but military reverses brought German domination and, in 1943, the invasion of Italy by the Allies. Mussolini was deposed in 1943, although he was put in charge of the northern Italian Social Republic, a German puppet-state until its collapse in 1945. The royalist government, in the meantime, declared war on Germany and fought with the Allies to free Italy from German occupation. In 1946, the monarchy was abolished, and Italy became a republic. After World War II, Italy enjoyed dynamic industrial growth, and its standard of living improved greatly. A member of NATO and the European Union, Italy is prosperous and democratic, but has long been prone to a chronic political instability, with frequent changes in government.

    Ivory Coast (1892-1944, 1959-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 14,986,218. A republic in West Africa, bordering on the Gulf of Guinea. French influence was strong along the coast from 1700, and after 1842, France began to occupy territory in the area. The boundaries of the colony were fixed between 1892 and 1898, and native resistance was crushed by 1919. During World War II, the Ivory Coast remained under control of the Vichy regime until November 1942. After 1944, it used stamps of French West Africa. In 1958, the Ivory Coast became a republic, achieving independence in 1960. The Ivory Coast is the most prosperous of the tropical African nations, reflecting decades of a moderate economic policy emphasizing farming for export, the encouragement of foreign investment and continued close ties with France. In 1985, the official name of the country was changed to Cote d'Ivoire.

    Jaffa (1909-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 50,000 (1914). Israeli port on the Mediterranean Sea. Prior to World War I, a number of European nations maintained their own postal systems in the city. After 1909, the Russian post used 10 stamps of the Russian Levant overprinted "Jaffa."

    Jaipur (1904-49)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in north-central India. Jaipur merged into the United State of Rajasthan in 1948. Jaipur's issues were replaced by those of Rajasthan in 1949, which were in turn replaced by those of India on April 1, 1950.

    Jamaica (1860-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,615,582. A self-governing dominion in the British Commonwealth of Nations occupying the island of Jamaica in the West Indies, south of Cuba. Jamaica was discovered by Columbus in 1494 and was occupied by Spain until 1655, when it became a British possession. The original Arawak inhabitants soon died out under the Spanish, who began the importation of African slaves to work the sugar plantations. Jamaica became an independent republic on Aug. 6, 1962. Economic dissatisfaction brought a socialist regime to power 1972-80. Attempts to expand Jamaican ownership in bauxite mining operations and to expand welfare programs failed to improve the economy, and a more conservative government came to power. This has resulted in improved relations with the United States and in economic growth since the 1980s.

    Jammu and Kashmir (1866-94)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. These north Indian states were united in 1846. From 1866 to 1878, each state issued its own stamps. Common issues began in 1878. From 1894 to 1948, Indian issues were used. Since Indian independence, this predominantly Moslem area has been disputed between India and Pakistan, and stamps of these nations have been used in the territories under their control.

    Janina (1902-11, 1913-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 30,000 (1914). A city in northwest Greece. Janina was part of the Turkish province of Albania until occupied by Greece in 1913. During 1902-11 and 1913, an Italian post office, utilizing overprinted Italian stamps, operated in the city.

    Japan (1871-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 125,716,637. A group of islands off the eastern coast of Asia. Japan pursued an isolationist policy until 1854, when a U.S. fleet forced it to admit limited foreign trade. In 1867, internal dissension caused the restoration of imperial power and centralization within the country. Japan embarked on a program of rapid modernization and, by the early 20th century, was a world power. During 1871-1910, Japan expanded its territory through an aggressive imperialistic foreign policy, gaining Formosa, Korea, etc. Its victory over Russia in 1905 established it as a major military power and encouraged the growth of nationalism throughout Asia. During World War I, Japan sided with the Allies, acquiring former German Pacific holdings after the war. During 1918-25, Japan occupied portions of Russian Siberia and Sakhalin and, in the 1930s, began to aggressively expand at the expense of China, which was invaded in 1937. In 1940, Japan joined the Axis and invaded French Indochina and, in 1941, attacked British and U.S. territories in the Pacific. After initial successes, the tide turned against Japan in 1943, ending with its defeat in 1945. All territory, except the home islands, was taken from it by the Allies, who occupied Japan until 1952. After World War II, Japan has enjoyed an economic boom, making it one of the world's great industrial powers. Since 1947, Japan has integrated many Western ideas into its traditional culture, creating a dynamic society that, in many ways, is a successful blending of European and Asian values.

    Japanese Offices in China (1900-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Unoverprinted Japanese stamps were used at a number of Japanese post offices in China from 1876 to 1900. From Jan. 1, 1900, through Dec. 31, 1922, 49 overprinted Japanese stamps were used.

    Japanese Offices in Korea (1900-01)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. For a short time, Japanese post offices in Korea used 15 overprinted Japanese stamps. These were withdrawn in April 1901.

    Jasdan (1942-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in western India. Indian stamps replaced Jasdan's single issue in 1950.

    Jersey (1941-45, 1958-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 75,000. An island in the English Channel united with the British Commonwealth. Local issues were used during the World War II German occupation, regional issues from 1958-69, and issues of the independent Jersey Postal Administration since Oct. 1, 1969.

    Jerusalem (1909-14, 1948)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital of Palestine and a holy city of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Prior to World War I, a number of European nations maintained their own postal systems in Jerusalem. Separate issues were made for their posts in the city by Italy (1909-11) and Russia (1909-14). In 1948, the French consulate operated a postal service in Jerusalem, utilizing overprinted French Consular Service stamps. Jewish Republic-A region in eastern Siberia, established by Stalin in the 1930s as a "homeland" for Soviet Jews. Although only a small proportion of the territory's population was Jewish by the time the Soviet Union collapsed, stamp promoters recognized an opportunity when they saw one, and a number of overprinted stamps have appeared on the market. They are bogus.

    Jhalawar (1887-90)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former princely state in western India. Jhalawar's stamps were replaced by regular Indian issues on Nov. 1, 1900.

    Jhind (1874-1950)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in the northern Punjab of India. Jhind issued 32 stamps from 1874 to 1885, when a postal convention united its postal system to that of India. From July 1885 to April 1, 1950, 220 different overprinted Indian stamps were used. Regular Indian issues replaced these overprinted issues on April 1, 1950, although the overprinted stamps remained valid until Jan. 1, 1951.

    Johore (1876-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1 million (1960 estimate). A former nonfederated British Malay state. Johore was under British protection from 1914 to 1957. The area joined the Federation of Malaya in 1957.

    Jordan (1920-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 4,324,638. A kingdom occupying the territory east of the Jordan River in western Asia. Under Turkish control from 1516 to 1918, the area was occupied from 1918 to 1946 by Great Britain. Abdullah, second son of King Hussein of Hejaz, became amir of the Trans-Jordan in 1921 and king when the area became independent in 1946. Jordan seized a large territory on the western bank of the Jordan River in 1948, but the area was occupied by Israel in 1967. By 1970, the growing power of Palestinian guerrillas in Jordan provoked a reaction by King Hussein and his Beduoin supporters. A bitter campaign ensued, and Palestinian strength in the country was broken by mid-1971. In 1990-91, King Hussein, long regarded as a moderate in the Arab world, was among the few in the region who did not oppose Iraq, following its invasion of Kuwait. In 1994, Jordan and Israel formally ended the state of war that had existed between them since 1948.

    Jugoslavia

    See Yugoslavia

    Kalaallitnunaat

    See Greenland

    Karelia (1922, 1941-43)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 270,000 (1923 estimate). A Soviet district east of Finland. During 1921-22, an autonomous government briefly issued stamps until its suppression by the Soviets. During 1941-43, the area was occupied by Finland, at which time overprinted Finnish issues and one semipostal were used. A number of overprinted Soviet stamps appeared on the market in the early 1990s, supposedly local overprints for Karelia. They are private productions.

    Karlsbad (1938)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in the Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia). In 1938, the local authorities overprinted 68 Czechoslovakian stamps to commemorate the area's cession to Germany.

    Katanga (1960-63)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The southernmost province of Zaire. When Belgium granted independence to the Belgian Congo in 1960, Katanga seceded from the new state. After a bitter struggle, the Katangan regime was defeated by the central government with U.N. support. In early 1977, Katangan forces, based in Angola, launched an invasion of the province. After a rapid initial advance, the Katangese were defeated by forces of the Zairian government, with the support of Moroccan troops and aid from the United States and other Western powers.

    Kazakstan (1992-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 16,898,572. The northern portion of Turkestan, in west-central Asia, the territory of Kazakstan was conquered by Russia during the 18th and 19th centuries. In December 1991, it became an independent republic.

    Kedah (1912-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 752,700 (1960 estimate). A sultanate in southwest Malayan peninsula. Kedah was under British protection from 1909 to 1942, Japanese occupation 1942-43, Siamese occupation 1943-45, British administration 1945-57. Since 1948, Kedah has been a member of the Federation of Malaya.

    Kelantan (1911-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 545,600 (1960 estimate). A sultanate in northeast Malaya peninsula. The area was under British protection after 1909, and was occupied by Japan (1942-43) and Siam (1943-45) during World War II.

    Kenya (1963-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 28,803,085. Republic in East Africa. Under British control from the late 19th century, a nationalist Kenyan revolution began in 1959. After years of fighting, Great Britain agreed to grant Kenyan independence, which was declared Dec. 12, 1963. During 1968-72, the government mounted a campaign against Asians with British passports, who controlled the commerce of the nation, and many were forced to leave the country. Kenya has shown steady economic growth since independence and enjoys a relatively free political life. During the 1980s and 1990s, tension between various opposing ethnic and political groups has shaken Kenyan stability.

    Kenya and Uganda (1922-35)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The postal union comprising the colony of Kenya (coastal area), the protectorate of Kenya (inland) and Uganda, all British colonial territories.

    Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika (1935-64)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 42.7 million (1976 estimate). Postal union of Kenya, Uganda and the mandated territory of Tanganyika, British possessions in East Africa. The area was renamed Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, after Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania in 1964.

    Kerassunde (1909-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Turkish port on the Black Sea, now Giresun. After 1909, the Russian post office in Kerassunde used stamps of the Russian Levant overprinted with the name of the city.

    Khor Fakkan (1965-69)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A dependency of the sheikhdom of Sharjah in the Trucial States of eastern Arabia.

    Kiauchau (1900-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 190,000 (1909 estimate). Former German colony on the southern side of the Shantung peninsula in China. The area was seized by Germany in 1897 and subsequently leased to Germany by China. It was occupied by Japan in 1914 and returned to China in 1922.

    Kiev (1918, 1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Capital of the Ukraine. Kiev issued stamps during the confused period of the Russian Civil War. In 1918, Russian stamps were overprinted with the trident device of the Ukraine. In 1920, Kievan authorities issued surcharged Russian savings stamps for provisional postage use. In 1992, Kiev authorities issued a set of overprinted Soviet stamps for local use, using a trident device reminiscent of the 1918 issues. Although these stamps seem to have been official, the hundreds of similar overprints issued soon after in the names of other Ukrainian municipalities were not.

    Kilis (1921)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 34,000 (1914). A city in southern Turkey. After World War I, this area was included in the French-occupied territory of Syria. It was restored to Turkey in 1923. In 1921, a shortage of regular stamps necessitated a single provisional issue.

    King Edward VII Land (1908)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In 1908, Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton led a British expedition to explore King Edward VII Land in Antarctica. A contemporary New Zealand stamp was overprinted for use by the members of the expedition.

    Kionga (1916)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A small area in northern Mozambique in the Indian Ocean. Kionga was part of German East Africa until World War I, when it was occupied by Portuguese forces from Mozambique, to which it was joined by the Treaty of Versailles.

    Kiribati (1979-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 82,449. The British protectorate of the Gilbert Islands became the independent republic of Kiribati on July 12, 1979.

    Kirin and Heilungchang (1927-31)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district of Manchuria. After 1927, Chinese stamps were overprinted for sale in the area. These issues were replaced by those of Manchukuo in 1931, after Japanese forces overran Manchuria.

    Kishangarh (1899-1949)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former princely state in northwestern India. In 1948, it joined Rajasthan, whose stamps were used from 1949 to 1950. Since 1950, Indian issues have been used.

    Konstantinsbad (1938)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in the Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia). In 1938 the municipal authorities overprinted 35 different Czechoslovakian stamps to commemorate union with Germany.

    Korce (Korytsa, also Korytza, Korca, Koritsa or Coritsa) (1914-18)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The center of the short-lived Eastern Albanian Republic during World War I. Supported by French troops, the republic collapsed upon their withdrawal in 1918. During its existence, however, the Korce regime issued a number of stamps, which are listed under "Albania" in the standard U.S. catalogs. Forgeries of the 1917-18 issues abound, and collectors should use caution when buying them.

    Korea, Democratic People's Republic of (North Korea) (1946-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 24,317,004. A communist state occupying the northern half of the Korean peninsula. After World War II, Korea was occupied from Japan, with U.S. forces holding the southern half of the country. Soviet troops occupied the north. In 1948, this partition was made permanent, and separate regimes were established in the two zones. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea was established on May 1, 1948, under the leadership of Kim Il Sung. In 1950, North Korea attacked South Korea, but three years of fighting, with United States, United Nations and Chinese intervention, ended with a cease-fire that left the boundary between the two Koreas essentially unchanged. The greatest part of Korea's resources and prewar industry were in the north, and the North Korean government has actively developed these into a substantial industrial plant. North Korea is one of the last truly totalitarian states, built upon a personality cult centered around Kim Il Sung, a cult that has been maintained, though with some difficulty, in his son, Kim Jong Il, who succeeded his father in 1994. The regime's xenophobic foreign policy and chronic economic mismanagement have brought famine internally and largely isolated its dealings abroad. It continues to support a large military force and to develop nuclear weapons, so its increasing instability is grounds for grave concern. North Korean stamp issues are subject to U.S. Treasury Department restrictions and cannot be imported through the mail.

    Korea, Republic of (South Korea) (1946)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 45,648,811. After the establishment of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in 1948, the Republic of Korea was established in the southern portion of the peninsula occupied by the United States. The regime in the south was recognized as the legal government of Korea on Dec. 12, 1948. On June 25, 1950, North Korea attacked South Korea, quickly pushing the South Korean forces back to a small pocket of resistance in the southeast. Massive U.N. intervention brought a North Korean rout, but the invasion of the North by communist China brought the retreat of the U.N. forces to below the 38th parallel. On July 10, 1951, after renewed U.N. advances, peace talks began, and on July 27, 1953, an armistice was achieved. A technical state of war continues between the two Koreas, and a large number of U.S. forces remain in the south. From 1948 to 1960, Dr. Syngman Rhee was president of South Korea. The corruption of the regime alienated many South Koreans, and in 1960 Rhee was forced to resign. In the following year, a military coup brought Gen. Park Chung Hee to power. Park expanded his power and ruled dictatorially until his assassination in 1979. In 1980, the head of South Korean military intelligence established martial law and suppressed political opposition. Popular demonstrations in 1987 led to popular elections, and in 1993 the first civilian president since 1960 took office. Despite South Korea's political turmoil, a dynamic, modern manufacturing economy has developed over the past three decades, and it is one of the most prosperous of the East Asian nations.

    Korea (1884-85, 1895-1905, 1946)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 22.8 million (1938 estimate). A peninsula in east Asia, surrounded on three sides by the Sea of Japan and the Yellow Sea and bounded on the north by Manchuria and the Soviet Union. Korea was united in the seventh century and at times was under Chinese control. In 1895, it passed under Japanese influence, and in 1910, Japan annexed Korea. After World War II, Korea was divided at the 38th parallel into two zones of occupation -- the north under the Soviets and the south under the United States. In 1948, separate regimes were established in the two zones.

    Kuban Cossack Government (1918-20)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In late 1917, the Kuban Cossacks in southern Russia established a republic, which in the spring of 1918 declared its independence. They were recognized by the White Russian government of Gen. Denikin, but after his withdrawal from the area in March 1920, the republic was quickly occupied by the Red Army. A number of Russian stamps were surcharged by this regime.

    Kurdistan (1923)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The region of western Asia occupied by the Kurds, divided between Iraq, Iran and Turkey. In 1923, stamps were issued by rebel forces in northern Iraq.

    Kurland (1945)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Four German stamps were overprinted for use in Kurzeme in April 1945, by German forces cut off by the Soviet advance. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, Soviet stamps overprinted "Kurlandia" appeared on the market. They are bogus.

    Kustanai (1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Kazakstan. In 1920, the local authorities overprinted Russian stamps for use in the area.

    Kuwait (1923-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,076,805. A sheikhdom at the northern end of the Persian Gulf. Kuwait was under British protection from 1899 to 1961, becoming independent June 19, 1961. Kuwait is rich in oil and one of the more active members of OPEC. During the 1970s, Kuwait led the push for increasing petroleum prices and became extremely wealthy. Education, medical care and social security are free to Kuwaiti citizens, and internal taxation has been abolished. During the war between Iran and Iraq (1980-88), Kuwait supported Iraq, which brought Iranian attacks against its oil tankers in the Gulf. On August 2, 1990, Kuwait was attacked and quickly overrun by Iraq. A coalition of nations, led by the United States, reoccupied Kuwait in February 1991. The government has since spent billions of dollars repairing oil fields set ablaze by the retreating Iraqis.

    Kwangchowan (1906-44)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Chinese port south of Canton leased by France from 1898 to 1945. Kwangchowan was administered as part of French Indochina. Occupied by Japan during World War II, the city was reoccupied by China after the war.

    Kwangtung (1942-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province in southern China, centered around its capital, Canton. Japanese forces occupying Kwangtung overprinted 60 Chinese stamps for use in the province from 1942 to 1945. Some 10 regular Chinese (Nationalist) issues were used during 1945-49. In October 1949, Canton, which had briefly become the Nationalist capital, fell to the communists, and communist issues for South China came into use, to be replaced by national issues in 1950.

    Kyrgyzstan (1992-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. Population: 3,858,736. Republic in central Asia, situated between Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China. Kyrgyzstan, long the home of the Turkic Kyrgyz people, was conquered by Russia in the late 19th century. Russian colonization in the early 1900s provoked an unsuccessful Kyrgyz rebellion in 1916, and Russian/Soviet rule continued until the breakup of the Soviet Union. Kyrgystan declared its independence on August 31, 1991, and joined the United Nations in 1992. Since independence, the government has moved forcefully to implement economic reform.


    Labuan (1879-1906)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island off the northwest coast of Borneo. Labuan was ceded by Brunei to Britain in 1848 and administered by the British North Borneo Company from 1890 to 1906. In 1907, Labuan was attached to the Straits Settlements and, after 1945, to British North Borneo (Sabah).

    Lagos (1874-1906)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A territory in south Nigeria. Lagos was occupied by Great Britain in 1861 and, during 1886-1906, was a separate protectorate. The territory merged with the Southern Nigerian Protectorate in 1906.

    Laos (1951-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,116,959. A state in northwestern Indochina. Formerly a kingdom of some influence, by the early 19th century Laos was under Siamese rule. In 1893, Siam renounced its claims, and in 1899, Laos became a French protectorate. During 1941-45, Laos was occupied by Japan. After World War II, Laos was reestablished as a kingdom (1947), under French protection. In 1953, it became independent within the French Union, and in 1956, it became fully independent. During the Vietnamese War, Laos maintained a precarious neutrality, with troops of both sides active within the country. With the U.S. withdrawal from Indochina, the neutralist regime collapsed, and in May 1975, the Lao Democratic People's Republic was established. During the past decade Laos has received substantial amounts of foreign investment and in 1997 joined ASEAN.

    Las Bela (1897-1907)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 63,000. A former feudatory state of India, now a part of Pakistan.

    Latakia (1931-37)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 280,000 (1936 estimate). This area, originally called Alaouites, was a district of western Syria under French mandate. Its stamps were replaced by those of Syria in 1937, after its merger with Syria in December 1936.

    Latvia (1918-41, 1991-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,437,649. A republic on the Baltic and the Gulf of Riga. Although the majority of Latvians are Slavic, the area was long dominated by a German land-owning class, descendants of the Knights of the Tuetonic Order, who conquered the region during the Middle Ages. Latvia was ruled by Poland and Sweden until Russia occupied the territory in the 18th century. During 1917-18, Latvia was occupied by Germany, and in 1918 it declared its independence from Russia. During 1919, the Latvian government fought both the Red Army, which sought to reestablish Russian control, and the Army of the West, which sought to maintain German influence. By the end of 1919, Latvia was able to secure its independence. In 1939, as part of the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact, the Soviet Union established military bases in Latvia. In June 1940, Soviet forces seized the country, and in July it was absorbed into the Soviet Union. In July 1941, Germany occupied the country, and many cities overprinted their stocks of Russian stamps for provisional use. In November, German "Ostland" issues were introduced, replacing the many local issues. During 1944-45, Soviet forces again occupied Latvia, and ordinary Russian stamps were again placed into use. Latvia declared its independence on August 21, 1991, and in September, Russia recognized its sovereignty. The last Russian troops were withdrawn in 1994.

    Lebanon (1924-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 3,858,736. A republic in western Asia, bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. Under Turkish rule until 1918, Lebanon was occupied by the French after World War I under a League of Nations mandate. It was declared independent in 1941, and in 1944, its independence was implemented. Lebanon's population is 57 percent Muslim and 40 percent Christian, and from 1943, the two groups co-existed through a constitutional apportioning of key government posts. During 1969-75, Palestinian commando groups became increasingly powerful in Lebanon, which they used as a base for raids against Israel. Efforts of the government to restrain Palestinian activities, with which many Lebanese Muslims sympathized, and after 1970 Israeli counterattacks against Palestinian bases in southern Lebanon destabilized the Lebanese government. During 1965-76, these tensions erupted in civil war. Generally, Arab nations supported the Palestinians and leftist Muslim factions, while Israel supported the various Christian groups. In 1976, Syria intervened, suppressed PLO activity and attempted to mediate the conflict. The civil war resumed in 1981, and the country disintegrated into chaos between numerous Muslim and Christian groups, variously backed by Syria and Israel. In 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon in an effort to finally suppress Palestinian terrorist activities, withdrawing, under U.S. pressure, to a security zone in the south in 1983. Continuing terrorist operations in southern Lebanon brought Israeli raids in 1993 and 1996.

    Leeward Islands (1890-1956)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 109,000 (1954 estimate). A group of islands in the West Indies, southeast of Puerto Rico. The Leeward Islands was a former administrative unit of British island possessions in the Caribbean -- Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, and Dominica (until 1940). Leeward Islands issues were used throughout the colony, while the issues of the individual presidencies were valid only within their own territories.

    Lemnos (1912-13)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Greek island in the Aegean Sea. Lemnos utilized 38 overprinted Greek stamps during its occupation by Turkey.

    Leros (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. Leros was claimed from Turkey by Italy in 1912, at which time Italian stamps overprinted "Leros" were issued. In 1929, these were superseded by general issues for the Aegean Islands, although two sets overprinted "Lero" were released in 1930 and 1932.

    Lesotho (1966-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,007,814. A kingdom in southern Africa, surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. Until it became independent as Lesotho in 1966, this territory was the British crown colony of Basutoland. Lesotho is completely surrounded by South Africa, and the majority of its work force is employed in that country.

    Liban

    See Lebanon

    Liberia (1860-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,602,068. A republic on the west coast of Africa, Liberia was colonized after 1822 by freed slaves from the United States. In 1847, Liberia was proclaimed independent. Liberian political and economic life was long dominated by the descendants of these freed slaves, who constitute less than 3 percent of the country's population. In 1980, a military coup led by Sgt. Samuel Doe overthrew the establishment government. Doe's harsh rule prompted an assassination attempt in 1985 and rebellion in 1989. In 1990, he was captured and executed. A chaotic civil war lasted until 1996, claiming more than 150,000 lives.

    Libya (1912-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,648,359. A republic in northern Africa, bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. Occupied until 1912 by Turkey, the area that is now Libya passed to Italy after its victory in the Turko-Italian War of 1912. The colonies of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were united into Libya in 1934. During World War II, the colony was occupied by the Allies with Tripolitania and Cyrenaica under British administration, using "M.E.F." stamps (Middle Eastern Forces), while Fezzan-Ghadames was under French administration, using its own issues. On Dec. 24, 1951, the independent Kingdom of Libya was established. In September 1969, the monarchy was overthrown, and the Libyan Arab Republic was established. The new regime, under Col. Muammar al-Qadaffi, espoused a pan-Arab, socialist and Muslim fundamentalist philosophy that has led to ongoing conflicts with Libya's neighbors. During 1977, it fought several clashes with Egypt, and during 1977-87, it occupied portions of Chad, until driven from that country. Libya has been an active supporter of terrorist organizations throughout the world. In 1986, the United States imposed economic sanctions and froze Libyan assets in the United States. In 1992, the United Nations imposed limited economic sanctions, strengthened in 1993, in retaliation for Libya's refusal to extradite two terrorists believed to be responsible for the bombing of airplane flights over Scotland and Niger.

    Liechtenstein (1912-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 31,461. A principality in central Europe between Switzerland and Austria. Liechtenstein, founded in 1719, became a sovereign state in 1806, and became independent in 1866. Until 1918, it retained close ties with Austria, which until 1920 operated the Liechtenstein postal service. Since 1920, it has been associated with Switzerland, its post office having been under Swiss administration since 1921. In 1868, Liechtenstein abolished its army and has since remained free of foreign entanglements. Liechtenstein is one of the major tax havens of the world, and many international corporations have headquarters there. The country's major exports include postage stamps and plastic postage stamp mounts.

    Lietuva

    See Lithuania

    Lisso (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. Lisso was occupied by Italy in 1912, at which time Italian stamps overprinted "Lipso" were issued. In 1929, Lisso's issues were superseded by the general issues for the Aegean Islands, although two sets overprinted "Lisso" or "Lipso" were released in 1930 and 1932.

    Lithuania (1918-40, 1990-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 3,635,932. A country of eastern Europe, northeast of Poland and south of Latvia. Lithuania ruled a large empire in the later Middle Ages, stretching from the Baltic to the Black Seas. In 1385 it was united with the Kingdom of Poland. Initially the dominant partner, Lithuania was gradually eclipsed by Poland. It was absorbed by Russia in 1793 and remained under Russian control until World War I. In 1915, the country was occupied by Germany, which supported its declaration of independence from Russia in 1918. German troops remained in Lithuania until the end of 1919. In 1920, the border district of Central Lithuania was lost to Poland, but this was somewhat offset by Lithuania's seizure of the German port of Memel from the Allies in 1923. In October 1939, Lithuania reoccupied Central Lithuania, in return for which it allowed the Soviet Union to establish military bases. In June 1940, Lithuania was seized by Soviet forces and in July was annexed to the Soviet Union. In June 1941, German forces occupied the country, and a number of local overprints on Russian stamps were used, as well as general overprints for Lithuania as a whole. From November 1941 to 1944, German issues overprinted "Ostland" were used. In 1944, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Lithuania was one of the first nations to declare its independence, on March 11, 1990. This independence was recognized by Western nations in August 1991, and by Russia in September. The last Russian troops were withdrawn in 1993. Lithuania has since pursued membership in the European Union.

    Livorno (1930)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Liguria, Italy. On May 11, 1930, Mussolini visited Livorno, and a local stamp, valid only on that day, was issued by the municipal authorities to commemorate Il Duce's visit.

    Ljady (1942)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Russian city near St. Petersburg. The German military commander surcharged two stamps of Germany and Ostland for use in the area.

    Ljubljana (Lubiana, Laibach) (1941-45)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Western Slovenia, separated and established as an Italo-German puppet state during World War II.

    Logrono (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital of the province of Logrono in north-central Spain. In 1937, a set of stamps was issued by the local Nationalist authorities.

    Lombardy-Venetia (1850-66)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom was created in 1815, comprising northeastern Italy, under the Austrian emperor. In 1859, Milan was conquered by Sardinia, and in 1866, Austria relinquished Venetia to the Kingdom of Italy. The Austrian administration issued separate stamps for this state, inscribed in Italian currency, which were also used in Austrian post offices in the Ottoman Empire. Since 1866, Italian stamps have been in use.

    Long Island (1916)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island (Cheustan or Makronsi) in the Gulf of Smyrna. Long Island was occupied by British forces in 1916, at which time the British commander issued Turkish fiscal stamps overprinted "G.R.I. Postage" and provisional typewritten stamps, used until the British withdrawal from the island.

    Lorient (1945)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In February 1945, 27 French stamps were overprinted by the German military authorities for local use.

    Lourenco Marques (1895-1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 474,000. A district of southern Mozambique. Its stamps were replaced by those of Mozambique in 1920.

    Lubeck (1859-68)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 136,413. A former Free City and State in northern Germany on the Baltic Sea. Lubeck's stamps were replaced by those of the North German Confederation.

    Luboml (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in southern Poland. The local authorities issued a series of stamps during the German occupation. This issue was very speculative and may be found with many so-called errors.

    Luga (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northwestern Russia, south of St. Petersburg. Surcharged Russian stamps were issued by the German military commander.

    Luxembourg (1852-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 422,474. A grand duchy in western Europe, strategically located between Germany, France and Belgium. Until 1890, Luxembourg was ruled by a succession of foreign powers, although from 1815, it was technically independent, joined in personal union with the Netherlands. With the death of William III, king of the Netherlands and grand duke of Luxembourg, the country became completely independent. Luxembourg was occupied by Germany in both world wars. In 1949, it abandoned its traditional neutrality to become a charter member of NATO. It is a member of the Common Market and is an enthusiastic promoter of European cooperation. Luxembourg is a prosperous, highly industrialized nation.Labuan (1879-1906)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island off the northwest coast of Borneo. Labuan was ceded by Brunei to Britain in 1848 and administered by the British North Borneo Company from 1890 to 1906. In 1907, Labuan was attached to the Straits Settlements and, after 1945, to British North Borneo (Sabah).

    Lagos (1874-1906)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A territory in south Nigeria. Lagos was occupied by Great Britain in 1861 and, during 1886-1906, was a separate protectorate. The territory merged with the Southern Nigerian Protectorate in 1906.

    Laos (1951-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,116,959. A state in northwestern Indochina. Formerly a kingdom of some influence, by the early 19th century Laos was under Siamese rule. In 1893, Siam renounced its claims, and in 1899, Laos became a French protectorate. During 1941-45, Laos was occupied by Japan. After World War II, Laos was reestablished as a kingdom (1947), under French protection. In 1953, it became independent within the French Union, and in 1956, it became fully independent. During the Vietnamese War, Laos maintained a precarious neutrality, with troops of both sides active within the country. With the U.S. withdrawal from Indochina, the neutralist regime collapsed, and in May 1975, the Lao Democratic People's Republic was established. During the past decade Laos has received substantial amounts of foreign investment and in 1997 joined ASEAN.

    Las Bela (1897-1907)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 63,000. A former feudatory state of India, now a part of Pakistan.

    Latakia (1931-37)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 280,000 (1936 estimate). This area, originally called Alaouites, was a district of western Syria under French mandate. Its stamps were replaced by those of Syria in 1937, after its merger with Syria in December 1936.

    Latvia (1918-41, 1991-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,437,649. A republic on the Baltic and the Gulf of Riga. Although the majority of Latvians are Slavic, the area was long dominated by a German land-owning class, descendants of the Knights of the Tuetonic Order, who conquered the region during the Middle Ages. Latvia was ruled by Poland and Sweden until Russia occupied the territory in the 18th century. During 1917-18, Latvia was occupied by Germany, and in 1918 it declared its independence from Russia. During 1919, the Latvian government fought both the Red Army, which sought to reestablish Russian control, and the Army of the West, which sought to maintain German influence. By the end of 1919, Latvia was able to secure its independence. In 1939, as part of the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact, the Soviet Union established military bases in Latvia. In June 1940, Soviet forces seized the country, and in July it was absorbed into the Soviet Union. In July 1941, Germany occupied the country, and many cities overprinted their stocks of Russian stamps for provisional use. In November, German "Ostland" issues were introduced, replacing the many local issues. During 1944-45, Soviet forces again occupied Latvia, and ordinary Russian stamps were again placed into use. Latvia declared its independence on August 21, 1991, and in September, Russia recognized its sovereignty. The last Russian troops were withdrawn in 1994.

    Lebanon (1924-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 3,858,736. A republic in western Asia, bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. Under Turkish rule until 1918, Lebanon was occupied by the French after World War I under a League of Nations mandate. It was declared independent in 1941, and in 1944, its independence was implemented. Lebanon's population is 57 percent Muslim and 40 percent Christian, and from 1943, the two groups co-existed through a constitutional apportioning of key government posts. During 1969-75, Palestinian commando groups became increasingly powerful in Lebanon, which they used as a base for raids against Israel. Efforts of the government to restrain Palestinian activities, with which many Lebanese Muslims sympathized, and after 1970 Israeli counterattacks against Palestinian bases in southern Lebanon destabilized the Lebanese government. During 1965-76, these tensions erupted in civil war. Generally, Arab nations supported the Palestinians and leftist Muslim factions, while Israel supported the various Christian groups. In 1976, Syria intervened, suppressed PLO activity and attempted to mediate the conflict. The civil war resumed in 1981, and the country disintegrated into chaos between numerous Muslim and Christian groups, variously backed by Syria and Israel. In 1982, Israel invaded Lebanon in an effort to finally suppress Palestinian terrorist activities, withdrawing, under U.S. pressure, to a security zone in the south in 1983. Continuing terrorist operations in southern Lebanon brought Israeli raids in 1993 and 1996.

    Leeward Islands (1890-1956)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 109,000 (1954 estimate). A group of islands in the West Indies, southeast of Puerto Rico. The Leeward Islands was a former administrative unit of British island possessions in the Caribbean -- Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis and Anguilla, British Virgin Islands, and Dominica (until 1940). Leeward Islands issues were used throughout the colony, while the issues of the individual presidencies were valid only within their own territories.

    Lemnos (1912-13)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Greek island in the Aegean Sea. Lemnos utilized 38 overprinted Greek stamps during its occupation by Turkey.

    Leros (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. Leros was claimed from Turkey by Italy in 1912, at which time Italian stamps overprinted "Leros" were issued. In 1929, these were superseded by general issues for the Aegean Islands, although two sets overprinted "Lero" were released in 1930 and 1932.

    Lesotho (1966-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,007,814. A kingdom in southern Africa, surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. Until it became independent as Lesotho in 1966, this territory was the British crown colony of Basutoland. Lesotho is completely surrounded by South Africa, and the majority of its work force is employed in that country.

    Liberia (1860-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,602,068. A republic on the west coast of Africa, Liberia was colonized after 1822 by freed slaves from the United States. In 1847, Liberia was proclaimed independent. Liberian political and economic life was long dominated by the descendants of these freed slaves, who constitute less than 3 percent of the country's population. In 1980, a military coup led by Sgt. Samuel Doe overthrew the establishment government. Doe's harsh rule prompted an assassination attempt in 1985 and rebellion in 1989. In 1990, he was captured and executed. A chaotic civil war lasted until 1996, claiming more than 150,000 lives.

    Libya (1912-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,648,359. A republic in northern Africa, bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. Occupied until 1912 by Turkey, the area that is now Libya passed to Italy after its victory in the Turko-Italian War of 1912. The colonies of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica were united into Libya in 1934. During World War II, the colony was occupied by the Allies with Tripolitania and Cyrenaica under British administration, using "M.E.F." stamps (Middle Eastern Forces), while Fezzan-Ghadames was under French administration, using its own issues. On Dec. 24, 1951, the independent Kingdom of Libya was established. In September 1969, the monarchy was overthrown, and the Libyan Arab Republic was established. The new regime, under Col. Muammar al-Qadaffi, espoused a pan-Arab, socialist and Muslim fundamentalist philosophy that has led to ongoing conflicts with Libya's neighbors. During 1977, it fought several clashes with Egypt, and during 1977-87, it occupied portions of Chad, until driven from that country. Libya has been an active supporter of terrorist organizations throughout the world. In 1986, the United States imposed economic sanctions and froze Libyan assets in the United States. In 1992, the United Nations imposed limited economic sanctions, strengthened in 1993, in retaliation for Libya's refusal to extradite two terrorists believed to be responsible for the bombing of airplane flights over Scotland and Niger.

    Liechtenstein (1912-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 31,461. A principality in central Europe between Switzerland and Austria. Liechtenstein, founded in 1719, became a sovereign state in 1806, and became independent in 1866. Until 1918, it retained close ties with Austria, which until 1920 operated the Liechtenstein postal service. Since 1920, it has been associated with Switzerland, its post office having been under Swiss administration since 1921. In 1868, Liechtenstein abolished its army and has since remained free of foreign entanglements. Liechtenstein is one of the major tax havens of the world, and many international corporations have headquarters there. The country's major exports include postage stamps and plastic postage stamp mounts.

    Lisso (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. Lisso was occupied by Italy in 1912, at which time Italian stamps overprinted "Lipso" were issued. In 1929, Lisso's issues were superseded by the general issues for the Aegean Islands, although two sets overprinted "Lisso" or "Lipso" were released in 1930 and 1932.

    Lithuania (1918-40, 1990-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 3,635,932. A country of eastern Europe, northeast of Poland and south of Latvia. Lithuania ruled a large empire in the later Middle Ages, stretching from the Baltic to the Black Seas. In 1385 it was united with the Kingdom of Poland. Initially the dominant partner, Lithuania was gradually eclipsed by Poland. It was absorbed by Russia in 1793 and remained under Russian control until World War I. In 1915, the country was occupied by Germany, which supported its declaration of independence from Russia in 1918. German troops remained in Lithuania until the end of 1919. In 1920, the border district of Central Lithuania was lost to Poland, but this was somewhat offset by Lithuania's seizure of the German port of Memel from the Allies in 1923. In October 1939, Lithuania reoccupied Central Lithuania, in return for which it allowed the Soviet Union to establish military bases. In June 1940, Lithuania was seized by Soviet forces and in July was annexed to the Soviet Union. In June 1941, German forces occupied the country, and a number of local overprints on Russian stamps were used, as well as general overprints for Lithuania as a whole. From November 1941 to 1944, German issues overprinted "Ostland" were used. In 1944, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Lithuania was one of the first nations to declare its independence, on March 11, 1990. This independence was recognized by Western nations in August 1991, and by Russia in September. The last Russian troops were withdrawn in 1993. Lithuania has since pursued membership in the European Union.

    Livorno (1930)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Liguria, Italy. On May 11, 1930, Mussolini visited Livorno, and a local stamp, valid only on that day, was issued by the municipal authorities to commemorate Il Duce's visit.

    Ljady (1942)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Russian city near St. Petersburg. The German military commander surcharged two stamps of Germany and Ostland for use in the area.

    Ljubljana (Lubiana, Laibach) (1941-45)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Western Slovenia, separated and established as an Italo-German puppet state during World War II.

    Logrono (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital of the province of Logrono in north-central Spain. In 1937, a set of stamps was issued by the local Nationalist authorities.

    Lombardy-Venetia (1850-66)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom was created in 1815, comprising northeastern Italy, under the Austrian emperor. In 1859, Milan was conquered by Sardinia, and in 1866, Austria relinquished Venetia to the Kingdom of Italy. The Austrian administration issued separate stamps for this state, inscribed in Italian currency, which were also used in Austrian post offices in the Ottoman Empire. Since 1866, Italian stamps have been in use.

    Long Island (1916)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island (Cheustan or Makronsi) in the Gulf of Smyrna. Long Island was occupied by British forces in 1916, at which time the British commander issued Turkish fiscal stamps overprinted "G.R.I. Postage" and provisional typewritten stamps, used until the British withdrawal from the island.

    Lorient (1945)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In February 1945, 27 French stamps were overprinted by the German military authorities for local use.

    Lourenco Marques (1895-1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 474,000. A district of southern Mozambique. Its stamps were replaced by those of Mozambique in 1920.

    Lubeck (1859-68)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 136,413. A former Free City and State in northern Germany on the Baltic Sea. Lubeck's stamps were replaced by those of the North German Confederation.

    Luboml (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in southern Poland. The local authorities issued a series of stamps during the German occupation. This issue was very speculative and may be found with many so-called errors.

    Luga (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northwestern Russia, south of St. Petersburg. Surcharged Russian stamps were issued by the German military commander.

    Luxembourg (1852-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 422,474. A grand duchy in western Europe, strategically located between Germany, France and Belgium. Until 1890, Luxembourg was ruled by a succession of foreign powers, although from 1815, it was technically independent, joined in personal union with the Netherlands. With the death of William III, king of the Netherlands and grand duke of Luxembourg, the country became completely independent. Luxembourg was occupied by Germany in both world wars. In 1949, it abandoned its traditional neutrality to become a charter member of NATO. It is a member of the Common Market and is an enthusiastic promoter of European cooperation. Luxembourg is a prosperous, highly industrialized nation.

    Macau (1884-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 502,325. A Chinese port occupied by Portugal since 1557. In 1849, Portugal assumed full sovereignty over the territory, which includes two small, adjacent islands. In 1976 Macau was given considerable autonomy. In 1987, Portugal agreed to return the territory to China in 1999, under conditions similar to those accompanying Hong Kong's 1997 return to China by the United Kingdom.

    Macedonia (1944, 1991-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. A republic in the central Balkans, Macedonia became part of Serbia after 1913, and so became part of Yugoslavia when Serbia merged into that nation. Bulgaria annexed the territory in 1941. On Sept. 8, 1944, Macedonia declared its independence from Bulgaria. After withdrawal of German troops in November 1944, the area was returned to Yugoslavia. Overprinted Bulgarian stamps were in use for a few weeks before the collapse of the German puppet government. On September 8, 1991, Macedonia declared its independence and in 1993 was admitted to the United Nations. A United Nations peace-keeping force, including U.S. troops, remains in Macedonia to prevent the spread of instability from other areas of Yugoslavia. Relations with Greece, which refused to recognize Macedonia's right to use its name, were normalized in 1995, and relations with Yugoslavia were normalized in 1996.

    Madagascar (Malagasy Republic) (1889-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10.28 million (1986 estimate). A large island in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of Africa. During the 19th century, most of the island was united under the Hova tribe, which was placed under French protection in 1885. In 1896, the native monarchy was abolished and Madagascar became a French colony, at times administering French island possessions in the area. In 1958, Madagascar, renamed the Malagasy Republic, became autonomous within the French Union. In 1960 it became fully independent. French influence remained strong until a 1972 coup brought a socialist regime to power. The new government nationalized French holdings, closed down French military bases and a U.S. space-tracking station, and obtained Chinese aid. In 1990, multiparty politics, banned in 1975, were again legalized. France and the United States remain the country's chief trading partners.

    Madeira (1868-98, 1928-29, 1980-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 290,000. A group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean northwest of Africa. Madeira's stamps were replaced by those of Portugal in 1898. In 1928-29, a special series of stamps was issued for use on certain days, when their use was obligatory. On Jan. 2, 1980, separate issues again appeared for Madeira.

    Mafia (1915-18)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A small island off the coast of German East Africa, occupied by the British in December 1914. In January 1915, 32 German East African stamps were overprinted for use on the island. Later, German fiscal stamps and Indian issues overprinted "I.E.F." were overprinted "Mafia" or "G.R.I.-Mafia" for local use. In August 1918, the island was transferred to Tanganyikan administration, and issues of Tanganyika (Tanzania) have since been used.

    Magyar Posta

    See Hungary

    Mahra (1967)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A sultanate in the Aden Protectorate in southwest Arabia. Mahra briefly issued stamps before its absorption into the People's Republic of Southern Yemen.

    Majorca (1936-37)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The largest of the Balearic Islands, in the western Mediterranean Sea. Two sets of overprinted Spanish stamps were issued in 1936 and 1937 under the authority of the Nationalist Civil Governor of the Balearic Islands.

    Majunga (1895)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Province and seaport on the coast of Madagascar. Stamps of France provisionally surcharged were used briefly in February 1895.

    Malacca (Melaka) (1948-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 318,110 (1960 estimate). Formerly part of the British colony of Straits Settlements. Malacca was under British control since the early 19th century, except for Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945. The area is now a part of Malaya within the Malaysian Federation. Stamps currently issued for use there are inscribed "Melaka."

    Malaga (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province of southern Spain, located on the Mediterranean Sea. Two sets of stamps, overprinted on Spanish issues, were issued by the Nationalist Civil Governor in 1937.

    Malagasy Reppublic

    See Madagascar

    Malawi (1964-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 9,609,081. A republic in south-central Africa. Until it became independent on July 6, 1964, Malawi was the British Nyasaland Protectorate. Malawi is closely linked economically with Zimbabwe and South Africa.

    Malaya, Federation (1957-63)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 7.4 million (1961 estimate). A formerly independent federation comprising the Malayan states in the southern part of the Malayan Peninsula. The federation merged with Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah to form Malaysia in 1963.

    Malaya-Federated Malay States (1900-35)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A group of native states in the south portion of the Malayan Peninsula in southeast Asia, under British protection. The federated states were Perak, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Pahang. In 1935, the federation issues were replaced by those of the individual states. In 1945, the Federated Malay States were incorporated into the Malayan Union.

    Malaysia (1963-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 20,376,235. Federation within the British Commonwealth. Malaysia was formed Sept. 16, 1963, with the union of the former British territories of the Federation of Malaya, Singapore (until 1965), Sarawak and Sabah (North Borneo). Malaysia is rich in natural resources and has enjoyed substantial industrial development since independence.

    Maldive Islands (1906-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 280,391. A group of islands in the Indian Ocean, southwest of Ceylon. The Maldives came under British protection in 1887 and were attached to the Ceylon colony until 1948. During 1948-64, the islands were closely associated with Great Britain, becoming completely independent in July 1965. In 1968, the 800-year-old sultanate was abolished, and a republic was established. Although the Maldives have issued some 2,000 stamps since independence, the country is not economically developed and is among the world's poorest nations.

    Mali (1959-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 9,945,383. A republic in West Africa. Formerly the French Sudan, Mali joined Senegal in 1959 to form the independent Federation of Mali. Senegal withdrew from the federation in 1960, and Mali, which called itself the Sudanese Republic during its union with Senegal, proclaimed its independence as the Republic of Mali. Mali maintained a carefully neutralist policy until 1968, accepting economic aid from both the Western and communist blocs. After 1968, Mali followed a pro-communist foreign policy under President Amadou Toumani Traore, until his ouster in 1991. Famine in 1973-74 and drought in the 1980s have plagued the country.

    Malta (1860-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 379,365. A group of islands in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily. Strategically located, Malta has been ruled by a long succession of foreign powers, from the Phoenicians through the British, who occupied the islands during the Napoleonic Wars. Malta became independent in 1964 and a republic in 1974. In 1979, the last British military personnel were withdrawn.

    Man, Isle of (1973-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 74,504. An island in the Irish Sea, west of Britain. A self-governing crown possession, the Isle of Man used British stamps, along with its own regional issues after 1958, until July 5, 1973, when its postal administration separated from that of Britain.

    Manama (1966-72)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A dependency of the sheikhdom of Ajman in the Trucial States of eastern Arabia.

    Manchukuo (1932-45)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 43.2 million (1940 estimate). A former Japanese satellite, comprising Manchuria and Jehol. Established in 1932 under Henry Pu-yi, who as Hsuan Tung had been the last Manchu emperor of China. In 1934, Pu-yi became Emperor Kang Teh of Manchukuo. The area was occupied by the Soviets in July 1945, and was turned over to the Chinese communist regime in May 1946. Nationalist forces held the southern portion of Manchukuo until November 1948, and during 1946-48 issued stamps for this area (North-Eastern Provinces).

    Mariana Islands (1899-1914)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 40,000 (1919 estimate). A group of islands in the western Pacific. Under Spanish rule from 1668-1898, when, except for Guam, they were sold to Germany. Japan occupied the Marianas in 1914, and Japanese stamps replaced those of the German colony. In 1945, U.S. forces occupied the islands, which were mandated to the United States as part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.

    Marienwerder (1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former Prussian district, which was occupied by the Allies after World War I. A plebiscite in 1920 returned the area to Germany. It was occupied by Poland after World War II.

    Marino (1930)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district of northeastern Venezuela, which was controlled by a revolutionary group for a short time during 1903.

    Maroc, Royaume du

    See Morocco

    Marshall Islands (1889-1916; 1984-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 15,000 (1916 estimate), 60,652 (1997). The easternmost island group in Micronesia, consisting of two roughly parallel chains of coral-capped islets and atolls in the western Pacific. Totaling only 70 square miles, the principal atolls are Majuro, Jaluit and Kwajalein. Spain sold the Caroline Islands in 1898 to Germany, which renamed them the Marshall Islands and issued stamps for use there. The islands were seized by the Japanese during World War I and administered by them under a 1919 League of Nations mandate. Invaded and conquered by United States forces in World War II, the Marshall Islands were made part of the United Nations-mandated U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific in 1947. On May 1, 1981, the Marshall Islands received its own constitution, president and legislature. Stamps ascribed to the island appeared that October, but these originated privately in Japan. The Marshall Islands began issuing its own stamps in May 1984, although its mail continued to be handled by the U.S. Postal Service. The Marshall Islands became fully independent in 1991.

    Martinique (1886-1947)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 261,595 (1946 estimate). A former French island colony in the West Indies, southeast of Puerto Rico. The island became an integral part of the French republic on Jan. 1, 1947. French stamps are now used.

    Maturin (1903)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital of the state of Monagas in northeastern Venezuela. A revolutionary group in control of the region issued stamps for a short time during 1903.

    Mauritania (1906-44, 1960-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,411,317. A republic in northwestern Africa, bordering on the Atlantic Ocean. A former French colony, Mauritania was part of French West Africa from 1904 to 1958 and used French West African stamps 1945-49. In 1958, Mauritania, as the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, became autonomous within the French Union, and in 1960 it became fully independent. At one time, the territory of Mauritania was ruled by Morocco, and Morocco claimed the area until 1970. In 1976, the mineral-rich Spanish Sahara was divided between the two countries. In 1980, Mauritania, after four years of war with the Polsario Front, renounced its share of the former Spanish Sahara, which was then occupied by Morocco.

    Mauritanie, Republic islamique de

    See Mauritania

    Mauritius (1847-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,154,272. An island in the Indian Ocean. Mauritius was a British colony after 1810 and became independent in 1968. Mauritius enjoys a free political life and a high literacy rate. The country's economy has expanded since independence.

    Mayotte (1892-1914, 1997-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 14,000 (1912 estimate), 104,715 (1997).< One of the Comoro Islands, Mayotte was occupied by France in 1841 and attached to the colony of Madagascar in 1911. The Comoros were separated from Madagascar in 1947 and began issuing their own stamps in 1950. Mayotte is claimed by the Comoros but administered by France. In 1976, the territory voted to become a territorial collectivity of France.

    Mayreau Island (1976-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. One of the Granadines of St. Vincent, a group of small islands in the Lesser Antilles, north of Trinidad and South America.

    Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1856-67)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former grand duchy in northern Germany, bordering the Baltic Sea. In 1868, issues of the North German Confederation came into use.

    Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1864-67)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former grand duchy in northern Germany, divided into two parts by Mecklenburg-Schwerin, with which it was joined until 1701. Its stamps were replaced by those of the North German Confederation in 1868.

    Melilla (1936)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A port in northern Morocco. Occupied by Spain since 1470, Melilla was a military stronghold administered separately from Spanish Morocco, which was not occupied by Spain until the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Melilla, along with Cueta, remains a part of metropolitan Spain. In 1936, the military authorities in Melilla overprinted two Spanish stamps for local use.

    Memel (1920-24, 1939)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district in northern Europe, on the Baltic Sea. German until after World War I, when the area was occupied by the French, who issued 123 surcharged and overprinted stamps. In 1923, frustrated by the League of Nations' failure to decide the disposition of sovereignty over the area, Lithuania seized Memel. They created 11 occupation issues. In 1924, this was approved by the League of Nations. In 1939, Germany reoccupied Memel, and briefly, four Lithuanian stamps overprinted "Memelland/Ist/frei" were used. After World War II, the area was reincorporated in the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic.

    Meng Chiang (Inner Mongolia) (1941-45)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Regular Chinese stamps were overprinted by the Japanese in 1941, and separate issues for this area continued until the end of World War II. This area was held by the communist forces at the end of the war and was included in the North China postal district, which issued stamps from 1946 to 1949. Regular issues of the central government came into use after 1950.

    Merano (1918)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northern Italy, formerly under Austrian rule. Local stamps were issued by the authorities in 1918, while the area was still a part of Austria.

    Merida (1916)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital of the state of Yucatan in southern Mexico. A single issue received a 25-centavo surcharge for local use there in 1916.

    Mesopotamia (1917-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population 2.85 million (1920 estimate). Former Turkish province in western Asia. Mesopotamia was occupied by British forces during World War I. It became the kingdom of Iraq under British mandate in 1921.

    Mexico (1856-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 97,563,374. A republic in North America, situated between the United States and Central America, bordering on the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Mexico was the center of a number of Indian cultures dating from c. 800 B.C. By the 15th century, the central portion of the country was ruled by the Aztec Empire, which was conquered by the Spanish in 1519-21. Mexico, as the viceroyalty of New Spain, was the center of Spain's North American Empire for 300 years. The Mexican revolution against Spain began in 1810 and finally succeeded in 1821. The Mexican Empire of 1822-23 included Central America, but this area soon became independent. The republican government that succeeded the empire was marked by instability and strife. The weakened condition of the country cost it Texas (1836) and the large northern area that now comprises the southwestern United States (1848). An additional area in the north was sold to the United States in 1853. During 1861-67, Mexico was torn by a civil war between the aristocracy, supported by France, and the lower classes, led by Benito Juarez. The French were finally expelled from Mexico, and Juarez came to power. During most of the period between 1877 and 1911, the country was ruled by the dictator Porfirio Diaz, who restored stability and secured foreign investment. After Diaz's death, Mexico entered a period of civil war, which lasted from 1913-20. During this period, the United States intervened in Veracruz (1914) and sent a punitive expedition into northern Mexico (1916-17). Since 1929, Mexico has been ruled by the Institutional Revolutionary Party. The PRI is a broad-based political confederation, encompassing a wide political spectrum. Mexico has rich natural resources, including what may be the world's largest petroleum reserves, but its rugged topography and arid climate have been major obstacles to economic development. Considerable economic and social progress has been made since 1940. The Mexican economy has improved greatly, although setbacks in the 1980s have left continuing employment and banking problems. In the 1990s, the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party), which has controlled the country since 1920, saw gains from hitherto powerless opposition parties. Nevertheless, the PRI elite continues to maintain a tight hold on political power in Mexico.

    Mexico-Revolutionary Overprints (1914)

    With the seizure of power in 1913 by Gen. Huerta following the assassination of President Madero, a group of Madero's former supporters launched a revolution. This group, led by Carranza and including such leaders as Obregon, Villa and Zapata, called themselves the "Constitutional Government." During 1914, a number of Mexican cities and states under Constitutionalist control, provisionally overprinted stocks of regular Mexican stamps -- Acambaro (Guanajuato State); Aguascalientes (Aguascalientes); Chihuahua (Chihuahua); Colima (Colima); Culiacan (Sinoloa); Guaymas (Sonora); Juarez (Chihuahua); Leon (Guanajuato); Lower California; Coahuila; Gonzales (Guanajuato); Matehuala (San Luis Potosi); Monterrey (Nuevo Leon); Queretaro; Salamanca (Guanajuato); San Juan de Allende (Coahuila); San Luis Potosi (San Luis Potosi); San Pedro; Sinaloa (Sinaloa); Sonora; Torreon (Coahuila); Tuxtla; Viezca; Yucatan; and Zacatecas.

    Micronesia (1984-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 127,616. A group of more than 600 islands totaling only 270 square miles, located in the western Pacific Ocean north of the equator. These islands, along with what is now Palau, were part of the Spanish Caroline Islands until 1899, when they were sold to Germany, which issued stamps for use there. The Caroline Islands were seized by the Japanese during World War I and administered by them under a 1919 mandate of the League of Nations. Invaded and conquered by United States forces in the Pacific campaigns of World War II, the islands were made part of the United Nations-mandated U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific in 1947, using U.S. stamps since that time. The islands were proclaimed the Federated States of Micronesia and began issuing stamps in July 1984. Mail continues to be handled by the U.S. Postal Service. Micronesia became fully independent in 1991.

    Middle Congo (1907-36)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive: Population: 747,000 (1933 estimate). Former French colony on the northern side of the Congo River. Created from existing French territory in 1907, it was confederated with Gabon, Ubangi-Shari and Chad to form French Equatorial Africa. After 1936, issues of French Equatorial Africa replaced those of the individual colonies.

    Middle East Forces (1942-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During World War II, British and New Zealand forces occupied Italian colonies in East Africa, North Africa and the Aegean Sea. British stamps overprinted "M.E.F." were used in these areas until 1950, after which the remainders were used in Great Britain.

    Milan (1897)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northern Italy. For a time, local stamps were issued by the municipal authorities.

    Minorca (1939)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Balearic Islands, in the western Mediterranean Sea. Locally typeset stamps were used provisionally after the occupation of the island by the Nationalists in February 1939.

    Mocambique

    See Mozambique

    Modena (1852-60)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Former duchy in northern Italy. In 1859, the duchy was overthrown, and in 1860 the area merged with Sardinia, whose issues came into use.

    Moheli (1906-12)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 4,000 (1916 estimate). One of the Comoro Islands in the Mozambique Channel near Madagascar. Moheli was attached to Madagascar in 1911 and was again separated, as one of the Comoro Islands, in 1947. Comoro stamps have been in use since 1950.

    Moldavia (1858-61)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Former principality in northeastern Romania. Under Turkish suzerainty after the 16th century, Moldavia united with Wallachia in 1861 to form the Kingdom of Romania.

    Moldavia-Wallachia (1862-65)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The united principalities that came to form Romania.

    Moldova (1992-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. Historically the eastern half of the Grand Duchy of Moldavia, the territory that is now the republic of Moldova was under Ottoman Turkish control from the 15th century, until its annexation by Russia in 1812. In 1918, it was reoccupied by what had become Romania. It was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1939, and in 1940 was organized as the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. Moldova was again rejoined to Romania 1941-44, but in 1944 passed back to the Soviets. With the breakup of the Soviet Union, Moldova declared its independence on August 27, 1991. During 1992-97 a civil war raged in the Trans-Dnestr Region, between the Moldovan government and ethnic Russians and Ukrainians, who feared that the Moldovan majority would unite the country with Romania. In 1994, a national plebiscite supported independence, and in 1997 a peace accord was signed.

    Monaco (1885-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 31,892. A principality on the southern coast of France. Long autonomous under the protection, at various times, of France, Spain and Sardinia, Monaco is independent, except for the right of France to approve the successor to the throne. By the treaty of 1918, Monaco will be annexed by France should the ruling Grimaldi family fail to provide an heir. Monaco has long been a popular tourist resort, and its beautiful postage stamps have given it a prominence among collectors much greater than one might expect from its small (1.95 square miles) size.

    Mongolia (1924-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,538,211. A republic in central Asia, located between China and Siberia. The homeland of the Mongol Empire that in the 13th-14th centuries stretched from Poland to Korea. By 1689, Mongol power had declined to the point where the region came under Chinese control. In 1911, Mongolia declared its independence but, in 1921, was occupied by Soviet troops. In 1924, a pro-Soviet republic was established, and in 1945, after China renounced all claims in the country, the Mongolian People's Republic was established. From the 1970s, the Mongolian government carried out an active program to transform the country's economy from nomadic to a more modern, settled form. In 1990, the communist government gave up its monopoly on power, and the country has moved quickly to democratize and to liberalize its economy.

    Montenegro (1874-1918, 1941-45)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 516,000 (estimated). A former kingdom in the Balkans, situated north of Albania. Montenegro became independent in 1452 and for centuries successfully resisted the Turks, who held the rest of southeastern Europe. In January 1916, the Austrians occupied Montenegro, and the government fled to Bordeaux, France, where overprinted French stamps were used for a time. In November 1918, King Nicholas was deposed in a pro-Serbian coup, and Montenegro was united with Serbia. During World War II, Montenegro was re-established as an Italian protectorate. In 1943-44, it was occupied by Germany, which overprinted Yugoslavian stamps and issues of the Italian administration. After the German defeat, Montenegro was again occupied by Yugoslavia, which initially overprinted issues of the Italian Montenegrin regime. Since 1945, regular Yugoslavian stamps have been used. With the breakup of the Yugoslav state in the 1990s, Montenegro has remained in partnership with Serbia as part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, declared in 1992.

    Montserrat (1876-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 4,200. An island in the Leeward group in the West Indies, southeast of Puerto Rico. Montserrat was under British control after 1632 and attached to the Leeward Island colony until 1956, when it became a separate crown colony.

    Morocco (1956-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 30,391,423. A kingdom in northwestern Africa, bordering on the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Once a powerful state embracing much of Spain and North Africa in the 12th century, Moroccan power declined thereafter. European encroachment led to the division of the country into French (southern) and Spanish (northern) protectorates in 1912, although tribal resistance continued for two more decades. In 1956, the two zones were reunited and Morocco again became independent. Morocco has since expanded by absorbing Tangier (1956), Ifni (1969), the northern two-thirds of the Spanish Sahara (1976) and the southern portion of the Spanish Sahara in 1980. Morocco waged a bitter war in the former Spanish Sahara against the Polisario Front, which claims independence for the region, until 1990. A United Nations-sponsored referendum on self-determination for the region has not yet taken place.

    Morvi (1931-51)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in western India. Morvi's issues were replaced by Indian stamps in 1950.

    Moschopolis (1914)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A town in southern Albania. Stamps were issued by local authorities during the Greek occupation of the area.

    Mount Athos (1909-13)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The holy mountain of the Orthodox Church, located in northern Greece, near Salonika. In 1909-13, 17 Russian Levant stamps were overprinted "Mount Athos" in French or Russian for use in the Russian consular post office at Daphne, the seaport at the foot of the mountain. This post office was closed when Greece occupied the area in 1913.

    Mozambique (1877-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 18,166,476. A republic on the southeast coast of Africa. Portuguese settlements began in the 16th century, and the colony remained a Portuguese possession until June 25, 1975, when it became independent as the People's Republic of Mozambique. The pro-communist Frelimo Party, which controlled Mozambique after independence, was handicapped by the flight of white Mozambicans, a South-African supported guerrilla war and, in the 1980s, a drought that, with the civil war, brought heavy loss of life. In 1989, Frelimo renounced communism and accepted a multiparty, free-market system. In 1992, the civil war was ended, and in 1995, nearly two million refugees were repatriated.

    Mozambique Company (1892-1942)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 368,000 (1939 estimate). A private company that, by royal charter, acquired extensive rights in the Mozambique districts of Manica and Sofala. Most rights, including the direct administration of the territories and the issuing of stamps, reverted to Portugal in 1942.

    Mustique Island (1976)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. An island in the Grenadines of St. Vincent, a group of small subsidiary islands in the Lesser Antilles, north of Trinidad and South America.

    Myanmar (1989-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 46,821,943. In 1989, the military government renamed Burma the Union of Myanmar. In 1990, the country's first multiparty elections in 30 years resulted in a clear victory for the opposition, but the military refused to step down. The regime has continued to harass its opponents and is under U.S. economic sanctions.

    Mytilene (1909-13)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The chief port of the Greek island of Lesbos in the eastern Aegean Sea, off the coast of Turkey. The Russian post office in Mytilene used stamps of the Russian Levant overprinted "Metelin" after 1909. In 1912, Mytilene was occupied by Greece, and 20 overprinted Turkish stamps were used, being superseded by regular Greek issues in 1913.

    Nabha (1885-1951)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 340,044 (1941 estimate). A convention state of British India. Nabha's issues were used concurrently with those of India after April 1, 1950. On Jan. 1, 1951, they were replaced by Indian stamps.

    Namibia (1999-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,648,270 (1999 estimate). Namibia was established in 1990 from South-West Africa, which had been administered by South Africa under a mandate of the League of Nations.

    Nandgaon (1892-95)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 182,380. A former feudatory state in central India. Nandgaon's issues were replaced by those of India in July 1895.

    Nanumaga (1984-87)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of nine small islands in the Tuvalu Islands, formerly the Ellice Island group in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. The island chain is located east of the Solomon Islands and north of Fiji in the southeastern central Pacific Ocean. Like the other Tuvalu Islands, Nanumaga issued a flurry of stamps depicting such diverse subjects as cars, locomotives, cricket players and the British royal family in the mid-1980s.

    Nanumea (1984-87)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of nine small islands in the Tuvalu Islands, formerly the Ellice Island group in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. The island chain is located east of the Solomon Islands and north of Fiji in the southeastern central Pacific Ocean. Like the other Tuvalu Islands, Nanumea issued a flurry of stamps depicting such diverse subjects as cars, locomotives, cricket players and the British royal family in the mid-1980s.

    Natal (1857-1909)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.2 million (1909 estimate). A former British crown colony on the southeast coast of Africa. A short-lived Boer republic, Natal came under British control in 1843. It was incorporated into the Union of South Africa in 1910.

    Nauru (1916-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,390 (1997 estimate). An island in the west-central Pacific Ocean. Nauru was a German possession from 1888-1914 and was occupied by Australian forces during World War I. From 1920-68, Nauru was a mandate under Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain. It became an independent republic on Jan. 31, 1968. This 8-square-mile island is rich in phosphates, giving the Naureans one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.

    Nawanagar (1875-95)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 402,192. A former feudatory state in western India. Nawanagar's issues were replaced by those of India in December 1895.

    Neapolitan Provinces (1861-62)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In October 1860, Garibaldi deposed the ruling Bourbon dynasty in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, and the country was annexed to Sardinia. Sardinia issued a separate series of stamps for the Neapolitan Provinces in 1861, similar to contemporary Sardinian stamps but inscribed in Neapolitan currency. This set was superseded by regular Italian issues in 1862.

    Nederland

    See Netherlands

    Nederlandse Antillen

    See Netherland Antilles

    Negri Sembilan (1891-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 401,742 (1960 estimate). Sultanate on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. Placed under British protection in 1891, the sultanate was occupied by Japan 1942-45. Negri Sembilan joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and is now part of the Malaysian Federation.

    Nejd (1925-26)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A region in central Arabia united by the puritanical Wahhabi Moslem movement, led by the Saud family, in the 18th century. During 1914-25, Nejd conquered the Hasa, Asir and Hejaz regions and expanded the kingdom to include most of the Arabian Peninsula. In 1925, the Kingdom of Hejaz, Nejd and Dependencies was formed, and in 1932, the kingdom was renamed Saudi Arabia.

    Nepal (1881-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 22,641,061 (1997 estimate). Kingdom in the Himalaya Mountains between India and Tibet. United in 1768, Nepal remained independent during the British occupation of India and has since maintained that independence, enjoying good relations with both India and China.

    Netherlands (1852-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 15,653,091 (1997). Constitutional monarchy in northwest Europe, bordering on the North Sea. A part of Charlemagne's empire, the area of the Netherlands was long ruled by outsiders: Burgundy, the Austrian Habsburgs and, by the 16th century, Spain. Political and religious repression led to a revolt in 1658, and in 1679 the seven northern provinces became independent as the Republic of the United Netherlands. During the 17th century, the Netherlands became one of the predominant naval and commercial powers, controlling a far-flung empire in the Caribbean, North and South America, Africa, India and the East Indies. Conflict with England weakened Dutch power and in 1794 the country was annexed by France. The Netherlands again became independent in 1815, and the Congress of Vienna reconstituted the state to include Belgium and Luxembourg, which later became independent themselves. The Netherlands remained neutral during World War I, successfully avoiding participation in that conflict. Its neutrality in World War II, however, was disregarded by Germany, which occupied it 1940-1945. The last major remnant of the Netherlands' once vast overseas empire was lost in 1950, when Indonesia became independent. The Dutch held West Irian until 1962, when that territory was seized by Indonesia. The Netherlands abandoned its policy of neutrality after World War II and aligned itself with the West. It is a member of NATO and of the Common Market. Although it has undergone substantial industrialization since World War II, the agricultural sector of the country's economy remains strong.

    Netherlands Antilles (Curacao) (1873)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 211,093 (1997). Two groups of islands in the West Indies, north of Venezuela. They were originally occupied by Spain, but have been in Dutch possession since 1634. In 1954, the colony was made an integral part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Aruba separated from the Netherlands Antilles and began issuing its own stamps at the beginning of 1986.

    Netherlands Indies (1845-1949)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 76 million (1949 estimate). A former Dutch colony occupying the greater portion of the East Indies. The area was originally dominated by Hindus, who were supplanted by Moslems after the 14th-15th centuries. From the early 16th century, Portugal dominated the region but was gradually supplanted by the Dutch and British. After the 17th century, the Dutch ruled most of the area. The Netherlands Indies were occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945, during which time a great variety of occupation issues were used. Two days after Japan's surrender, Indonesian nationalists declared independence, starting the revolution that ended with Dutch withdrawal in 1949.

    Netherlands New Guinea (1950-62)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 923,440 (1973 estimate). The western half of the island of New Guinea, retained by the Dutch after Indonesian independence. After the Indonesian invasion in 1962, the United Nations assumed temporary executive authority in the area, which was transferred to Indonesia in 1963. The UNTEA (United Nations Temporary Executive Authority) overprinted the existing Dutch definitive issue in 1962, and Indonesia maintained separate issues for the territory, as West Irian, from 1963 to 1970.

    Nevis (1861-1890, 1980-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 11,864 (1883 estimate). One of the Leeward Islands, southeast of Puerto Rico. From 1861 to 1890, separate issues were made for Nevis. From 1890 to 1956, stamps of the Leeward Islands were used. Issues of St. Kitts-Nevis were also used 1903-1952, replaced by St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla issues after 1952. Nevis again began to issue its own stamps in 1980. In 1983 it became independent, in federation with St. Kitts but still continues to maintain its own stamp issues.

    New Britain (1914-15)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 50,600. An island off the northeast coast of New Guinea, in the Pacific Ocean. Formerly part of German New Guinea, the island of Neu-Pommern was renamed New Britain, when it was occupied by Australia in 1914. During 1914/1915, German New Guinea and Marshall Islands issues, overprinted "G.R.I." and new values in sterling were used. In 1915 these issues were replaced by those of the North West Pacific Islands. After World War I, it became part of the mandated territory of New Guinea.

    New Brunswick (1851-68)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 286,000 (1871 estimate). Former British colony, now a province of Canada. New Brunswick was originally part of the French colony of New France, but it was transferred to Britain in 1713 and was incorporated into the British colony of Nova Scotia. The infusion of Tory emigres from the southern colonies during the American Revolution increased its population dramatically, and it became a separate colony in 1784. In 1867 it united with Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia to form the Confederation of Canada, and Canadian stamps have been used since 1868.

    New Caledonia (1859-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 191,003 (1997 estimate). An island in the southwest Pacific Ocean, approximately 1,000 miles northeast of Sydney, Australia. New Caledonia was annexed by France in 1853 and administered from Tahiti until 1860, when it became a separate colony. In the years following, a number of smaller surrounding islands were added as dependencies. During World War II, New Caledonian authorities were early supporters of Free France, and, later, U.S. air bases were established on the island. In 1984 France granted internal autonomy to New Caledonia, with the possibility of eventual independence. This provoked a confrontation between native Melanesians, who now make up less than half the population, who demanded immediate independence, and European New Caledonians, about one-third of the population, who wanted continued French administration. After increasing tension and violence between the two sides, direct French authority was reestablished in 1988, with the promise of a referendum on self-government being held in 1998.

    Newfoundland (1857-1949)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 320,000 (1945 estimate). An island off the eastern coast of Canada, under British rule from the 16th century. With the mainland territory of Labrador, Newfoundland formed a British dominion until its incorporation into Canada in 1949.

    New Greece (1912-13)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The districts of Turkey occupied by Greece in the First Balkan War. Overprinted Greek issues and one specially printed set were used in Chios, Icaria, Lemnos, Mytilene, Samos, Cavalla, Dedeagatch and other occupied Turkish territory, until they were replaced by regular Greek stamps.

    New Guinea (1925-42)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 676,500 (1948 estimate). The territory formerly constituting German New Guinea, the northeast portion of the island of New Guinea, in the South Pacific Ocean. New Guinea was occupied by Australia in 1914 and administered by Australia under a mandate from the League of Nations and, after 1947, under a mandate from the United Nations. New Guinea joined with Papua in 1949 to form the territory of Papua and New Guinea. The name later was changed to Papua New Guinea.

    New Hebrides (1908-1980)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 100,000 (1980 estimate). A group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, north of New Caledonia. New Hebrides was declared neutral by Great Britain and France in 1878 and was administered jointly by the two nations from 1906 to 1980. On July 30, 1980, the islands became independent as the Republic of Vanuatu.

    New Republic (1886-88)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A short-lived Boer republic in southern Africa. It was absorbed by Transvaal in 1888.

    New South Wales (1850-1913)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.5 million (1906 estimate). Former British crown colony in southeast Australia. In 1901, New South Wales merged into the Commonwealth of Australia.

    New Zealand (1855-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 3,587,275 (1997). Two large islands and a number of smaller islands in the South Pacific Ocean. New Zealand was settled by Polynesians, beginning in the 14th century, and discovered by Europeans in 1642. It was annexed by Great Britain in 1840 and, since 1907, has been a self-governing dominion within the British Commonwealth of Nations. New Zealand has a number of dependencies in the South Pacific, among them the Cook Islands, Niue, the Tokelau Islands, and Ross Dependency in the Antarctic.

    Nicaragua (1862-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 4,386,399 (1997). A republic in Central America. Nicaragua was conquered by Spain in 1522 and was attached to the Captaincy-general of Guatemala for four centuries. Briefly under Mexican rule (1822-1823), Nicaragua became independent of Spain as a member of the Central American Confederation. In 1838 Nicaragua became an independent republic. Its subsequent political history has been turbulent. The British controlled the eastern coast from the 17th century until 1893, and the United States effectively controlled the country from 1912 to 1933. During 1934-79, the Somoza family ruled Nicaragua. The Somoza regime brought order and considerable economic progress to the country. It also brought widespread corruption and ruthless political repression. In 1974, in response to the activities of the Marxist Sandinista guerrillas, the government imposed martial law. The subsequent excesses of the National Guard alienated virtually all elements of Nicaraguan society, and in August 1978, civil war erupted. The United States, which had unsuccessfully attempted to moderate the Somoza regime's policies, withdrew its support. In May 1979, a Sandinista force invaded Nicaragua and, by July, had overthrown the Somozas. The Sandinista regime maintained close ties with Cuba and the Soviet Union and supported leftist rebels in neighboring El Salvador. In 1981 anti-government rebels, the Contras, began a war to overthrow the Sandinistas. Covert U.S. support of the Contras brought an intensification of the civil war in 1986-1987, and in 1989 an accord between the two sides ended hostilities and led to a free election in 1990. Violetta Chamorro, owner of the opposition newspaper, La Prensa, led a broad anti-Sandinista coalition to victory in this election, ending more than a decade of Sandinista rule. She soon encountered opposition from both the right, which criticized the slow pace of reform, and the left, which felt that positive Sandinista reforms were being thrown out in a rush to privatization. The continuing presence of Sandinista officials throughout the government and in the military, as well as charges of corruption in the new regime created conflict within the government. In 1996 a new government was elected, committed to continuing reform, while investigating the previous regime.

    Niger (1921-45, 1959-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 9,388,859 (1997). A republic in northern Africa, directly north of Nigeria. Under French control after 1890, Niger underwent several administrative incarnations, finally emerging as the Niger Territory in 1920. The Niger Territory became the Niger Colony two years later. Niger became part of French West Africa in 1904 and used French West African stamps during 1944-59. In 1958, Niger became an autonomous republic and became fully independent in 1960. It has since maintained close ties with France. Since independence, it has been ruled by a series of dictators, except for a brief period of popular-elected government from March 1993 to January 1996.

    Niger Coast Protectorate (1892-1900)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Former British holdings in southern Nigeria. The area was absorbed into the Southern Nigeria Protectorate in 1900.

    Nigeria (1914-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 107,129,469 (1997). Republic in West Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea. Nigeria was discovered by the Portuguese in the 15th century and was an early center of the African slave trade. By the end of the 18th century, British influence was tantamount in the coastal areas. Britain expanded its holdings in the area after 1861 and consolidated its holdings into the protectorates of Northern Nigeria and Southern Nigeria, which were united to form Nigeria in 1914. Nigeria became an independent federation in 1960 and a republic in 1963. Inter-tribal tensions have been strong since independence. A period of political strife during 1966-67 brought the secession of Biafra, which comprised the mineral-rich southeastern portion of the country. In the ensuing civil war, one million people died, most of them Biafran Ibos. In January 1970, Biafra surrendered and was reabsorbed into Nigeria. Nigeria has rich petroleum deposits and is a member of OPEC. The massive oil price increases of the 1970s enabled Nigeria to launch an ambitious campaign of economic development. Drastic cutbacks in oil exports during 1981-82, however, made it increasingly difficult to maintain these programs. Nigeria has been ruled by the military since 1966, except for a period of civilian rule during 1979-1983.

    Niklasdorf (1938)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in the Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia). In 1938 the municipal authorities overprinted a large number of Czechoslovak stamps to commemorate the union with Germany.

    Nippon

    See Japan

    Nisiros (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. Nisiros was obtained from Turkey by Italy in 1912, at which time Italian stamps overprinted "Nisiros" were issued. These were superseded by the general Aegean Islands issues in 1929, although two sets overprinted "Nisiro" were released in 1930 and 1932.

    Niuafo'ou (1983-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 900 (1983 estimate). A volcanic rim island of six square miles, Niuafo'ou is part of the kingdom of Tonga, located in the southern Pacific Ocean between Fiji and Samoa, 400 miles north of the Tongatupa island group. The island is better known as Tin Can Island, famed for the pickup and delivery of mail in sealed cans by swimmers and canoes to and from ships waiting offshore in the 1930s and '40s. Niuafo'ou began to issue its own stamps in mid-1983.

    Niue (1902-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,837 (1995 estimate). Island in the South Pacific Ocean, northeast of New Zealand. The area was annexed to New Zealand in 1901. In 1974, Niue became self-governing, although New Zealand retains responsibility for defense and foreign affairs.

    Niutao (1984-87)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of nine small islands in the Tuvalu Islands, formerly the Ellice Island group in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. The island chain is located east of the Solomon Islands and north of Fiji in the southeastern central Pacific Ocean. Like the other Tuvalu Islands, Niutao issued a flurry of stamps depicting such diverse subjects as cars, locomotives, cricket players and the British royal family in the mid-1980s.

    Norfolk Island (1947-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,756 (1995). Island in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia, under Australian administration. The inhabitants of Norfolk Island are largely descendants of the Bounty mutineers, whose ancestors immigrated to Norfolk from the Pitcairns in 1856.

    Norge

    See Norway

    North Borneo (1883-1964)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 460,000 (1962 estimate). Former British colony, occupying the northeast portion of the island of Borneo in the Malay Archipelago. The area of North Borneo was ruled by the sultans of Brunei from the 16th century, until the reigning sultan ceded it to American and British traders in 1872. In 1881 the British North Borneo Company was established to administer the region. North Borneo was occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945, and after its reoccupation by Britain, it was reorganized as a colony. Renamed Sabah, British North Borneo joined with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore to form the Malaysian Federation in 1963.

    North China (1937-49)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The North China Liberation Area comprised Chahar, Hopeh, Shansi and Suiyan. Seven postal districts issued stamps during this period.

    Northeast China (1946-51)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Communist administrative area comprising the provinces of Liaoning, Kirin, Jehol and Heilungkiang and, after 1948, all of Manchuria. In 1951, the issues of the regional postal administration were replaced by the general issues of the People's Republic of China.

    North Epirus (1914-16, 1940-41)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. That portion of southern Albania occupied by Greece in 1914-16 and 1940-41. During 1914-16, 32 issues of Epirus and Greek stamps overprinted "Northern Epirus" were used, and in 1940-41, some 37 overprinted Greek stamps were issued.

    North German Confederation (1868)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A confederation of German states, formed under the leadership of Prussia in 1868, after Austria's defeat in the Austro-Prussian War. On Jan. 1, 1868, the stamps of all member nations were replaced by those of the confederation, with the area forming the North German Postal District.

    North Ingermanland (1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district in Russia, lying between the Neva River and Finland. In 1920, the area revolted, established a provisional government and sought union with Finland. Soviet troops quickly suppressed the revolt, but not before the rebels were able to issue two seven-value sets of stamps.

    Northern Nigeria (1900-13)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Former British protectorate comprising holdings in northern Nigeria. Northern Nigeria merged with the Southern Nigeria Protectorate to form the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria on January 4, 1914.

    Northern Rhodesia (1925-64)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 3.6 million (1963 estimate). Former British protectorate in southern Africa. Northern Rhodesia became the independent republic of Zambia in 1964.

    Northwest China (1946-49)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The northwestern area of China proper, which after the "long march to Yenan" was the center of the communist revolution in China. It included the provinces of Kansu, Ninghsia, Tsinghai and, after 1949, Sinkiang. General Chinese issues replaced those of the region in 1949.

    Northwest China (Shensi-Kansu-Ninghsia) (1935-49)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The center of the communist revolution in China after the "long march to Yenan." In 1949, Sinkiang was added to the region. The regional issues were replaced by the general issues of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

    North West Pacific Islands (1914-24)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 636,563. During World War I, Australian forces occupied the German possessions in New Guinea and the adjacent islands. Australian stamps overprinted "N.W. Pacific Islands" were used on Nauru from 1915 to 1916 and in former German New Guinea from 1915 to 1924.

    Norway (1855-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 4,404456 (1997 estimate). A constitutional monarchy occupying the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula in northern Europe. A powerful kingdom in the Middle Ages, Norway later came under the domination of Denmark and, after 1814, Sweden. In 1905, Norway became completely independent. The country was occupied by Germany from 1940 to 1945. Following World War II, Norway abandoned its traditional neutrality and joined NATO. The country's abundant hydroelectric resources have produced an ongoing economic boom that has given Norway one of the highest standards of living in the world.

    Nossi-Be (1889-98)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive: Population: 9,000 (1900 estimate). An island in the Indian Ocean, lying off the northwestern coast of Madagascar. Nossi Be was a French protectorate until 1898, when it was attached to the colony of Madagascar.

    Nouvelles-Hebrides

    See New Hebrides, now Vanuatu

    Nova Scotia (1851-1868)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 387,000 (1871 estimate). Former British colony in east Canada. Settled by the French in 1607 and British in 1613, the area was disputed, until France ceded its claims to Britain in 1713. Prince Edward Island was separated from Nova Scotia in 1769, New Brunswick in 1784. Nova Scotia joined with Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick to form the Canadian Confederation in 1867, and Canadian stamps have been used since 1868.

    Nuggen (Noo) (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Estonia. During July-Aug. 13, 1941, five Russian stamps were surcharged in red, in green and in black for use in the city by the German military commander.

    Nui (1984-87)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of nine small islands in the Tuvalu Islands, formerly the Ellice Island group in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. The island chain is located east of the Solomon Islands and north of Fiji in the southeastern central Pacific Ocean. Like the other Tuvalu Islands, Nui issued a flurry of stamps depicting such diverse subjects as cars, locomotives, cricket players and the British royal family in the mid-1980s.

    Nukufetau (1984-87)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of nine small islands in the Tuvalu Islands, formerly the Ellice Island group in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. The island chain is located east of the Solomon Islands and north of Fiji in the southeastern central Pacific Ocean. Like the other Tuvalu Islands, Nukufetau issued a flurry of stamps depicting such diverse subjects as cars, locomotives, cricket players and the British royal family in the mid-1980s.

    Nukulaelae (1984-87)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of nine small islands in the Tuvalu Islands, formerly the Ellice Island group in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. The island chain is located east of the Solomon Islands and north of Fiji in the southeastern central Pacific Ocean. Like the other Tuvalu Islands, Nukulaelae issued a flurry of stamps depicting such diverse subjects as cars, locomotives, cricket players and the British royal family in the mid-1980s.

    Nyasaland Protectorate (1907-54, 1963-64)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 3 million (1964 estimate). Former British protectorate in south-central Africa. Established as British Central Africa in 1890, the name Nyasaland Protectorate was adopted in 1907. During 1953-63, it was a member of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Nyasaland became independent in 1964, changing its name to Malawi.

    Nyassa (1897-1929)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 3 million (1923 estimate). A district in northwestern Mozambique. Nyassa was administered by the private Nyassa Co. until 1929, when the company's rights reverted to Portugal.

    Oaxaca (1915)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A state in central Mexico, which issued its own stamps during the Mexican Civil War.

    Obock (1892-94)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A seaport in eastern Africa, on the Gulf of Aden. Acquired by France in 1862 and actively occupied after 1884, it was merged with other French holdings in the area to form the French Somali Coast in 1902.

    Odenpah (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Estonia. In 1941, the German military commander issued two stamps for use in the city.

    Odessa (1918-20)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Russian port on the northern coast of the Black Sea. In 1918, Odessa overprinted Russian stamps with the Ukrainian trident for use in its postal district. During 1919, the Polish Consulate at Odessa overprinted contemporary Polish stamps "ODESA" for use on mail carried from Odessa to Poland through the cooperation of Gen. Denikin. This postal agency was closed Jan. 31, 1920.

    Oil Rivers Protectorate (1892-93)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Former British protectorate in southern Nigeria. In 1893, the name of the territory was changed to Niger Coast Protectorate.

    Oldenburg (1852-67)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 483,042 (1910 estimate). A former grand duchy in northern Germany. Oldenburg's issues were replaced by those of the North German Confederation in 1868.

    Oltre Giuba (1925-26)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district in eastern Africa, northeast of Kenya. In 1924, Britain ceded the area to Italy, and in 1926 it was incorporated into Italian Somaliland.

    Oman (Muscat and Oman) (1944-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,264,590 (1997 estimate). Independent sultanate on the southeast coast of Arabia. From 1508 to 1648, Oman was ruled by Portugal. The Portuguese were expelled in 1648, and the area was ruled by Persia until 1741, when the present dynasty assumed control. During the first half of the 19th century, Oman ruled an empire stretching from the coasts of Persia and India to Zanzibar, but its power declined until it came under British protection in the late 19th century. Rebellious tribesmen in the interior fought the central government in the 1950s but were suppressed with British support. Later uprisings were quelled by 1975, with Iranian help. In 1964, petroleum was discovered and has since become Oman's major export. In 1979, leftist guerrilla activities resumed in the southwestern portion of the country, supported by the South Yemen People's Republic. Accords signed with the United States in 1980 give American forces access to bases in Oman, which has become one of the cornerstones of U.S. military policy in the region. Since 1970, the regime has modernized the country and liberalized the government, but membership in the Shura Council, Oman's consultative body, while elective, remains subject to the sultan's approval. In June 1997, women were given the right to be elected to the Shura Council.

    Opatow (1918)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in southern Poland. Local stamps were issued by the municipal authorities in 1918. The series was philatelically inspired and very speculative.

    Orange Free State (1868-1900)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 528,174 (1911 estimate). A former independent republic in South Africa. The Orange Free State became the British Orange River Colony in 1900 and was incorporated into the Union of South Africa in 1910.

    Orchha (1913-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population 363,405 (1941). A former feudatory state in the Bundelkhand agency in central India. On May 1, 1950, Orchha's issues were replaced by those of India.

    Orense (1936)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province of northwestern Spain. In October 1936, two sets of overprinted Spanish stamps were issued under the authority of the National Civil Governor of the province.

    Orleans (1953)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northern France. During a postal strike, in August 1953, the Orleans Chamber of Commerce issued stamps for use in the city.

    Ostland (1941-43)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The German military district comprising Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and adjacent portions of occupied Russia. German issues overprinted "Ostland" where used in the district.

    Osterreich

    See Austria

    Ostrova (Mahrisch-Ostrau) (1939)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Moravia (Czechoslovakia). In 1939 the municipal authorities overprinted 64 Czechoslovakian stamps to commemorate union with Germany.Oaxaca (1915)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A state in central Mexico, which issued its own stamps during the Mexican Civil War.

    Obock (1892-94)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A seaport in eastern Africa, on the Gulf of Aden. Acquired by France in 1862 and actively occupied after 1884, it was merged with other French holdings in the area to form the French Somali Coast in 1902.

    Odenpah (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Estonia. In 1941, the German military commander issued two stamps for use in the city.

    Odessa (1918-20)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Russian port on the northern coast of the Black Sea. In 1918, Odessa overprinted Russian stamps with the Ukrainian trident for use in its postal district. During 1919, the Polish Consulate at Odessa overprinted contemporary Polish stamps "ODESA" for use on mail carried from Odessa to Poland through the cooperation of Gen. Denikin. This postal agency was closed Jan. 31, 1920.

    Oil Rivers Protectorate (1892-93)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Former British protectorate in southern Nigeria. In 1893, the name of the territory was changed to Niger Coast Protectorate.

    Oldenburg (1852-67)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 483,042 (1910 estimate). A former grand duchy in northern Germany. Oldenburg's issues were replaced by those of the North German Confederation in 1868.

    Oltre Giuba (1925-26)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district in eastern Africa, northeast of Kenya. In 1924, Britain ceded the area to Italy, and in 1926 it was incorporated into Italian Somaliland.

    Oman (Muscat and Oman) (1944-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,264,590 (1997 estimate). Independent sultanate on the southeast coast of Arabia. From 1508 to 1648, Oman was ruled by Portugal. The Portuguese were expelled in 1648, and the area was ruled by Persia until 1741, when the present dynasty assumed control. During the first half of the 19th century, Oman ruled an empire stretching from the coasts of Persia and India to Zanzibar, but its power declined until it came under British protection in the late 19th century. Rebellious tribesmen in the interior fought the central government in the 1950s but were suppressed with British support. Later uprisings were quelled by 1975, with Iranian help. In 1964, petroleum was discovered and has since become Oman's major export. In 1979, leftist guerrilla activities resumed in the southwestern portion of the country, supported by the South Yemen People's Republic. Accords signed with the United States in 1980 give American forces access to bases in Oman, which has become one of the cornerstones of U.S. military policy in the region. Since 1970, the regime has modernized the country and liberalized the government, but membership in the Shura Council, Oman's consultative body, while elective, remains subject to the sultan's approval. In June 1997, women were given the right to be elected to the Shura Council.

    Opatow (1918)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in southern Poland. Local stamps were issued by the municipal authorities in 1918. The series was philatelically inspired and very speculative.

    Orange Free State (1868-1900)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 528,174 (1911 estimate). A former independent republic in South Africa. The Orange Free State became the British Orange River Colony in 1900 and was incorporated into the Union of South Africa in 1910.

    Orchha (1913-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population 363,405 (1941). A former feudatory state in the Bundelkhand agency in central India. On May 1, 1950, Orchha's issues were replaced by those of India.

    Orense (1936)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province of northwestern Spain. In October 1936, two sets of overprinted Spanish stamps were issued under the authority of the National Civil Governor of the province.

    Orleans (1953)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northern France. During a postal strike, in August 1953, the Orleans Chamber of Commerce issued stamps for use in the city.

    Ostland (1941-43)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The German military district comprising Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and adjacent portions of occupied Russia. German issues overprinted "Ostland" where used in the district.

    Ostrova (Mahrisch-Ostrau) (1939)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Moravia (Czechoslovakia). In 1939 the municipal authorities overprinted 64 Czechoslovakian stamps to commemorate union with Germany.

    Pahang (1889-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 338,210 (1960 estimate). The largest Malay state, under British protection after 1888. Pahang was occupied by Japan from 1942 to 1945 and joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948. It is now a part of Malaysia.

    Pakhoi (1903-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A port in the province of Kwangtung in southern China. France maintained a post office in Pakhoi from 1902 to 1922, using overprinted stamps of French Indochina after 1903.

    Pakistan (1947-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 132,185,299 (1997 estimate). Republic in south-central Asia. Pakistan was formed in 1947 from the predominantly Moslem areas of India. In April 1971, Eastern Pakistan seceded and, in December 1971, after the Indo-Pakistani War, became independent as the Republic of Bangladesh. Tension with India has remained at a high level since the two countries became independent, and a number of wars have resolved little. Both nations maintain relatively large military forces and effective, if rudimentary, nuclear arsenals.

    Palau (1983-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 17,240 (1997 estimate). A republic comprising about 100 islands and islets at the western end of the Caroline Islands chain in the western Pacific Ocean. Palau is about 800 miles east southeast of the Philippine Islands. These islands were part of the Spanish Caroline Islands until 1899, when they were sold to Germany, which issued stamps for use there. The Caroline Islands were seized by the Japanese during World War I and administered by them under a 1919 mandate of the League of Nations. Invaded and conquered by United States forces in 1944, the islands were made part of the United Nations-mandated U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific in 1947. Palau became a republic in 1981 and began to issue its own stamps in 1983, although its mail continues to be handled by the U.S. Postal Service.

    Palestine -- British Military Administration (1918-20)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In 1918, British and Arab forces occupied the Turkish Asian provinces bordering on the eastern Mediterranean. Britain's military administration issued stamps inscribed "E.E.F." (Egyptian Expeditionary Forces) that were used in Palestine, Trans-Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and in parts of Cilicia and northeast Egypt.

    Palestine -- British Administration (1920-47)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In 1920, British civil administration was established in Palestine, the southernmost of the formerly Turkish provinces bordering on the Mediterranean. In 1923, the League of Nations formally placed the territory under a British mandate. The Zionist Movement brought increasing Jewish immigration into Palestine, causing an increasingly bitter rivalry between Jewish Palestinians seeking to recreate the ancient Jewish homeland and Arab Palestinians, who wished to create an independent Arab Palestinian state. In 1948, Britain partitioned the country between the two groups and withdrew its forces, precipitating the first Arab-Israeli War.

    Palestine -- Palestinian Authority (1994-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. By the terms of the 1994 Oslo Accord, Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization agreed to a graduated process of Palestinian autonomy and Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. Although the process itself has not gone smoothly, as Israel continues to build Jewish settlements on the West Bank while the PLO maintains the destruction of Israel as its ultimate goal, some areas have been transferred to the Arab Palestinian Authority.

    Panama (1878-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,693,417 (1997 estimate). A republic occupying the Isthmus of Panama, between North and South America. The area was a department of the Republic of Colombia until 1903 when U.S. intervention enabled the Panamanians to secure their independence. The new Panamanian government immediately conceded to the United States a 10-mile wide strip of land bisecting the isthmus. Construction of the Panama Canal began the following year and was completed in 1914. While the Panamanian economy benefited greatly from the Canal, the presence of a foreign sovereignty on their soil was a constant irritant to Panamanians' national pride. During 1964-77, U.S.-Panamanian relations deteriorated over the status of the Canal, which became an emotionally charged issue throughout Latin America. In 1978 a revised Canal treaty was ratified by the U.S. Senate. Implemented in 1979, this treaty provides for the gradual transfer of authority, with full Panamanian ownership by December 31, 1999. Panama assumed political sovereignty in the Canal Zone on Oct. 1, 1979. During the 1980s, Panama was under the control of Gen. Manual Noriega. Noriega's repression of political opposition and involvement in drug trafficking led to increasing conflict with the United States during 1986-1989. U.S. forces invaded Panama, deposed Noriega, who was returned to the United States for trial, and installed a government led by the Noriega opposition.

    Papua New Guinea (1952-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 4,496,221 (1997 estimate). Independent state occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, in the western Pacific Ocean, north of Australia. The southern portion of the country, Papua, was united administratively with the northern U.N. mandate of New Guinea in 1949, as Papua and New Guinea. In 1972, the name of the territory became simply Papua New Guinea. In 1974, it achieved self-government under Australian authority and, in 1975, became independent. The country retains close ties with Australia. Papua New Guinea has numerous tribal divisions, with 750 local languages, so the maintenance of the country's territorial integrity is a major priority. A secession movement in Bougainville brought violent outbreaks, beginning in 1973. The Bougainville rebels declared independence in 1990, although government forces reoccupied the island in 1991, and the rebels have been on the defensive since 1994. Indonesian incursions from West Irian occurred in 1978.

    Paraguay (1870-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,651,634 (1997 estimate). A land-locked republic in central South America, surrounded by Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia. Long a border region, disputed between Spain and Portugal, Paraguay was ruled by Spain and attached at various times to the viceroyalties of Peru and La Plata (Buenos Aires), Paraguay declared its independence from Spain in 1811 and from La Plata in 1813. In 1865, its territorial ambitions precipitated the War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70), in which Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay united to defeat Paraguay, annexing large areas of the country. In 1935, Paraguay defeated Bolivia in the Chaco War, securing most of the disputed Gran Chaco region, although at a cost in manpower that took generations to replace. Paraguay was ruled by Gen. Alfredo Stroessner from 1954 to 1989. His regime was one of the most repressive in Latin America. In 1989 he was overthrown by the army, which oversaw a transition to civilian government by 1993, when the country's first democratic presidential election was held. Since 1961, Paraguay has issued a huge number of attractive, philatelically inspired stamps and souvenir sheets.

    Parma (1852-60)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive: Population: 500,000 (1860 estimate). Former duchy in northern Italy. Parma was annexed to Sardinia in 1860.

    Parnu (Pernau) (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Estonia. Overprinted Russian stamps were issued by the German military commander.

    Patiala (1884-1951)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1,936,259 (1941 estimate). A former convention state of British India. Patiala's issues were used concurrently with those of India after April 1, 1950. They were replaced by those of India on Jan. 1, 1951.

    Patmos (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. The area was obtained from Turkey by Italy in 1912, at which time Italian stamps overprinted "Patmos" were issued. In 1929, Patmos' issues were superseded by the general Aegean Islands issues, although two sets overprinted "Patmo" were released in 1930 and 1932.

    Peking (1917-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital of China. Italian post offices in the city used 38 Italian stamps overprinted "Pechino."

    Penang (Pulau Pinang) (1948-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 616,254 (1960 estimate). A former British possession on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. Penang has been a member of the Federation of Malaya since 1948. Recent stamps used there are inscribed "Pulau Pinang."

    Penrhyn Island (1902-32, 1973-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,050. A small island in the South Pacific Ocean, administered by New Zealand as part of the Cook Islands. Penrhyn was annexed by Britain in 1888 and placed under New Zealand in 1901. Cook Islands stamps were used in Penrhyn prior to 1902 and from 1932 to 1973. Since 1973, stamps inscribed "Penrhyn Northern Cook Islands" have been in use on the island and on six neighboring islands.

    Perak (1878-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1.33 million (1960 estimate). A sultanate on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. Under British influence after 1795, Perak was incorporated into the Federated Malay States in 1895. Perak joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948. Since 1963 it has been one of the members of the independent Federation of Malaysia.

    Perlis (1948-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 97,645 (1960 estimate). Former Siamese tributary state in the south Malay Peninsula. Perlis was under British control after 1909, joining the Federation of Malaya in 1948. With the rest of the Malay states, it is now part of the Federation of Malaysia.

    Petit St. Vincent (1976)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Grenadines of St. Vincent, a group of small islands in the Lesser Antilles, north of Trinidad and South America.

    Peru (1857-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 24,949,512 (1997 estimate). A republic on the west coast of South America. Peru was the center of numerous early Indian cultures. During the 14th-15th centuries, the Inca tribe, expanding from its heartland in southeastern Peru, created an empire stretching from northern Ecuador to central Chile, including Bolivia and northwestern Argentina, as well as Peru. In 1532-33, Spanish adventurers overthrew the Incas, and for three centuries, Peru was the center of Spanish power in South America. Peru became independent from Spain in 1824, although independence did little to improve the condition of the lower classes of the country. A few wealthy families, along with foreign mining interests, controlled the economic life of Peru until recent years, often ruling through military juntas. During 1968-80, Peru was ruled by a socialistic military regime, which pursued an arduous program of nationalization and social reform. This program slowed after 1976, when popular dissatisfaction with the regime's economic policies brought a new military government to power. In 1980, democratic civilian rule replaced the military dictatorship. During the 1990's, presidential powers were expanded in response to widespread drug trafficking and corruption and to better combat the long-running rebellion of the Maoist Shining Path guerrilla movement.

    Peru-Provisional Issues (1881-85)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During the Chilean-Peruvian War of 1879-84, Lima and Callao, the two chief cities of Peru, were occupied by Chile. Since stamps were supplied from these cities, outlying areas soon ran out of regular stamps and were forced to issue provisional stamps. The post offices that issued such provisionals were Ancachs, Apurimac, Arequipa, Ayacucho, Chachapoyas, Chala, Chiclayo, Cuzco, Huacho, Moquegua, Paita, Pasco, Pisco, Piura, Puno and Yca.

    Petah Tiqva (1908-09)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Israel, near Tel-Aviv. Jewish National Fund labels were used for a time by the Austrian post office in the city.

    Petrovsk (1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in the Caucasus, southern Russia. Russian stamps surcharged with new values were issued by the local authorities.

    Philippines (1854-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 76,103,564 (1997 estimate). A large group of islands in the Malay Archipelago, north of Borneo. Occupied by Spain from the 16th century, the Philippines were ceded to the United States in 1899. Nationalist resistance was suppressed by the United States by mid-1902, but local self-government was steadily expanded. In 1935 the Philippine Commonwealth was established, and a plan leading to full independence in 1946 was adopted. During World War II, the Philippines were occupied by Japan. Following the defeat of the Japanese in September 1945, prewar plans for independence were resumed, and on July 4, 1946, the Republic of the Philippines was declared. Communist Huk guerrillas fought the central government after 1946 but were defeated by 1954. Moro resistance in the southern islands, which had continued from the days of Spanish rule, culminated in peace talks in 1996/97, aimed at permitting greater autonomy in Moro areas. Increasing leftist terrorism and student riots during 1970-71 led to a declaration of martial law by President Ferdinand Marcos. Marcos continued to rule by decree until he was ousted from the Philippines following a hotly contested election by Corazon Aquino in 1986. The Aquino regime survived several coup attempts by right-wing elements, and was succeeded by a democratically elected slate in 1992. Tension between the Philippines and the United States over U.S. naval bases in the country were defused in 1991/92, when the United States abandoned Clark Air Force Base, damaged by the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, and turned over the Subic Bay naval base.

    Pilipinas

    See Philippines

    Piscopi (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. Piscopi was obtained from Turkey by Italy in 1912, at which time Italian stamps overprinted "Piscopi" were issued. Piscopi's issues were superseded by those of the Aegean Islands in 1929, although two sets overprinted for the island were issued in 1930 and 1932.

    Pitcairn Islands (1940-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 73 (1995 estimate). A group of small islands in the South Pacific Ocean. Originally settled in 1790 by mutineers from HMS Bounty, Pitcairn, the only inhabited island in the group, has been a British colony since the 19th century.

    Pola (1945)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city on the Adriatic coast of Yugoslavia. Stamps of Italy and the Italian Social Republic were surcharged for use under the authority of the Yugoslavia military forces.

    Poland (1860-65, 1918-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 38,700,291 (1997 estimate). A republic in eastern Europe, between Germany and Russia. During the Middle Ages, Poland was the dominant Christian power in eastern Europe, but after about 1700, its power declined. Between 1772 and 1795, it was absorbed by Russia, Prussia and Austria and did not reappear as an independent nation until 1918. In the aftermath of World War I, Poland fought both Germany and Russia, acquiring large territories from both, as well as from Austria and Lithuania. During this period, many local stamps were used. In 1939, Poland was invaded by Germany and the Soviet Union, igniting World War II. The two powers divided Poland between them, Germany occupying all of the country after its invasion of Russia in 1941. During the war, Poland suffered terribly, and some six million Poles, half of them Jews, were killed. A Polish Government in Exile was established in London and was recognized by the Western Allies, but after Soviet forces occupied Poland during 1944-45, a more malleable government was established by the Russians. After World War II, the Soviet Union's 1939 acquisitions were recognized by the new Polish regime. In return for this loss of about 70,000 square miles in the east, Poland was awarded about 40,000 square miles of German territory in the west. In 1947, the communist regime was finally established and began a thorough program of socialization. Declining farm production and harsh working conditions sparked riots in 1956, which brought a moderation of government policy. In 1970, a new series of riots brought a change of government and increased emphasis on the production of consumer goods. In the summer of 1980, the Polish labor movement, Solidarity, led by Lech Walesa, launched a series of strikes that brought major concessions from the government. Increasing democratization brought intense Soviet pressure to bear on the Polish leadership, resulting in a government crackdown in late 1981. During the 1980s, Solidarity continued to agitate for reform. Nationwide strikes in 1988 forced the government to allow open elections, and in 1989 Solidarity candidates were swept into office. In 1990 Walesa was elected president, and in 1991 Poland's first free elections since World War II were held. Poland is one of the most successful of the former communist republics to privatize its economy and reestablish democratic government. It became a member of NATO in 1999.

    Polish Corps in Russia (1918)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In 1917, Polish prisoners of war, captured by the Germans, were formed into the Polish Corps to fight, under German command, against the Russians. A number of Russian stamps were overprinted for use by this unit.

    Polish Government in Exile (1941-45)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. After the German-Soviet invasion of 1939, the Polish Government in Exile operated from London. During 1941-45, stamps were issued for use on letters posted from Free Polish merchant vessels and warships fighting against the Axis powers.

    Polish Military Post in Russia (1917-18)

    After the Russian Revolution of 1917, the Polish forces fighting with the Russian army regrouped into a separate army corps. Contemporary Russian stamps were overprinted for their use.

    Polish Offices Abroad (1919-21, 1925-39)

    Poland maintained post offices in Constantinople from 1919-21 and in Danzig from 1925-39, overprinting 36 and 19 Polish stamps, respectively.

    Polska

    See Poland

    Polynesie Francaise

    See French Polynesia

    Ponce (1898)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A town in Puerto Rico. U.S. forces issued a provisional stamp for use after the occupation of the city from Spain in August 1898.

    Ponewesch (Panevezys) (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in central Lithuania. A total of nine overprinted Russian stamps were issued by the German military commander.

    Ponta Delgada (1892-31)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 125,000 (1905 estimate). An administrative district of the Azores. Stamps of Ponta Delgada were replaced by issues of the Azores in 1905, which in turn were replaced by regular Portuguese issues in 1931.

    Pontevedra (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province of northwestern Spain, bordering the Atlantic Ocean and Portugal. The Nationalist authorities overprinted contemporary Spanish stamps for use in the province in 1937.

    Poonch (1876-94)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 287,000 (estimated). A former tributary state of Jammu and Kashmir in northern India. Poonch's issues were replaced by those of India in 1894.

    Port Arthur and Dairen (1946-51)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Port and peninsula in southern Manchuria, bordering on the Strait of Pohai. Under Japanese rule from 1895-1945, the area was occupied by the Soviets after World War II and turned over to the Chinese communists in 1946. In 1951, the regional issues were overprinted by the general issues of the People's Republic of China in 1951.

    Port Lagos (1893-98)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A port in northern Greece. Unoverprinted French stamps were used by the French post office in the city after 1870. During 1893-98, stamps of France, overprinted "Port-Lagos" and new values in Turkish currency, were used.

    Port Said (1899-1931)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A major Egyptian port on the Mediterranean Sea. The French post office in the city operated from 1867 through March 31, 1931.

    Portugal (1853-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 9,867,654 (1997 estimate). A republic on the western coast of the Iberian Peninsula in southwest Europe. Independence was established in 1095, and during the next two centuries it was expanded to its present borders. During the 15th and 16th centuries, Portuguese navigators and merchants led European overseas expansion. Portugal built an overseas empire that included Brazil and colonies in Africa, Arabia, India and the Far East. Portuguese power declined rapidly after 1580, although Portugal maintained much of its colonial empire until 1975. Portugal was a kingdom from 1139 until 1910 when the republic was established. From 1932 to 1968, Portugal was ruled by Premier Antonio de Oliveira Salazar, an authoritarian dictator. After 1968, Salazar's policies were continued by his successors. The regime became increasingly unpopular, largely because of the country's debilitating wars against nationalist movements in the African colonies. In 1974, a military coup overthrew the government, and the new liberal regime quickly granted independence to Angola, the Cape Verde Islands, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Sao Tome-Principe. Autonomy was granted to Macau, Madeira and the Azores. The collapse of authority in Portuguese Timor brought that territory's occupation by Indonesia in 1976. The government moved increasingly to the left during 1975, and the communists, despite setbacks at the polls, increased their influence. In November, a counter-coup halted this trend, and free elections in 1976 gave Portugal a socialist government. Portugal's swift change from a rigidly controlled rightist dictatorship, through a flirtation with communism, to a socialist democracy brought enormous economic strains. In recent years, though, there has been considerable progress.

    Portuguese Africa (1898, 1919, 1945)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Three general issues were released by Portugal for use in its African colonies (Angola, Cape Verde, Portuguese Guinea, St. Thomas and Prince Islands, and Mozambique). These were used concurrently with the issues of the separate colonies.

    Portuguese Congo (Cabinda) (1893-1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district of Angola lying north of the Congo River, separated from Angola by Zaire. It was administered as the Portuguese Congo until its incorporation with the colony of Angola.

    Portuguese Guinea (1881-1974)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 565,000 (1973 estimate). Former Portuguese colony in West Africa. The area was explored by the Portuguese in the 15th century but was not colonized until the 19th century. In the 1960s, an independence movement in the interior of the colony began a guerrilla war that culminated in the country's independence in 1974.  See Guinea-Bissau

    Portuguese India (1871-1962)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 650,000. Portuguese India comprised a number of Portuguese holdings on the west coast of India, including the districts of Goa, Damao and Diu. Occupied by Portugal since the 16th century, these territories were seized by India in 1961 and absorbed into the Indian republic. Existing stocks of Portuguese Indian stamps were sold for about 10 days following the invasion and were valid until Jan. 7, 1962. Two sets for the colony were issued in early 1962 by Portugal, which did not recognize India's action. The stamps were never used in the territories.

    Posta Romana

    See Romania

    Postes Afghanes

    See Afghanistan

    Prague (1918)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Capital city of Czechoslovakia. During November 1918, the Czech Revolutionary Committee operated a local postal service in Prague, staffed by Boy Scouts.

    Priamur and Maritime Provinces (1921-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A region in southeastern Siberia, west of Manchuria. In May 1921, a monarchist, anti-Bolshevik regime was established, with Japanese support. This government was never secure, and with the Japanese withdrawal from Siberia in October 1922, it collapsed.

    Prince Edward Island (1861-73)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 90,000 (1872 estimate). An island in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in northeastern North America. Prince Edward Island was a British colony until 1873 when it joined the Canadian Confederation.

    Prussia (1850-67)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 40.17 million (1910 estimate). Former kingdom in northern Germany. By the early 18th century, Prussia was a major European power, and by 1870, it occupied most of northern Germany and ruled two-thirds of the German population. Prussia dominated the German Empire established in 1870. Stamps of Prussia were issued from 1850-67 and were replaced on Jan. 1, 1868, by issues of the North German Postal District.

    Przedborz (1917-18)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in south-central Poland. Several series of stamps were issued during World War I by the municipal authorities under the authority of the Austrian military commander.

    Prune Island (1976)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Grenadines of St. Vincent, a group of small islands in the lesser Antilles, north of Trinidad and South America.

    Pskow (Pleskau) (1941-42)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northwestern Russia. During World War II, 17 stamps were issued for the district by the German military commander.

    Puerto Rico (1855-1900)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 955,000 (1900 estimate). A large island east of Hispaniola in the West Indies, Puerto Rico was discovered by Columbus on his second voyage in 1493. Puerto Rico remained a Spanish colony until 1898, when it was occupied by the United States during the Spanish-American War. The island was subsequently ceded to the United States and, since 1952, has been a commonwealth in association with the United States. Puerto Rican issues of 1855-73 were issued in Cuba as well as Puerto Rico. Separate issues appeared after 1873. In 1898, two provisional stamps were issued by the U.S. military forces in Puerto Rico, followed by 10 overprinted U.S. stamps during 1899-1900. Since 1900, regular U.S. issues have been in use.

    Qatar (1957-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 665,485 (1997 estimate). An Arab sheikhdom on the Persian Gulf. Long under Persian rule, Qatar became independent in the 19th century. It was occupied by the Ottoman Turks from 1871 to 1913 and came under British protection in 1916. In 1971, Qatar declared its independence, after considering and rejecting a plan to join in a federation with the United Arab Emirates. Qatar is oil-rich, and its sole economic weakness is a lack of skilled labor. Its oil earnings give it one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.

    Qu'aiti State (1942-67)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Former British protectorate in south Arabia. The Qu'aiti sultan was recognized as ruler of the entire Hadhramaut, Shirh and Mukalla, although the Kathiri State of Seiyun maintained a measure of autonomy. The region was absorbed by the People's Republic of Southern Yemen in 1967.

    Queensland (1860-1913)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 500,000 (1909 estimate). A state in northeast Australia. A British crown colony from 1859-1901, Queensland joined with five other British colonies to form the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.

    Quelimane (1914-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 877,000 (estimate). A province of Mozambique. Quelimane issues were superseded by those of Mozambique in 1922.Qatar (1957-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 665,485 (1997 estimate). An Arab sheikhdom on the Persian Gulf. Long under Persian rule, Qatar became independent in the 19th century. It was occupied by the Ottoman Turks from 1871 to 1913 and came under British protection in 1916. In 1971, Qatar declared its independence, after considering and rejecting a plan to join in a federation with the United Arab Emirates. Qatar is oil-rich, and its sole economic weakness is a lack of skilled labor. Its oil earnings give it one of the highest per capita incomes in the world.

    Qu'aiti State (1942-67)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Former British protectorate in south Arabia. The Qu'aiti sultan was recognized as ruler of the entire Hadhramaut, Shirh and Mukalla, although the Kathiri State of Seiyun maintained a measure of autonomy. The region was absorbed by the People's Republic of Southern Yemen in 1967.

    Queensland (1860-1913)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 500,000 (1909 estimate). A state in northeast Australia. A British crown colony from 1859-1901, Queensland joined with five other British colonies to form the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.

    Quelimane (1914-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 877,000 (estimate). A province of Mozambique. Quelimane issues were superseded by those of Mozambique in 1922.

    Rajasthan (1948-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 13.1 million. A state in northern India created by the merger of 18 Rajput states, several of which had hitherto issued their own stamps.

    Rajpeepla (1880-86)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 206,086. A former feudatory state in western India.

    Ras al Khaima (1964-72)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A sheikhdom in the Trucial States, in eastern Arabia, bordering on the Persian Gulf. Under British protection from 1892-1971, Ras al Khaima joined the United Arab Emirates in 1972. Ras al Khaima was one of the Trucial States, which during 1964-71 issued a large number of stamps, designed for and marketed to stamp collectors.

    Raseiniai (Rossingen) (1919, 1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in central Lithuania. A local stamp was issued by the municipal authorities in January 1919. For a period after the city's occupation by Germany in June 1941, 11 overprinted Russian stamps were used.

    Redonda (1979-91)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 0. A steep, guano-covered rock one-half mile square in the eastern Caribbean between Montserrat and Nevis, owned by Antigua. Antiguan stamps overprinted "REDONDA" were introduced in 1979, with purpose-designed issues on a variety of popular topics following later that year. These were postally valid on Antigua, since Redonda has neither postal service nor inhabitants.

    Reichenberg-Maffersdorf (1938)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Two cities in the Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia). In 1938 they overprinted 147 Czechoslovakian stamps to commemorate union with Germany.

    Republica Dominicana

    See Dominican Republic

    Repblique Centrafricaine

    See Central Africn Republic

    Republique Francaise

    See France

    Republique Gabonaise

    See Gabon

    Republique Khmere

    See Cambodia

    Republique Togolaise

    See Togo

    Republique Tunisienne

    See Tunisia



    Reunion (1852, 1885-1974)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 490,000 (1974 estimate). An island in the Indian Ocean. Reunion was a French colony from the 17th century until 1947, when it became an integral part of France. On Jan. 1, 1975, Reunion's stamps were replaced by those of France.

    Rhine Palatinate (1947-49)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district of western Germany occupied by France after World War II.

    Rhineland (1923)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The area of Germany lying west of the Rhine River. After World War I, France attempted to establish a satellite state in the region, which contained rich mineral deposits and much of Germany's heavy industry. An abortive Rhineland Republic (October 1923-January 1924) produced a number of overprints on contemporary German issues.

    Rhodes (1912-45)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The largest of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. The center of a prehistoric civilization from c. 3500 B.C., Rhodes' strategic position in the eastern Mediterranean area brought many foreign masters, including the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Crusaders and, after 1522, the Turks. In 1912, Rhodes was obtained from Turkey by Italy, and Italian stamps overprinted "Rodi" were issued. Rhodes continued to issue its own stamps, which were used throughout the Dodecanese Islands concurrently with the general issues of the Aegean Islands. During 1943-45, Rhodes was occupied by the Germans. Occupied by British forces in 1945, Rhodes, along with the rest of the island group, was annexed to Greece in 1947.

    Rhodesia (1890-1924, 1965-78)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 10 million (1978 estimate). Rhodesia was a former British administrative unit in southeastern Africa. The area was under the British South Africa Co. until 1924, when Rhodesia was divided into Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia, under direct British rule. During 1953-63, these two colonies were united with the Nyasaland Protectorate to form the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. With the dissolution of the federation, the three colonies were again separated. Northern Rhodesia became independent as Zambia in 1964, and in 1965, Southern Rhodesia assumed the name Rhodesia and declared its independence from Great Britain. Rhodesia became Zimbabwe on Dec. 31, 1978.

    Rhodesia and Nyasaland (1954-63)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; 8.51 million (1961 estimate). A former federation comprising the British territories of Northern Rhodesia, Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland in southeast Africa.

    Rio de Oro (1905-24)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 24,000 (1922 estimate). A former Spanish colony on the northwest coast of Africa. Rio de Oro was incorporated into the Spanish Sahara in 1924.

    Rio Muni (1960-68)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 185,000 (1968 estimate). Former Spanish colony on the Gulf of Guinea, bordering on Cameroon and Gabon. >Rio Muni was claimed by Spain in 1885 and formed part of Spanish Guinea from 1909 to 1959. In 1959 it became an overseas province of Spain. In 1968 it merged with Fernando Po to form the independent Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

    Riouw Archipelago (1954-60)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A group of islands in Indonesia, south of Singapore. Because of differing rates of exchange between the currency used in the islands with that used in the rest of Indonesia, 41 Dutch Indies and Indonesian stamps were overprinted for use in the area.

    Rizeh (1909-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Turkish port on the Black Sea. After 1909, nine stamps of the Russian Levant overprinted "Rizeh" were used by the Russian postal service in the city.

    Rokiskis (Rakischki) (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Lithuania. Seven overprinted Russian stamps were issued by the German military authorities after Rokiskis' occupation in June 1941.

    Romagna (1859-60)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1,341,091 (1853 estimate). A territory in north-central Italy, under papal rule after 1503. In 1859 a provisional government replaced the papal authorities, and in 1860 Romagna was annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia.

    Roman States (1852-70)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 3.12 million (1853 estimate). The greater part of central Italy, over which the pope acted as temporal and religious ruler. During 1859-61, most of the area joined Sardinia. The districts around Rome remained under papal control, which was maintained by French troops. In 1870, the French withdrew, and Italy absorbed the remaining papal territory, except for the enclave of Vatican City.

    Romania (1865-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 21,399,114 (1997 est.). A republic in southeastern Europe, bordering on the Danube River and the Black Sea. Under Turkish rule since the 15th century, Romania was formed from the union of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia in 1861, under Ottoman suzerainty. In 1878, as a result of the Russo-Turkish war, Romania became independent. Although ruled by a Hohenzollern dynasty, related to the ruling family of Germany, Romania did not enter World War I until August 1916, and then joined the Allies. After initial successes, Romanian forces were routed, and by January 1917 almost all of the country had been overrun by Germany, Austria and Bulgaria. Romania enjoyed considerably greater military success after the armistice, overrunning a large part of Hungary and occupying territories from Austria, Russia and Bulgaria. By the final peace (1920), Romania doubled in size. During the 1930s, the Iron Guard, a Romanian fascist movement, gained control of the government, and in 1941, Romania entered World War II as an ally of Germany. In 1944, the regime was overthrown by King Michael, with Soviet support, and Romania joined the Allies. Soviet troops occupied the country after World War II, forcing Michael to abdicate and establishing the people's republic on Dec. 30, 1947. From the 1950s, Romania pursued an increasingly independent foreign policy. In 1959, Soviet troops were refused entry into the country, and during the 1960s, political ties were strengthened with China, Israel and the West. From 1965 to 1989, Romania was ruled by Nikolae Ceausescu, whose repressive and sometimes bizarre regime finally provoked a popular uprising in December 1989. Ceasescu and his wife were tried and executed. In May 1990, the provisional government was replaced by elected representatives. Romania has made the transition to democratic government but is proceeding slowly in transforming its economy to a free market model, as it attempts to balance reform with social stability.

    Romanian Offices in Turkey (1896-1914, 1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During 1896-1919, Romania maintained a post office in Constantinople, surcharging or overprinting 11 regular issues for use there.

    Ross Dependency (1957-87)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The sector of Antarctica under New Zealand administration. New Zealand closed its post office there and withdrew Ross Dependency stamps from sale at the end of 1987.

    Rouad, Ile (1916-20)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island in the Mediterranean, off the coast of Latakia. Ile Rouad was occupied by the French from Turkey in 1916, after which stamps of the French offices in Levant were overprinted "Ile Rouad." The area was attached to Syria in 1920.

    Ruanda-Urundi (1924-62)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 4.7 million (1958 estimate). Two areas of central Africa, between Zaire and Tanzania. Formerly part of German East Africa, they were occupied by Belgian Congo forces during World War I and subsequently were administered by Belgium under a League of Nations (later U.N.) mandate. They became independent in 1962 as the Republic of Rwanda and the Kingdom of Burundi.

    Rumberg (1938)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in the Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia). Municipal authorities overprinted Czechoslovakian stamps to commemorate the union with Germany.

    Russia (1857-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 147,987,101 (1997 estimate). A country comprising the greater portion of eastern Europe and northern Asia. The northern and central portions of European Russia was ruled by Norse dynasties until the Mongol conquest in the 13th century. The southern areas were ruled by a succession of Central Asian peoples. After the 16th century, Muscovy (Moscow) became the center of a resurgent Russian state, which for several hundred years steadily expanded its borders. A major European power after 1700, Russian strength deteriorated in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mounting frustrations with the autocratic rule of the tsars and military defeats in World War I brought the fall of the monarchy in March 1917. In November, the liberal Kerensky regime was overthrown by the Bolsheviks (communists) who made peace with Germany and began expanding their power. Anti-Bolshevik forces (the "White Russians") quickly formed throughout the country. White Russian regimes were established in western and southern Russia and throughout Siberia. Bolshevik control was limited to northern and central Europe and Russia. Britain, France, Japan and the United States became involved in the civil war, but the inability of the various White Russian governments to cooperate with each other, or to meet the legitimate needs of the people, made it possible for the Bolshevik Red Army to have generally established Soviet authority by the end of 1920. During the Civil War, these warring governments, along with many municipalities, issued distinctive stamps. During 1920-23, the government consolidated its position. Although a number of border provinces (Poland, Finland, the Baltic States and Bessarabia) were lost, the newly formed Union of Soviet Socialist Republics included almost all of the territory of the old empire. Lenin's death in 1924 precipitated a power struggle within the communist leadership, with Josef Stalin ultimately emerging as the absolute ruler of the country. During the 1920s and early 1930s, Stalin exiled his opponents within the party. From the mid-1930s through 1953, he purged any suspected opposition through show trials and executions. Millions of Russians died. Following World War I, when both Germany and Russia were ostracized by the powers, the two countries worked closely and secretly, the Russians supplying Germany with armaments forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles, while German officers trained the Red Army. Alarmed by the German threat after Hitler's rise to power, the Soviet Union at first attempted to take a strong stand against German expansionism in the 1930s. By 1938, however, Russia was convinced that the Allies would not fight, and in 1939 the Soviet-German Non-Aggression Pact was signed. A few months later, Germany invaded Poland, while the Soviets occupied southern Poland, the Baltic States and Bessarabia. In 1941, Germany attacked Russia, and the Soviet Union joined the Allies. At first successful, the Germans were pushed back after the end of 1942, and during 1944-45, Soviet forces occupied most of Eastern Europe. With the peace, the Soviets retained their 1939-40 acquisitions, and Soviet troops forced the establishment of satellite regimes in the rest of the region during 1945-48. After World War II, the Soviet Union concentrated on economic and military development. It exercised an aggressive foreign policy and focused its energies on developing a modern industrial base. After 1956, the brutal policies of Stalin were officially denounced, and under his successor, Nikita Khrushchev, the government was less harsh. Khrushchev was himself deposed in 1964, and his successors were more rigid and totalitarian. Increasingly, though, the Soviet system began to show strain. During the 1980s, an unsuccessful and unpopular intervention in Afghanistan, the inability of a Second World economy to support a First World military machine, and the great and growing gap in standards of living between Western and communist societies undermined the Soviet regime. In 1985 Mikhail Gorbachev, a younger and more liberal communist, became premier. He quickly set about liberalizing the party and the government, hoping to transform the rigid Soviet state along more liberal and flexible lines. Ironically, his goal was to create the sort of humanistic communism that had been attempted by Czechoslovakia in 1968, an experiment that had been cut short by Soviet tanks. In any case, the party soon split between reactionary elements, alarmed by the prospect of loosening government control, and a radical wing, led by Boris Yeltsin, which urged faster reform. Yeltsin's group resigned from the party in 1991 and in July of that year, Yeltsin was elected Russian president. An attempted coup by communist hard-liners in the following month was unsuccessful and discredited the party. Gorbachev resigned as general-secretary of the Communist Party and recommended that its Central Committee be disbanded. Yeltsin had led resistance to the plotters and emerged a national hero. He initiated the creation of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which effectively dissolved the Soviet Union. In 1992 he launched a program to rapidly privatize the Russian economy and pushed through a new constitution to remove the last traces of the Soviet system. With the support of the military, he overcame armed resistance by supporters of the old legislature. Russia is struggling to emerge from the effects of decades of Soviet rule. It has enormous natural resources and a highly educated populace but lacks the basic economic infrastructure and experience to move easily into a free market system. This has resulted in wrenching economic adjustments for the average Russian, while a small number of entrepreneurs, mafiosi and former Soviet officials have become quite wealthy from the dispersal of state assets. Opponents of reform range from unredeemed communists, eager to restore the old system, to reactionary right-wing parties, whose politics would be at home in pre-revolutionary tsarist Russia. While the government, directed by a sometimes ineffective and unpopular Yeltsin, remains committed to maintaining democracy and creating a free-market economy, the political situation in Russia remains unstable.

    Russia -- Army of the Northwest (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Overprinted Russian stamps were used briefly in 1919 by Gen. Nicolai N. Yudenich's White Russian Army operating in the Baltic area, southwest of Leningrad.

    Russian Company for Steam Shipping and Trade (Ropit) (1865-68)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The offices of this private company were used as postal branches under agreement with the Russian government. The company issued several stamps for this service, which were supplanted by official issues for the Russian Levant in May 1868. In 1918, a number of the company's agencies in the Turkish Empire were reopened. Anticipating the revival of business following World War I, ROPIT overprinted its stocks of Russian Levant stamps with its initials and new values. The collapse of Gen. Denikin's South Russian government, however, brought the closing of the agencies, and the overprinted stamps were never placed in use.

    Russian Offices in China (1899-1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During 1899-1920, Russia maintained post offices in a number of Chinese cities. Russian stamps overprinted "China" in Russian or surcharged in cents and dollars were used for these post offices.

    Russian Offices in the Turkish Empire (1863-1923)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Russia, along with many other European nations, maintained post offices in the Ottoman Empire until the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) abolished their extraterritorial postal privileges.

    Rwanda (1962-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 7,737,537 (1997 estimate). A republic in East Africa. Until 1916, part of German East Africa, Rwanda, along with Burundi, was administered by Belgium under a League of Nations (later U.N.) mandate as the Trust Territory of Ruanda-Urundi. For centuries, Rwanda was a monarchy, in which the majority Hutu tribe, comprising 80% of the population was ruled by the minority Tutsi tribe. In 1959 the Tutsi king was overthrown in a Hutu uprising, and 1961 referendum under United Nations' auspices established a republic, controlled by the Hutu party. On July 1, 1962, Rwanda became independent. In 1990 rebel Tutsi forces invaded from Uganda, igniting a civil war that lasted until 1992. In 1994 the death of the Hutu president in a plane crash, widely believed to have been engineered by Tutsis in the military, provoked a bloody anti-Tutsi pogrom by the Hutu regime, in which hundreds of thousands of Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed. Rebel Tutsi forces retaliated, driving the Hutu government, and some 1.7 million refugees, across the border into Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of Congo). The civil war lasted through 1995, but in 1996 efforts began to repatriate refugees. The effort continues, as Rwanda attempts to repair the devastation of the conflict.

    Ryukyu Islands (1947-72)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 950,000 (1972 estimate). A chain of islands located between Japan and Taiwan, the Ryukyus were under Japanese rule until 1945, when they were occupied by the United States after one of the bloodiest campaigns in the Pacific Theater of World War II. They remained under U.S. administration until May 15, 1972, when they reverted to Japan. Japanese stamps, overprinted by local postmasters, and one crudely printed provisional were used until 1948, when the occupation authorities began issuing stamps for general use. Since the return of the islands to Japan, regular Japanese stamps have been in use.

    Saar (1920-35, 1947-59)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.4 million (1959 estimate). A coal-rich district in western Germany, southeast of Luxembourg. The Saar was occupied by France after World War I and was placed under League of Nations administration, with France controlling the mines as part of the German war reparations. In 1935, a plebiscite resulted in the reunion of the area with Germany. The Saar was occupied by France in 1945 and was returned to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1957. Saar stamps continued to be used until their final replacement by German issues in 1959.

    Sabah (1964-)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 700,000 (1979 estimate). A state in northeastern Borneo. Formerly British North Borneo, the territory assumed the name Sabah in 1963 when it joined with Malaya, Sarawak and Singapore to form the Federation of Malaysia.

    St. Christopher (1870-90)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 18,500 (1890 estimate). An island in the West Indies, southeast of Puerto Rico. Formerly a presidency of the Leeward Islands, St. Kitts was united with Nevis in 1903 to form the presidency of St. Kitts-Nevis. In 1952, this designation was changed to St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla.

    St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla (1952-80)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 52,000 (1996 estimate). An associated state in the British Commonwealth, St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla came into being in 1952. Stamps of St. Kitts-Nevis and Leeward Islands continued in concurrent use there until 1956. In 1967, Anguilla separated unilaterally and began issuing its own stamps, although "Anguilla" continued to appear on St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla issues for 13 years thereafter. Nevis and St. Kitts (St. Christopher) parted company in 1980.

    St. Helena (1856-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 6,803 (1997 estimate). An island in the southern Atlantic Ocean, about 1,100 miles off the west coast of Africa. Under British rule since 1673, St. Helena is noted chiefly as the site of Napoleon's imprisonment 1815-1821. The colony includes the dependencies of Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

    St. Kitts (1980-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 35,104 (1980). One of the Leeward Islands, located in the eastern Caribbean, southeast of Puerto Rico. As St. Christopher, St. Kitts used its own issues 1870-90. These were replaced by general Leeward Islands issues 1890-1956, used concurrently with stamps inscribed "St. Kitts-Nevis" 1903-52 and "St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla" 1952-80. St. Kitts is an Associated State in the British Commonwealth, federated with Nevis but maintaining its own stamp issues since 1980.

    St. Kitts-Nevis (1903-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A group of islands in the West Indies, southeast of Puerto Rico. Formed in 1903 as a presidency of the British Leeward Islands colony, the designation of St. Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla was adopted in 1952. In 1956, this became a separate British colony, securing independence in 1967 as St. Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla. Soon after independence, Anguilla seceded from the union, declaring its independence from both St. Kitts-Nevis and Great Britain.

    St. Lucia (1860-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 159,639 (1997 estimate). An island in the West Indies. The island was disputed between France and Britain from 1627-1803, with Britain acquiring control after 1803. On March 1, 1967, St. Lucia became an independent associated state in the British Commonwealth. It became fully independent on Feb. 22, 1979. Funded by foreign aid, St. Lucia is pursuing an ambitious economic development program.

    St. Nazaire (1945)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northern France, at the mouth of the Loire River. In 1945, Allied advances cut St. Nazaire off from the rest of German-occupied France. During this period, the local Chamber of Commerce issued three provisional stamps for local use.

    St. Pierre and Miquelon (1885-1976, 1986-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 6,862 (1997 estimate). Two small islands off the southern coast of Newfoundland. Originally occupied by the French in 1604, they are the only remnants of a once-vast French North American empire. Separate stamps issued for St. Pierre and Miquelon were discontinued in late 1976, but were reintroduced in 1986.

    St. Thomas and Prince Islands (1869-1978)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 88,000. Two small islands in the Gulf of Guinea, in the Atlantic Ocean, off the west coast of Africa. Portuguese possessions after 1490, St. Thomas and Prince became the independent Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe on July 12, 1975.

    St. Vincent (1861-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 119,092 (1997 estimate). An island in the West Indies. St. Vincent was a British colony from 1763 to 1969. On Oct. 27, 1969, St. Vincent became an independent associated state in the British Commonwealth. It became fully independent on Oct. 27, 1979.

    St. Vincent-Grenadines (1973-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. A small group of islands administered by St. Vincent, including Bequia, Mustique, Canouan and Union Island. A host of expensive topical issues were produced for the Grenadines, Bequia and Union Island during 1984-88, almost exclusively for consumption by stamp collectors.

    Ste. Marie de Madagascar (1894-98)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 8,000 (1894 estimate). An island off the east coast of Madagascar. Occupied by the French in the 17th century, it was a French colony until 1898, when it was attached to Madagascar.

    Salonica (1909-13, 1944)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A major port in northern Greece, on the Aegean Sea. The Russian post office in Salonica used overprinted Russian Levant stamps after 1909, along with the general issues of the Russian offices in Turkey. The Russian set was quickly followed by a similar series issued by Italy for its post office in Salonica. During 1916, British issues overprinted "Levant" were used by the British forces in Salonica. During the last stages of World War II, Italian stamps were overprinted by the German military commander for use in the city.

    Salvador, El (1867-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,661,827 (1993 estimate). A republic in Central America, bordering on the Pacific Ocean. El Salvador was conquered by the Spanish in the 1520s and was ruled as part of the captaincy-general of Guatemala until 1821. It came under Mexican rule briefly, then formed part of the Central American Confederation until 1839. Since independence, El Salvador's history has been marked by political instability. Coups, countercoups, inequitable land ownership and a long-running civil war between Marxist guerrillas and right-wing elements of the military marked the country's history until recent years. In 1992 the civil war was ended, and an economic liberalization program was implemented in 1993.

    Samoa (Western Samoa) (1877-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 219,509 (1997 estimate). A group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Fiji. The native kingdom of Samoa was under the influence of the United States, Britain and Germany until 1899 when the islands were partitioned between the United States and Germany with Great Britain withdrawing its claims. The eastern islands were ceded to the United States by the local chiefs from 1900-04. American Samoa has since been administered by the United States, using regular U.S. stamps. Western Samoa was seized from Germany by New Zealand forces in 1914, and New Zealand subsequently administered the western islands under a mandate from the League of Nations (later the United Nations). Western Samoa became independent on Jan. 1, 1962. In 1977 the country's name was changed to Samoa. Ties to New Zealand remain strong.

    Samos (1878-1915)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island in the Aegean Sea. Under Turkish rule since the 15th century, Samos became an autonomous principality in 1832, under British, French and Russian protection. France overprinted and surcharged a set of nine stamps "Vathy" for use in 1894-1900. In September 1912, a provisional government was established, and Turkish troops withdrew. The government issued two stamps. In 1913, Samos was united with Greece.

    San Marino (1877-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 24,714 (1997 estimate). A tiny independent republic in central Italy. Surrounded on all sides by Italy, San Marino has maintained its independence since the 4th century A.D. It is the world's smallest republic and claims to be Europe's oldest state. Postage stamps and tourism are the country's major industries.

    San Sebastian (1936-37)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital of the province of Guipuzcoa in northern Spain. Nationalist authorities overprinted a number of Spanish stamps for use in the city during the Spanish Civil War.

    Santa Cruz de Tenerife (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province of Spain in the Canary Islands. A set of overprinted Spanish stamps was issued in 1937 by the Nationalist authorities.

    Santa Maria de Albarracia (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in the province of Teruel in northern Spain. Two overprinted Spanish stamps were issued in 1937 under the authority of the Nationalist Inspector-General of Posts.

    Sao Tome and Principe (1975-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 147,865 (1997 estimate). The Portuguese colony of St. Thomas and Prince became the independent Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe on July 12, 1975. It now issues large numbers of topically oriented stamps primarily intended for stamp collectors.

    Sarawak (1869-)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 975,918 (1970). A state on the northwestern coast of Borneo. In 1893, the area was ceded to Sir James Brooke by the sultan of Brunei. Sarawak remained an independent state until 1888, when it accepted British control of its foreign affairs. The Brooke dynasty ruled until 1946, when the last rajah ceded Sarawak to Britain. In 1963, the colony joined with Malaya, Singapore and Sabah (North Borneo) to form the Federation of Malaysia.

    Sardinia (1851-62)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former kingdom in northwestern Italy. The Sardinian House of Savoy led the Italian nationalist movement, absorbing most of the many Italian states during 1859-61. In 1861, the Sardinian kingdom became the Kingdom of Italy, which began to issue stamps in 1862.

    Sarny (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in the western Ukraine. After the German occupation of the city in 1941, six stamps were issued by the German military commander.

    Saseno (1923)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A small island off the coast of Albania, occupied by Italy in 1914. Eight Italian stamps were overprinted for use there in 1923. Saseno was formally returned to Albania in 1947.

    Saudi Arabia (1932-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 9.6 million. Nejd, in northern Arabia, was long the center of the fundamentalist Wahabbi Moslem sect. Under Turkish control until 1913, Nejd was freed by Ibn Saud, a warrior king who immediately set about the enlargement of his domain. He conquered the Turkish province of Hasa in 1913, the Kingdom of the Hejaz in 1925, and most of Asir in 1926. In 1932 the kingdom adopted the name Saudi Arabia. Oil was discovered in 1936, and petroleum soon became the country's major export and economic mainstay. Saudi Arabia has played a leading role in OPEC. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy, ruled by the Saud family. Mecca and Medina, the holy cities of Islam, are within the country, and the Koran is the law of the land. Saudi Arabia has been an active force in the Arab movement for a Palestinian state. Since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, it has given annual subsidies to the Arab frontline states, as well as to the various Palestinian political groups. The Saudis were among the leaders in the 1973-74 oil boycott of the West.

    Saurashtra (Soruth) (1864-1949)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 670,719. A former feudatory state, actually named Junagadh, in western India. Its stamps were replaced by those of the United State of Saurashtra in 1949.

    Saurashtra, United State of (1949-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A state formed in 1948 with the merger of over 400 states and territories in western India. Indian stamps have been used in the state since April 1, 1950.

    Saxony (1850-67)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 2.5 million (estimate). Former kingdom in central Germany. Saxon issues were replaced by those of the North German Confederation in 1868.

    Scarpanto (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The Greek island of Karpathos in the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. The island was obtained from Turkey by Italy in 1912. At that time, Italian stamps overprinted "Scarpanto," the Italian name for the island, were issued. Scarpanto's issues were superseded by those of the Aegean Islands in 1929, although two sets were overprinted for the island in 1930 and 1932.

    Schleswig (1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An area of the central Jutland Peninsula, in Germany and Denmark. Under German rule from 1864-1918, the province was divided into two districts after World War I. A plebiscite in 1920 resulted in the northern portion voting to join Denmark and the southern district voting for reunion with Germany.

    Schleswig-Holstein (1850-67)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.52 million (estimate). Former duchies in northern Germany, forming the southern portion of the Jutland Peninsula. Under Danish control until 1864, the duchies were seized by Austria and Prussia, who subsequently fought the Austro-Prussian War (1866), after which they were absorbed by Prussia. A plebiscite in 1920 resulted in northern Schleswig being returned to Denmark.

    Scinde (1852-54)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district on the lower Indus River, bordering on the Arabian Sea. Scinde is now part of Pakistan. The Scinde was occupied by Great Britain in 1850 and separate stamps were used until their replacement by the first Indian issue in 1854.

    Scutari (1909-11, 1915-20)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A seaport in northern Albania. The Italian post office in Scutari used 10 overprinted Italian stamps from 1909-11 and during the World War I Italian occupation. In December 1918, the Italians withdrew and Scutari was placed under an international commission to protect it from Serbia. Until March 1920, various stamps were issued specifically for use in Scutari, after which time the city was placed under Albanian administration.

    Segovia (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province of north central Spain. Contemporary Spanish stamps were overprinted by the National Civil Governor in October and November 1937.

    Seiyun, Kathiri State of (1942-67)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former British protectorate in south Arabia. The area was autonomous until its incorporation into the People's Republic of Southern Yemen.

    Selangor (1881-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1 million (1960 estimate). Sultanate in the south Malay Peninsula. Selangor was under British protection after 1874 and joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948.

    Senegal (1887-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 6.4 million. A republic on the west coast of Africa. The first French settlement began in 1626, and the area remained under either French or (temporarily) British rule. After 1854, France used Senegal as its base for expansion in West Africa. In 1904 French West Africa was established, with its capital at Dakar, Senegal's capital. French West African stamps were used 1944-59. In 1958, Senegal became an autonomous state within the French Union, and in 1959 it joined with the French Sudan to form the Federation of Mali. Senegal withdrew from the union in 1960, and on June 26, 1960, became independent. It retains close ties with France.

    Senegambia and Niger (1903-06)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A French African administrative unit (1902-04) comprising French holdings in the Senegal and Niger area. In 1904, the area was renamed Upper Senegal and Niger, and in 1906, stamps of this new entity were released.

    Serbia (1866-1918, 1941-44)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 3 million (1920 estimate). A former state in the Balkans, now part of Yugoslavia. Serbia was a powerful kingdom until its conquest by the Turks in 1389. Serbia gained autonomy in 1829 and independence in 1878. Serbia assumed leadership of the movement to unite the southern Slavs in the early 20th century, especially after the defeat of Turkey during the Balkan Wars (1912-13). The assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown by a Serbian nationalist in 1914 led to an Austro-Hungarian declaration of war on Serbia, which escalated into World War I. By the end of 1915, Serbia was occupied by German, Austrian and Bulgarian forces, while the Serbian government and army retired to Corfu. Another 42 stamps were overprinted for use during this period. With the collapse of Austria-Hungary in the autumn of 1918, Serbia became the nucleus of the Yugoslav state. The Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was established on Dec. 1, 1918, under the Serbian monarchy. In 1929 the state was renamed Yugoslavia. During 1941-44, Serbia was recreated as a German puppet state. An additional 126 stamps were issued during the war years.

    Seville (1936-38)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province in southern Spain. During the Civil War, a large number of contemporary Spanish Republican stamps were overprinted under the authority of the local Nationalist military commander.

    Seychelles (1890-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 77,000. A group of 86 islands in the western Indian Ocean. Formerly occupied by France, the Seychelles have been under British rule since 1810. The Seychelles were ruled as part of Mauritius until 1903. During 1903-76, the islands were administered as a separate colony. Although the ruling party preferred to continue the Seychelles' association with Britain, sustained pressure from the Organization of African Unity and United Nations forced it to declare independence on June 29, 1976. In 1977, the government was overthrown in a coup, and a socialist regime came to power. In 1979, opposition political parties were abolished. The Soviet Union actively attempted to establish its influence in the country.

    Shan States (1943)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During 1942-43, the Shan States of eastern Burma were separated from the puppet Burmese government established by the Japanese. In December 1943, the region was reincorporated into Burma, and its stamps were overprinted for use throughout the country.

    Shanghai (1865-98)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the major cities and ports of China. Shanghai was opened to European settlement in 1843. In 1864, dissatisfied with the high charges of the Chinese private postal agencies, Shanghai organized a postal system under the Municipal Council. Agencies of the Shanghai Local Post eventually operated in 16 cities within China. In 1898 the service was integrated with those of the Chinese government.

    Shansi (1941-42)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province in northern China, west of Peking. Regular Chinese stamps were overprinted by occupying Japanese forces during World War II. After 1945, the area was in communist hands, using the stamps of North China (1946-50) and then of the Peking regime.

    Shantung (1941-42)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province of northern China, for which overprinted Chinese stamps were issued under the Japanese occupation.

    Sharjah (1963-72)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A sheikhdom in eastern Arabia on the Persian Gulf. One of the Trucial States under British protection from 1892-1971, Sharjah joined in the United Arab Emirates in 1971. During 1963-71, Sharjah issued a large number of colorful stamps and souvenir sheets, aimed at the collector market.

    Shqiperia

    See Albania

    Sibenik (Sebenico) (1944)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city on the Adriatic coast of Yugoslavia. After Italy joined the Allies, the area was occupied by Croatian partisans, who overprinted Italian stamps for use in the region.

    Siberia (1919-20)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In November 1918, anti-Bolshevik forces in Siberia formed a moderate socialist government under Adm. Kolchak. The armies of this regime soon occupied most of Siberia and invaded European Russia. At one point, they threatened Moscow, but they were eventually routed by the Red Army in late 1919. The Red counteroffensive overthrew Kolchak in January 1920, and the Siberian state rapidly disintegrated. Ten Russian stamps were surcharged and used in the territory under the regime's control.

    Sierra Leone (1859-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 4,891,546 (1997 estimate). A republic in west Africa. The coastal area was occupied by Great Britain after 1791, the hinterland coming under British protection in 1896. In 1961, Sierra Leone became independent. Long one of the most progressive of Britain's west African colonies, Sierra Leone's early political stability and economic growth have given way to coups, countercoups, rampant corruption and an economy heavily dependent on foreign aid.

    Simi (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. The area was obtained from Turkey by Italy in 1912, at which time Italian stamps overprinted "Simi" were issued. These issues were superseded by the general issues for the Aegean Islands in 1919, although two sets, overprinted with the name of the island, were released in 1930 and 1932.

    Sinaloa (1929)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A state of northern Mexico bordering on the Pacific Ocean. Sinaloa issued stamps briefly in 1929, during a revolution against the central government.

    Singapore (1948-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 3,461,929 (1997 estimate). An island off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula. Singapore was a British territory administered as part of the Straits Settlements from 1826 to 1942. It was under Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945. In 1946, Singapore became a separate crown colony, joining with Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah in 1963 to form the Federation of Malaysia. In 1965, Singapore withdrew from the federation and proclaimed itself an independent republic. Singapore has a dynamic economy and is an economic leader in Southeast Asia.

    Sinkiang (1915-49)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The westernmost province of China. Because the currency used in Sinkiang differed in value from that used in the rest of China, the province used overprinted Chinese issues until 1949, when the communists assumed control.

    Sirmoor (1879-1902)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 148,568. A former feudatory state in northern India.

    Slovakia (1939-45, 1993-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,393,016 (1997 estimate). Republic in central Europe. A part of the homeland of the Slavic Moravian Empire in the middle ages, Slovakia was conquered by the Magyars in the early 10th century and remained under Hungarian rule until 1918. With the defeat of Austria-Hungary in 1918, Slovakia united with the Czech regions of Bohemia and Moravia to form the Republic of Czechoslovakia. When the country was occupied by Germany in 1939, Slovakia was established as a separate German puppet-state. The Soviet army liberated the country in 1945 and it again became part of Czechoslovakia. The post-war communist republic was dominated by Czechs, and old ethnic rivalries were revived. When Czechoslovakia began to democratize in 1989, Slovakia began to pursue an increasingly nationalist course. In 1992 Czech and Slovak political leaders agreed to dissolve the union, and on January 1, 1993, the two republics formally separated.

    Slovenia (1919-21, 1941-45, 1991-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. Population: 1,945,988. A republic in central Europe, bordering on the Adriatic Sea. Slovenia was a part of Hungary through the Middle Ages and was ruled by Austria after 1526. After World War I, it became part of the independent Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Slovenia issued stamps until 1921, when the first Yugoslav national issues were released. During World War II, Slovenia was divided between Germany and Italy, both of which issued separate stamps for their zones. After the war, the province was reoccupied by Yugoslavia, and overprinted stamps of the German occupation (Ljubljana), Germany proper, and Hungary were used, until replaced by regular Yugoslav issues. On June 25, 1991, Slovenia declared its independence from Yugoslavia. Although Yugoslav military forces initially attempted to suppress independence, they soon withdrew. Because it does not abut Yugoslavia and does not have the religious heterogeneity of other former Yugoslav territories, Slovenia has been free of the warfare that marked the area in the 1990s. Slovenia quickly began to integrate with the economy of Western Europe, and in 1997 all political parties announced their support for the country's membership in NATO.

    Smilten (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Latvia. Russian stamps were surcharged by the municipal authorities for local use in 1919.

    Smolensk (1922)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in western Russia. Surcharged Russian stamps were issued for local use by the city authorities in 1922.

    Smyrna (1909-14, 1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The major port of western Turkey. The Italian and Russian post offices in the city used stamps of Italy and the Russian Levant, respectively, overprinted with the name of the city. During the Greek occupation of 1919-22, overprinted Greek stamps were issued for the area. In 1922, a similar overprint was applied to contemporary Italian stamps for use by the Italian forces occupying the port, but this set was never released.

    Solomon Islands (1907-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 426,855 (1997 estimate). A group of islands in the western South Pacific. The islands were a British protectorate designated as the British Solomon Islands until 1975, when, as the group approached independence, the "British" was dropped. The Solomons became self-governing in 1976 and fully independent in 1978.

    Somalia (1903-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 9,940,232 (1997 estimate). An area on the eastern coast of Africa, bordering on the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden. The northern coastal area was under the influence of the Turks from the 16th century and Egypt during the 19th century. The southern coast was under a vague Arab suzerainty after the mid-18th century. In 1905 the area was constituted as the Italian colony of Somaliland. In 1936, Somaliland was merged with Eritrea and Ethiopia to form Italian East Africa. In 1941, the area was occupied by Great Britain, which held it until 1950, using overprinted British stamps. In 1950, the area was returned to Italy, under a U.N. trusteeship. In 1960, the area became independent, merging with the former British Somaliland Protectorate to form the Republic of Somalia. In 1970, the nation's name was changed to the Somali Democratic Republic. A military coup in 1969 brought an increasingly socialistic regime to power. Relations with the Soviet Union strengthened, and a major Soviet naval base was established at Berbera. Soviet-Somali relations cooled when Moscow switched its support to Ethiopia in the two nations' dispute over the Ogaden, a large eastern region of Ethiopia populated primarily by Somalis. In 1977, Soviet advisers were expelled from Somalia. In 1978, Somali forces were expelled from the Ogaden by Ethiopian and Cuban troops. Over one million Somali refugees from the region fled to Somalia. The government survived this defeat but collapsed in 1991, after which Somalia disintegrated into a chronic anarchy, in which numerous warring clans vied for power. The northern portion of the country, formerly the British territory, separated from the rest of Somalia to form the independent Somaliland Republic.

    Somali Coast (1894-1967)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 86,000 (1967 estimate). A former French African colony on the Gulf of Aden. In 1967, the colony's name was changed to the French Territory of the Afars and Issas. In 1977, it became independent as the Republic of Djibouti.

    Somaliland Protectorate (1903-60)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 650,000 (1960 estimate). A former British protectorate in eastern Africa, bordering on the Gulf of Aden. The area was occupied by Italy from 1940-41. On June 26, 1960, the territory became independent as part of the Somali Republic. In 1991, local leaders took advantage of anarchic conditions within Somalia to establish the independent Somaliland Republic.

    Soomaaliya

    See Somalia

    Soomaaliyed, J.D.

    See Somalia

    Sopron (1956-57)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A town in western Hungary. During the 1956 anti-communist uprising, contemporary Hungarian stamps were overprinted for use in the area held by the rebels.

    Sosnowice (1916)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in southern Poland. Local stamps were issued by the municipal authorities during the World War I Austrian occupation.

    South Africa (1910-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 42,327,458 (1997 estimate). Republic occupying the southernmost portion of Africa. In 1910, the British colonies of Cape of Good Hope, Natal, Transvaal and Orange River Colony united to form the Union of South Africa, a self-governing dominion within the British Commonwealth. In 1961, the republic was established. After 1948, South African internal policy was based on apartheid, a program of separate development of the races. This policy reserved for the white minority (17.5 percent of the population) the best jobs, political control of the government, and much higher wages than those of other ethnic groups. The plan aimed at the eventual creation of a large number of independent ethnic states. Four black states (Bantustans) were created: Transkei (1976); Bophuthatswana (1977); Venda (1979); and Ciskei (1981). None received international recognition, although each issued stamps that were routinely used within their borders. The South African government began to liberalize its policies during the 1980s, and in 1990 the chief black nationalist party, the African National Congress, was legalized. Negotiations between the regime and the ANC led to the removal of apartheid the following year. During 1992/94 events moved rapidly toward majority rule, which was effected with the ANC's April 1994 election victory.

    South Arabia (1959-67)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former federation of British territories in southwestern Arabia. South Arabia became independent in 1967 as the People's Republic of Southern Yemen. See Yemen.

    South Australia (1855-1913)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 360,000 (1901 estimate). A state of Australia, occupying the south-central part of the continent. South Australia was a British colony from 1836 to 1901, when it joined with five other colonies to form the Commonwealth of Australia.

    South Bulgaria (1885-86)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The former province of Eastern Rumelia in the southeast Balkans. In September 1885, a coup overthrew the nominally Turkish administration and established South Bulgaria, uniting with Bulgaria. Bulgarian stamps replaced those of South Bulgaria in 1886.

    South China (1949-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The Communist South China Liberation Area included the provinces of Kwangtung and Kwangsi. Regional issues were used after the occupation of Canton.

    South Georgia (1963-79)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 25 (1975 estimate). An island in the South Atlantic Ocean. In 1962, when neighboring areas were detached from the Falkland Islands to become the British Antarctic Territory, South Georgia remained a Falklands' dependency.

    South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (1986-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 500 (1987). Two groups of islands in the extreme south Atlantic Ocean, South Georgia is about 875 miles east southeast of the Falkland Islands and about 1,000 miles equidistant from Cape Horn and the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The even more remote and southerly South Sandwich Islands are uninhabited. The last remaining component of the Falkland Islands Dependencies, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands assumed its new title in 1985 and issued stamps beginning the following year.

    South Kasai (1961)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district of Zaire that declared itself autonomous after the Congo became independent from Belgium. This revolt was subsequently suppressed by the Belgian Congo central government.

    South Moluccas (1950)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A group of islands in the Indonesian archipelago, west of New Guinea. During 1950, the South Moluccas revolted against the Indonesian central government and overprinted 17 Dutch Indies and Indonesian stamps "Republik Maluku Selatan." These stamps were apparently placed into local use. The main island, Amboina, was occupied by Indonesian troops in November 1950, although Moluccan resistance continued in the outer islands until 1955. During 1951-54, a long series of South Moluccan issues was marketed in the United States, but there is no evidence that these were ever actually used in the areas under Moluccan control. Some 35,000 South Moluccans emigrated to the Netherlands, and among this group nationalist sentiments still run high. Moluccan separatism again emerged, with the Indonesian economic crisis of 1997-98. In 1999 local riots and brutal Indonesian police repression revived local agitation for independence or autonomy from Indonesia.

    South Russia (1919-21)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In October 1918, the Volunteer Army, composed primarily of veterans of the Russian Imperial Army, was formed under the command of Gen. Denikin. Denikin soon assumed leadership of almost all of the anti-Bolshevik elements in southern Russia and, in the summer of 1919, directed a major offensive against the Reds. By October, South Russian forces had occupied much of European Russia and threatened Moscow. A vigorous Red Army counteroffensive, the withdrawal of British and French support, and generally poor leadership brought the rapid collapse of Denikin's command in late 1919. In April 1920, having overseen the loss of all the region except the Crimea, Denikin resigned. Command was then assumed by Baron Peter Wrangel, probably the most effective of the White Russian leaders. Wrangel's administration of the Russian territories reflected an understanding of the economic goals of the revolution. Unfortunately, his superiors kept him from assuming a leadership position that equaled his talents, until the White Russian cause had been lost by less able leaders. Wrangel consolidated the Volunteer Army and held the Crimea until November 1920, when the army and its dependents were evacuated. The remnants of the South Russian forces temporarily settled in a number of refugee camps in Turkey and the Balkans, and a large number of Russian, Ukrainian and South Russian stamps were overprinted and surcharged for use in the camps. These issues were used until the camps were shut down in June 1921.

    Southern Nigeria (1901-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 8.5 million (1912 estimate). A former administrative unit comprised of British holdings in southern Nigeria. In 1914, it was merged with Northern Nigeria to form the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria.

    Southern Rhodesia (1924-53, 1964-65)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 4 million (1964 estimate). A former British colony in southeastern Africa. Administered as part of Rhodesia until 1923, Southern Rhodesia was ruled as a separate colony from 1923 to 1953. The territory was part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland from 1953 to 1964, and again became a separate colony from 1964 to 1965. In 1965, the controlling white minority declared Southern Rhodesia independent of Great Britain.

    South-West Africa (Namibia) (1923-90)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A territory in southwestern Africa. South-West Africa was a German colony until 1915, when it was occupied by the Union of South Africa. It was administered by South Africa, originally under a mandate from the League of Nations, until 1985. After years of attempting to absorb the territory, provoking intense internal and international opposition, South Africa permitted the establishment of a multi-racial regime in that year. In 1989 free elections resulted in a landslide for the South-West Africa People's Organization, the primary black opposition party, and in 1990 South-West Africa became the independent Republic of Namibia.

    Southwest China (1949-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The Communist Southwest China Liberation Area included the provinces of Kweichow, Szechwan, Yunnan, Sikang and Tibet.

    Spain (1850-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 39,244,195 (1997 estimate). A kingdom in southwestern Europe, occupying the greater part of the Iberian Peninsula. Part of the Roman Empire from the second century B.C. until the fourth century A.D., Spain was subsequently overrun by Germanic tribes, which formed the Kingdom of the Visigoths (West Goths) until 711. The Arabs invaded Spain in that year, soon occupying all of the peninsula except a few Christian enclaves in the north. During the Middle Ages, Spain was reconquered by the Christians, who gradually pushed the Arabs south in a series of wars lasting from the 9th century until 1492, when the Arab stronghold of Granada fell. During this period, the states of Aragon and Castile came to include most of modern Spain, and the marriage of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile brought the union of the two states and the beginning of modern Spain. Spain's conquest of Granada in 1492, and the discovery of America by Columbus in the same year, brought Spain rapidly into the position of a great power. During the 16th century, Spain built a vast American empire and dominated western European affairs. Spanish power peaked c. 1580, when the Spanish king became king of Portugal as well, bringing that nation's empire under Spanish rule. The rise of The Netherlands, which overthrew Spanish rule in the late 16th century, along with the growing power of Britain on the seas and France on the Continent, marked the beginning of a long decline for Spain. Although it continued to rule a huge American empire, by 1700 Spain had become a second-class power. During the Napoleonic Wars, Spain was conquered by France, and Napoleon's brother, Joseph, was placed on the Spanish throne. Spain's colonies refused to accept Joseph's rule and proclaimed their allegiance to the legitimate monarch, Ferdinand VII. Because of this instability, Spain's American colonies were, in effect, self-governing for most of two decades. With Ferdinand's restoration in 1815, Spain attempted to regain control of its American colonies. Unwilling to return to their subservient status, the colonies revolted, and by the mid-1820s, Spanish rule had been overthrown on the American mainland. Lacking the wealth of its empire, Spain was thereafter a cipher in European affairs. In 1898-99, Spain was defeated by the United States in the Spanish-American War, losing its last American (Cuba and Puerto Rico) and Pacific (the Philippines and Guam) colonies. In 1931, the monarchy was ousted by a leftist republican movement, which instituted many liberal reforms but was unable to restore order in the country. On July 18, 1936, a conservative army officer, Francisco Franco Bahamonde, led a mutiny against the regime in Morocco, beginning the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). Franco was supported by Germany and Italy, while the Republicans were supported by the Soviet Union. The Spanish Civil War was in effect a dress rehearsal for World War II. The efficacy of modern weapons, the emphasis upon aircraft as a primary combat tool, and the principle of total war (against civilian as well as military personnel) were tested here. After a bloody war in which one million died, the Nationalists defeated the Republicans, and Franco assumed complete control of the country. During World War II, Spain remained neutral, much to the disgust and frustration of Franco's German and Italian allies. Despite this, in 1946, because of the regime's close fascist associations, Spain was expelled from the United Nations. It was readmitted in 1955. In 1947, Franco declared Spain a monarchy and provided for his succession by an heir to the Bourbon dynasty, overthrown by the Republicans in 1931. Upon his death in November 1975, Prince Juan Carlos assumed the crown. Juan Carlos immediately dissolved the harsher institutions of the Franco regime, and in June 1976, free elections brought moderates and democratic socialists to power. A right-wing coup in February 1981 failed, when the army remained loyal to the government. Since then, Spain has moved swiftly to rejoin the mainstream of Western Europe. Its economy is thoroughly integrated with those of its neighbors, and it is a member of the European Union and the Schengen Accord.

    Spain -- Carlist Government (1873-75)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In 1833, King Ferdinand VII abrogated the Salic Law (requiring succession through the male line), so that his daughter, Isabella, could succeed him on the Spanish throne. Ferdinand's brother, Don Carlos, who would otherwise have assumed the throne, refused to accept this, and upon Ferdinand's death in 1834 pressed his claim. This brought the First Carlist War of 1834-39. In 1872, Don Carlos' grandson, also named Don Carlos, reasserted his family's claim and soon controlled large areas in northern Spain. The establishment of a republican regime in Madrid in 1873 brought many Spanish monarchists into his camp. In December 1875, the Spanish monarchy was restored, and the Carlists rapidly lost ground. By February 1876, the Carlist movement had collapsed completely.

    Spain -- Civil War Municipal Issues (1936-37)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During the Spanish Civil War, many cities and districts on both sides issued provisional overprints on Spanish postage and fiscal issues. These were used as propaganda, as controls to distinguish regular stocks of stamps from looted stocks, and as profit-making philatelic productions. Among those overprints legitimately used are those of Burgos, Cadiz, the Canary Islands, Malaga, San Sebastian, Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Seville.

    Spanish Guinea (1902-60)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 210,000 (1959 estimate). Former Spanish colony in western Africa, bordering on the Gulf of Guinea. The territory comprised Rio Muni, Fernando Po (after 1909), and Elobey, Annobon and Corisco (after 1909). Fernando Po and Rio Muni were separated in 1960, reuniting in 1968 to form the independent Republic of Equatorial Guinea.

    Spanish Morocco (1903-56)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1 million (1955 estimate). The northern portion of Morocco, administered by Spain until 1956, when it was merged into the independent Kingdom of Morocco.

    Spanish Sahara (Spanish Western Sahara) (1924-76)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 76,000 (1975 estimate). A former Spanish possession in northwestern Africa, comprising Cape Juby, La Aguera and Rio de Oro. A large (100,000 square mile), sparsely populated (12,793 in 1960) area, the Spanish Sahara is mostly desert and was of little interest to outsiders until the discovery of rich phosphate deposits. From the 1960s, Morocco, Mauritania and Algeria all pressed claims to the area. In November 1975, thousands of unarmed Moroccans crossed into the territory (the "Green March"), and in February 1976, Spain withdrew from the colony. The Spanish Sahara was divided between Morocco and Mauritania, although a nationalist group, Polisario, declared the area independent and, with Algerian support, continued to wage a guerrilla war against Morocco and Mauritania. In 1980, Mauritania made peace with Polisario and gave up its portion of the area to Morocco. Fighting between Polisario and Morocco continues.

    Spanish West Africa (1949-51)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 95,000 (1951 estimate). The former administrative unit comprising the Spanish colonies of Ifni, Spanish Sahara and southern Morocco.

    Spassk (1920-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in central Russia. Russian stamps were overprinted with new values by the local authorities.

    Sri Lanka (1972-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 18,762,075 (1997 estimate). Island republic in the Indian Ocean, off the southeast coast of India. Formerly the British Dominion of Ceylon, which became independent in 1972 as the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

    Stampalia (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The westernmost of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. Now the Greek island of Astipalaia. Stampalia was obtained from Turkey by Italy in 1912, at which time 10 Italian stamps overprinted "Stampalia" were issued, with an additional surcharge added in 1916. The island's stamps were superseded by those of the Aegean Islands in 1929, although two sets totaling 15 stamps were overprinted for use in Stampalia in 1930 and 1932.

    Stellaland (1884-85)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A short-lived Boer republic in southern Africa. Independence was suppressed by Great Britain in 1885 and Stellaland was incorporated into British Bechuanaland.

    Straits Settlements (1867-1946)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.44 million (estimate). Former British colony in Malaya, comprising Singapore, Penang, Province Wellesley and Malacca, along with the dependencies of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Christmas Island and Labuan. Prior to 1867, unoverprinted British Indian stamps were in use. The colony was occupied by Japan in 1942-45 and dissolved in 1946.

    Sudan (1897-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 32,594,128 (1997 estimate). A republic in northeastern Africa, south of Egypt. Home of the ancient Kingdom of Dongola, the Sudan converted to Christianity and resisted Muslim pressure until the 14th century. Thereafter, it was divided into numerous petty states and was in Egyptian control from 1820 to 1885. The Sudan became united and independent after the Mahdi, a local religious leader, led a jihad against foreigners from 1881 to 1885. In 1898, the area was conquered by the British, and an Anglo-Egyptian condominium was established. In 1954, the Sudan became self-governing and, on Jan. 1, 1956, became an independent republic. Since its independence, Sudan has fought a prolonged civil war in the southern third of the country, where the predominantly black, pagan population seeks independence from the Arab, Moslem north. In 1969, a military coup brought a socialist regime to power, and in 1970, the government nationalized a number of businesses. In 1971, an abortive communist coup brought a temporary break in relations between the Sudan and the Soviet Union. Relations later improved, but after 1975 the Sudan moved away from the Soviet Union and strengthened ties with the United States. In 1992 the government imposed militant Islam throughout the nation, and the Sudan has since become a haven for Arab terrorists. Sudan is one of the few countries where legal slavery continues to exist.

    Sudetenland (1938)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The western border area of Czechoslovakia in which the majority of the population is German-speaking. After the Munich Agreement of Sept. 21, 1938, which transferred this region to Germany, local Nazis seized control of Sudentenland, pending formal German annexation on Oct. 1. A host of Czechoslovakian stamps overprinted "Wir sind frei" (We are free) were used during this brief period in Asch, Karlsbad, Konstantinsbad, Niklasdorf, Reichenberg-Maffersdorf, Mahrisch-Ostrau and Ramburg.

    Suez Canal (1868)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During 1859-69, the Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez constructed the Suez Canal in Egypt, linking the Mediterranean and Red seas. Until 1867, the company transported mail between Port Said and Suez for free. The company then began charging for this service, and in July 1868 special stamps were issued. The stamps were not popular and were withdrawn from sale Aug. 16, 1868. They were demonetized Aug. 31, and the service was taken over by the Egyptian government.

    Sungei Ujong (1878-95)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Former Federated Malay State under British protection. The territory was incorporated into Negri Sembilan in 1895.

    Suomi

    See Finland

    Supeh (1941-42)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province of central China, for which overprinted Chinese stamps were issued during the Japanese occupation.

    Suriname (1873-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 443,446 (1997 estimate). A republic in northern South America. Disputed by Great Britain, France and the Netherlands during the 17th-18th centuries, Suriname became a Dutch possession after 1815. In 1954, Suriname, along with the Netherlands Antilles, became an integral part of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. In 1975, it became fully independent at the initiative of the Netherlands. Some 40 percent of Suriname's population (mostly East Indians) emigrated to the Netherlands in the period immediately prior to independence. Since independence, Suriname has been plagued by political coups and economic instability.

    Sverige

    See Sweden

    Swahililand (Witu) (1889)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Until the late 19th century, the Sultan of Zanzibar controlled much of the coast of East Africa. Germany secured concessions from the sultan in the area around Lamu, Kenya, which in 1890 were ceded to Britain as part of the settlement for the British transfer of Heligoland to Germany. Prior to this (July-August 1889) the German postal agent at Lamu printed and issued stamps for use in the region.

    Swaziland (1889-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,031,600 (1997 estimate). A kingdom in southern Africa, surrounded by the Republic of South Africa and Mozambique. The kingdom was formed by the Bantu tribes in the area in the 19th century, partly in defense against the warlike Zulu Kingdom. In 1881, Great Britain and the South African Republic (Transvaal) guaranteed Swaziland's independence. During 1894-99, the state was under the protection of the Transvaal and, after 1902, came under British administration. In 1963, it was recognized as a British protectorate and, on Sept. 6, 1968, became independent. Swaziland is a constitutional monarchy, and its first democratic elections were held in September 1993. Its fertile lands and abundant mineral resources have made significant economic growth possible. It is closely linked with South Africa.

    Sweden (1855-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 8,946,193 (1997 estimate). Constitutional monarchy in northern Europe, occupying the eastern portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula. Militaristic expansion in the 17th century made the Baltic Sea a Swedish lake, but after 1709, a series of defeats stripped Sweden of most of its empire. In 1813, Sweden joined in the war against Napoleon, receiving Norway (independent 1905) as compensation. Sweden has since maintained a policy of armed neutrality and has devoted its energies to social and industrial development. Sweden has long pioneered social and welfare policies, and its social support system is quite extensive. In 1976, 44 years of socialist government ended with the election of a conservative coalition. Conservatives and Social Democrats have since alternated in power, attempting to maintain the high quality of life in Sweden, while reducing the less affordable and economically dysfunctional aspects of the system. In 1994 voters approved joining the European Union.

    Switzerland (1850-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 7,248,984 (1997 estimate). A land-locked federation in central Europe, situated between France, Germany, Austria and Italy. The country has three official languages: German, French and Italian. The nucleus of modern Switzerland appeared in the late 13th century, and in 1648, the Confederation became independent. Switzerland has not been involved in a foreign war since 1515 and, learning the lesson of Napoleon's seizure of the country, has since 1815 maintained a policy of armed neutrality. Switzerland has no military alliances and does not belong to the United Nations, although it participates in a number of U.N. programs and has U.N offices in Geneva. In 1986 the Swiss electorate rejected membership in the United Nations but in 1992 approved application to the European Union. The stability of the Swiss government and economy and of the Swiss franc -- along with Switzerland's policy of banking secrecy - has made the country one of the world's financial centers.

    Syria (1919-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 16,137,899 (1997 estimate). A republic in western Asia, bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. Under Turkish control after 1516, Syria was occupied by the Allies late in World War I. British and French forces occupied the coastal areas, while the interior was taken by an Arab army, led by T.E. Lawrence ("Lawrence of Arabia") and Faisal, son of King Hussein of the Hejaz. Lawrence and Faisal established an independent government, which claimed authority over Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Iraq, as well as Syria. This regime was recognized by a Syrian congress, but France soon overthrew the government and occupied the country. During its brief existence in 1919-20, the Syrian Arab Government issued over 100 stamps, mostly overprints on Turkish issues. Faisal was compensated by being made king of Iraq, which his family ruled until 1958. In 1922, France assumed formal control of Syria under a League of Nations mandate. In 1941, a republican government was established, and the country became independent, although French troops remained until 1946. Syria was united with Egypt during 1958-61. Since 1963, it has been ruled by the Baathist party, a socialist, pan-Arab group. Hafez al-Hassad assumed power in a 1970 coup and has since ruthlessly repressed all political opposition. Syria has participated in each of the four Arab-Israeli wars since 1948. After the 1967 war, the Golan Heights, a strategic position commanding the plains of northern Israel, was lost to the Israelis. In 1973 additional territory was lost, but it was returned in a U.S.-brokered settlement in 1974. Syrian forces entered Lebanon in 1976 as part of an Arab peacekeeping force, and since the 1980s Syria has dominated that country. In 1991 Syria was the first Arab state to condemn the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and sent troops to help defend Saudi Arabia. Hopes for a permanent peace settlement between Syria and Israel rose in the general atmosphere of good feeling after Iraq's defeat the following year but soon foundered.

    Szechwan (1933-36)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province in southern China. For a time, surcharged Chinese issues were used in the province because of the devaluation of the local currency.

    Szeged (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in southern Hungary. Between May and November 1919, Szeged was the seat of the anti-Bolshevik Hungarian National Government, under Admiral Horthy. The occupying French forces prevented Horthy from attacking the Bolsheviks, but after the fall of the regime, the Nationalists occupied Budapest and established the National Republic. In June 1919, the Horthy government overprinted 49 Hungarian issues for use in the area under its authority.

    Tahiti (1882-93, 1903, 1915)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island in the South Pacific. A former French colony, Tahiti merged into French Polynesia in 1893. Except for the issues of 1903 and 1915, stamps of French Polynesia have been in use since 1893.

    Taiwan (Formosa) (1886-95, 1945-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 21,655,515. Island off the coast of China, in the west Pacific Ocean. Originally populated by an aboriginal people of Malaysian origin, substantial Chinese settlement began in the 1600s. Taiwan was conquered by China in 1683 and remained a Chinese province until 1895, when it was ceded to Japan. Local Chinese inhabitants objected and proclaimed an independent republic, which was soon suppressed by Japanese forces. Between August and October 1895, the Formosan regime issued eight locally printed stamps. In 1945, it was reoccupied by China and, in December 1949, General Chiang Kai-shek withdrew the Nationalist Army to Taiwan, after the communists had conquered the mainland of China. The Nationalists maintained the policy that their regime was the only legitimate Chinese government and planned, with increasing futility as the years went by, their reconquest of the mainland. In the meantime, they ruled Taiwan as the Republic of China, with the 15% mainland Chinese minority ruling the country. United States support averted a Chinese invasion from the mainland in 1953 and kept China's United Nations seat in the hands of Taiwan until 1971. During the 1960s rapid manufacturing development increasingly created a prosperous and, by the 1970s a predominantly industrial, economy. Political controls began to loosen after Chiang's death in 1975. In recent years, Taiwan has become a democratic nation, and control of the country has gradually shifted from the old Nationalist mainland Chinese families to the native Taiwanese. While a significant minority favor long-term independence, the majority of Taiwanese prefer an eventual reunion with the mainland, at a time when economic and political liberalization there permits them to maintain their identity and way of life.

    Tajikistan (1992-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. Population: 6,013,855. Republic in central Asia, bordering on Afghanistan, China, Kirghizia and Uzbekistan. The Tajiks were long ruled by the Persians or the Afghans and came under Russian control in the late 19th century. In 1990 Tajikistan declared its sovereignty and in 1991 joined in the Commonwealth of Independent States. A parliamentary republic was declared in 1992. Since 1992 the country has been torn by civil war between the government, dominated by ex-communists and an anti-government coalition consisting of pro-Western intellectuals and Muslims.

    Tammerfors (1866-81)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in west-central Finland. Several issues were made by the local postmaster for use within his district.

    Tanganyika (1921-35, 1961-64)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 9.5 million (1962 estimate). The major portion of the former German East Africa colony, placed under British administration after World War I. A part of Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika after 1935, it became independent on Dec. 9, 1961. In 1964, it merged with Zanzibar to become the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, renamed Tanzania in 1965.

    Tangier (1927-57)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In 1923, Great Britain, France and Spain declared Tangier, in northern Morocco, an international zone. Stamps of French Morocco and Spanish Morocco, as well as special British, French and Spanish issues for Tangier, were used. In 1957, the city was annexed by Morocco.

    Tanzania (1965-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 29,460,753 (1997 estimate). A republic in southeastern Africa, bordering on the Indian Ocean. Tanzania was formed with the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964 as the United Republic of Tanganyika. In October 1965, the name was changed to the United Republic of Tanzania. Tanzania has maintained socialist policies at home and neutrality in its foreign affairs. Its relations with its two northern neighbors, Kenya and Uganda, have been strained. During 1978-79, clashes occurred with Uganda, culminating in a successful Tanzanian invasion, which overthrew Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. The infusion of large numbers of refugees from the civil war in Rwanda have taxed Tanzanian resources since 1994. In 1995 Tanzania had its first multiparty elections.

    Tannu Tuva (1926-34)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 306,300 (1994). An area in northern Asia between Mongolia and Siberia. Long disputed between Russia and China, the district was established in 1926 as an independent republic under Soviet protection. During the 1930's, Tannu Tuva issued several sets of large pictorials, primarily for the collector market. In 1944, it was absorbed into the Soviet Union and was designated an Autonomous Republic in 1961. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Tuva, renamed Tyva in 1993, has become autonomous in fact, as well as name. In 1993 a new constitution was adopted, establishing a governing parliament, maintaining the primacy of Tyvan laws enacted by the parliament, and asserting the nation's right to conduct an independent foreign policy. A number of stamps have appeared on the market in recent years, purportedly issued by Tyva, but these are bogus. Tyva hasn't yet begun issuing its own stamps again.

    Tasmania (Van Dieman's Land) (1853-1913)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 172,000 (1901 estimate). Island off the southeastern coast of Australia. A dependency of the British colony of New South Wales from 1803 to 1825, the island became the colony of Van Dieman's Land in 1825. In 1856, the name of the colony was changed to Tasmania, and in 1901, it joined with the mainland colonies to form the Commonwealth of Australia.

    Tchad, Republique du

    See Chad

    Telsiai (Telschen) (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northwestern Lithuania. A total of 25 different overprinted Russian stamps were issued by the German military commander of the area during July and August 1941.

    Temesvar (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district of the Banat, occupied by Serbia after World War I. After the Serbian evacuation, Romanian forces occupied the area, and Temesvar was subsequently annexed by Serbia. Both Serbian and Romanian forces overprinted a total of 16 Hungarian stamps for use in the area.

    Terres Australes Et Antarctiques Francaises

    See French Southern and Antarctic Territories

    Teruel (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province in northeastern Spain. Overprinted Spanish stamps were issued in 1937 by the local Nationalist authorities.

    Tete (1913-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 367,000 (estimate). Formerly a district of Zambezia in the colony of Portuguese East Africa, Tete now is part of western Mozambique.

    Tetuan (1908-09)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northern Morocco, formerly part of Spanish Morocco. The city name was handstamped on 15 Spanish and Spanish Offices in Morocco stamps for use there in 1908.

    Thailand (Siam) (1883-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 59,450,818 (1997 estimate). A kingdom in southeast Asia. For centuries, Thailand was the dominant power in the Malaya-Indochina region. European encroachments in the 19th century reduced this influence dramatically, although Thailand, alone among the native states of the region, was able to maintain its independence. An ally of Japan during World War II, Thailand was able to reoccupy some of its lost territories. These were given up when, in 1945, the Thai government repudiated its declaration of war against Great Britain and the United States. After World War II, Thailand aligned itself with the West. During the Vietnamese War, Thai troops were active in South Vietnam (until 1972) and in Laos (until 1974). With the U.S. withdrawal from Indochina, Thailand established diplomatic relations with China and attempted to reestablish peaceful relations with its communist neighbors. Border incursions by warring factions in Laos and Cambodia continued in the 1980s, as did the movement of hundreds of thousands of Laotian and Cambodian refugees. In recent decades, Thailand has been one of the leaders in the economic development of East Asia. Its political stability, however, has been upset by coups and the political influence of the Thai military. In 1997, after years of mismanagement and corruption, the Thai economy collapsed, creating a financial crisis throughout the Far East.

    Thessaly (1898)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During the Turko-Greek War of 1898, a set of five octagonal stamps was issued for use by the Turkish forces in Thessaly.

    Thrace (1913-20)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district in the southeastern Balkans, bordering on the Aegean and Black seas. Under Turkish rule from the 14th century, the western portion of Thrace was occupied by Bulgaria in 1912. In 1913, an autonomous Moslem regime briefly ousted the Bulgarians. During its ephemeral existence, this regime issued lithographed stamps, as well as overprints on Turkish, Greek and Bulgarian issues. In 1913 western Thrace was incorporated into Bulgaria, using regular Bulgarian issues. In October 1918, this area was taken from Bulgaria by the Allies, who overprinted Bulgarian stamps for use in the zone. In May 1920, western Thrace was mandated to Greece, and in August, Greece annexed the territory. Eastern Thrace remained in Turkish hands until 1918, when it, too, was occupied by the Allies. Like the western portion of the province, it was turned over to Greece in 1920. After the Greek defeat in the Graeco-Turkish War (1922), it was returned to Turkey.

    Thurn and Taxis (1852-67)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A princely house that maintained a postal monopoly in central Europe from the 16th century until 1806. After 1815, it operated postal services in parts of western Germany. In 1867, its rights were purchased by Prussia.

    Tibet (1912-65)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 2,290,000 (1993 estimate). Former theocracy in the Himalaya region of central Asia. An independent kingdom from the 7th century, Tibet was under Mongol influence after 1270. In the 17th century, the grand lama of the Red Hat Lamaistic order secured both spiritual and temporal power, and Tibet remained a more or less independent state under the grand lamas until 1904, after which British influence was strong. During 1910-12, a pro-Chinese regime was in power, but Chinese troops were withdrawn following the 1912 Revolution, and Tibet again became independent. In 1950, eastern Tibet was seized by China, and in 1953, a communist government was installed in Tibet itself, supplanting the theocratic regime of the Dalai Lama. In 1956, a Tibetan revolt within China spread to Tibet, resulting in the dissolution of the Tibetan government in 1959. Although the uprising was crushed ruthlessly (charges of genocide were made against the Chinese in 1961), Tibetan nationalism remains a powerful force.

    Tientsin (1900-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. City in northern China. A diagonal "China" handstamp was added to German stamps to furnish a seven-value issue for use in the German post office in Tientsin in 1900. The Italian post offices in Tientsin used 32 Italian stamps overprinted with the name of the city in 1917-21.

    Tiflis (1857)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital city of Georgia (Soviet Union). In 1857, the Russian viceroy of the area issued a stamp for local use.

    Timor (1885-1975)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 660,000 (1976 estimate). An island in the Malay Archipelago. Divided between the Dutch and Portuguese since the 17th century, Timor was formally partitioned in 1919. After the liberal Portuguese revolution in 1974, the Portuguese portion of Timor declared itself independent of Portugal, but was soon disputed by internal factions. Indonesia intervened to restore order and occupied the territory, organizing it as the province of Timor Timur. The Indonesian occupation was not recognized by the United Nations, and local resistance continued, provoking increasingly brutal repression by the Indonesian authorities. Responding to international pressure, Indonesia agreed in 1998 to grant East Timor a large measure of autonomy, but in an August, 1999, referendum, the great majority of Timorese voted for independence. This provoked another round of bloody fighting, as local Muslim militias, supported by the Indonesian army, attacked independence supporters. Finally, United Nations military intervention reestablished order, and in an August, 2001, referendum, the Timorese again overwhelmingly voted for complete separation from Indonesia. East Timor became independent on May 20, 2002, as the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.

    Timor-Leste, Democratic Republic of (2002-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 983,000 (1999). The eastern portion of the island of Timor, along with the enclave of Oscussu-Ambeno in West Timor. Formerly the Portuguese colony of Timor, under Indonesian occupation 1975-99. After years of resistance to Indonesian authorities, Timor-Leste became independent on May 20, 2002.

    Tlacotalpan (1856)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A village in the state of Veracruz in eastern Mexico. A single extremely scarce 1/2-real handstamp issue was produced there in 1856.

    Tobago (1879-96)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 25,358 (1889 estimate). An island in the West Indies, north of Trinidad. In 1889, Tobago was united with Trinidad to form the colony of Trinidad and Tobago.

    Togo (1897-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 4,735,610 (1997 estimate). A republic in West Africa, bordering on the Gulf of Guinea. Togo was a German protectorate until 1914, when it was occupied by Anglo-French forces. After World War I, the territory was divided between Britain and France, under League of Nations mandate. The British portion subsequently became part of Ghana, while the French zone became the present republic (1958). Togo became fully independent in 1960. Its stamp issues since that time have been voluminous, including a host of colorful stamps and souvenir sheets on every conceivable topic. Togo's first president was assassinated in 1963 and his successor was deposed in coup in 1967. From 1967 to 1994, Togo was ruled by a repressive military dictatorship but made significant economic progress. Progress toward multiparty government has been made in the past several years.

    Tokelau Islands (1948-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,503 (1995 estimate). A group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, north of Samoa. Attached to the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, Tokelau Islands were placed under Western Samoan administration in 1926. On Jan. 1, 1949, they became a dependency of New Zealand.

    Tomsk (1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in western Siberia. During the Russian Civil War, the local authorities issued a surcharged Russian stamp for use in the area.

    Tonga (1886-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 107,335 (1997 estimate). A group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, south of Samoa. United during the mid-19th century, Tonga came under British protection in 1900. On June 4, 1970, Tonga again became fully independent. Tonga's economy has traditionally depended on copra and bananas. The discovery of offshore oil in the 1970s and government efforts to develop tourism bode well for the country's economic future, although it still continues to rely on foreign aid. Since 1992 efforts have been made to democratize the country, but power remains in the hands of the king and aristocracy. From the late 1960s to the early '80s, Tonga issued a host of unconventional stamps, including garish self-adhesive and foil productions embossed and die-cut into many unusual shapes. Beginning in about 1981, however, Tonga returned to more traditional designs.

    Transbaikal Province (1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Shortly after the fall of the Kolchak regime in January 1920, a local warlord in eastern Siberia, the Ataman Semenov, proclaimed himself ruler of Siberia. Four Russian stamps were surcharged for use in his short-lived domain. He maintained control of the area around Chita and Lake Baikal until October, when his government was overthrown by partisans of the Far Eastern Republic. Semenov fled to Mongolia.

    Transcaucasian Federated Republics (1923-24)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 5.9 million (1923 estimate). A former Soviet administrative district in the Caucasus, comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. In 1917, a short-lived independent Transcaucasian Republic was proclaimed, but this state soon fell to invading German, Turkish and British forces. After considerable turmoil, the area was occupied by Soviet forces in 1922. In that year, the Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic was proclaimed. In the following year, it joined the Soviet Union. In 1936, this unit was dissolved, and its three component states were separated.

    Transkei (1976-1994)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of South Africa's so-called Bantustans or Bantu homelands, a scattering of nominally semi-autonomous states for otherwise disenfranchised black South Africans located on the sites of reserves set up under the policies of the white-run apartheid government prior to World War II. Transkei was the largest and most populous of these, consisting of a large tract of coastal territory on the Indian Ocean between Durban and East London and a number of smaller disjointed tracts nearby. Although not accorded international recognition as a sovereign state, Transkei's stamps were generally accepted on international mail. Transkei ceased to exist April 27, 1994.

    Transvaal (1870-1910)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.26 million (1904 estimate). Former Boer republic (officially, the South African Republic) and British colony in southern Africa; now a province of the Republic of South Africa. Boer settlements north of the Cape Colony were recognized as the independent South African Republic in 1852, but during 1877-82, British forces occupied the area. In 1881, the Transvaal again became independent, but increasing tension with the British led to the Boer War of 1899-1902, after which the country became a British colony. In 1910, the Transvaal joined with Natal, Cape Colony and the Orange River Colony to form the Union of South Africa.

    Transylvania (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A principality annexed from the Turks by Hungary in the 18th century, Transylvania was occupied and absorbed by Romania after World War I. Two issues of a distinctive (and frequently counterfeited) round overprint were applied to a total of 122 Hungarian stamps for use during 1919. During 1940-44, it was reoccupied by Hungary, finally being returned to Romania after World War II.

    Travancore (1888-1949)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 6.1 million (1941 estimate). A former feudatory state in southern India. In 1949, it merged with Cochin to form Travancore-Cochin, which issued stamps for use in the new territory.

    Travancore-Cochin (1949-51)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive: Population: 7.5 million. The United State of Travancore-Cochin was formed on July 1, 1949, by the merger of Travancore and Cochin, along with the formerly British-held towns of Tangasseri and Anjengo. Indian stamps have been used since April 1, 1951.

    Trebizonde (1909-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Turkish port on the Black Sea. The Russian post office in the city used 10 stamps of the Russian Levant overprinted "Trebizonde" after 1909.

    Trengganu (1910-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 302,171 (1960 estimate). Former non-federated Malay state under Siamese influence until a British protectorate was established in 1909. Trengganu joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and is now part of the Federation of Malaysia.

    Trieste (1947-54)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 263,000 (1954 estimate). A former Italian territory at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea. After World War II, it was occupied by Allied forces and, in 1954, was partitioned between Italy (the northern portion of the seaport of Trieste) and Yugoslavia (the southern section). These two zones, A and B respectively, issued stamps during 1947-54, while Trieste was a free territory - zone A being under Allied administration, while zone B was administered by Yugoslavia.

    Trinidad (1851-1913)

    Stamp-issuing status; inactive; Population: 387,000 (1889 estimate). An island in the Caribbean, off the coast of Venezuela. Taken from Spain by Great Britain in 1797, Trinidad was united with Tobago in 1889 to form the colony of Trinidad and Tobago.

    Trinidad and Tobago (1913-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,273,141 (1997 estimate). Two islands in the Caribbean, off the coast of Venezuela. The two British colonies were united in 1889, Tobago becoming a ward of the united colony in 1899. From 1958-1962, the colony was a member of the West Indies Federation, becoming independent in August 1962. Trinidad has long been an oil-refining center and has begun exploiting recently discovered oil reserves of its own. It is one of the most prosperous of the Caribbean states.

    Tripolitania (1923-35, 1948-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 570,716 (1921). Former Italian colony in North Africa. Tripolitania was occupied by Italy in 1912 and merged with Cyrenaica in 1934 to form the colony of Libia. During World War II, Libia was occupied by Anglo-French forces, and Tripolitania was occupied by the British until 1950, when it was incorporated into the independent Kingdom of Libya.

    Tristan da Cunha (1952-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 260. A group of islands in the mid-South Atlantic Ocean. A British possession since 1816, Tristan da Cunha became a dependency of the colony of St. Helena in 1936.

    Trucial States (1961-63)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 86,000. A group of Arab sheikhdoms -- Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujeira, Manama, Ras al Khaima, Sharjah and Kalba, and Umm al Qiwain -- in eastern Arabia, bordering on the Persian Gulf. These states were under British protection from 1892-1971, joining to form the United Arab Emirates in 1971. In June 1963, Trucial States issues were replaced by those of the individual states, which, in turn, were superseded by those of the UAE in 1972.

    Tunisia (1888-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 9,183,097 (1997 estimate). Republic in North Africa. Tunisia was under Turkish rule from 1574 until 1881, when it became a French protectorate. After World War II, nationalist feeling increased, and in 1955, France granted Tunisia internal autonomy. In March 1956, Tunisia became independent.

    Turkey (1863-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 63,528,225 (1997 estimate). A republic in southeastern Europe and western Asia. The area now occupied by Turkey was the center of a number of ancient civilizations, and it remained the center of the Eastern Roman Empire for nearly a thousand years after the fall of Rome. During most of this period, it was the dominant power of the region. The Byzantine Empire, weakened by the inroads of Crusaders who found it easier to ransack Christian lands than to fight infidels, rapidly lost ground in the 13th and 14th centuries. The Ottoman Turks conquered the outlying provinces, and in 1453 they occupied Constantinople, which became their capital and the center of their own empire. During the next century, the Turks conquered southeastern Europe, North Africa and much of the Middle East. At its apex (1550-1683), the Turkish Empire stretched from the borders of Poland and the Russian steppes to the Sahara, and from Algeria to Arabia. From the late 17th century on, the Turkish Empire became increasingly weak and poorly administered, and its military power declined rapidly. During the 19th century, the territorial integrity of the state was maintained only because the European powers could not agree upon the division of the spoils. In a series of generally unsuccessful wars during 1878-1913, most of Turkey's outlying provinces became independent or were lost to its more powerful neighbors. In 1914, the Turks joined the Central Powers. Their defeat cost Turkey most of its remaining territory, and by 1919 only Asia Minor remained. At that point, it became apparent that the Allies intended to dismember Turkey altogether. In reaction to this threat, a nationalist Turkish government was formed in Ankara in 1920, with Mustafa Kemal as president. The Nationalists defeated the Greeks, whom they expelled from Western Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace and compelled the Allies to withdraw from the Dardanelles and Cilicia. The Treaty of Lausanne (1923) confirmed Turkish independence and established its borders along roughly ethnic lines. Kemal established the republic and launched an ambitious program of social reform and industrialization. Turkey remained neutral during most of World War II, declaring war on the Axis in February 1945. Since that time, it has been aligned with the West and has been a member of NATO since 1952. Tension with Greece, a fellow NATO member, over the status of Cyprus, has at times threatened to estrange Turkey from its Western allies. During the 1990s, Turkey has been plagued by ongoing armed resistance from its Kurdish minority and by the rise in recent years of a fundamentalist Islamic opposition.

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (1974-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. The northern and northeastern 40 percent of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, occupied by Turkey following its 1974 invasion. A buffer zone manned by United Nations peacekeeping forces separates it from the predominantly Greek southern portion of the island. Stamps were issued prior to the invasion, though an independent Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was only proclaimed in November 1983. Although its legitimacy is not recognized by other countries, its stamps have been regularly accepted as valid on international mail.

    Turkiye

    See Turkey

    Turks Islands (1867-1900)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 2,000 (1894 estimate). A group of islands in the West Indies, south of the Bahamas. In 1848, along with the Caicos Islands, they were transferred from Bahamian to Jamaican administration, first as a separate colony (1848-73) and later as a dependency of Jamaica (1873-1959). Stamps inscribed "Turks and Caicos Islands" replaced those inscribed "Turks Islands" in 1900.

    Turks and Caicos Islands (1900-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 14,631 (1997 estimate). Two groups of islands in the West Indies, south of the Bahamas. Ruled by Great Britain from the Bahamas after the early 18th century, the Turks and Caicos were separated as a colony in 1848 and became a dependency of Jamaica in 1873. In 1959, they became part of the Federation of the West Indies. When the federation dissolved in 1962, the Turks and Caicos again became a British crown colony.

    Tuscany (1851-60)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 2.89 million. A former grand duchy in west-central Italy. In 1859, the duke was deposed, and in 1860 Tuscany was united with Sardinia.

    Tuvalu (1976-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,297 (1997 estimate). The nine islands previously making up the Ellice Islands, Tuvalu is located in the central South Pacific south of Kiribati, north of Fiji and northeast of Australia. The islands chose independence from the Gilbert and Ellice Islands in a 1974 referendum, and Tuvalu's first stamps appeared at the beginning of 1976. In the early 1980s, Tuvalu stepped up what had been a moderate stamp-issuing program, reaching a climax in 1984-88 with the release of about 100 stamps by each of the component islands of Funafuti, Nanumaga, Nanumea, Niutao, Nui, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae and Vaitupu. Only Niulakita, population 74, lacked its own issue. Most of these issues displayed popular topics largely unrelated to the islands.

    Two Sicilies (1858-62)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Former kingdom comprising southern Italy and Sicily. First created by the Normans in the 11th century, the kingdom passed through various hands until the Bourbon dynasty was overthrown by Garibaldi in 1860. The area was united with Sardinia in 1860, and Italian stamps have been used since 1862.Tahiti (1882-93, 1903, 1915)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island in the South Pacific. A former French colony, Tahiti merged into French Polynesia in 1893. Except for the issues of 1903 and 1915, stamps of French Polynesia have been in use since 1893.

    Taiwan (Formosa) (1886-95, 1945-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 21,655,515. Island off the coast of China, in the west Pacific Ocean. Originally populated by an aboriginal people of Malaysian origin, substantial Chinese settlement began in the 1600s. Taiwan was conquered by China in 1683 and remained a Chinese province until 1895, when it was ceded to Japan. Local Chinese inhabitants objected and proclaimed an independent republic, which was soon suppressed by Japanese forces. Between August and October 1895, the Formosan regime issued eight locally printed stamps. In 1945, it was reoccupied by China and, in December 1949, General Chiang Kai-shek withdrew the Nationalist Army to Taiwan, after the communists had conquered the mainland of China. The Nationalists maintained the policy that their regime was the only legitimate Chinese government and planned, with increasing futility as the years went by, their reconquest of the mainland. In the meantime, they ruled Taiwan as the Republic of China, with the 15% mainland Chinese minority ruling the country. United States support averted a Chinese invasion from the mainland in 1953 and kept China's United Nations seat in the hands of Taiwan until 1971. During the 1960s rapid manufacturing development increasingly created a prosperous and, by the 1970s a predominantly industrial, economy. Political controls began to loosen after Chiang's death in 1975. In recent years, Taiwan has become a democratic nation, and control of the country has gradually shifted from the old Nationalist mainland Chinese families to the native Taiwanese. While a significant minority favor long-term independence, the majority of Taiwanese prefer an eventual reunion with the mainland, at a time when economic and political liberalization there permits them to maintain their identity and way of life.

    Tajikistan (1992-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. Population: 6,013,855. Republic in central Asia, bordering on Afghanistan, China, Kirghizia and Uzbekistan. The Tajiks were long ruled by the Persians or the Afghans and came under Russian control in the late 19th century. In 1990 Tajikistan declared its sovereignty and in 1991 joined in the Commonwealth of Independent States. A parliamentary republic was declared in 1992. Since 1992 the country has been torn by civil war between the government, dominated by ex-communists and an anti-government coalition consisting of pro-Western intellectuals and Muslims.

    Tammerfors (1866-81)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in west-central Finland. Several issues were made by the local postmaster for use within his district.

    Tanganyika (1921-35, 1961-64)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 9.5 million (1962 estimate). The major portion of the former German East Africa colony, placed under British administration after World War I. A part of Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika after 1935, it became independent on Dec. 9, 1961. In 1964, it merged with Zanzibar to become the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, renamed Tanzania in 1965.

    Tangier (1927-57)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In 1923, Great Britain, France and Spain declared Tangier, in northern Morocco, an international zone. Stamps of French Morocco and Spanish Morocco, as well as special British, French and Spanish issues for Tangier, were used. In 1957, the city was annexed by Morocco.

    Tanzania (1965-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 29,460,753 (1997 estimate). A republic in southeastern Africa, bordering on the Indian Ocean. Tanzania was formed with the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in 1964 as the United Republic of Tanganyika. In October 1965, the name was changed to the United Republic of Tanzania. Tanzania has maintained socialist policies at home and neutrality in its foreign affairs. Its relations with its two northern neighbors, Kenya and Uganda, have been strained. During 1978-79, clashes occurred with Uganda, culminating in a successful Tanzanian invasion, which overthrew Ugandan dictator Idi Amin. The infusion of large numbers of refugees from the civil war in Rwanda have taxed Tanzanian resources since 1994. In 1995 Tanzania had its first multiparty elections.

    Tannu Tuva (1926-34)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 306,300 (1994). An area in northern Asia between Mongolia and Siberia. Long disputed between Russia and China, the district was established in 1926 as an independent republic under Soviet protection. During the 1930's, Tannu Tuva issued several sets of large pictorials, primarily for the collector market. In 1944, it was absorbed into the Soviet Union and was designated an Autonomous Republic in 1961. Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Tuva, renamed Tyva in 1993, has become autonomous in fact, as well as name. In 1993 a new constitution was adopted, establishing a governing parliament, maintaining the primacy of Tyvan laws enacted by the parliament, and asserting the nation's right to conduct an independent foreign policy. A number of stamps have appeared on the market in recent years, purportedly issued by Tyva, but these are bogus. Tyva hasn't yet begun issuing its own stamps again.

    Tasmania (Van Dieman's Land) (1853-1913)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 172,000 (1901 estimate). Island off the southeastern coast of Australia. A dependency of the British colony of New South Wales from 1803 to 1825, the island became the colony of Van Dieman's Land in 1825. In 1856, the name of the colony was changed to Tasmania, and in 1901, it joined with the mainland colonies to form the Commonwealth of Australia.

    Telsiai (Telschen) (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northwestern Lithuania. A total of 25 different overprinted Russian stamps were issued by the German military commander of the area during July and August 1941.

    Temesvar (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district of the Banat, occupied by Serbia after World War I. After the Serbian evacuation, Romanian forces occupied the area, and Temesvar was subsequently annexed by Serbia. Both Serbian and Romanian forces overprinted a total of 16 Hungarian stamps for use in the area.

    Teruel (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province in northeastern Spain. Overprinted Spanish stamps were issued in 1937 by the local Nationalist authorities.

    Tete (1913-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 367,000 (estimate). Formerly a district of Zambezia in the colony of Portuguese East Africa, Tete now is part of western Mozambique.

    Tetuan (1908-09)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northern Morocco, formerly part of Spanish Morocco. The city name was handstamped on 15 Spanish and Spanish Offices in Morocco stamps for use there in 1908.

    Thailand (Siam) (1883-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 59,450,818 (1997 estimate). A kingdom in southeast Asia. For centuries, Thailand was the dominant power in the Malaya-Indochina region. European encroachments in the 19th century reduced this influence dramatically, although Thailand, alone among the native states of the region, was able to maintain its independence. An ally of Japan during World War II, Thailand was able to reoccupy some of its lost territories. These were given up when, in 1945, the Thai government repudiated its declaration of war against Great Britain and the United States. After World War II, Thailand aligned itself with the West. During the Vietnamese War, Thai troops were active in South Vietnam (until 1972) and in Laos (until 1974). With the U.S. withdrawal from Indochina, Thailand established diplomatic relations with China and attempted to reestablish peaceful relations with its communist neighbors. Border incursions by warring factions in Laos and Cambodia continued in the 1980s, as did the movement of hundreds of thousands of Laotian and Cambodian refugees. In recent decades, Thailand has been one of the leaders in the economic development of East Asia. Its political stability, however, has been upset by coups and the political influence of the Thai military. In 1997, after years of mismanagement and corruption, the Thai economy collapsed, creating a financial crisis throughout the Far East.

    Thessaly (1898)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During the Turko-Greek War of 1898, a set of five octagonal stamps was issued for use by the Turkish forces in Thessaly.

    Thrace (1913-20)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district in the southeastern Balkans, bordering on the Aegean and Black seas. Under Turkish rule from the 14th century, the western portion of Thrace was occupied by Bulgaria in 1912. In 1913, an autonomous Moslem regime briefly ousted the Bulgarians. During its ephemeral existence, this regime issued lithographed stamps, as well as overprints on Turkish, Greek and Bulgarian issues. In 1913 western Thrace was incorporated into Bulgaria, using regular Bulgarian issues. In October 1918, this area was taken from Bulgaria by the Allies, who overprinted Bulgarian stamps for use in the zone. In May 1920, western Thrace was mandated to Greece, and in August, Greece annexed the territory. Eastern Thrace remained in Turkish hands until 1918, when it, too, was occupied by the Allies. Like the western portion of the province, it was turned over to Greece in 1920. After the Greek defeat in the Graeco-Turkish War (1922), it was returned to Turkey.

    Thurn and Taxis (1852-67)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A princely house that maintained a postal monopoly in central Europe from the 16th century until 1806. After 1815, it operated postal services in parts of western Germany. In 1867, its rights were purchased by Prussia.

    Tibet (1912-65)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 2,290,000 (1993 estimate). Former theocracy in the Himalaya region of central Asia. An independent kingdom from the 7th century, Tibet was under Mongol influence after 1270. In the 17th century, the grand lama of the Red Hat Lamaistic order secured both spiritual and temporal power, and Tibet remained a more or less independent state under the grand lamas until 1904, after which British influence was strong. During 1910-12, a pro-Chinese regime was in power, but Chinese troops were withdrawn following the 1912 Revolution, and Tibet again became independent. In 1950, eastern Tibet was seized by China, and in 1953, a communist government was installed in Tibet itself, supplanting the theocratic regime of the Dalai Lama. In 1956, a Tibetan revolt within China spread to Tibet, resulting in the dissolution of the Tibetan government in 1959. Although the uprising was crushed ruthlessly (charges of genocide were made against the Chinese in 1961), Tibetan nationalism remains a powerful force.

    Tientsin (1900-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. City in northern China. A diagonal "China" handstamp was added to German stamps to furnish a seven-value issue for use in the German post office in Tientsin in 1900. The Italian post offices in Tientsin used 32 Italian stamps overprinted with the name of the city in 1917-21.

    Tiflis (1857)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital city of Georgia (Soviet Union). In 1857, the Russian viceroy of the area issued a stamp for local use.

    Timor (1885-1975)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 660,000 (1976 estimate). An island in the Malay Archipelago. Divided between the Dutch and Portuguese since the 17th century, Timor was formally partitioned in 1919. After the liberal Portuguese revolution in 1974, the Portuguese portion of Timor declared itself independent of Portugal, but was soon disputed by internal factions. Indonesia intervened to restore order and occupied the territory, organizing it as the province of Timor Timur. The Indonesian occupation was not recognized by the United Nations, and local resistance continued, provoking increasingly brutal repression by the Indonesian authorities. Responding to international pressure, Indonesia agreed in 1998 to grant East Timor a large measure of autonomy, but in an August, 1999, referendum, the great majority of Timorese voted for independence. This provoked another round of bloody fighting, as local Muslim militias, supported by the Indonesian army, attacked independence supporters. Finally, United Nations military intervention reestablished order, and in an August, 2001, referendum, the Timorese again overwhelmingly voted for complete separation from Indonesia. East Timor became independent on May 20, 2002, as the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.

    Timor-Leste, Democratic Republic of (2002-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 983,000 (1999). The eastern portion of the island of Timor, along with the enclave of Oscussu-Ambeno in West Timor. Formerly the Portuguese colony of Timor, under Indonesian occupation 1975-99. After years of resistance to Indonesian authorities, Timor-Leste became independent on May 20, 2002.

    Tlacotalpan (1856)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A village in the state of Veracruz in eastern Mexico. A single extremely scarce 1/2-real handstamp issue was produced there in 1856.

    Tobago (1879-96)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 25,358 (1889 estimate). An island in the West Indies, north of Trinidad. In 1889, Tobago was united with Trinidad to form the colony of Trinidad and Tobago.

    Togo (1897-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 4,735,610 (1997 estimate). A republic in West Africa, bordering on the Gulf of Guinea. Togo was a German protectorate until 1914, when it was occupied by Anglo-French forces. After World War I, the territory was divided between Britain and France, under League of Nations mandate. The British portion subsequently became part of Ghana, while the French zone became the present republic (1958). Togo became fully independent in 1960. Its stamp issues since that time have been voluminous, including a host of colorful stamps and souvenir sheets on every conceivable topic. Togo's first president was assassinated in 1963 and his successor was deposed in coup in 1967. From 1967 to 1994, Togo was ruled by a repressive military dictatorship but made significant economic progress. Progress toward multiparty government has been made in the past several years.

    Tokelau Islands (1948-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,503 (1995 estimate). A group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, north of Samoa. Attached to the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, Tokelau Islands were placed under Western Samoan administration in 1926. On Jan. 1, 1949, they became a dependency of New Zealand.

    Tomsk (1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in western Siberia. During the Russian Civil War, the local authorities issued a surcharged Russian stamp for use in the area.

    Tonga (1886-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 107,335 (1997 estimate). A group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, south of Samoa. United during the mid-19th century, Tonga came under British protection in 1900. On June 4, 1970, Tonga again became fully independent. Tonga's economy has traditionally depended on copra and bananas. The discovery of offshore oil in the 1970s and government efforts to develop tourism bode well for the country's economic future, although it still continues to rely on foreign aid. Since 1992 efforts have been made to democratize the country, but power remains in the hands of the king and aristocracy. From the late 1960s to the early '80s, Tonga issued a host of unconventional stamps, including garish self-adhesive and foil productions embossed and die-cut into many unusual shapes. Beginning in about 1981, however, Tonga returned to more traditional designs.

    Transbaikal Province (1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Shortly after the fall of the Kolchak regime in January 1920, a local warlord in eastern Siberia, the Ataman Semenov, proclaimed himself ruler of Siberia. Four Russian stamps were surcharged for use in his short-lived domain. He maintained control of the area around Chita and Lake Baikal until October, when his government was overthrown by partisans of the Far Eastern Republic. Semenov fled to Mongolia.

    Transcaucasian Federated Republics (1923-24)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 5.9 million (1923 estimate). A former Soviet administrative district in the Caucasus, comprising Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. In 1917, a short-lived independent Transcaucasian Republic was proclaimed, but this state soon fell to invading German, Turkish and British forces. After considerable turmoil, the area was occupied by Soviet forces in 1922. In that year, the Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic was proclaimed. In the following year, it joined the Soviet Union. In 1936, this unit was dissolved, and its three component states were separated.

    Transkei (1976-1994)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of South Africa's so-called Bantustans or Bantu homelands, a scattering of nominally semi-autonomous states for otherwise disenfranchised black South Africans located on the sites of reserves set up under the policies of the white-run apartheid government prior to World War II. Transkei was the largest and most populous of these, consisting of a large tract of coastal territory on the Indian Ocean between Durban and East London and a number of smaller disjointed tracts nearby. Although not accorded international recognition as a sovereign state, Transkei's stamps were generally accepted on international mail. Transkei ceased to exist April 27, 1994.

    Transvaal (1870-1910)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.26 million (1904 estimate). Former Boer republic (officially, the South African Republic) and British colony in southern Africa; now a province of the Republic of South Africa. Boer settlements north of the Cape Colony were recognized as the independent South African Republic in 1852, but during 1877-82, British forces occupied the area. In 1881, the Transvaal again became independent, but increasing tension with the British led to the Boer War of 1899-1902, after which the country became a British colony. In 1910, the Transvaal joined with Natal, Cape Colony and the Orange River Colony to form the Union of South Africa.

    Transylvania (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A principality annexed from the Turks by Hungary in the 18th century, Transylvania was occupied and absorbed by Romania after World War I. Two issues of a distinctive (and frequently counterfeited) round overprint were applied to a total of 122 Hungarian stamps for use during 1919. During 1940-44, it was reoccupied by Hungary, finally being returned to Romania after World War II.

    Travancore (1888-1949)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 6.1 million (1941 estimate). A former feudatory state in southern India. In 1949, it merged with Cochin to form Travancore-Cochin, which issued stamps for use in the new territory.

    Travancore-Cochin (1949-51)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive: Population: 7.5 million. The United State of Travancore-Cochin was formed on July 1, 1949, by the merger of Travancore and Cochin, along with the formerly British-held towns of Tangasseri and Anjengo. Indian stamps have been used since April 1, 1951.

    Trebizonde (1909-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Turkish port on the Black Sea. The Russian post office in the city used 10 stamps of the Russian Levant overprinted "Trebizonde" after 1909.

    Trengganu (1910-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 302,171 (1960 estimate). Former non-federated Malay state under Siamese influence until a British protectorate was established in 1909. Trengganu joined the Federation of Malaya in 1948 and is now part of the Federation of Malaysia.

    Trieste (1947-54)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 263,000 (1954 estimate). A former Italian territory at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea. After World War II, it was occupied by Allied forces and, in 1954, was partitioned between Italy (the northern portion of the seaport of Trieste) and Yugoslavia (the southern section). These two zones, A and B respectively, issued stamps during 1947-54, while Trieste was a free territory - zone A being under Allied administration, while zone B was administered by Yugoslavia.

    Trinidad (1851-1913)

    Stamp-issuing status; inactive; Population: 387,000 (1889 estimate). An island in the Caribbean, off the coast of Venezuela. Taken from Spain by Great Britain in 1797, Trinidad was united with Tobago in 1889 to form the colony of Trinidad and Tobago.

    Trinidad and Tobago (1913-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,273,141 (1997 estimate). Two islands in the Caribbean, off the coast of Venezuela. The two British colonies were united in 1889, Tobago becoming a ward of the united colony in 1899. From 1958-1962, the colony was a member of the West Indies Federation, becoming independent in August 1962. Trinidad has long been an oil-refining center and has begun exploiting recently discovered oil reserves of its own. It is one of the most prosperous of the Caribbean states.

    Tripolitania (1923-35, 1948-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 570,716 (1921). Former Italian colony in North Africa. Tripolitania was occupied by Italy in 1912 and merged with Cyrenaica in 1934 to form the colony of Libia. During World War II, Libia was occupied by Anglo-French forces, and Tripolitania was occupied by the British until 1950, when it was incorporated into the independent Kingdom of Libya.

    Tristan da Cunha (1952-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 260. A group of islands in the mid-South Atlantic Ocean. A British possession since 1816, Tristan da Cunha became a dependency of the colony of St. Helena in 1936.

    Trucial States (1961-63)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 86,000. A group of Arab sheikhdoms -- Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujeira, Manama, Ras al Khaima, Sharjah and Kalba, and Umm al Qiwain -- in eastern Arabia, bordering on the Persian Gulf. These states were under British protection from 1892-1971, joining to form the United Arab Emirates in 1971. In June 1963, Trucial States issues were replaced by those of the individual states, which, in turn, were superseded by those of the UAE in 1972.

    Tunisia (1888-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 9,183,097 (1997 estimate). Republic in North Africa. Tunisia was under Turkish rule from 1574 until 1881, when it became a French protectorate. After World War II, nationalist feeling increased, and in 1955, France granted Tunisia internal autonomy. In March 1956, Tunisia became independent.

    Turkey (1863-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 63,528,225 (1997 estimate). A republic in southeastern Europe and western Asia. The area now occupied by Turkey was the center of a number of ancient civilizations, and it remained the center of the Eastern Roman Empire for nearly a thousand years after the fall of Rome. During most of this period, it was the dominant power of the region. The Byzantine Empire, weakened by the inroads of Crusaders who found it easier to ransack Christian lands than to fight infidels, rapidly lost ground in the 13th and 14th centuries. The Ottoman Turks conquered the outlying provinces, and in 1453 they occupied Constantinople, which became their capital and the center of their own empire. During the next century, the Turks conquered southeastern Europe, North Africa and much of the Middle East. At its apex (1550-1683), the Turkish Empire stretched from the borders of Poland and the Russian steppes to the Sahara, and from Algeria to Arabia. From the late 17th century on, the Turkish Empire became increasingly weak and poorly administered, and its military power declined rapidly. During the 19th century, the territorial integrity of the state was maintained only because the European powers could not agree upon the division of the spoils. In a series of generally unsuccessful wars during 1878-1913, most of Turkey's outlying provinces became independent or were lost to its more powerful neighbors. In 1914, the Turks joined the Central Powers. Their defeat cost Turkey most of its remaining territory, and by 1919 only Asia Minor remained. At that point, it became apparent that the Allies intended to dismember Turkey altogether. In reaction to this threat, a nationalist Turkish government was formed in Ankara in 1920, with Mustafa Kemal as president. The Nationalists defeated the Greeks, whom they expelled from Western Asia Minor and Eastern Thrace and compelled the Allies to withdraw from the Dardanelles and Cilicia. The Treaty of Lausanne (1923) confirmed Turkish independence and established its borders along roughly ethnic lines. Kemal established the republic and launched an ambitious program of social reform and industrialization. Turkey remained neutral during most of World War II, declaring war on the Axis in February 1945. Since that time, it has been aligned with the West and has been a member of NATO since 1952. Tension with Greece, a fellow NATO member, over the status of Cyprus, has at times threatened to estrange Turkey from its Western allies. During the 1990s, Turkey has been plagued by ongoing armed resistance from its Kurdish minority and by the rise in recent years of a fundamentalist Islamic opposition.

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (1974-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. The northern and northeastern 40 percent of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus, occupied by Turkey following its 1974 invasion. A buffer zone manned by United Nations peacekeeping forces separates it from the predominantly Greek southern portion of the island. Stamps were issued prior to the invasion, though an independent Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was only proclaimed in November 1983. Although its legitimacy is not recognized by other countries, its stamps have been regularly accepted as valid on international mail.

    Turks Islands (1867-1900)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 2,000 (1894 estimate). A group of islands in the West Indies, south of the Bahamas. In 1848, along with the Caicos Islands, they were transferred from Bahamian to Jamaican administration, first as a separate colony (1848-73) and later as a dependency of Jamaica (1873-1959). Stamps inscribed "Turks and Caicos Islands" replaced those inscribed "Turks Islands" in 1900.

    Turks and Caicos Islands (1900-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 14,631 (1997 estimate). Two groups of islands in the West Indies, south of the Bahamas. Ruled by Great Britain from the Bahamas after the early 18th century, the Turks and Caicos were separated as a colony in 1848 and became a dependency of Jamaica in 1873. In 1959, they became part of the Federation of the West Indies. When the federation dissolved in 1962, the Turks and Caicos again became a British crown colony.

    Tuscany (1851-60)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 2.89 million. A former grand duchy in west-central Italy. In 1859, the duke was deposed, and in 1860 Tuscany was united with Sardinia.

    Tuvalu (1976-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,297 (1997 estimate). The nine islands previously making up the Ellice Islands, Tuvalu is located in the central South Pacific south of Kiribati, north of Fiji and northeast of Australia. The islands chose independence from the Gilbert and Ellice Islands in a 1974 referendum, and Tuvalu's first stamps appeared at the beginning of 1976. In the early 1980s, Tuvalu stepped up what had been a moderate stamp-issuing program, reaching a climax in 1984-88 with the release of about 100 stamps by each of the component islands of Funafuti, Nanumaga, Nanumea, Niutao, Nui, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae and Vaitupu. Only Niulakita, population 74, lacked its own issue. Most of these issues displayed popular topics largely unrelated to the islands.

    Two Sicilies (1858-62)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Former kingdom comprising southern Italy and Sicily. First created by the Normans in the 11th century, the kingdom passed through various hands until the Bourbon dynasty was overthrown by Garibaldi in 1860. The area was united with Sardinia in 1860, and Italian stamps have been used since 1862.

    Ubangi-Shari (1915-37)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 833,916. Former French colony in central Africa. Occupied by France during 1887-98, Ubangi-Shari was established as a colony in 1904. In 1910, it joined Gabon, the Middle Congo and Chad to form French Equatorial Africa. From 1936 to 1960, French Equatorial African stamps were used. In 1958, Ubangi-Shari became the autonomous Central African Republic. It became fully independent in 1960.

    Udine (1918)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northeastern Italy, occupied by Austrian forces during World War I. During this period, the municipal authorities issued a stamp for local use.

    Uganda (1895-1902, 1962-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 20,604,874 (1997 estimate). An independent state in East Africa. Formerly a British protectorate, Uganda became independent in 1962. In 1971, Gen. Idi Amin seized control of the government. His administration was erratic and blood-thirsty. Some 45,000 East Indians were expelled in 1972, disrupting the economy, since much of the commerce had been in their hands. In 1973, the United States broke relations with Uganda, and most Western nations suspended aid, which was replaced by Soviet and Libyan support. During the next few years, some 300,000 Ugandans were killed, all opponents or suspected opponents of the regime. This reign of terror, along with generally poor government administration, reduced the Ugandan economy to a shambles. In March 1979, after a period of increasing tension, Uganda was invaded by a Tanzanian force, supported by Ugandan exiles. In April, Amin was forced to flee the country, and found asylum in Libya, one of the few nations with whom he had remained on friendly terms. A provisional government was established to administer the country and to normalize Ugandan affairs. There followed a decade of political instability and civil war. In recent years, conditions have stabilized under a popular regime, which has liberalized the economy and restored a measure of prosperity.

    Ukraine (1918-23, 1941-43, 1992-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 50,684,635 (1997 estimate). A republic in eastern Europe, located between Russia and the northern coast of the Black Sea. Ukraine was the heartland of medieval Russia and the center of the Kievan Rus state. Kiev dominated much of the territory of European Russia during the 9th-13th centuries, and it was through Kiev that Eastern Orthodox Christianity and the Cyrillic alphabet came to Russia. The 13th century Mongol invasion destroyed Kievan power, and for the next 400 years the country was dominated by Poland in the north and west and by the Tatar Khanate of the Crimea in the south. In 1654, Ukraine requested protection from Muscovy, and Russian conquest soon followed. During World War I, Ukraine was occupied by Germany, and in January 1918 an independent republic was declared. The local postmaster overprinted existing stocks of Russian stamps with the Ukrainian national emblem, the trident, creating hundreds of different stamps. During the Russian Civil War, Ukraine was the battleground of both Red and White armies, as well as Poland and the Allies. In 1920 it was reconstituted as a Soviet republic. Stamps were used by a variety of regimes in the region. Ukraine was again occupied during World War II, and the Hitler Head German definitive set, overprinted "Ukraine," was used. With the disintegration of the Soviet Union, Ukraine again became independent. Independence was declared August 24, 1991, and in December became a founding member of the Commonwealth of Independent States. Since regaining independence, Ukraine has faced hyperinflation and wrenching economic changes, as it attempts to liberalize its economy. It has disposed of its nuclear arsenal and reestablished its control over the Crimea, which had been transferred to Russian administration in 1954 and had become locally autonomous with the breakup of the Soviet Union. During the first year or two of Ukrainian independence, large numbers of overprints on Russian stamps appeared on the market, identified as locals. Patterned after the 1918 Trident overprints, most of these modern creations are bogus, created solely for sale to stamp collectors.

    Umm al Quaiwain (1964-72)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 5,700. A sheikhdom in the Trucial States in eastern Arabia. Under British protection from 1892-1971, Umm al Qiwain joined the independent United Arab Emirates on Dec. 2, 1971. During 1964-72, it issued a large number of colorful thematic stamps, usually accompanied by souvenir sheets and imperforate varieties, aimed at the collector market.

    Union Island (1976-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. Union Island is the southernmost significant island in the St. Vincent Grenadines, a group of small subsidiary islands in the Lesser Antilles, north of Trinidad and South America.

    United Arab Emirates (1972-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,262,309 (1997 estimate). A union of sheikhdoms in eastern Arabia. Formed Dec. 2, 1971, by Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujeira, Sharjah and Umm al Qiwain. Ras al Khaima joined the UAE in February 1972. In August 1972, general UAE issues superseded those of the individual states. This region was long extremely poor, but in recent years the exploitation of large petroleum reserves has given the U.A.E. one of the highest per capita gross national products in the world. In recent years, concerns over threats from Iran and Iraq have caused the U.A.E. to signed military defensive agreements with the United States (1994) and France (1995).

    United Nations (1951-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. The United Nations is an organization for the maintenance of international security and peace. Established in 1945, the United Nations now includes virtually every sovereign nation in the world. U.N. stamps are used on all mail handled at U.N. post offices in New York, Geneva, and Vienna. Separate issues are released for the use of the Geneva and Vienna offices.

    United States of America (1847-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 248,709,873 (1990). Republic occupying the central portion of North America, along with Alaska, Hawaii and a large number of island possessions in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The United States was formed from the union of the 13 British mainland North American colonies south of Canada in 1783, after an eight-year war against Great Britain. During 1803-53, the United States expanded rapidly westward, increasing its territory through conquest, purchase and negotiation. Alaska was purchased from Russia in 1867, and in 1898, Hawaii was annexed, at the request of its inhabitants. In the following year, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines were acquired from Spain, following the short Spanish-American War. The United States long avoided involvement in foreign affairs, except in the Western Hemisphere, where U.S. interest was concentrated. In 1917, the United States entered World War I and played an instrumental role in the defeat of the Central Powers. Following the war, it reverted to its normal isolationalist policy. During the first two years of World War II, the United States resisted involvement, although its sympathies were strongly with the Allies, to whom it supplied economic aid. The Japanese attack on the major U.S. Pacific naval base at Pearl Harbor forced the country into the war. Again, the United States played the decisive part in defeating Germany and its allies. Following World War II, the United States realized that it could not avoid international problems by ignoring them and embarked on a policy of active involvement in the regions where its interests were paramount. U.S. economic aid sparked the European postwar economic boom, and its administration of Japan saw the rapid expansion of Japanese industry. U.S. stamps were first issued in 1847, although a number of local postmasters had been issuing provisional stamps since 1845. U.S. issues have been used in many nations throughout the world, reflecting, in most cases, the presence of American troops. Most U.S. possessions use regular U.S. stamps.

    United States Post Office in China (1919-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. From 1867-1922, the United States maintained a post office in Shanghai, China. During 1867-1919, unoverprinted U.S. stamps were used, and during 1919-22, a total of 18 surcharged issues were used. This post office was closed on Dec. 31, 1922.

    United States Postmasters' Provisionals (1845-47)

    In 1845, the postmaster of New York City began using postage stamps for mail handled by his office. Other postmasters' provisionals appeared during the next two years. In 1847, the U.S. Post Office, convinced of the desirability of utilizing postage stamps, began issuing stamps for nationwide use. These general issues replaced the provisionals. Postmasters' provisionals were used by Alexandria, Va.; Annapolis, Md. (envelope); Baltimore, Md. (both stamps and postal stationery); Boscawen, N.H.; Brattleboro, Vt.; Lockport, N.Y.; Millbury, Mass.; New Haven, Conn. (postal stationery); New York, N.Y.; Providence, R.I.; and St. Louis, Mo. During 1846, the New York provisionals were used experimentally on New York-bound mail from Boston, Albany and Washington.

    Upper Silesia (1920-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former German territory on the Polish border. A plebiscite in 1920 was indecisive, and in 1922 the League of Nations partitioned the district between Germany and Poland. After World War II, the German portion of the area was annexed by Poland.

    Upper Volta (1920-32, 1959-84)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 6.7 million (1984 estimate). A republic in West Africa, north of Ghana. A French colony from 1919-32, Upper Volta was subsequently divided between the French Sudan, Ivory Coast and Niger. In 1947, it was reconstituted within French West Africa, and in 1958, was established as a republic within the French community. In 1960, Upper Volta became independent. In 1984 it was renamed Burkina Faso.

    Uruguay (1856-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 3,261,707 (1997 estimate). 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.

    Vaduz (1918)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital of Liechtenstein. During World War I, the Austrian War Office disrupted the ordinary postal system, necessitating the issuance of a provisional stamp in Vaduz. This stamp was valid for local use and for transmittal to Sevelen, Switzerland.

    Vaitupu (1984-87)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of nine small islands in the Tuvalu Islands, formerly the Ellice Island group in the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. The island chain is located east of the Solomon Islands and north of Fiji in the southeastern central Pacific Ocean. Like the other Tuvalu Islands, Vaitupu issued a flurry of stamps depicting such diverse subjects as cars, locomotives, cricket players and the British royal family in the mid-1980s.

    Valenciennes (1914)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northern France, near the Belgian border. Soon after the city's occupation by German forces at the beginning of World War I, the Chamber of Commerce issued a stamp for local use. This stamp was in use from Sept. 3 to Oct. 30, 1914.

    Valona (1909-11, 1914-18)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Albanian seaport. The Italian post office used eight overprinted Italian stamps from 1909-11. In October 1914, Moslem revolutionaries issued a series of stamps, used briefly before Valona was occupied by Italian troops. During the Italian occupation, two surcharged Italian stamps were again used in the city.

    Vanuatu (1980-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 181,358 (1997 estimate). A Y-shaped chain of volcanic southwestern Pacific islands about 250 miles northeast of New Caledonia, southeast of the Solomon Islands. These islands were administered as the joint Anglo-French condominium of the New Hebrides from 1906 until 1980, when independence was granted to the new republic of Vanuatu.

    Vatican City (1929-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,000 (1995 estimate). A tiny (108.7 acres) enclave in Rome, the Vatican City is the sole remnant of the once-extensive papal state in Italy. During 1870-1929, the papacy and Italy disputed sovereignty, but the Lateran Pact of 1929 restored normal relations, with temporal authority of the pope recognized in the Vatican City, which became an independent state, subject to certain limitations. Since 1929 the Vatican has maintained an active stamp-issuing policy, commemorating and publicizing a great range of Christian religious events and themes.

    Veglia (Krk) (1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island off the northwestern coast of Yugoslavia. During d'Annunzio's occupation of Fiume, regular Fiume issues were overprinted for Veglia.

    Venda (1979-94)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of South Africa's so-called Bantustans or Bantu homelands, a scattering of nominally semi-autonomous states for otherwise disenfranchised black South Africans located on the sites of reserves set up under the policies of the white-run apartheid government prior to World War II. Venda was the most northerly of these, located in the northern portion of what was Transvaal, near the border with Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Although not accorded international recognition as a sovereign state, Venda's stamps were generally accepted on international mail. Venda ceased to exist April 27, 1994.

    Venezia Giulia (1918-19, 1945-47)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Former Austrian territory at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea, including the port of Trieste. The area was occupied by Italy after World War I, during which time 40 overprinted Austrian stamps were used. After World War II, the area was occupied by the Allies, and 31 overprinted Italian stamps were issued from 1945 to 1947 (Trieste zone A). Yugoslavia occupied part of the territory (zone B), issuing stamps for use there.

    Venezia Tridentina (1918-19)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A territory in northern Italy, also known as Trentino. The area was occupied by Italy from Austria after World War I, at which time 21 overprinted Austrian stamps were used.

    Venezuela (1859-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 22,396,407 (1997 estimate). Republic on the northern coast of South America. Under Spanish rule after 1546, Venezuela was one of the first Latin American colonies to declare its independence, and from 1821 to 1830 it formed part of Bolivar's Great Colombia, which also included Colombia and Ecuador. Venezuela's history during the 19th century was marked by a succession of military dictatorships and chronic internal disorder. During 1907-45, Venezuela saw significant economic growth, and in 1945, democratic government was established. Several military coups followed, but since 1959 Venezuela's governments have been progressive and democratically elected. One of the founding members of OPEC, Venezuela benefited enormously from the massive increases in oil prices during the 1970s. Oil revenues funded major economic expansion and public-works projects during the 1970s and 1980s. In recent years, banking failures and inflation have put serious strains on the nation's economy.

    Victoria (1850-1913)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.2 million (1901 estimate). A state in southeastern Australia. Detached from New South Wales in 1851, Victoria joined the Commonwealth of Australia in 1901.

    Victoria Land (1911)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A region of Antarctica. In 1911-12, Robert Falcon Scott organized his ill-fated South Pole Expedition, and two New Zealand stamps were overprinted "Victoria Land" for use by the expedition members. Scott and four members of his party reached the South Pole on Jan. 18, 1912, but died on the return trip to their base.

    Vietnam (1945-54)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 22.6 million (1949 estimate). Country in Southeast Asia, occupying the eastern half of the Indochinese Peninsula. Vietnam comprises Annam, Tonkin and Cochin China, which have been under Chinese control or influence for most of their history since 111 B.C. In 1854, France began to extend its control in the area, which was completed by 1884. During World War II, Vietnam was occupied by the Japanese, who supported the regime of Emperor Bao Dai of Annam. The Vietminh League, a union of nationalists aiming for an independent Vietnam, grew up in opposition to the Japanese, and in 1945, deposed Bao Dai, declaring Vietnamese independence. During 1946-54, France fought the Vietminh, hoping to preserve its Indo-Chinese Empire. In July 1949, the State of Vietnam was established under Bao Dai, in association with the French Union. The defeat of France by the Vietminh forces, which had come under communist control, brought the partition of the country in 1954. The northern half became the communist Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and in the following year, the southern portion became the Republic of Vietnam.

    Vietnam, Democratic Republic of (1954-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 75,123,880 (1997 estimate). A republic occupying the eastern half of Indochina. The Democratic Republic of Vietnam was established in 1954, after the defeat of French forces by the nationalist Vietminh. The North continued to support the communist Vietcong in the South against the South Vietnamese regime, increasing its aid after 1959. In 1964, North Vietnamese troops began to fight in the South, bringing the United States actively into the war. During 1965-69, the war was largely a stalemate, with neither side able to achieve any permanent success. Growing domestic opposition to the U.S. involvement in the war brought a cease-fire in January 1973, after which U.S. forces were withdrawn, and U.S. aid to the South was reduced. In early 1975, a renewed communist offensive brought about the rapid collapse of the South Vietnamese regime, and a communist government was installed in the South. In 1976, the two countries were merged into the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Millions of South Vietnamese were forcibly resettled in the countryside, and hundreds of thousands fled the country. After its 1975 victory, Vietnam effectively controlled Laos and, in 1978-79, established a client regime in Kampuchea. A Chinese invasion of Vietnam in February 1979 brought heavy fighting but did not escalate into a full-blown war. Chronic economic problems began to improve when Vietnam began to liberalize its economy in 1986. In 1988 it began to withdraw some of its forces from Laos and Cambodia. During 1975-94, the United States maintained a trade embargo (which included postage stamps) against Vietnam, but this ended in 1994, and in 1995 full diplomatic relations between the two countries were established. During the past few years, political controls have been relaxed, and Vietnam is pursuing a policy of economic growth by encouraging foreign investment.

    Vietnam, Republic of (South Vietnam) (1955-75)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 16.5 million (1975 estimate). After the loss of the northern half of Vietnam to the communists in 1954, the southern portion of the country withdrew from the French Union and deposed its ruler, Bao Dai. On Oct. 26, 1955, the Republic of Vietnam was established. After 1956, fighting with the communists continued, the southern communist Vietcong being supported and supplied by North Vietnam. The United States supported the South with aid and, after June 1965, with troops. After 1969, because of growing opposition to involvement among Americans, the United States began to reduce its involvement, and in January 1973, a cease-fire between the United States, North Vietnam and the Vietcong provided for the withdrawal of U.S. forces. The United States reduced aid to the South, weakening that regime's position, so that in early 1975, a North Vietnamese invasion, in violation of the cease-fire, quickly brought the South Vietnamese collapse. A Provisional Revolutionary Government, under North Vietnamese direction, assumed control of the South in May 1975, and the country was reunited as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam on July 2, 1976.

    Vilnius (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Lithuania. Vilnius was occupied by German forces from 1941 to 1944. During the early stage of the occupation, nine overprinted Russian stamps were used.

    Vitoria (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital of the province of Alava in northern Spain. The Nationalist authorities overprinted contemporary Spanish stamps for use in the area in April 1937.

    Vryburg (1899-1900)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A town in British Bechuanaland, occupied by the Boers in November 1899 and reoccupied by the British in May 1900. Both forces overprinted one another's stamps for use in the town.


    Wadhwan (1888-c. 1895)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 44,259. A former feudatory state in western India.

    Wallis and Futuna Islands (1920-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 14,817 (1997 estimate). Two archipelagos in the South Pacific Ocean, under French protection since 1888. In 1961 Wallis and Futuna became an Overseas Territory of France.

    Warsaw (1915)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital of Poland. During World War I, 14 stamps were issued or surcharged by the Warsaw Citizens Committee under the authority of the German military commander. A number of World War II German occupation of Poland issues were overprinted and two new designs were issued during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising. These are scarce, desirable and often forged.

    Warwiszki (1923)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northeastern Poland. Formerly part of Lithuania, the city was occupied by Polish forces in 1923, at which time Polish stamps were overprinted for local use.

    Wenden (Livonia) (1862-1902)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former district of the Russian province of Livonia that issued stamps until 1902, when Russian stamps replaced those of Wenden. The area was divided between Latvia and Estonia in 1918.

    Western Australia (1854-1913)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 190,000 (1912 estimate). A large state of western Australia. Formerly a separate colony, Western Australia joined in forming the Commonwealth of Australia in January 1901.

    Western Hungary (Lajtabanat) (1921)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Following World War I, the Allies assigned the formerly Hungarian province of Burgenland to Austria because of its proximity to Vienna and its predominantly German population. Hungarian irregulars were in occupation of the province, however, and refused to evacuate. Through Italian mediation, a plebiscite was held in December 1921. The district around Odenburg (Sopron) was awarded to Hungary and the rest of the province to Austria. During the Hungarian occupation, overprinted Hungarian stamps and a locally produced set were in use.

    Western Ukraine (1918-19)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A briefly independent state in central Europe. Formed in October 1918 from the Austro-Hungarian territories of central and eastern Galicia and Bukovina in an attempt to unite the region with the Ukraine. In November 1918, Romania occupied Bukovina, and in January 1919, the balance of the Western Ukraine united with the Ukrainian National Republic. In July 1919, the area was occupied by Poland, which, in 1939, lost it to the Soviet Union.

    West Irian (1962-70)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 923,440 (1973 estimate). Formerly Netherlands New Guinea. Under U.N. administration from 1962 to 1963, West Irian was placed under Indonesian administration on May 1, 1963.

    Wilayah Persekutuan (1979-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 937,875. Federal territories (as distinct from the states) of Malaysia, comprising the capital, Kuala Lumpur, since 1974, and the island of Labuan beginning in 1984. Issues for use in these territories, but uninscribed as such, were produced in 1979 and 1983-84. The first purpose-inscribed stamps did not appear until late 1986.

    Wilkomir (Ukmerge) (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in central Lithuania. During the early months of the German occupation during World War II, five different overprinted Russian stamps were used in the area.

    Wosnessensk (1942)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in the southern Ukraine. During World War II, a provisional issue of two stamps was made by the German military commander.

    Wrangel Issues (1902-21)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The last major White Russian (anti-Soviet) commander during the Russian Civil War, Baron Peter Wrangel, was forced to evacuate his forces and followers to refugee camps in Turkey and the Balkans in 1920. Stamps of Russia, Russian Offices in Turkey, South Russia and the Ukraine were overprinted for use in these camps. Over 300 different stamps were issued. They have been extensively counterfeited.

    Wurttemberg (1851-1923)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 2.58 million. Former kingdom in southern Germany. Wurttemberg joined the German Empire in 1870. Its regular issues were replaced by those of Germany in 1902, although its official issues continued in use until 1923.

    Yemen (1926-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 13,972,477 (1997 estimate). An ancient state in southwest Arabia. Under Turkish suzerainty until 1918, Yemen became independent after Turkey's defeat in World War I. During 1958-61, Yemen was loosely affiliated with Egypt in the United Arab States. In 1962, a military coup ousted the imam, and a pro-Egyptian republic was established. Royalist resistance continued in the interior until 1969, during which time both sides issued a vast number of stamps, most aimed strictly at stamp collectors. In April 1970, an agreement between the Yemen Arab Republic and Saudi Arabia introduced royalists into the YAR government, ending the existence of the Mutawakelite Kingdom. At about the same time, the country's stamp-issuing policy settled back to normal. In 1990 the Yemen Arab Republic and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen united to form the Republic of Yemen. Northern dominance of the new state led to resentment in the south, sparking a civil war in 1994. The north quickly defeated southern secessionist elements and restored the union, with guarantees of democratic government. Long one of the poorest states in the Mideast, Yemen is currently pursuing a program of economic reform and development.

    Yemen (People's Democratic Republic) (1968-90)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former republic in southwest Arabia, formed from the former British holdings in the region. Established in 1967, when the Federation of South Arabia became independent from Great Britain. Originally named the People's Republic of Southern Yemen, it was renamed the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen in 1970. South Yemen maintained close ties with the Soviet Union and supported Marxist guerrillas in northern Yemen and in Oman. In 1978, South Yemeni troops aided Ethiopian and Cuban forces against the rebels in Eritrea. In July 1978, Egypt, the Yemen Arab Republic and Saudi Arabia suspended relations with South Yemen, following a coup that brought the most radical elements of the region to power. In 1990 the two states of Yemen united to form the Republic of Yemen.

    Yucatan (1924)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A state in southeastern Mexico. Yucatan was the center of a revolt against the central government from 1923 to 1924.

    Yugoslavia (1918-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,611,558 (1994 estimate). A state in south Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea. Yugoslavia was formed on Dec. 1, 1918, from the union of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Dalmatia, Montenegro and Slovenia, as the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. In 1925, the name Yugoslavia was adopted. During World War II, Yugoslavia was occupied by the Axis, with a number of German and Italian puppet states being created, while the balance of its territory was annexed by its neighbors. Resistance groups were active during the war. In late 1944, German forces were driven from the country, and a people's republic was proclaimed. The communist postwar regime, under the late Josip Broz Tito, broke with Moscow in 1948 and maintained its independence from the Soviet Union. Under Tito's direction, Yugoslavia's separatist tendencies were held in check, and the nation prospered. After Tito's death, a collective leadership with a presidency rotating between the major national groups was established that, for a decade, held the country together. Ethnic strains increased steadily, however, and in 1991 popular referendums in Croatia and Slovenia resulted in those regions announcing their intention to become independent. In June 1991, both nations declared their independence and were promptly invaded by Yugoslavian army forces, which were dominated by Serbia. Yugoslav units withdrew from Slovenia, and that country was allowed to go its own way, but fighting continued in Croatia. Yugoslav forces also attempted to repress separatist movements in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a bitter war, marked by atrocities on both sides (though mostly by the Serbs), continued through 1995. The Dayton Accords of that year formalized the situation that forces of arms had created in the preceding four years: Croatian independence was recognized and Bosnia-Herzegovina became independent as a fragile entity, with political power (and territorial control) carefully divided among Bosnian Serbs, Muslims and Croatians, monitored by United Nations troops. Yugoslavia today has been reduced to the territories of Serbia, Montenegro, and Kosovo. Because of its atrocities against non-Serbian Bosnians and, more recently, against the Albanian population in Kosovo, the Yugoslav government has been under frequent trade embargoes through the 1990s and experienced NATO military intervention in 1999.

    Yugoslavian Offices Abroad (1943-44)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During World War II, 14 stamps and a souvenir sheet were issued by the Yugoslav government in exile in London. These issues were valid for use aboard Yugoslav vessels fighting against the Axis powers.

    Yunnan (1926-35)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province of southwestern China. Regular Chinese stamps were overprinted for use within the province because of a difference in exchange rates between Yunnan and the rest of the country.

    Zaire (1971-97)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 32 million (1987 estimate). The Congo Democratic Republic, formerly the Belgian Congo, adopted the name Zaire in November 1971. After a turbulent first decade of independence, the relative political stability of the 1970s enabled the government to improve the economic condition of Zaire. In 1977 and 1978, Shaban (Katangan) exiles invaded Zaire from Angola. These invasions were defeated with assistance from Morocco, France, Belgium, Egypt and the United States. Although Zaire's President Mobutu accused the Soviet Union and Cuba of sponsoring the rebels, in fact they were former Katangan gendarmes who had fled to Angola after the overthrow of the Tshombe government in Katanga in 1963. Mobutu's corrupt and repressive regime brought economic stagnation to Zaire, and attempts in the early 1990s to establish a multiparty government were unsuccessful. In 1997 a rebellion, supported by Rwandan Tutsis, overthrew Mobutu. The new government, under Laurent Kabilia, assumed the old name of Democratic Republic of the Congo. A new rebel movement, consisting of many of Kabilia's erstwhile allies, arose in 1998, and civil war, with the intervention of many surrounding nations, continues.

    Zambezia (1894-1917)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former district of Mozambique, in southeast Africa. In 1913, Zambezia was divided into two districts, Quelimane and Tete, which briefly issued their own stamps, until these were replaced by those of Mozambique.

    Zambia (1964-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 9,349,975 (1997 estimate). A republic in southern Africa. Formerly the British protectorate of Northern Rhodesia, Zambia became independent on Oct. 24, 1964.

    Zante (1941, 1943-44)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Ionian Islands off the western coast of Greece. Zante was occupied by Italy in 1941, and locally overprinted Greek stamps were used for a time. During 1943-44, three overprinted issues of the Italian Ionian Islands were used under the German authorities, who occupied the island following Italy's surrender to the Allies.

    Zanzibar (1895-1968)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 355,000 (1967 estimate). A group of islands off the coast of Tanganyika in East Africa. An important trading center, Zanzibar was occupied at various times by the Portuguese and Arabs, the latter establishing a powerful state in East Africa when the sultan of Muscat moved his capital to Zanzibar in the 18th century. In 1885, the sultanate's mainland possessions were divided between Germany, Great Britain and Italy. In 1890, the islands were placed under British protection. On Dec. 10, 1963, Zanzibar became independent, and in January 1964, the sultan was deposed. The new regime ousted British and Americans and slaughtered thousands of Arab residents. In April 1964, Zanzibar joined with Tanganyika to form the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, renamed Tanzania in 1965.

    Zara (Zadar) (1943)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province on the eastern coast of the Adriatic. Taken from Austria by Italy after World War I, it was taken from the Italians by Germany in 1943, at which time Italian issues were overprinted by the German authorities. After World War II, the area became part of Yugoslavia.

    Zaragoza (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province of northern Spain. The Nationalist authorities overprinted contemporary Spanish issues for use in Zaragoza in 1937. Through the late 1940s, a number of large, colorful charity stamps were issued in Zaragoza. Although inscribed "Sin Valor Postal" ("Without postal value"), these are often mistaken for postage stamps.

    Zarasai (Zargrad) (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Lithuania. During the early months of the city's occupation during World War II, the German military commander overprinted seven different Russian stamps for use in the area.

    Zarki (1918)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in southern Poland. Local issues were made by the municipal authorities under the auspices of the German military command.

    Zawiercie (1916)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in southern Poland. Two local issues were made by the municipal authorities under the auspices of the German military command.

    Zelaya (Bluefields) (1904-12)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province of Nicaragua on the eastern coast. For a time, the use of silver currency along the coast, while paper currency was used in the rest of the country, necessitated separate stamp issues for the area.

    Zil Elwannyen Sesel (1980-92)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 3,000. An isolated group of 25 islands north of Malagasy and the Comoro Islands, west of Seychelles and Mauritius, off the east coast of Africa. Formerly part of the British Indian Ocean Territories (1968-76) and then the Seychelles, issues for use in these Seychelles outer islands appeared in 1980. The names inscribed on its stamps have seen several variations, including Zil Eloigne Sesel (1980-82), Zil Elwagne Sesel (1982-84) and Zil Elwannyen Sesel (1985-92).

    Zimbabwe (1980-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 11,423,175 (1997 estimate). A republic in south central Africa, formerly named Rhodesia. In May 1979, it was officially renamed Zimbabwe Rhodesia, a combination of the African and European names of the country. The country became simply Zimbabwe in 1980.

    Zulia (1891)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A state in northwestern Venezuela, surrounding Lake Maracaibo. In 1891, the state authorities issued two stamps, valid for inland postage, which were in use for three months.

    Zululand (1888-98)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 230,000 (1896 estimate). An area of southeastern Africa, which was united into a native kingdom under the Zulu tribe in the 19th century. Conquered by Great Britain in 1887, Zululand was incorporated into Natal in 1898.

    Zurich (1843-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A canton of Switzerland that issued a number of stamps prior to the release of general Swiss issues in 1850.

    Dahomey (1899-1945, 1960-76)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 3.1 million (1975 estimate). A former republic in West Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea, situated between Togo and Nigeria. During 1863-92 France occupied the area, consolidating its holdings as the colony of Dahomey in 1899. In 1904, it became part of French West Africa. In 1958, Dahomey became an autonomous republic within the French Community, and in 1960 it became an independent republic. In 1974, Dahomey assumed the name Benin.

    Dalmatia (1919-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Area on the coast of Croatia around the port of Zara. Dalmatia was occupied by Italy in 1918 and became part of Yugoslavia after World War II.

    Danish West Indies (1855-1917)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 27,500 (1917 estimate). A small group of islands east of Puerto Rico. Having passed through the hands of Spain, France, The Netherlands, Great Britain, the Knights of Malta and Brandenburg (Prussia), the islands finally came under Danish rule in 1733 and 1754 (St. Thomas). In 1916, the colony was sold to the United States, which took possession on April 1, 1917. They were renamed the U.S. Virgin Islands, and U.S. stamps replaced those of the colony.

    Danube Steam Navigation Company (1866-80)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. This company carried mail along the Danube, serving all countries through which the river passed, as well as the Russian port of Odessa on the Black Sea.

    Danzig (1920-39)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 407,000 (1939 estimate). A port on the Baltic Sea. Part of Prussia until after World War I, Danzig and adjacent territory was made a "Free City and State" under the protection of the League of Nations in 1920. In 1939, the district was occupied by Germany and, in 1945, was annexed by Poland.

    Dardanelles (1904-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A port on the strait of the same name between the Aegean and Mamara Seas. Issues of the Russian Levant were overprinted for use at its post office at Dardanelles.

    Debrecen (1919-20)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Hungarian district occupied by Romania after World War I, but later returned to Hungary.

    Dedeagatch (1893-1914)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A seaport in northern Greece. The French post office in Dedeagatch used unoverprinted French issues (canceled "5155" in a diamond-shaped grid of dots) from 1874-93 and stamps overprinted or inscribed "Dedeagh" from 1893 until August 1914. During the first Balkan War (1912), Dedeagatch was occupied by Bulgaria from Turkey. In 1913, Greece occupied the city from Bulgaria. Overprinted Bulgarian stamps, along with a typeset provisional issue, were used pending the arrival of regular Greek stamps.

    Denmark (1851-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,268,775. A kingdom in northwestern Europe, located strategically between the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Denmark was one of the chief Viking centers and for centuries was one of the leading powers in northern Europe. At one time or another during the Middle Ages, Denmark ruled Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and England. During the 17th-19th centuries, Danish power declined, and defeats by Sweden, Britain and Prussia forced it back to, roughly, its present boundaries. After 1815, Denmark adopted a policy of neutrality, which it maintained for 130 years. This policy was abandoned after World War II, during which the country was occupied by Germany. Denmark was a charter member of NATO and joined the Common Market in 1960. A rich country agriculturally, Denmark has undergone an industrial boom since 1945. A long tradition of democracy and social cooperation mark the country's political life.

    Dhar (1897-1901)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in west-central India, Dhar issues were replaced by those of India on April 1, 1901.

    Diego-Suarez (1890-96)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 12,000 (1896). A port at the north end of Madagascar, Diego-Suarez was a French colony and naval base from 1885 to 1896, when it was attached to Madagascar.

    Djibouti (1977-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 434,116. The former French overseas territory of Afars and Issas in northeast Africa became independent on June 17, 1977. Somali Coast and Obock issues also received Djibouti overprints and surcharges in 1894-1902. Djibouti is supported by French aid, and a French garrison remains in the country.

    Dobrudja (1916-18)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Romanian territory on the Black Sea, comprising the area south of the Danube River. Dobrudja was occupied by Bulgaria during World War I, during which time overprinted Bulgarian stamps were used in the district.

    Dodecanese Islands (1947)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The former Italian Aegean Islands, occupied by Greece after World War II. Overprinted Greek stamps were used until their replacement by regular Greek issues.

    Dominica (1874-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 83,226. An island in the Caribbean southeast of Puerto Rico. Dominica was a British Crown Colony 1833-1968 and an Associate State 1968-78. On Nov. 3, 1978, it became independent.

    Dominican Republic (1865-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population 8,228,151. A republic occupying the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola in the West Indies. The Dominican Republic was ruled by Spain until c.1800, thereafter falling under periods of Spanish, French and Haitian rule until 1844. In 1861-65, the republic was again occupied by Spain. A Dominican request for annexation by the United States was rejected in 1865. The first stamps used in the country were Spanish colonial issues for Cuba and Puerto Rico. After the Spanish withdrawal, the Dominican Republic began issuing its own stamps. The rest of the 19th century was marked by political instability. From 1916 to 1922, the country was under U.S. military administration, and U.S. troops remained until 1924. In 1930, Gen. Rafael Trujillo Molina came to power and ruled the country for the next three decades. Trujillo maintained order (at the expense of individual liberties) and brought a degree of economic development. Increasing popular dissatisfaction with Trujillo's repressive regime brought his assassination in 1961 and the fall of his designated successor the following year. Free elections were held in 1962, but the president was deposed in 1963. In 1965, the ousted leader's followers staged a revolt, and U.S. troops occupied the country to restore order, remaining, along with small contingents from five South American countries, as a peacekeeping force until September 1966. Since that time, the Dominican Republic has enjoyed relative stability and economic progress.

    Don Cossack Government (1918-19)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. On June 5, 1918, the Don Cossacks established a republic at Rostov, in southern Russia. Allied with Gen. Denikin's Volunteer Army, the government fell to the Soviets after Denikin's withdrawal from Rostov in February 1920.

    Dubai (1963-72)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A sheikhdom in the Trucial States in east Arabia in the Persian Gulf. Dubai was under British protection from 1892-1971 when it became a part of the independent United Arab Emirates.

    Dunkerque (1940)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 31,017 (1943). A French port on the English Channel. During July 1-Aug. 9, 1940, 15 French stamps overprinted locally by the German military authorities were in use in the area around Dunkerque.

    Durango (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in the province of Vizcaya in northern Spain. A 16-value set was overprinted by local authorities in 1937 to commemorate the occupation of the city by the Nationalists.

    Durazzo (1909-11, 1916-18)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An Albanian port. Italian stamps overprinted "Durazzo" and surcharged in Turkish currency were used by the Italian post office in the city from February 1909 to 1911.

    Duttia (Datia) (1893-1921)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in north-central India, Duttia's stamps were replaced by Indian issues in 1921.

    Barbuda (1922, 1968-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,250. A small island in the Leeward group in the West Indies, Barbuda is a dependency of Antigua.

    Cabo Gracias a Dios (1904-12)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A cape and seaport in the extreme northeast of Nicaragua. The circulation of two radically different currencies in the country necessitated the overprinting of Nicaraguan stamps for use in the province.

    Cadiz (1936-37)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 78,986 (1937). A major Spanish port on the Atlantic Ocean, located in southern Spain. Contemporary Spanish stamps were overprinted by the Nationalist local authorities during the Spanish Civil War.

    Caicos Islands (1981-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. The northwesternmost six principal islands of the Turks and Caicos Islands, located in the West Indies, south of the Bahamas. Stamps overprinted "Caicos Islands" appeared in mid-1981, followed by purpose-inscribed issues in 1983 and since. These have been accompanied by a continuing steady flow of emissions from Turks and Caicos Islands.

    Calimno (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. Calimno was under Turkish rule from the 16th century. It was occupied by Italy in 1912. Italian stamps overprinted "Calimno" were used from 1912-29, when they were replaced by Aegean Islands' general issues. Sets overprinted with the island's name were released in 1930 and 1932.

    Cambodia (Kampuchea) (1951-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 11,163,861. A constitutional monarchy in southeast Asia. It lies in Indochina and borders Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. During the 9th-13th centuries, Cambodia was the center of the Khmer empire, which ruled Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and southern Vietnam. By the 19th century, Khmer power had long been declining, and in 1863 a French protectorate was established over Cambodia. A constitutional monarchy was established in 1941. In 1951, Cambodia became a separate member of the French Union, and in 1955 it became fully independent. During the Vietnamese War, Cambodia attempted to maintain its independence and neutrality. In 1965, relations were broken with the United States, after ARVN forces attacked Viet-Cong bases in Cambodia. By 1969, the Viet-Cong-supported Khmer Rouge rebels posed such a threat that relations were restored. In 1970, the monarchy was deposed, and a pro-western republic was established. In 1971, the name Khmer Republic was adopted. There followed several years of intense fighting between the North Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and the U.S.-backed forces of the republic. More than 100,000 died during 1971-75. The communists quickly defeated government forces after the U.S. withdrawal from South Vietnam. There followed one of the more bizarre and horrifying episodes in recent history. The Khmer Rouge broke with their Vietnamese allies and began a systematic reign of terror that claimed one million lives during 1975-78. During this period (1977-78), Cambodia was renamed Democratic Kampuchea. In 1978, border skirmishes with Vietnam erupted into war, and in January 1979, a Vietnamese-backed regime was established. During 1983-89 Vietnam effectively occupied Cambodia, reducing the Khmer Rouge to guerrilla resistance in remote rural areas. In 1993 U.N.-sponsored elections led to the restoration of the monarchy. Khmer Rouge resistance to the new government continued through most of the 1990s.

    Cameroun (1897-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 14,677,510. A republic in West Africa. Cameroun was a German protectorate until 1915, when it was occupied by the British and French. In 1922, it was mandated to these countries by the League of Nations. The French portion became the independent State of Cameroun in 1960, with the southern portion of the British mandate joining it in 1961. The northern portion of the British mandate joined Nigeria. In 1972, Cameroun changed its official designation to the United Republic of Cameroon. Politically stable, Cameroon has enjoyed considerable development in agriculture and transportation since independence.

    Campeche (1876)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Mexican state occupying the western part of the Yucatan peninsula. Provisional stamps were produced for use there during the struggle by Juarez against Emperor Maximilian.

    Campione D'Italia (1944-52)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A small Italian enclave in Switzerland, which for a time issued stamps valid for postage to Switzerland and Italy. These issues were used during the period when northern Italy was controlled by the Italian Social Republic, while Campione remained loyal to the royalist government, from which it was unable to secure supplies of stamps.

    Canada (1851-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 29,123,194. An independent state within the British Commonwealth, occupying the northern part of North America. Under French rule until 1763, when it was transferred to Britain, modern Canada was formed with the union of the various individual British colonies in North America in 1867. British Columbia and Vancouver Island were added in 1871, Prince Edward Island in 1873, and Newfoundland in 1949. Canada possesses rich natural resources. The majority of the population is English-speaking and of British descent, while in Quebec 80 percent are of French descent.

    Canal Zone (1904-79)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A strip of land 10 miles wide lying on either side of the Panama Canal, from the Atlantic to Pacific oceans, dividing the Republic of Panama into two parts. Thwarted by Colombia from building the Panama Canal through its territory, the U.S. supported the Panamanian revolution of 1903, and almost immediately received a perpetual lease to the territory. In 1978, the United States and Panama agreed to a revised treaty, allowing for the gradual transfer of control of the Canal to Panama by the end of the century. On Sept. 30, 1979, the U.S. Canal Zone Postal Service ceased operation, and on Oct. 1, the Panamanian Postal Service took charge.

    Canary Islands (1936-39)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, located off the northwestern coast of Africa. Under Spanish rule since the 15th century, the Canary Islands have normally used regular Spanish issues. During the Spanish Civil War, however, a large number of overprinted stamps were used on mail carried by a provisional airline service linking Las Palmas with Seville, where it was linked to the rest of Europe. These issues were in use until the re-establishment of the Spanish state service in May 1938.

    Canouan Island (1976-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. One of the Grenadines of St. Vincent, a group of small islands in the Lesser Antilles, north of Trinidad and South America.

    Cape of Good Hope

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 2,564,965 (1911). Located at the southern tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope was originally a Dutch colony, passing to the British after the Napoleonic Wars. Conflict between English immigrants and established Dutch settlers (Boers) led to the withdrawal of the Boers into the interior after 1836. These tensions, intensified by the discovery of rich diamond and gold deposits, increasing English immigration and Britain's imperialistic policy, resulted in the Boer War of 1899-1902, which ended with British occupation of the formerly independent Boer republics. In 1910, Cape Colony joined with Natal, Transvaal and the Orange River Colony to form the Union of South Africa. During the Boer War, a number of provisionals appeared, the most famous of which were issued at Mafeking, where the defending British force was commanded by Gen. Robert S.S. Baden-Powell, who later established the Boy Scouts.

    Cape Juby (1916-48)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 9,836. A Spanish possession in the western Sahara on the Atlantic coast, opposite the Canary Islands. Secured by agreement with France, Spanish troops occupied Cape Juby in 1916, at which time overprinted stamps of Rio de Oro were issued. From 1916 to 1919, stamps of Rio de Oro and Spanish Morocco were used in the area. In January 1919, overprinted stamps again appeared, and these remained in use until 1948, when they were replaced by those of the Spanish Sahara.

    Cape Verde (1877-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 393,843. A group of islands in the Atlantic Ocean, west of Senegal. Cape Verde was uninhabited when first discovered by the Portuguese in 1456 or 1460. The first Portuguese settlers arrived in 1462, and black slaves were introduced soon thereafter. The modern Cape Verdeans are descendents of the two groups. In 1975, Cape Verde became independent, with close ties to Guinea-Bissau (the former Portuguese Guinea). Drought and famine in recent years have created major difficulties for this already impoverished nation.

    Caroline Islands (1900-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 40,000 (1915 estimate). A large group of islands in the western Pacific Ocean. The Carolines were purchased by Germany from Spain in 1899. They were captured by Japan in 1914 and subsequently administered by the Japanese under a mandate from the League of Nations. In 1944, they were occupied by the United States and after 1947 were administered by the United States, under a mandate from the United Nations, as part of the Pacific Islands Trusteeship. The western portion of the Caroline Islands became the autonomous republic of Palau in 1981, and the rest of the group became the Federated States of Micronesia in 1986. Japanese stamps were used from 1914 to 1944, and U.S. issues 1944-84.

    Carpatho-Ukraine (1939, 1944-45)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The easternmost province of pre-Munich Czechoslovakia. It was created as an autonomous state and swiftly annexed by Hungary in 1939. With the Axis withdrawal in 1944, the area became independent for a brief time, reverting to Hungary in 1945. In 1949, it was annexed by the Soviet Union.

    Carchi (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Turkish Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. Carchi was occupied by Italy in 1912. Italian stamps overprinted "Karki," "Calchi" or "Carchi" were used until 1929, when the general Aegean Islands issues came into use. Two sets overprinted with the island's name were issued in 1930 and 1932.

    Carupano (1902-03)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A port of Venezuela, near Trinidad. During the Anglo-German-Italian occupation of La Guaira, Carupano was isolated and soon ran out of stamps, necessitating the issue of provisional issues until regular stocks could be obtained.

    Caso (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. Caso was under Turkish rule from the 16th century. It was occupied by Italy in 1912, at which time Italian issues overprinted "Caso" were placed in use. These were replaced in 1929 by the general Aegean Islands issues, although two sets overprinted for the island were issued in 1930 and 1932.

    Castellorizo (1920-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 2,238 (1936 estimate). Small island in the Mediterranean off the southwest coast of Turkey. Occupied by France in 1915, Castellorizo was transferred to Italy in 1920. After World War II, the island, along with the rest of the Dodecanese Islands, passed to Greece.

    Cattaro (1944)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A Croatian province on the Adriatic, occupied by the Italians from 1941-43, and Germans, 1943-45, during World War II. In 1944, Italian and Yugoslavia issues were overprinted for use in Cattaro by the German Occupation Authorities.

    Cavalla (1893-1914)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A town in northern Greece. The French post office in Cavalla used unoverprinted French stamps (canceled "5156" within a diamond-shaped grid of dots) after 1874. During 1893-1914, it used stamps overprinted or inscribed "Cavalle." Seized by Bulgaria from Turkey in 1912, Cavalla was taken by the Greeks in 1913. Bulgarian stamps overprinted by the Greek occupation authorities were used pending the arrival of regular Greek stocks.

    Cayman Islands (1901-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 36,153 (1997 estimate). Three islands in the Caribbean Sea, northwest of Jamaica. The Cayman Islands have been a British colony since its settlement in the 18th century. During the 1970s, the Caymans became a tax-free haven for banking, and many Western banks have branches in the colony.

    Cayes of Belize (1984-85)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A group of sparsely populated islands in the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Belize. During 1984-85, a number of sets were released, primarily for sale to collectors. Regular Belize stamps have always been used in the territory.

    Central African Republic (1959-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 3,342,051. A landlocked nation in central Africa, surrounded by Chad, Cameroon, Congo, Zaire and the Sudan. Formerly the French colony of Ubangi-Shari, the Central African Republic was established Dec. 1, 1958, and became fully independent Aug. 13, 1960. Although possessed of substantial mineral resources, the country has been unable to develop economically and has been politically unstable since independence. During 1960-65, the CAR was a center of Chinese influence in Africa. In 1965 the pro-Chinese regime was overthrown, and Jean-Bedel Bokassa came to power. On Dec. 4, 1976, Bokassa proclaimed the country the Central African Empire, with himself as Emperor Bokassa I. Bokassa's rule was marked by almost unrelenting cruelty and barbarism, characterized by rumors that the emperor himself practiced cannibalism. On Sept. 20, 1979, Bokassa was overthrown in a bloodless coup supported by French troops, flown in from bases in Gabon and Chad. In the years since, Central Africa's political turbulence has continued, with periodic French intervention to restore or to maintain order.

    Central Albania (1915)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During World War I, Albania was overrun by various foreign armies. From January 1914 to February 1916, the central portion of the country was controlled by a provisional regime under Essad Pasha. Essad was supplanted by the Austrians in 1916.

    Central China (1949-50)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The Communist Central Chinese Liberation Area included the provinces of Honan, Hupeh, Hunan and Kiangsi. Separate issues for the region were used after the occupation of Hankow from the Nationalists.

    Central Lithuania (1920-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Historically a part of Lithuania, this territory was under Russian rule until 1915, when it was occupied by the Germans. German stamps overprinted for Lithuania were used until December 1918, when regular Lithuanian stamps were issued. In October 1920, the area was occupied by Polish forces, who established an autonomous state, which issued its own stamps during 1920-22. In 1922, it was annexed by Poland, but in 1939 it was occupied by Soviet forces and returned to Lithuania.

    Cephalonia and Ithaca (1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Two of the Ionian Islands, off the western coast of Greece. The islands were occupied by Italian forces in 1941, when Greek stamps were overprinted for use in the two islands by local Italian military authorities. These were soon superseded by the general occupation issues for the Ionian Islands.

    Ceylon (1857-1972)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 12,670,000 (1971). Island in the Indian Ocean, off the southeast coast of India. Much of the island was ruled by Portugal during the 16th and 17th centuries, and later by the Dutch. From 1795, the British ruled Ceylon. In 1948, it became a self-governing dominion, and in 1972, it became independent as the Republic of Sri Lanka.

    Chad (1922-36, 1959-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 7,166,023. A republic in central Africa. A former dependency of Ubangi-Shari, Chad was occupied by the French during 1897-1914, after defeating fierce native resistance. In 1920, Chad became a separate colony, joining in French Equatorial Africa in 1934. In 1958, the Chad Republic became an independent state in the French Union, and in 1960, it became fully independent. Following independence, Chad retained close ties with France, which provided economic aid and support in the government's civil war with Libyan-backed Arab guerrillas after 1966. In 1981, Libyan forces occupied Chad at the request of a coalition government. Libya's efforts to merge the two nations, however, alarmed even the pro-Libyan elements of the regime, and international pressure brought a rapid Libyan withdrawal. Libyan forces remained in the northern part of the country until 1987, and Libya continued to claim the mineral-rich Aozou strip until 1994. After years of civil war, of foreign invasions, and of coups and counter-coups, Chad adopted a new constitution and held its first multiparty elections in 1996.

    Chamba (1886-1950)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 168,908 (1941 estimate). A state in northern India, Chamba became independent of Kashmir in 1846. In 1886, its postal service was joined to that of India, and overprinted Indian stamps came into use. These overprinted issues were replaced by Indian stamps April 1, 1950, although they continued to be postally valid until Jan. 1, 1951.

    Charkari (Charkhari) (1894-1950)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in north-central India, Charkari's stamps were replaced by those of India on May 1, 1950.

    Chechen Republic (1992-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. An autonomous territory in the central Caucasus. With the break-up of the Soviet Union, Muslim Chechnya resisted Russian authority and pressed for full independence. From December 1994 to January 1997, Russian troops attempted to suppress Chechnyan resistance, without success. Several Chechnyan stamp issues appeared after 1992, which may have been legitimately issued and used in the country. More recently, a number of attractive pictorial sets and souvenir sheets have been offered by a philatelic promoter as Chechnyan local stamps. These are probably bogus.

    Checiny (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in southern Poland. Local stamps were issued in 1919 under the authority of the municipal authorities.

    Chelyabinsk (1920-22)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 45,000 (1914). A city in southwestern Siberia. Russian stamps were overprinted for local use by the municipal authorities during 1920-22.

    Chiapas (1866)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A state of southern Mexico, bordering on Guatemala and the Pacific Ocean.

    Chihuahua (1872)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital city of the State of Chihuahua in northern Mexico.

    Chile (1853-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 14,508,168. A republic in southwest South America. Chile was settled by Spain as early as 1540, although Indian resistance in the south was not overcome until the late 19th century. During 1817-18, Chile secured its independence, with the aid of Argentine forces under San Martin. During the 19th century, Chile aggressively expanded its borders, acquiring nitrate-rich northern districts from Peru and Bolivia during the War of the Pacific, 1879-84, and subduing Indian resistance in the south. After 1891, Chile was a liberal republic, but economic problems in the 1970s and 1980s produced social unrest and radical regimes, both Leftist and Rightist. Since 1989, Chile has prospered under restored civilian rule.

    Chimarra (Himera) (1914, 1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city on the southern coast of Albania. Philatelically inspired issues were released during the Greek occupation of the port.

    China (1878-)

    Stamp-issuing status: (People's Republic) active, (Empire and Republic) inactive; Population: (People's Republic) 1,210,004,956, (Empire and Republic) 462,798,093 (1948). An ancient country occupying a large area in eastern Asia, between Turkestan and the China Sea and stretching from Siberia to Indochina. Chinese civilization appeared in the 3rd millennium B.C., producing one of the earliest sophisticated cultures. China was long divided into numerous states, within a feudal system. China was unified under the Chin and Han dynasties (255 B.C.-220 A.D.), but again broke into contending states after the fall of the Hans. Unification was achieved under the Sui and T'ang dynasties (589-907), but internal division again appeared. In the early 13th century, the Mongols overran China, establishing the Yuan dynasty, which at its height (circa 1300) ruled China, Turkestan, Korea and Indochina. In 1368, the Ming dynasty expelled the Yuan and inaugurated a period of dynamic growth. In 1644, the Manchu dynasty overthrew the Ming and created a vast and powerful empire. During 1840-1900, China was defeated in a series of wars, which secured for the European powers numerous concessions within the Chinese empire. In 1892, Dr. Sun Yat-sen founded the Regenerate China Society, which began to foment revolution. In 1911, the empress-dowager was deposed, and a republic proclaimed. A period of civil war and internal division under local warlords ensued, until Chiang Kai-shek, commanding the Nationalist armies, was able to re-establish some unity during the 1920s. In 1927, Chiang moved against Soviet influence in the Nationalist government, and the communists split with the regime, launching a guerrilla war against the central government. In 1931, Japan occupied Manchuria and began to expand into China, openly invading the country in 1937. The Nationalists and communists maintained an uneasy truce during World War II, but with the defeat of Japan and the occupation of Manchuria by the Soviets, the civil war began in earnest. By 1949, the Nationalists had been defeated and driven to the island of Formosa (Taiwan). Since that time, the Chinese People's Republic on the mainland and the Republic of China on Taiwan have both claimed to represent the rightful government of China. The Chinese People's Republic was closely linked with the Soviet Union during the 1950s, but by the 1960s this relationship had deteriorated. Conflicting nationalisms became identified with ideological differences, and the two nations each came to regard the other as its principal enemy. U.S. relations with the mainland regime, broken in 1950, became increasingly close after 1972. On Dec. 15, 1978, the United States formally recognized the People's Republic as the sole legal government of China. Under Mao Zedong, China was thoroughly communized, and all political opposition suppressed. Ongoing economic miscalculations and brutal attempts to bring about economic progress based on Maoist principles were unsuccessful. In 1975 Mao died, and by 1978 Deng Xiaoping had established himself as "paramount leader." Deng pursued a far more liberal, and far more successful, policy. While political expression remained tightly controlled, there were no more wholesale purges, and ideology was adapted to market realities. As a result, China has advanced dramatically, and in the 1990s, its economy has been one of the fastest growing in the world. The Nationalist regime on Taiwan has been politically isolated in recent years. In 1971, it was expelled from the United Nations, in favor of the People's Republic, and in 1978, the United States, its principal ally and supporter, severed formal diplomatic relations. Taiwan has been able, however, to maintain extensive informal contacts abroad through its active international commercial operations.

    China Expeditionary Forces (1900-21)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A total of 33 stamps of British India overprinted "C.E.F." were used by the British Expeditionary Force in China in 1900-21.

    Chinese Treaty Ports (1865-97)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Before establishment of the imperial posts in 1897, a number of Chinese treaty ports issued local stamps. These include Chungking (1894), Foochow (1895), Hankow (1893), Ichang (1895), Kewkiang (1894), Nanking (1896), Wuhu (1894) and Shanghai (1865).

    Chios (1913)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island in the Aegean Sea, Chios was captured by Greece from Turkey in 1912. In 1913, an overprinted Greek stamp was issued. Stamps of Greece have since been used.

    Christmas Island (1958-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 813. An island in the Indian Ocean. Under the British colony of Singapore from 1900-58, Christmas Island was transferred to Australian administration in 1958.

    Cilicia (1919-21)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A district of southern Turkey, northwest of Syria. Cilicia was occupied by the British and French from Turkey in 1918. In 1919, France assumed sole control and in 1920 received the territory as a mandate from the League of Nations. In 1921, however, Turkish forces expelled the French, and in 1923 France gave up its claims to the area. During 1919, Cilicia used Palestinian stamps, and during 1919-21, the French regime issued overprinted stamps of Turkey and France.

    Ciskei (1981-94)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of South Africa's so-called Bantustans or Bantu homelands, a scattering of nominally semi-autonomous states for otherwise disenfranchised black South Africans located on the sites of reserves set up under the policies of the white-run apartheid government prior to World War II. Ciskei was the most southerly of these, consisting of a wedge of coastal territory southwest of the city of East London. Although not accorded international recognition as a sovereign state, Ciskei's stamps were generally accepted on international mail. Ciskei was dissolved as a separate administrative unit April 27, 1994.

    Coamo (1898)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in Puerto Rico. U.S. forces issued a stamp for provisional use in August-September 1898, after the city was wrested from Spanish control.

    Cochin (1892-1949)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Early a center of foreign traders, the Portuguese established a trading station at Cochin, a port city in southern India, in 1502. The British followed in 1635 but, along with the Portuguese, were expelled by the Dutch in 1663. In 1795, the area passed to the British. Cochin issued its own stamps until 1949, when it joined with Travancore and the coastal towns of Tangasseri and Anjengo to form the United State of Travancore-Cochin, whose issues then came into use. Indian stamps replaced these issues on April 1, 1951.

    Cochin China (1886-92)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The southernmost area of Vietnam. Occupied by France from 1863-67, Cochin China served as the base for French expansion in the region. In 1887, Cochin China was incorporated into French Indochina, whose stamps were used after 1892.

    Cocos Islands (Keeling Islands) (1963-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 609. A group of tiny islands in the Indian Ocean under Australian administration. Stamps of the Cocos Islands are also valid in Australia.

    Colombia (1859-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population 37,418,290. A republic in northwest South America. The seat of the Spanish viceroyalty of New Granada after 1718, Colombia declared its independence in 1810, finally ousting the Spanish in 1824. Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador made up the State of Greater Colombia until 1830 when the three nations separated. In 1903, the northern province of Panama broke away from Colombia and, with U.S. support, became independent. Colombia is one of the few democracies in Latin America, although it has been plagued by chronic violence and disorder. "La Violencia" of 1948-58 claimed 200,000 lives, and political violence, albeit much abated, continues. Colombia has been officially named the Republic of New Granada (1831-58), the Grenadine Confederation (1858-61), the United States of New Granada (1861), the United States of Colombia (1861-85) and the Republic of Colombia (since 1885).

    Colombia-States Issues (1863-1904)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Until 1885, the various Colombian states were sovereign, possessing the right to issue their own stamps. In 1886, a national convention abolished most of the states' rights, transferring sovereignty to the central government. The states, however, retained the right to issue stamps, and did so as late as 1904. The states that used their own stamps, along with national issues, were Antioquia, Bolivar, Boyaca, Canca, Cundinamarca, Panama, Santander, the city of Cucuta and Tolima.

    Comoro Islands (1950-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 589,797. A group of islands in the Mozambique Channel between Mozambique and Madagascar. Under French rule since the 19th century, the Comoros were attached to Madagascar from 1911-46, being reorganized as an Overseas Territory in 1946. Since 1950, the Comoros have issued their own stamps. The Comoros became independent in 1975, except for Mayotte, which voted to remain French. A coup soon after independence placed a leftist regime in power, but its increasingly eccentric rule brought another coup in 1978, which replaced it with a pro-French government.

    Confederate States of America (1861-65)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 9 million (1865 estimate). The southern states of the United States, seceded from the Union in 1861 and attempted to establish an independent confederation. After initial successes against the U.S. forces, the Confederacy was on the defensive after 1863. By early 1865, the rebellious areas had been overrun, and the states were reincorporated within the United States.

    Confederate States of America-Provisional Issues (1861)

    In the early months of the Civil War, many southern post offices were without regular stocks of stamps. U.S. stamps in rebel territory were demonetized after June 1, 1861, and general Confederate issues were not available until October 1861. During the interim, many local postmasters issued provisional stamps and postal stationery. Occasionally, such provisionals appeared later during the war, when regular Confederate stamps were unavailable.

    Congo Democratic Republic (1960-71, 1997-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 47,440,362. In January 1960, Belgium agreed to grant independence to the Belgian Congo, and general elections were held May 31. On June 30, the country became independent. The Congo was immediately torn by domestic violence, causing most whites to flee and two of the richest regions, Katanga and South Kasai, to secede. In August, Belgian troops were replaced by United Nations forces, which gradually restored order and suppressed the independence movements in the south. In 1963 Katanga was reunited with the Congo, and on June 30, 1964, its president, Moise Tshombe, became president of the Congo. Within months of the U.N. withdrawal (June 1964), yet another separatist movement broke out, when leftists proclaimed a people's republic in Stanleyville. The central government suppressed this uprising, with the support of Belgian and white mercenary troops. In 1965, General Joseph D. Mobutu became president. He began an Africanization program, wherein all Congolese with Christian names were required to adopt African names (he became Mobutu Sese Seko), Congolese place names were changed and, in 1971, the Congo itself was renamed the Republic of Zaire. After more than two decades of corrupt and inefficient rule, Mobutu was overthrown in 1997, and Zaire again became the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Congo Republic (1959-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,583,198. A republic on the north bank of the Congo River, in west central Africa. The former French colony of Middle Congo, the Congo became a member state in the French community in 1958 and gained independence in 1960. After 1963, the Congo government alligned itself with both the Soviet Union and China. U.S. relations, severed in 1965, were restored in 1977. In 1990, Maoism was renounced, and opposition parties were legalized. The official name of the country, changed to the People's Republic of the Congo in 1970, was changed back to the Republic of the Congo. A democratically elected government came to power in 1992. During 1997, the country was torn by ethnic and regional civil war.

    Constantinople (1909-14, 1921-23)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1,200,000 (1914). The capital of the Ottoman Empire, situated on the Hellespont between the Black Sea and the Aegean Sea. During 1873-81, Turkish stamps were overprinted for local use within the city, and a number of private posts issued stamps. Italian stamps overprinted "Constantinopoli" were used by the Italian post in the city from 1909-14. These issues were again used from 1921-23 by the Italian garrison in Constantinople. Stamps of the Russian Levant overprinted with the name of the city were used by the Russian postal service in Constantinople from 1909-14. During 1919, Romanian forces in the city used contemporary Romanian stamps overprinted "Posta Romana Constantinopl" with the emblem of the Romanian PTT.

    Cook Islands (1892-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 19,776. A group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean, northeast of New Zealand. In 1901, the Cook Islands became a dependency of New Zealand, gaining internal self-government in 1965.

    Cordoba (1858-65)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province in central Argentina, Cordoba issued its own stamps from 1858 to 1865, when they were replaced by the issues of the central government.

    Corfu (1923, 1941)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The major island of the Ionian Islands, off the western coast of Greece in the Ionian Sea. Corfu, under Greek control since 1864, was occupied by Italy in 1923 and 1941-43. Stamps of Italy and Greece were overprinted by the Italians for use on the island.

    Corrientes (1856-80)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The northeast province of Argentina, Corrientes issued its own stamps until 1880, when they were replaced by regular Argentine issues.

    Cos (1912-32)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of the Dodecanese Islands in the eastern Aegean Sea. Cos was under Turkish rule from the 16th century. It was occupied by Italy in 1912, at which time overprinted Italian stamps were issued. These were superseded by the general Aegean Islands issues in 1929, although two sets overprinted "Coo" were issued in 1930 and 1932.

    Costa Rica (1863-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 3,534,174. A republic in Central America, located between Nicaragua and Panama. Under Spain until 1821, Costa Rica's subsequent history has been mostly peaceful, enabling it to develop a relatively high standard of living. Still chiefly an agricultural country, Costa Rica finds tourism an increasingly important industry.

    Coudekerque (1940)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A city in northern France, near Dunkerque. For a time after the German occupation in World War II, overprinted French stamps were used in the city.

    Courland (1945)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. In October 1944, German forces in the Courland peninsula were cut off from Germany by the advancing Soviet army. In April 1945, the local German commander overprinted four German stamps for use in the area.

    Crete (1898-1910, 1944)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 335,000 (1910 estimate). A large island in the Aegean Sea, Crete was a province of Turkey from the 15th century. Continuous religious civil strife between the Christian and Muslim natives provided an excuse for the Great Powers to intervene in the island's affairs in 1898. In 1899, the island was declared an autonomy under Prince George of Greece. In 1908, the Cretan Assembly voted for union with Greece, which finally occurred in 1913. Crete used Turkish stamps until 1899. Stamps of Crete were used until 1913, when Greek stamps came into use. During 1898-1914, various stamps were issued by the Powers for use in their districts of Crete, including Britain (1898-99), Russia (1899), Austria (1903-14), France (1903-13) and Italy (1900-12). During World War II, German military air parcel post stamps were overprinted "Inselpost" for use by German troops on Crete and nearby islands, after their isolation following the German withdrawal from Greece.

    Crimea (1919)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A large peninsula on the Black Sea, south of the Ukraine. From the Crimea, the Krim Tatars ruled a powerful state in southern Russia during the 15th-17th centuries. They later came under Turkish rule, which was supplanted by Russian rule in 1783. During World War I, the Crimea was occupied by the Germans, who in June 1918 set up a Tatar government in the area. With the German withdrawal in November, a provisional government was established and several stamps were issued. The Crimea was subsequently occupied by the French, the Bolsheviks, Gen. Denikin's Volunteer Army, and finally by the Bolsheviks a second (and final) time. During World War II, the Crimea was again occupied by the Germans and was included in the Ukraine administrative district. Since 1992, a large number of purported local issues have appeared on the market. A few are dubious; most are bogus.

    Croatia (1941-45, 1991-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,026,995. A district of northern Yugoslavia, bordering on the Adriatic Sea. Croatia was a province of Hungary until 1918, when it became a part of Yugoslavia. In 1941, a German puppet state was created in Croatia. Nominally a kingdom under an Italian prince, in fact the state was ruled by the Croat fascist party. Croatia was overrun by Russian and Yugoslavian partisan forces in 1945 and re-incorporated into Yugoslavia. In 1991 Croatia declared its independence, and there followed a civil war between ethnic Serbs and Croats. Initially, the Serbs, with Yugoslav support, controlled about one-third of the country, declaring their territory the republic of Krajina, which issued its own stamps. By 1995, the Croatian government had recaptured almost all of the Serb-held areas.

    Cuautla (1867)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A town in the State of Morelos in central Mexico, a simple provisional issue was produced there during the struggle against Emperor Maximilian.

    Cuba (1855-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,999,041. The largest island of the West Indies, located south of Florida. Under Spanish rule from 1511-1898, Cuba was the scene of intense revolutionary activity after 1868. In 1898, the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana harbor precipitated the Spanish-American War, which ended with the U.S. assuming trusteeship of the island. In 1902, the Cuban republic became independent, although the United States actively intervened in Cuban affairs until the 1930s. In 1959 a liberal guerrilla movement, led by Fidel Castro, overthrew the repressive government of Fulgencio Batista, who had ruled Cuba since 1952. Castro, influenced by his brother Raul and Che Guevera, soon began to purge the revolution of its non-Marxist elements. The regime nationalized foreign holdings and began the program of collectivization that took most of the agricultural sector out of private hands. A large number of Cubans preferred exile to the new order, and many hundreds of thousands have fled the island, most settling in the United States. Castro linked Cuban policy closely with that of the Soviet Union, which soon established a strong military presence on the island. U.S.-Cuban relations deteriorated rapidly. In 1961, the United States backed an abortive invasion by a Cuban exile force, and in 1962 the discovery of nuclear missiles at Soviet bases in Cuba brought the United States and the Soviet Union to the brink of war. The United States imposed a total trade embargo on Cuba in 1962, which was supported by the Organization of American States in 1963. In the years since, the Castro regime has improved the standard of living in Cuba and has largely overcome illiteracy. Long dependent on massive Soviet economic support, the Cuban economy was badly shaken when the collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s ended economic aid. Tightened U.S. trade restrictions in 1992 and 1996 have made matters worse. Increasing popular discontent has forced the government to take steps to liberalize the economy and to loosen some restrictions on emigration. The U.S. Treasury Department prohibits the importation of Cuban postage stamps into the United States through the mail.

    Cuernavaca (1867)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. The capital city of the State of Morelos in central Mexico. A simple provisional issue was produced there during the struggle against Emperor Maximilian.

    Cyprus (1880-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 752,808. A large island in the eastern Mediterranean. Cyprus was a Turkish possession from 1571 to 1878. In 1878, the British occupied the island, formally annexing it in 1914. Tension between Greek and Turkish elements, each of which sought union with their respective mother country, erupted into violence in 1955. An agreement between Britain, Greece, Turkey and Cypriot leaders provided for the creation of an independent republic, with guarantees to the Turkish minority, and in 1960 independence was achieved. Continuing conflict between Greek and Turkish factions led to the intervention of a United Nations peace-keeping force in 1964, which has since remained on the island. On July 15, 1974, a pro-Greek coup, led by Greek army officers deposed the elected government. Five days later, Turkey invaded Cyprus and quickly occupied the northeastern 40 percent of the island. In 1975, Turkish Cypriots in the occupied area voted to establish a separate state. In 1983 this government declared its independence as the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    Cyrenaica (1923-35, 1950-51)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 225,000 (1934 estimate). A district of North Africa, west of Egypt. Cyrenaica was under Turkish control until 1912, when it was ceded to Italy and incorporated with Tripolitania to form the colony of Libia. In 1942, it was occupied by the British and became part of the independent kingdom of Libya in 1951.

    Czechoslovak Legion Post (1918-20)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During World War I, many Czech nationalists fought against Austria on the Russian front. After the Russian Revolution, these units attempted to move across Siberia to sail to the western front to continue fighting, but clashes with the Bolsheviks en route to Vladivostok led to the Czechs' involvement in the Russian Civil War. The Czechs achieved notable successes, for a time holding large areas along the Trans-Siberian Railroad. News of these successes created sympathy for the cause of Czechoslovak independence. During this period, the Czech Legion issued a number of stamps for use by its forces in Russia.

    Czechoslovakia (1918-93)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 15.5 million (1986). A former republic in central Europe. Czechoslovakia comprised the medieval kingdom of Bohemia, which came under Austrian Hapsburg rule in 1526, and Slovakia, long a part of the Kingdom of Hungary. During the 19th century, as nationalism became a potent force throughout Europe, the desire for independence from Austro-Hungarian rule grew. With the defeat of the Central Powers in World War I and the subsequent breakup of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, Czechoslovakia became independent. Tensions between the major ethnic groups were never entirely overcome, and by the mid-1930s there was considerable sentiment for autonomy in Slovakia, while the German minority in the Sudetenland sought union with a resurgent Germany. In 1938, Czechoslovakia lost border territories to Germany, Hungary and Poland, and in 1939 the balance of the country was occupied by Germany. During World War II, both Slovakia and the truncated Czech state, renamed Bohemia-Moravia, were under German control. In 1945, the country was liberated by Allied forces and the Czechoslovak republic was re-established, with the easternmost region, Carpatho-Ukraine detached and absorbed into the Soviet Union. In February 1948, the communists seized power and by September had effectively suppressed opposition. There followed a long period of violent repression and purges of liberal party leaders. In January 1968, Alexander Dubeck replaced Antonin Novotny as party leader and launched a program aimed at establishing a democratic communist system. The Soviet Union feared that the success of such reforms would weaken its control over its Eastern European satellites, and relations between the two governments became increasingly cool. In August, Soviet, Polish, East German, Hungarian and Bulgarian forces invaded Czechoslovakia and put an end to the liberalization. Nearly a third of the Czechoslovak Communist Party members were expelled, and some 40,000 Czechs fled the country. The government thereafter maintained a repressive, staunchly pro-Soviet policy. In 1989, a democratic government was established, and in 1990, the country was renamed the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic. In July of that year, Slovakia declared sovereignty, and an agreement was quickly reached to dissolve the Czech and Slovak union. On January 1, 1993, Czechoslovakia split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

    Czech Republic (1993- )

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,318,958. A republic in central Europe, comprising the Czech portion of the former Czechoslovakia, corresponding to the historic Bohemia. The Czech Republic became a separate independent state on January 1, 1993, and has continued the steady progress toward a free-market economy begun in 1989. The Czech Republic joined NATO in 1999.




    Barwani (1921-48)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in western India. Barwani stamps were replaced by those of India on July 1, 1948.

    Base Atlantica (1943-44)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. During World War II, the Supreme Commander of Italian submarine forces authorized the overprinting of a number of Italian stamps for use by Italian military personnel stationed in Bordeaux, France.

    Basel (1845)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Capital of the canton of the same name, in northern Switzerland. Basel is situated on the Rhine and borders on both France and Germany. In 1845 the famous "Basel Dove" was issued. Now regarded as one of the most beautiful of the classic issues, the stamp was not popular among the townspeople and was soon withdrawn.

    Basutoland (1933-66)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 750,000 (1964 estimate). A former British crown colony surrounded by South Africa. Under British control after 1871, Basutoland became the independent state of Lesotho on Oct. 4, 1966. Stamps of the Cape of Good Hope were used 1871-1910 and those of the Union of South Africa 1910-33, when the colony began to use its own issues.

    Batum (1919-20)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 30,000 (1914). A Georgian port on the Black Sea, Batum was annexed by Russia from Turkey in 1878 and became a major Russian naval base. During World War I, Batum was occupied by the Germans and the Turks, and in December 1918 by British forces. The port was evacuated by the British in July 1920. During the British occupation, three series of lithographed stamps (two overprinted "British Occupation"), as well as a number of Russian stamps overprinted and surcharged, were in use. After the British evacuation, stamps of Georgia were used, these being replaced by Russian stamps in 1923. Georgian issues replaced those of the Soviet Union in 1990. Since 1994, a large number of pictorial sets and souvenir sheets, described as local stamps, have appeared on the market. They are bogus, issued for sale to collectors, and have seen no postal use in Batum.

    Bavaria (1849-1920)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 7,150,146 (1919). Former kingdom in southern Germany. Bavaria joined the German Empire in 1870, retaining its own monarchy. The country was briefly independent following World War I. Bavarian stamps were replaced by German issues in 1920.

    Bechuanaland Protectorate (1888-1966)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 540,400 (1964). District in south-central Africa, directly north of the Republic of South Africa. A British protectorate was established over the region in 1885, ending with the area becoming independent as the Republic of Botswana in 1966.

    Beirut (1909-14)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 210,000 (1914). The capital of Lebanon. Prior to World War I, a number of European nations maintained their own postal systems in Beirut. The Russian post office used stamps of the Russian Levant overprinted "Beyrouth" after 1909. In January 1905, the French authorities overprinted a contemporary French Offices in Turkey stamp for provisional use in Beirut. In July 1906, a similar provisional was used by the British authorities in Beirut. Both are scarce.

    Bejuma (1854)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A small town near Valencia, Venezuela. In 1854, the postmaster issued local stamps to frank mail to Valencia.

    Belarus (1992-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,439,916. A republic in eastern Europe. The area of Belarus was part of the Lithuanian-Polish state during the Middle Ages and was conquered by Russia in the 18th century. Belarus, then called White Russia, was divided between Poland and the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution but was reunited after WWII as the Belyorussian Soviet Socialist Republic, within the Soviet Union. In 1991, Belarus became an independent state. During 1996-97, Belarus signed several accords with Russia, closely linking the two countries politically and economically.

    Belgian Congo (1886-1960)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 12,660,000 (1956). A former Belgian colony in central Africa. In 1885, the Congo Free State was established under the personal rule of Leopold II. Abuses of the colonial administration, harsh even by contemporary standards, prompted the Belgian government to assume administration of the region, renamed the Belgian Congo. In 1960 the Belgian Congo became independent, as the Republic of the Congo.

    Belgium (1849-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,203,683. A constitutional monarchy in northwest Europe, bordering on the English Channel. Conquered by Julius Caesar in the first century B.C., Belgium was ruled by a succession of foreign nations for nearly 2,000 years. In 1830, Belgium became independent from the last of these foreign rulers, the Dutch. Because of its strategic position, Belgian independence and neutrality was guaranteed by the major European powers. In 1914, Germany occupied most of the country, although Belgium's spirited resistance throughout the war earned worldwide respect. Germany again occupied Belgium during World War II. After 1945, Belgium aligned itself with the West and is a member of both NATO and the Common Market. Its prosperity is built on its foreign trade.

    Belize (1973-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 224,663. An independent republic in central America. Belize was formerly the British colony of British Honduras. The name "Belize" was adopted in 1973. Belize became independent on Sept. 20, 1981. Neighboring Guatemala has long claimed Belize, although tensions between the two countries has eased in recent years.

    Benin (1892-99, 1976-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 5,902,178. The coastal area of Dahomey, on the Gulf of Guinea, Benin was occupied by the French in the 19th century. Separate stamps were issued from 1892. In 1895, the area was grouped with recently conquered inland territories to form the French colony of Dahomey. In November 1975, Dahomey changed its name to the People's Republic of Benin.

    Bequia (1976-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. Bequia is the nearest neighbor of St. Vincent and the northernmost in a group of small subsidiary islands in the Lesser Antilles, north of Trinidad and South America. Following the proliferation of Grenadines of St. Vincent issues that began in the early 1970s, stamps began to be issued for Bequia in 1976.

    Bergedorf (1861-68)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A town in northern Germany, originally owned by Hamburg and the Free City of Lubeck (1420-1867). In 1867, it passed into the sole possession of Hamburg. Bergedorf began issuing stamps in 1861, these being replaced by those of the North German Confederation in 1868.

    Berlin (1948-90)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.8 million. The capital of Prussia and, after 1871, of Germany. Surrounded by the Soviet Zone of Occupation, Berlin was divided into U.S., British, French and Soviet sectors in 1945. In 1948, political tension brought the creation of the zones of West (Allied) Berlin and East (Soviet) Berlin. The two zones each issued separate series of stamps, the East Zone in 1945 (the "Berlin Bears") and the West Zone from 1945 until 1990. Stamps of West Berlin were discontinued in 1990, with the reunion of the two Germanys, and they became obsolete December 31, 1991.

    Bermuda (1848-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 62,569. A group of islands in the west-central Atlantic Ocean. A British colony since 1609, Bermuda was granted internal self-government in 1968. In 1995, in a referendum on independence, voters chose by a wide margin to retain their colonial status.

    Bhopal (1876-1950)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in central India. Bhopal issued separate stamps for ordinary use until 1908, when they were replaced by Indian stamps. Bhopal continued to issue its own official stamps until 1950, when these, too, were replaced by Indian issues.

    Bhor (1879-1902)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in western India, Bhor issues were replaced by those of India in 1902.

    Bhutan (1955-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,865,191. Kingdom in the eastern Himalayas between India and Tibet. Bhutan was under Tibetan rule from the 16th century. In 1910 it became a British protectorate. In 1949 it became independent, although it continues to be guided in foreign relations by India, with whom it carries on 99 percent of its commerce. Since 1966, Bhutan has issued large numbers of attractive (and philatelically inspired) stamps. Among the novel forms these issues have taken are: gold, silver and steel foil, designs printed on silk, 3-D plastic stamps and souvenir sheets, miniature plastic records, plastic bas-relief and designs printed on rose-scented paper.

    Biafra (1968-70)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 14 million (1968 estimate). The eastern region of Nigeria, in which is concentrated the Ibo tribe. On May 30, 1967, the Ibos proclaimed the independent Republic of Biafra, and on Feb. 5, 1968, the first Biafran postage stamps were issued. On Jan. 9, 1970, after a bitter civil war, Biafra surrendered to armies of the central government. Since that time, stamps of Nigeria have been in use. During 1968-70, some 68 major varieties were issued, as well as several overprinted sets that appeared on the market after Biafra's defeat.

    Bialystok (1916)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 76,500 (1914). A city and province in northeastern Poland. In 1916, the local German military commander issued stamps for use in the area.

    Bijawar (1935-39)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in central India. Bijawar issued stamps from 1935-39, after which they were replaced by Indian stamps.

    Bilbao (1937)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 185,898 (1937). The major port of northern Spain, located on the Bay of Biscay. Spanish stamps were overprinted in July 1937 to celebrate the occupation of the city by Franco's Nationalist forces.

    Bohemia and Moravia (1939-45)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A German puppet-state created from the western provinces of Czechoslovakia prior to World War II. Bohemia and Moravia were reincorporated into Czechoslovakia following the war.

    Bolivia (1867-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population 7,669,868. A land-locked republic in South America, Bolivia was part of the Inca empire during the 13th-16th centuries. It was conquered by Spain in the 1530s and, as the Presidency of Charcas, was attached to the viceroyalty of Rio de la Plata. Notable primarily for its rich silver mines, which were exploited and depleted by the Spanish, Bolivia was an imperial backwater for three centuries. In 1825, the Spanish were expelled, and Bolivia, taking its name from the Great Liberator Simon Bolivar, became independent. Bolivia has been beset by numerous wars and revolutions. In the first 100 years of its independence, Bolivia lost territory to Chile, Brazil and Paraguay, three of its four neighbors. Its only coastal territory was lost to Chile in the War of the Pacific (1879-84). Chronic internal instability has given Bolivia one of the lowest standards of living in Latin America. Its government has been a bewildering succession of military dictatorships. In recent years, anti-American feeling has grown because of the government's efforts, under U.S. pressure, to limit the traffic in coca, the raw material for cocaine. Because of frequent shortages of regular postal issues, revenues, postage dues and bisects frequently are used provisionally by Bolivian post offices.

    Bophuthatswana (1977-94)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. One of South Africa's so-called Bantustans or Bantu homelands, a scattering of nominally semi-autonomous states for otherwise disenfranchised black South Africans, located on the sites of reserves set up under the policies of the white-run apartheid government prior to World War II. Bophuthatswana was in fact made up of seven small independent tracts of territory within the eastern half of South Africa, six of which were in the northern part of the nation near the border with Botswana. Although not accorded international recognition as a sovereign state, Bophuthatswana's stamps were generally accepted on international mail. Bophuthatswana ceased to exist April 27, 1994.

    Bosnia and Herzegovina (1879-1918, 1992-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 2,607,734. Located in southwestern Yugoslavia, the provinces of Bosnia and Herzegovina were long ruled by their various neighbors. After nearly five centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule, they were placed under Austrian protection in 1878, and a year later their first separate stamps appeared. In 1908, Austria-Hungary formally annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina, arousing the fears of Serbian nationalists, who sought to add the area to the Kingdom of Serbia. In 1914, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand, heir to the aging Austrian emperor, was assassinated at the capital, Sarajevo, by agents of the Serbian secret police, setting off the series of events that culminated in World War I. After World War I, Bosnia and Herzegovina became part of the newly established Kingdom of Yugoslavia. During World War II, ancient ethnic antagonisms were renewed and reinforced as Croats, Serbs and Muslim Bosnian forces fought one another. In 1991 the Bosnia and Herzegovina parliament declared the states sovereign and in early 1992 declared independence from Yugoslavia. This was bitterly opposed by ethnic Serbs, and a three-way civil war broke out, with the loosely allied Croat and Muslim factions, backed by Croatia and later NATO, fighting the Bosnian Serbs, supported by Yugoslavia, which was by now reduced to the core Serbian state. This civil war was marked by atrocities and by the Serbs' ruthless policy of ethnic cleansing, the expulsion or execution of non-Serb minorities in the areas they controlled. In 1995 a peace agreement divided the country between the Croat-Muslims and the Serbs and created a collective government. Since then, a shaky peace has been maintained by a large international peace-keeping force.

    Botswana (1966-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 1,500,765. A republic in central southern Africa, directly north of the Republic of South Africa. Formerly the British Bechuanaland Protectorate, the republic became independent as Botswana on Sept. 30, 1966. Many Botswanans are migrant workers in South Africa, with which Botswana is closely linked.

    Brac (Brazza) (1944)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An island in the Adriatic Sea, off the coast of Yugoslavia. In 1944, Yugoslavian stamps were overprinted by the German military authorities for use in the island.

    Brazil (1843-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 164,511,366. A large republic, occupying nearly half of South America. Brazil was discovered by Europeans in 1500, and Portugal soon began colonizing the coastal areas. During 1808-21, after Napoleon had occupied Portugal, Brazil was the seat of the Portuguese empire. In 1821 the Portuguese king returned to Lisbon, leaving his son, Dom Pedro, to act as regent in Brazil. In 1822 Dom Pedro declared the independence of the Empire of Brazil. Although Dom Pedro and his son, Dom Pedro II, were popular, the feeling grew that an American monarchy was an anachronism, and in 1889 a bloodless coup established the republic. Since 1930, Brazil has often been ruled by various military regimes. A civilian government was in power 1956-64, and civilian rule was re-established in 1985. Ambitious industrial and agricultural programs since 1930 have capitalized on the country's enormous natural resources, and Brazil has become the leading industrial nation of Latin America. Economic growth has been slowed in recent years by income maldistribution and inflation.

    Bremen (1855-68)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 122,402 (1871 estimate). A major German seaport in northwestern Germany, Bremen was a free city and a member of the German and, later, the North German Confederations, joining the German Empire in 1870. Bremen used its own stamps from 1855-68, after which issues of the North German Confederation came into use.

    British Antarctic Territory (1963-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 300. A British territory in the south Atlantic Ocean, forming part of the Falkland Islands Dependencies.

    British Bechuanaland (1886-98)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 84,210 (1904 estimate). Located in southern Africa, British Bechuanaland was a British crown colony until 1895, when it was annexed to Cape Colony. It is now part of the Republic of South Africa. Overprinted stamps of Cape Colony were in use from 1886 to 1898, when they were replaced by regular Cape Colony stamps. Since 1910, stamps of South Africa have been used, although most Cape Colony stamps remained valid until 1937.

    British Central Africa (1891-1908)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 1.6 million (1907 estimate). A former British territory in central Africa. In 1907, British Central Africa adopted the name Nyasaland Protectorate, which subsequently became independent as the Republic of Malawi.

    British Columbia and Vancouver Island (1860-71)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 650,000 (1869 estimate). A Canadian province on the northwest coast of North America, bordering on the Pacific Ocean. The two British colonies of Vancouver (established 1849) and British Columbia (established 1858) united in 1866 and joined the Canadian Confederation in 1871.

    British East Africa (1890-1903)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Territories originally under control of the British East Africa Co., after 1895 directly under British administration. In 1903 the area was reformed as the East Africa and Uganda protectorates. During 1895-1903, this area used overprinted stamps of Britain, India and Zanzibar, as well as its own issues. In 1903, East Africa and Uganda issues came into use.

    British Guiana (1850-1966)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 630,000 (1966 estimate). A former colony on the northern coast of South America, British Guiana became an independent republic in 1966, assuming the name Guyana. Early issues of British Guiana include a number of major rarities, among them "The World's Most Valuable Stamp," the 1¢ black on magenta of 1856. This stamp is unique and has passed through the hands of some of the giants of philately.

    British Honduras (1866-1973)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 135,000 (1973 estimate). Located in Central America on the Caribbean Sea, this area was contested by the British and Spanish until 1798, when British authority was secured. In 1862 it became a British colony under Jamaican administration and in 1884 became a separate colony. In 1973, British Honduras changed its name to Belize.

    British Indian Ocean Territory (1968-76, 1990-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active. A group of British-owned coral atolls in the Indian Ocean. Formerly dependencies of Mauritius and the Seychelles, the atolls and three islands were organized as a crown colony on Nov. 8, 1965. On June 29, 1976, Aldabra, Farquhar and DeRoches islands were returned to Seychelles. The terrritory today comprises the Chagos Archipelago (Diego Garcia is the largest of five atolls).

    British Offices in China (1917-30)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Britain long maintained post offices in various Chinese cities. Stamps of Hong Kong were used in these offices until Dec. 31, 1916, after which Hong Kong stamps overprinted "China" were used. On Nov. 30, 1922, all British post offices in China were closed, except in the leased territory of Wei-hai-wei, which used British Offices in China issues until Sept. 30, 1930.

    British Offices in Morocco (1898-1957)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. British post offices in Morocco used overprinted contemporary stamps of Gibraltar (1898-1906) and Great Britain. Separate issues were used in the Spanish Zone, the French Zone and Tangier, as well as the general issues used throughout the country. Regular British stamps were also often used.

    British Offices in the Turkish Empire (1885-1914, 1919-23)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Until 1885, regular British stamps were used by British post offices in the Ottoman Empire. After that date, British stamps surcharged in Turkish currency or overprinted "LEVANT" were used. British post offices in the area were closed Oct. 1, 1914, reopened March 1919, and finally closed Sept. 27, 1923.

    British Virgin Islands (1866-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 13,367 (1997 estimate). A group of islands in the West Indies, southeast of Puerto Rico. The western portion of the Virgin Islands was under Danish rule until 1917, and under the United States since. The 30 eastern islands, which make up the British Virgin Islands, were under Dutch control until 1666, when they passed to Britain. Until 1956, they were administered as part of the Leeward Islands colony. In 1956 the British Virgin Islands became a separate crown colony and in 1967 became an Associated State, with Britain retaining control of foreign affairs and defense.

    Brunei (1906-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 307,616. A sultanate on the northwest coast of Borneo, situated between the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak. The state of Brunei was a regional power in the 16th century but, after a long decline, came under British protection in 1888. Brunei secured full self-government in 1971 and became fully independent in 1984. Its oil and natural gas industry has made the country quite wealthy in recent years, and the Sultan of Brunei is one of the world's richest men.

    Brunswick (1852-68)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former duchy in northern Germany, joining the German Empire in 1870. Brunswick's issues were used from 1852-68, when they were replaced by those of the North German Confederation.

    Buenos Aires (1858-64)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Buenos Aires, long the chief port and commercial center of Argentina, was independent from the rest of the country at various times in the 19th century. Since 1862, however, it has formed a province of Argentina, whose stamps have been in use since 1864. A British post office in the city used regular British stamps (canceled "B-32") from 1860 to 1873.

    Bulgaria (1879-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 8,652,745. During the 10th and 12th centuries, the Bulgars ruled much of the Balkan peninsula but subsequently declined in power, falling under Turkish control in 1396. In 1878, Bulgaria became an autonomous principality under nominal Turkish rule. In fact, Bulgaria was independent -- more closely aligned with Russia than with Turkey -- and this independence was formalized in 1908. The Treaty of San Stefano (1878) established a "Greater Bulgaria," which included all Bulgars and encompassed territory that now forms parts of Macedonia, Greece, Romania and Turkey. The powers, fearing the expansion of Russian influence in the Balkans through such a large client-state, overturned that treaty at the Congress of Berlin later in the year. Bulgaria's foreign policy from 1878 through 1944 was based on the creation of this Greater Bulgaria. In 1885, Bulgaria absorbed Eastern Rumelia, and in the Balkan Wars (1912-13) further expanded its borders. Its defeat by the Allies in World War I cost Bulgaria its Aegean coastline, and its defeat in World War II brought the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of a communist regime. In 1990 the Bulgarian Parliament ended the monopoly of the Communist Party on political power in the country, and the communist leadership was replaced by democratic opponents. Bulgaria's economy is going through a wrenching transition, as the country works to overcome years of neglect, to modernize and integrate with the rest of Europe.

    Bundi (1894-1948)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A former feudatory state in northwestern India, Bundi issued stamps from 1894 to 1902 and from 1915 to 1948. During 1902-15 and after 1950, stamps of India were used. From 1948-50, stamps of Rajasthan were in use.

    Burgos (1936-38)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. A province in north-central Spain. Burgos was occupied by the Nationalists early in the Spanish Civil War, and a large number of overprinted Spanish postage and fiscal stamps were used in the province during this period.

    Burkina Faso (1984-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 10,891,159. A poor, landlocked republic in the Savannah region of West Africa, formerly the French colony of Upper Volta, bounded by the states of Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast. Following a 1983 coup d'etat, Upper Volta's name was changed to Burkina Faso on Aug. 4, 1984. The name is a transliteration of indigenous words meaning "country of incorruptible men." The first stamps bearing the new name were in an airmail set issued on May 23, 1984.

    Burma (1937-89)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive; Population: 36 million. A republic in southeast Asia. Burma was a part of British India until 1937, when it became a separate territory under Britain. Occupied by Japan 1942-45, Burma was reoccupied by Britain, which granted independence on Jan. 4, 1948. Following independence, Burma maintained a nationalistic policy of socialism, restricting the economic and political freedoms of its people, especially non-Burman minorities. In 1989 the name of the country was changed to Myanmar.

    Burundi (1962-)

    Stamp-issuing status: active; Population: 6,052,014. A republic in Central Africa. As Urundi, it was part of German East Africa 1899-1914 and was then administered by Belgium, under a United Nations mandate, until it became an independent kingdom in 1962. In 1966, the monarchy was overthrown by a military coup. Traditionally, Burundi has been ruled by the Tutsi (Watusi) tribe, which comprises only 14 percent of the population. In 1972-73, the Bantu Hutus, who make up 85 percent of Burundi's population, revolted, sparking a genocidal civil war in which 150,000 Hutsi and 10,000 Tutsi were killed. Another 100,000 Hutsi fled to Tanzania and Zaire. Attempts to reconcile the two groups have failed, and a 1993-96 civil war resulted in the deaths of at least 150,000 Burundians.

    Bushire (1915)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. An Iranian port on the Persian Gulf. Bushire was occupied by British forces from Aug. 8, 1915, to Oct. 16, 1915. During the British occupation, Persian stamps were overprinted and used in Bushire.

    Bussahir (Bashahr) (1895-1901)

    Stamp-issuing status: inactive. Bussahir was a former feudatory state in northern India. Bussahir stamps were replaced by those of India. With the closing of the state post office, large numbers of remainders and reprints were released to the philatelic market. These exist both unused and canceled "19 MA 1900."

    Afghanistan





    Andorra
    Angola
    Aruba
    Austria
    Azores
    Belgian Congo
    Belgium
    Benin
    Bolivia
    Burkina Faso
    China (pre-1950)
    Colombia
    Costa Rica
    Croatia
    Denmark
    Ecuador
    Faroe Islands
    Finland
    Finland: Åland
    Fiume
    France
    French Polynesia
    German East Africa
    Germany
    Germany: Berlin (9N...)
    Greenland
    Haiti
    Hawaii
    Honduras
    Iceland
    Iran
    Iraq
    Israel
    Italy
    Japan
    Korea

    Latakia -- Is a former republic that is part of Syria. It comprises a coastal region between the Lebanon Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea opposite Cyprus. Before World War I, it was part of the Ottoman Empire.it is a former republic that is part of Syria. It comprises a coastal region between the Lebanon Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea opposite Cyprus. Before World War I, it was part of the Ottoman Empire.

    Lebanon
    Liechtenstein
    Luxembourg
    Mexico
    Moldova
    Monaco
    Mongolia
    Montenegro
    Morocco
    Mozambique
    Mozambique Company
    Netherlands
    Netherlands Antilles
    New Caledonia
    New Hebrides (French)
    Nicaragua
    Niger
    Norway
    Palestinian Authority
    Panamá
    Peru
    Portugal
    Ryukyu Islands
    Saar
    Saint Pierre et Miquelon
    El Salvador
    Slovenia
    Sweden
    Switzerland
    Syria
    Syria: Arabian Government
    United Arab Emirates
    USA (from Scott # 1000 only)
    Vatican City
    Africa and nearby islands
    Angola
    Ascension
    Azores
    Basutoland
    Bechuanaland
    Belgian Congo
    Benin
    Botswana
    British Central Africa
    British East Africa
    Burkina Faso
    Cape of Good Hope
    East Africa and Uganda
    Gambia
    German East Africa (British Occupation)
    Ghana
    Gold Coast
    Kenya
    Kenya Uganda and Tanganyika
    Lagos
    Malawi
    Mauritius
    Morocco
    Mozambique
    Mozambique Company
    Namibia
    Natal
    Niger
    Niger Coast
    Nigeria
    Northern Nigeria
    Northern Rhodesia
    Nyasaland
    Orange River Colony
    Rhodesia
    Rhodesia & Nyasaland
    St. Helena
    Seychelles
    Sierra Leone
    Somaliland Protectorate
    South Africa
    Southern Nigeria
    Southern Rhodesia
    South West Africa
    Sudan
    Swaziland
    Tanganyika
    Tanzania
    Transvaal
    Tristan da Cunha
    Uganda
    Zambia
    Zanzibar
    Zimbabwe
    Zululand

    Asia
    Afghanistan
    Bangladesh
    British Indian Ocean Territory
    Brunei
    Burma
    Ceylon
    China (pre-1950)
    Hong Kong
    India (officials only)
    Japan
    Korea
    Labuan
    Malaya and Malay States
    Malaysia and Malaysian States
    Maldive Islands
    Mongolia
    Nepal
    North Borneo
    Pakistan
    Pakistan: Bahawalpur
    Ryukyu Islands
    Sarawak
    Singapore
    Sri Lanka
    Straits Settlements

    Australasia/Oceanic
    Aitutaki
    Australia
    British Antarctic Territory
    Christmas Island
    Cocos Islands
    Cook Islands
    Fiji
    French Polynesia
    Gilbert and Ellice Islands
    Kiribati
    Nauru
    New Caledonia
    New Guinea
    New Hebrides (British)
    New Hebrides (French)
    New Zealand
    Niue
    Norfolk Island
    N.W. Pacific Islands
    Papua New Guinea
    Penrhyn Island
    Pitcairn Islands
    Queensland
    Samoa
    Solomon Islands
    Tasmania
    Tokelau
    Tonga
    Tuvalu
    Vanuatu
    Victoria
    Western Australia

    Caribbean/West Indies
    Anguilla
    Antigua
    Aruba
    Bahamas
    Barbados
    Barbuda
    Bermuda
    Cayman Islands
    Dominica
    Grenada, including Grenadines
    Haiti
    Jamaica
    Leeward Islands
    Montserrat
    Netherlands Antilles
    Nevis
    St. Christopher/St. Kitts
    St. Kitts-Nevis
    St. Lucia
    St. Vincent
    St. Vincent Grenadines
    Tobago
    Trinidad
    Trinidad & Tobago
    Turks Islands
    Turks & Caicos Isles
    Virgin Islands

    Central America
    Belize
    British Honduras
    Costa Rica
    Honduras
    Nicaragua
    Panamá
    El Salvador

    Europe, Mediterranean & North Atlantic
    Andorra
    Austria
    Azores
    Belgium
    Croatia
    Cyprus
    Denmark
    Faroe Islands
    Finland
    Finland: Åland
    Fiume
    France
    Germany
    Germany: Berlin (9N...)
    Gibraltar
    Great Britain (pre-Queen Elizabeth only)
    Great Britain (Queen Elizabeth decimal commemoratives only)
    Great Britain regional issues
    Great Britain: British offices abroad
    Great Britain: Guernsey, Alderney, Jersey and Isle of Man
    Greenland
    Iceland
    Ireland
    Italy
    Liechtenstein
    Luxembourg
    Malta
    Moldova
    Monaco
    Montenegro
    Netherlands
    Norway
    Portugal
    Saar
    Slovenia
    Sweden
    Switzerland
    Vatican City

    Middle East
    Abu Dhabi
    Aden
    Bahrain
    Iran
    Iraq
    Israel
    Kuwait
    Lebanon
    Mesopotamia
    Oman
    Palestine
    Palestinian Authority
    Syria
    Syria: Arabian Government
    United Arab Emirates

    North America
    Canada
    Hawaii
    Mexico
    Nova Scotia
    Saint Pierre et Miquelon
    United Nations
    USA (from Scott # 1000 only)

    South America and nearby islands
    Bolivia
    British Guiana
    Colombia
    Ecuador
    Falkland Islands
    Guyana
    Peru

    USA and dependencies/territories
    USA (from Scott # 1000 only)
    Hawaii
    Ryukyu Islands

     


    364Apollo 11 - First Day Covers (12/14/04 Neil Ormsby UK)
    A Collection of Moon Landing Apollo 11 First Day Covers. First Day Covers For Sale. (Specialties: Covers,Covers/First Day,Space)
    224Australia and other First Day Covers (03/29/97)

    310Bletchley Park Post Office (10/12/02 Terry Mitchell UK) Links
    Gallery of artistic limited edition covers from WW2 home of the enigma code breakers. (Specialties: Covers/First Day)
    229Colorano Silk Lover's Page (12/26/97 David Dresdner USA)
    Unusual Colorano Silks, varieties, combos, and dual cancels. Some rarely seen. (Specialties: First Day Covers)
    231Covercraft FDCs - DIANA, PRINCESS OF WALES British Stamps (02/05/98 PRO UK)
    Offical Royal Mail and Exclusive Design FDC. Mail Order/Secure site and offline check. (Specialties: Country-Specific)
    239First Day Covers Colorano and Collins (07/31/03 Rex Briggs USA) Links
    We sell Colorano and Collins first day covers and have over 1500 at our site with pictures. (Specialties: Covers,Covers/First Day)
    296First Day Covers of Mauritius (07/17/02 Pravin Bhowanydeen Mauritius)
    A collection of Post(March 12, 1968 TO DATE) independence First Day Covers of Mauritius (Specialties: Country-Specific,Covers/First Day)
    112Glad Cachets (10/08/01 Gladys Kelly USA) Links
    Hand drawn and hand painted cachets using an airbrush. Exclusive free hand technique. (Specialties: Covers,Covers/First Day)
    240How to Prepare Your Own First Day Covers (03/27/97 contact)
    244Minerals, Crystals, and Gems (03/27/97)
    166New Zealand Covers (06/23/03 Terry Hooper New Zealand)
    We have over 2500 New Zealand covers for sale, take a look. (Specialties: Covers,First Day Covers)
    632Pugh Cachets, Inc. Online (10/08/01 Julian Pugh USA)
    Producing fine handpainted first day covers. Each cover is signed and sequentially numbered and is accompanied by a printed description of the stamp, the cachet and the process by which we arrived at the design. (Specialties: First Day Covers)
    631Smith & Son - US Stamps and First Day Covers (11/12/99 Irwin Smith USA) Links
    US Stamps, mint, plate-blocks, booklet panes, coils, used, and postal stationery at super prices. Large Stock! (Specialties: Coils,Country-Specific,First Day Covers,Plate Blocks,Stamps)
    253Sweden First Day Covers (03/28/97 ED Denson USA)
    257Washington Press Home Page (03/29/97 contact)

    2194-Collectors of Teddy Bears, FDCS, and collectibles (03/29/97 contact USA)