Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Transcaucasian Federative Soviet Socialist Republic

The Transcaucasian Federative Soviet Socialist Republic was a short-lived (1922-1936) Soviet republic, consisting of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. The republic's roots date back to the dissolution of the Russian Empire in 1917, during the Russian Revolution, when the provinces of the Caucasus seceded and attempted to form their own federal state called the Transcaucasian Federation. Competing national interests and war with Turkey led to the disbanding of the republic half a year later, in April 1918.

In the following years, the three constituent territories were occupied by the Red Army and a Soviet-style system was created. In March 1922, the area was reunited as a union of Soviet republics. It was reorganized as a single republic in December of that year. In 1936, the republic was dissolved and the three regions became individual republics of the Soviet Union.

Stamps and postal history

Before 1923, each of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan issued its own postage stamps. The Federation began issuing its own stamps on September 15, 1923, and superseded the separate republics' issues on October 1. The first issues consisted of some of the stamps of Russia and Armenia overprinted with a star containing the five-letter acronym of the federation inside the points. Massive inflation having set in, this was followed by an issue of the Federation's own designs, four values of a view of oil fields, and four with a montage of Soviet symbols over mountains and oil derricks, values ranging from 40,000 to 500,000 rubles. The 40,000r and 75,000r were then surcharged to 700,000 rubles. On October 24, the stamps were re-issued with values from 1 to 18 gold kopecks. Starting in 1924, the Federation used stamps of the Soviet Union.

Most of the stamps of the Federation are not especially rare today, with 1998 prices in the US$1-2 range, although the overprints on Armenian stamps range up to US$200. As might be expected from a short period of usage, used stamps are less common than unused, and covers are not often seen.

See also: Republics of the Soviet Union