Stamps issued: 1895-PRESENT
A republic in northeast Africa. Ethiopia was an ancient empire, isolated from the rest of the Christian world after the Muslim conquests of the 7th century. Although Ethiopia subsequently broke up into several petty states, it maintained its unique culture and its political independence for centuries, as surrounding nations were conquered, first by the Arabs, Turks and Egyptians, later by the various European imperial powers. During the 19th century, the country was again united. An Italian invasion was crushed in 1896, but many outlying areas were gradually lost to the British, French and Italians. In 1935-36, Ethiopia was defeated by Italy, and in 1936, with Eritrea and Italian Somaliland, it was organized into the colony of Italian East Africa. Italy's East African empire was short-lived, and in 1941, Ethiopia was liberated with the help of British forces, and independence was restored.