Peace of Westphalia

Printing technology was sophisticated enough for stamps to have been issued hundreds of years before 1840. But, philatelists are fortunate that stamps have been around for only 150 years. As it is now we have issues from nearly 2000 different political-philatelic subdivisions as recognized by Scott (and hundreds of more that are listed by world wide specialty catalogs). Areas such as France-Offices in China (Canton) and Nicaragua-Province of Zelaya (Bluefields) are real areas that issued stamps for real postal needs. Imagine if stamps had been issued through the Middle Ages though the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia. Much of the history of Europe over the last 1500 years has been of changing borders and political entities. Thousands of political jurisdictions have existed since the fall of the western Roman Empire. Collectors are very fortunate that we only have the last 150 years to worry about geopolitically. The number of countries in our albums are already too many and adding thousands more would be daunting. The only upside would be that we philatelists would have to extend back in time our knowledge of history and geography. I am the go to guy in my family for crossword puzzle clues pertaining to history and geography. But my wPorldwide knowledge is philatelically based and I know my wife would be very happy if she could count on me to help her with questions before 1840.

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