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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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