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