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Thread: Albania`s History !

  1. #1 Albania`s History ! 
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    Oct 2006
    Albania's history

    By the seventh century BC, the Illyrians (the apparent ancestors of the Albanian nation) settle in what is now Albania. In 229-168 BC the Romans defeat the Illyrians and establish the protectorate of Illyricum.

    4th Century
    The Roman Empire is divided in 395 AD, and the territory of today’s Albania falls into the Eastern (Byzantine) Empire. In the centuries that follow, this territory is invaded by the Huns, the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths. Slavs invade the north. The Byzantine Empire re-conquers the region several times.

    14th Century
    The Ottomans invade what is now Albania in 1385. Their rule lasts more than 500 years.

    15th Century
    Skanderbeg, the Albanian leader, wages a war of independence against the Ottomans starling in 1443 and enjoys remarkable success until his death in 1468.

    16th Century
    The Ottoman Empire conquers Durres, the last strong-hold of independent Albania, in 1501. The most ancient book known, published in Albanian language dated in 1555.

    18th Century
    As Ottoman power wanes, Albanian feudal rulers called beys arise and flourish. Their holdings are merged into two semi-autonomous estates called pashalik.

    19th Century
    In the 1830s, the Ottomans crush Albanian autonomy. Uprisings break out over taxation policy in the 1840s. In the mid-1800s, intellectuals begin to promote the teaching of Albanian (prohibited under Ottoman rule). After Russia defeats the Ottoman Empire, the Prizren League is founded in 1878 to tight for autonomy and against the partitioning of Albanian territory. A provisional government is proclaimed in 1881 but is soon crushed by the Ottomans

    20th Century
    Local uprisings break out in 1909-1912. -After other Balkan states declare war on the feeble Ottoman Empire, Albanians proclaim independence In Vlora on November 28, 1912. The Treaty of London recognises Albania in 1913, but Kosovo is given to Serbia. In 1914, during WWI, Italy invades Albania. In 1920 Albania regains independence. Under Fan Noli, Albania’s first, short-lived democratic government is formed in 1924.
    In 1925 Ahmet Zogu becomes president of the new Republic of Albania. But in 1928 Zoqu proclaims a kingdom and crowns himself King Zog I. Zog cooperates with the Italians, not realising they seek to colonise the country. On April 7, 1939, Italy invades again, occupying Albania until 1943, when the Germans take over. In November 1944 the Germans retreat. The Communist led National Liberation Front takes power. Yugoslavia, Albania’s erstwhile ally, tries to absorb the country causing Albania to break with Belgrade in 1948.
    The Communists attempt to rebuild this poor, rural land into an industrial state. Forced collectivisation and harsh political persecution ensue. Even after 1956, when most of Eastern Europe undergoes de-Stalinization, Albania maintains a hard-line stance. It criticises the Soviet Union, with which it breaks relations in 1961. In 1968, after the Soviets invade Czechoslovakia, Albania withdraws from the Warsaw Pact.
    After falling out with Moscow, Albania cultivates relations with China. Imitating Beijing, Albania purges ‘reactionary’ influences. In it’s own version of the Cultural Revolution in 1967, it outlaws religion and closes all 2169 of the country’s churches and mosques. The regime’s Stalinism and xenophobia make Albania one of the world’s most isolated countries. In 1978 the leadership condemns even China as ‘revisionist,’ and the alliance collapses. The subject of an intense personality cult, longtime Party head Enver Hoxha dies on April 11, 1985.

    After the totalitarian regimes collapse everywhere else in Eastern Europe, Communist Party leader Ramiz Alia announces a cautious ‘democratisation’ in March. Reform comes slowly. The People’s Assembly rescinds the ban on religion and on travel abroad in May. In July, Albanians seek asylum in foreign embassies after security forces fire on pro-democracy rallies. In October, celebrated Albanian author Ismail Kadare seeks asylum in Paris. Later, students demonstrate against substandard dormitory conditions, and for a multi-party system. On December 12 the Democratic Party is founded Albania’s first non-Communist party in the postwar era. Nine days later, the authorities dismantle the statue of Stalin in Tirana.

    In February, students at Enver Hoxha University launch a strike, demanding reforms; weeks of protests culminate in the toppling of Enver Hoxha’s statue in Skenderbeg Square.
    Waves of refugees flee the country in March. Diplomatic relations with the United States are restored, a month later with the United Kingom.
    On March 31 the first multi-party elections in 68 years result in a victory for the Communists. On April 29 the Republic of Albania is proclaimed.
    A general strike on May 16 leads to the resignation of the Communist government. A multi-party government is then formed, the first in 47 years. Massive crowds greet visiting U.S. Secretary of State James Baker in June, but the faults in the economy become clear when thousands of Albanians seeking asylum in Italy commandeer ships. An estimated 100,000 Albanians had fled the country in the previous 12 months.

    The Democratic Party defeats the Socialists (the former Communists) in national elections in March. Ramiz Alia resigns as president and is replaced by Sali Berisha.

    Pope John Paul II visits Albania in April. In July, Socialist Party chairman Fatos Nano is arrested on charges of corruption.

    The Democratic Party wins national elections by a landslide in May. The Socialists allege voting irregularities.

    Collapsing pyramid schemes spark months of rioting and lawlessness throughout Albania in January. A multiparty government of national reconciliation is agreed upon to stave off the country’s slide into anarchy.
    In June, parliamentary elections, held amidst nationwide unrest, result in a landslide victory for the Socialists. Berisha, blamed for allowing the pyramid schemes to flourish, resigns as president.

    Armed crowds seize and set fire to government buildings in September, in what the Socialist government calls an abortive coup by former President Berisha.

    In response to Serb attacks on ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, NATO launches an air war on Yugoslavia on March 25. The war turns Albania into a NATO base of operations, as well as a vast Kosovar refugee camp: by May 500,000 Kosovars have flooded into the country.

    President Berisha is briefly arrested after riots in Tropoja leave two people dead.

    The Socialist Party, led by Fatos Nano, is re-elected during violent elections. In October, Edi Rama, a former art lecturer and painter supported by the Socialist Party, is elected mayor of Tirana.
    From 2001 onwards Rama initiates a series of projects in Tirana, changing the face of the city. The schemes, ambitious and in some aspects controversial, attract attention from international institutions and media.

    Alfred Moisiu, a former general, is elected president; he is the only candidate. In October, Geraldine of Albania, wife of the late King Zog, dies in Tirana aged 87. In December, three ministers resign, accused of corruption, producing a majority crisis for the Socialist Government.

    Edi Rama is returned to the Mayor’s Office in a strongly-contested election in October, despite the oppositions’ claims of vote-rigging.

    Some 20,000 people march in Tirana against Prime Minister Fatos Nano and his Socialist-led government. In December Mayor Edi Rama is elected World Mayor 2004 by a London NGO.

    In July, Sali Berisha’s Democratic Party wins the national elections from Fatos Nano’s Socialists, and returns to power after 8 years, his party now controlling 80 seats in the new 140-seat parliament. The election results are delayed after allegations of voting irregularities and three deaths. OSCE monitors report that the elections only partially complied with international standards, and that little progress has been made since the last elections.
    In other news, Albania's most wanted man, Riza Malaj, heavily wounded himself by blowing himself up while fishing for trout with dynamite. In June, novelist Ismail Kadare wins the first international version of Britain's Man Booker Prize.

    Abert Einstein
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