Stamp Issuing Entities Of The World

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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.

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