Stamp Issuing Entities Of The World

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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 Qiwain (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.

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