Belgium like other European powers got involved in the Scramble for Africa, in 1880 most of the continent was still ruled by Africans, and barely explored. By 1902, five European nations had grabbed, carved up, occupied and laid claim to over 100 million square miles forming new Territories, Protectorates & Colonies housing 110 million bewildered natives.

The first postage stamps of Belgium were issued on July 8, 1849. These were two imperforate stamps, a brown 10c. & blue 20c., collectively known as Epaulettes. A red 40c. stamp with a completely new design was issued a few months later for postage to foreign destinations. Later in 1850 two new Belgium stamps were issued a 10c. &  20c.. 

During World War 1 and the German Occupation stamps were issued with German text Belgien. Belgium was again invaded and occupied by Germany during WW 2.