History of Albania

The history of Albania emerges from the prehistoric stage 3000 years BC, with early records of Illyria in Greco-Roman historiography. The modern territory of Albania has no counterpart in antiquity, comprising parts of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia (southern Illyricum), Macedonia (particularly Epirus Nova), and Moesia Superior. The territory remained under Roman (Byzantine) control until the Slavic migrations of the 7th century, and was integrated into the Bulgarian Empire in the 9th century.

The territorial nucleus of the Albanian state forms in the Middle Ages, as the Principality of Arbër and the Sicilian dependency known as the Kingdom of Albania. The first records of the Albanian people as a distinct ethnicity also date to this period. The area was conquered by the Serbian Empire, passing to the Ottoman Empire in 15th century. It remained under Ottoman control as part of the Rumelia province until 1912, when the first independent Albanian state was declared following the short occupation by Kingdom of Serbia. The formation of an Albanian national consciousness dates to the later 19th century and is part of the larger phenomenon of rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire.

A short-lived monarchy (1914–1925) was succeeded by an even shorter-lived first Albanian Republic (1925–1928), to be replaced by another monarchy (1928–1939), which was conquered into Fascist Italy during World War II. After the collapse of the Axis powers, Albania became a communist state, the Socialist People's Republic of Albania, which for the most part of its duration was dominated by Enver Hoxha (died 1985). Hoxha's political heir Ramiz Alia oversaw the disintegration of the "Hoxhaist" state during the wider collapse of the Eastern Bloc in the later 1980s.

The communist regime collapsed in 1990, and the former communist Party of Labour of Albania was routed in elections March 1992, amid economic collapse and social unrest. The unstable economic situation led to mass emigration of Albanians, mostly to Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Germany and to North America during the 1990s. The crisis peaked in the Lottery Uprising. An amelioration of the economic and political conditions in the early years of the 21st century made Albania became a full member of NATO in 2009. The country is applying to join the European Union.

Read more about History Of Albania:  Prehistory, Ottoman Rule, Independence of Albania (1912), Principality of Albania, Albanian Republic (1924-1928), Kingdom of Albania (1928-1939), Albania During World War II, Socialist Albania, Post-Socialist Albania

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