German States stamps, prior to the German Unification, were issued by the individual Germanic states or free cities. The stamps for the former British Protectorate of Heligoland (German: Helgoland) are also included in this category.
The Kingdom of Bavaria became the first state to issue postage stamps in 1849, and the Kingdom Saxony became the second state to issue postage stamps in 1850. The other stamp issuing German states of this time period were as follows.
The House of Thurn and Taxis, while not a state, transported mail, and in 1852, they also began issuing their own postage stamps. The House of Thurn and Taxis had existed, as a postal service for the European kingdoms, since 1497, when the Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I, commissioned Franz von Taxis to establish a postal service to carry official mail.
When the northern German states joined in the North German Confederation in 1868, they discontinued their own postal services and became part of the "North German Postal District", or "Norddeutscher Postbezirk".
After the German unification and the establishment of the German Empire in 1871, imperial postage stamps were issued for use in all but two of the former German states.
Bavaria and Württemberg retained their postal systems after the German unification. Bavaria continued to issue postage and official stamps until 1920, and Württemberg continued to issue official stamps until 1923.
German States Stamps
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Bavaria - A Brief History -- 1849-1920
Bavaria - Numeral Issues - 1849-1862
Bavaria - Embossed Arms Issues - 1867-1875
Bavaria - Embossed Arms Issues - 1876-1911
Bavaria - Luitpold Issues - 1911
Bavaria - Ludwig III Issues - 1914-1919
Bavaria - Socialist Republic - 1919
Bavaria - Republic - 1919-1920
Bavaria - Missing Overprint Varieties - 1919
Bavaria - Official Stamps - 1908-1920
Bavaria - Postage Due Stamps - 1862-1895
Hamburg - A Brief History
Hamburg - Issues of 1859
Hamburg - Issues of Early 1864
Hamburg - Issues of 1864-1865
Hamburg - Issues of 1866-1867
Helgoland - A Brief History to 1890
Helgoland - Philatelic Overview
Helgoland - Issues of 1867-1868
Helgoland - Issues of 1869-1873
Helgoland - Issues of 1875-1890
Helgoland - Arms and Numeral Issues
North German Confederation
Thurn and Taxis - A Brief History
Thurn and Taxis - Northern District
Thurn and Taxis - Southern District
Wurttemberg - A Brief History - 1851-1923
Wurttemberg - Numeral and Arms Issues - 1851-1874
Wurttemberg - Numeral Issues - 1869-1900
Wurttemberg - Communal Officials - 1875-1918
Wurttemberg - Communal Officials - 1919-1923
Wurttemberg - State Officials - 1881-1918
Wurttemberg - State Officials - 1919-1920