Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

North German Confederation

The North German Confederation, a transitional grouping which existed (1867 - 1871) between the dissolution of the German Confederation and the founding of the German Empire, cemented Prussian control over the 22 states of Northern Germany and emanated that same control (via the Zollverein) into southern Germany. Bismarck's constitution provided a basis for that of the German Empire.

Postage stamps

One of the functions of the Confederation was to handle postal service and issue postage stamps, upon which it commenced 1 January 1868. To accommodate the different monetary systems, it issued a series valued in groschen for the Northern District, and another using kreuzer for the Southern District, distinguishing them by framing the value number in a circle for the groschen stamps, and in an oval for the kreuzers. All of these stamps were inscribed "NORDDEUTSCHER POSTBEZIRK".

In addition, there was a special quarter-schilling stamp for Hamburg, with the additional inscription "STADTPOSTBRIEF HAMBURG".

Early in 1869 the stamps were issued with perforations, the previous issues having been rouletted. On 1 March, 10gr and 30gr values were issued, notable for being printed on goldbeater's skin, a scheme to prevent reuse of these high-value stamps.

Confederation stamps were superseded on 1 January 1872 by the first issues of the German Empire.