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150 Years of Constitution and parliament – stamps from Liechtenstein

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In 2012 Liechtenstein celebrates 150 years of Constitution and Parliament. When in 1860 the Age of Absolutism came to an end in Austria, the path was open to wide ranging constitutional reform in the Principality of Liechtenstein too. While the Constitution signed by Prince Johann II on 26 September 1862 upheld the old monarchical principle, the Regent was bound by a written Constitution and could rule with only qualified freedom of action. The ceremonial opening of the first Parliament eventually took place on 29 December 1862.

Each of the two stamps designed by the graphic artist Cornelia Eberle is based on two elements. These are firstly the Vereinsthaler ("union thaler") introduced in Liechtenstein in 1862, and secondly the first page of the Constitutional Charter signed by Prince Johann II (face value CHF 1.00) relating to the authorisation of Governor Karl Haus von Hausen by Prince Johann II to formally open Parliament (face value CHF 1.40). The Vereinsthaler was a silver coin common to the member states of the German Customs Union, to which Liechtenstein too belonged. It was the official currency from 1857 to 1907. One could describe it today as a kind of forerunner of the EURO.

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