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Promoted item:British Commonwealth MNH sets and MSs

British Commonwealth MNH sets and MSs

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About British Commonwealth Stamp

During the height of the British Empire, ''the sun never set'' on lands controlled by England. The British Commonwealth was a sprawling organization of nations, both large (like India) and tiny (like Brunei and Bahrain). Given the expansive nature of the Empire, the British instituted draconian policies to keep order and to prevent the postal systems in these so-called emerging nations from going awry.Running bureaucracies in unfriendly nations often proved costly, both in terms of treasure and in terms of lives. The Universal Postal Union, the international organization which governed how countries could decorate and design their stamps, refused to grant British colonies the same postal rights granted to Britain. For instance, whereas a British stamp was not required to depict ''country of origin,'' a British commonwealth stamp was.As the British colonies began breaking away from the Empire and forming their own governments, postal relations were severed as well. Consider the case of the British satellite nation of Iraq, which was formed as an arbitrary construction in the early 20th century. In 1920, the international League of Nations granted Britain the right to set up a Postal Service in Iraq.The first Iraqi stamps went into circulation in 1923 and included an homage to King Faisal I as well as glorious scenes in Mesopotamian history. The British assisted the Iraqi postal system, which churned out stamps for the Arab nation for over 40 years until Britain was essentially ejected as a governing partner. Many former British Commonwealth nations still employ the postal systems that the British developed for them as colonies.