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North German Confederation

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History of Germany
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Holy Roman Empire
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Since 1945

The North German Confederation (German Norddeutscher Bund), 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.

The Confederation came into being after Prussia defeated Austria in the Austro-Prussian War. Bismarck created the constitution, which came into force on 1 July 1867 and provided a basis for that of the German Empire. The King of Prussia, Wilhelm I, was the president and Bismarck was chancellor. The states were represented by the Bundesrat with 43 seats (of which Prussia held 17), whereas the people elected a parliament called Norddeutscher Reichstag.

Postage stamps

One of the functions of the Confederation was to handle the mail 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Confederation stamps were superseded on 1 January 1872 by the first issues of the German Empire.de:Norddeutscher Bund fr:Confédération de l'Allemagne du Nord nl:Noord-Duitse Bond sv:Nordtyska förbundet

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