China flag 1872-1890China Empire China flag 1890-1912

This part of our catalogue covers stamps issued by China from 1878 to the end of the Qing dynasty in 1911. Because of civil wars, incursions and invasions by other nations, disastrous "peace" treaties, and a powerful but ineffective bureaucracy, China became one of the weakest and least respected nations in Asia. The failure of the Imperial family to respond to both internal and external stress generated an enormous amount of resentment. That resentment became rebellion and the Empire of China became the Republic of China under the leadership of Sun Yat-Sen in 1911. One of the "modern" innovations the Europeans brought to China was the postage stamp.

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