The oldest traces of human presence dating to the mid-Paleolithic period were discovered near the village of Ksara in South Albania. The tools found there indicate 30 000 - 10,000 years old. About 6000-2600 years old p.n.e. During the Neolithic period there was warming and stabilization, resulting in the settlement of the Anatolian population, which brought with it the origins of agriculture and the production of ceramics. About 5000-4000 years old p.n.e. Carkan culture, which left in these areas, was dominated by geometric shapes and figurines. The late Neolithic resulted in the development of Malim-Kamnik culture. This culture introduced in the Albanian lands an era of copper from 2600 to 2100 BC.


In ancient times, the territory of present Albania inhabited by the Illyrians was under Roman rule (from 2nd century BC) and Byzantine (4th century AD); At the turn of the 6th and 7th centuries the Slav flow; In the following centuries, the Christian rite in the Greek rite was gaining.

Skanderbeg - the national hero of Albania

From the 9th century the Albanian lands competed with the weakened empire of the bizant. Bulgaria, Venice, Sicily and Serbia. At the turn of the twelfth and thirteenth century, there was the first Albanian duchy, Arberia, with the capital of Kruja. In the 30s of the 15th century the Turks conquered almost all of Albania. In 1443, an anti-Turkish uprising broke out under Skanderbeg's leadership, which managed to create an independent state; Around 1479 Albania again occupied the Turks (without mountain enclaves in the north and south); Divided into 6 sandwiches Albania has become part of the rumelia wilma. The Albanian Feudals mostly accepted Islam by preserving property and privileges. The status of dominant religion has reached Islam.


At the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, southern Albania, part of Greece and Macedonia, concentrated under his rule of Ali Pasha of Tepelena. In the nineteenth century, the liberation movement developed, and there were armed battles. In 1878, the Albanian League was formed in Prizren, which sought national autonomy.

XX c.

After the outbreak of the First Balkan War in October 1912 the lands of present Albania were taken over by the coalition of the anti-Turkish coalition. In the face of the threat of partition, the congress of representatives of the population in Vlor on November 28, 1912 proclaimed the independence of Albania. In December 1912, the ambassadors' conference in London decided to establish an autonomous principality of Albania under Turkish rule and the protectorate of the European powers. The capital was supposed to be Skutari (Skutari), however, which was annexed in April 1913 by Montenegro, which led to the intervention of Austro-Hungarian and mastered by Skutari (14 May 1913), which was later transferred to the Royal Navy.
In July 1913 the ambassadors' conference granted Albania independence under the supervision of the powers but did not set the boundaries of the country. Apart from Albania, Serbia has been granted Kosovo. The Powers granted Albania an area known by the Greeks as Northern Epirus, inhabited by numerous Greek communities, while southern Epirus, also inhabited by Albanians, was within Greek borders. In March 1914 German prince Wilhelm zu Wied became the ruler of Albania, but in September 1914 he had to resign his throne.

During the First World War the country occupied the armies of Italy, Greece, France, Serbia, Montenegro and Austria-Hungary. Post-war plans to divide Albania between Italy, the Kingdom of the SHS and Greece failed. The 1920 London Ambassadors Conference approved the independence of Albania. Her statehood was shaped in the atmosphere of tribal and religious conflicts, the struggle for power between the great landowners and the peasant demands of agrarian reform. In June 1924 a liberal government was formed. Its Prime Minister Fan Stilian Noli has announced the implementation of democratic reforms. In December 1924 Noli was overthrown by Ahmed's beg Zogu, who introduced dictatorial rule in the country (from 1925 as president, from 1928 as king of Albanians Zog I). Since 1926 Zogu has tied Albania militarily, politically and economically with Italy.

Period of occupation

In an attempt to become independent and to seek help in the United Kingdom, Italy occupied Albania on 7 April 1939 and overthrew Zogu I king. Initially, the government of collaboration with Prime Minister Mustafa Merliko. After the capitulation of Italy on September 10, 1943 Albania occupied the German army. During World War II there was a strong resistance movement, especially communist.

On October 16, 1942, the Front of National Liberation was established, gathering anti-fascist forces, regardless of ideology or class. The FWN military wing became the UNC-Army of National Liberation became the country's strongest political and military force as early as mid-1944, controlling 75% of the territory of Albania. The commander of the army was pre-war officer Spiro Moisiu, and the undisputed leader of resistance movement Enver Hodza. The National Liberation Army had its own battalions and brigades, receiving support from the British intelligence service Secret Intelligence Service.

In August 1943, the Communist Party formed an agreement with the nationalist organization Balli Kombëtar (National Front). Having reunited with each group that once collaborated with the Fascists, however, she ended her contacts and expressed her willingness to fight the occupation, the only condition was that these groups were not responsible for any crimes. Following the pressure of the Yugoslav Communists to agree to reject the project of Great Albania, the Balli Kombëtar turned against its former allies. Balli Kombëtar was in a difficult situation due to lack of public support. After Balli Kombëtar recognized communists as the main threat, she began collaborating with the Nazis. Thus, the organization deadly broke its image among those who fought with the occupant. By committing themselves to a competitive organization, the Communists were at the center of attention and eventually became the focal point of the struggle for liberation. Competing with the Communists of the Balli Kombatar and Legaliteti parties were crushed by them at the end of the war.

As a result of armed operations, 28,000 people were killed, 12,600 were wounded and 10,000 prisoners of war were executed in Italy and Germany, 35,000 were sent to forced labor camps, and all power installations, ports and mines were destroyed. In addition, the national economy was shattered and farming and farming plundered.


Enver Hodża, leader of Albania in 1944-1985

In November 1944, the Germans, and shortly thereafter also the Greek partisans stationed in the country, left Albania. The new government appealed to Marxism-Leninism. The role of the USSR in the liberation of the country was negligible, thus Albania became the only country whose independence after World War II was not endangered by any of the Powers. Formerly a coalition government dominated by the Communist Party reorganized itself in August 1945 in the Front of National Liberation. Elections in Albania took place on December 2, and as reported by the government, 93% of citizens voted for the FWN representatives. During the period of 1945-50, he adopted rules to consolidate the Leninist rule. In August 1945, the government carried out the confiscation of agricultural holdings and merging them into production cooperatives (cooperatives), which would allow Albania to achieve food self-sufficiency. Lands of landowners and feudal lords (bej), to which 52% of all lands were distributed among peasants, after the law entered the law, the percentage of land belonging to the landowners was 16%. He paid great attention to electrification and industrialization. Illiteracy, which in 1990 was 90-95% in rural areas, fell to 30% in 1950, and in 1985 it was equal to the West.

In 1946 there was an incident in the Corfu strait caused by damage to British ships at Albanian mines.

After the war, a part of the party leadership (including Koçi Dzodze) was in favor of a union with Yugoslavia; Opponents of the unification of both states (including Hodziel) succeeded in rejecting the project of the Union in 1948; The political and economic cooperation with the USSR has intensified. When the Yugoslav crisis broke out in 1948, Albania opted for the Soviet Union. This was the result of an earlier dispute with Yugoslavia triggered in 1947 after the demands of Yugoslavia, which claimed that Albania could not conclude agreements with other countries without Yugoslav approval.

In 1949 Albania became a member of the RWPG, 1955 UN and the Warsaw Pact. In 1949 British and American intelligence organizations cooperated with King Zog. The services of these countries hired Albanian refugees and emigrants from Egypt, Italy and Greece, where after training them in Malta, Cyprus and West Germany, the service transferred them to Albania. In 1950 and 1952 trained agents tried to form guerilla units, but were killed or captured by Albanian security forces. A British agent, and a Soviet agent, Kim Philby, serving as a liaison officer between the British intelligence service and the CIA, turned out to be helpful in cracking the meshes. Philby presented the western infiltration plan to Moscow, which allowed the elimination of about 300 spies.

After separating from Yugoslavia, Albania joined the USSR. From 1948 to 1960, it acquired technical and infrastructure support of $ 200 million in Soviet aid. Albania was admitted to the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance on February 22, 1949. Albania exerted pressure on Yugoslavia and acted as a pro-Atlantic force in the Adriatic Sea. On the island of Sazan near Vlore, a submarine base was built to pose a threat to the US Fifth Fleet. Relations between Albania and the Soviet Union remained close to Stalin's death on March 5, 1953.

In the period of Nikita Khrushchev and his paper on destabilization, aid to Albania was reduced and the Soviet government encouraged Hora to adopt a more revisionist course. Under this policy, Albania would increase agricultural production and exports of such products to the Warsaw Pact countries, but the Albanian government preferred to develop industry, and the policy it wanted to impose on the USSR could reduce the Albanian industrial potential.

In 1956 at the XX Congress of the Soviet Union, Khrushchev condemned the cult of the individual who was built around Joseph Stalin, and also accused the deceased dictator of many serious mistakes, and Hodę felt more and more reluctant towards him. Hunchback with anger accepted the theory of peaceful coexistence. Hodziel took a sharp stance towards the Soviet views, which he considered revisionism. As a result of the destabilization of the Eastern Bloc, the unity of the Albanian Labor Party began to decline, and in April 1956, a special meeting was held in Tirana with 450 party delegates. The delegates criticized the conditions in the party and the lack of socialist democracy. The delegates called for a discussion on the cult of individuals and the XX Congress of the CPSU. Hodziel called for a resolution that would uphold the current leadership of the party. The resolution was adopted, and all delegates who voted for the destabilization and further membership of the Eastern bloc were expelled from the party or imprisoned. Hadzha declared that the split in the party was another attempt to overthrow the Albanian system organized by Yugoslavia. The incident led to further consolidation of the Hora's authority, thus excluding the implementation of Khrushchev's reform program. In the same year, Hao visited China, where he met Mao Zedong. Relations with China have improved significantly, as evidenced by the Chinese aid to Albania, which in 1955 (before the visit) was 4.2% and in 1957 rose to 21.6%.

After 1960 there was a sharp deterioration of relations with the USSR and other states of the Warsaw Pact outside Romania. In 1967 the authorities banned all religious practices. In 1962 Albania ceased to participate in the work of the RWPG, and in 1968 acted out of the Warsaw Pact and established extensive political and economic cooperation with the People's Republic of China. The government, fearing intervention from Yugoslavia or the Eastern Bloc, built several hundred thousand shelters. As the only European country, Albania did not sign the Final Act of the CSCE in Helsinki (1975). In 1976, it adopted the constitution and the name of the People's Socialist Republic of Albania. Some clauses of the 1976 Constitution effectively restricted political freedoms that were interpreted as contradictory to the established order. Sigurimi's special services used repressive methods. After 1968, citizens were forbidden to travel abroad, and trips could be treated as legal treason.

In 1978, there was a break in cooperation with China. After the death of Bury in 1985, Ramiz Alia, a member of the liberal factions within the Labor Party, was in power. The party led by Alia gradually began to liberalize the system. In 1987, the economic crisis began in the country, Albanian trade balance deteriorated. At the same time the Albanian authorities finally decided that the policy of combating religion was unsuccessful, resulting in the restoration of some monuments of sacred architecture (mainly mosques). In 1987 the relations of Albania with Germany and with Greece, in 1988 with Italy, improved. In 1989 the Albanian press reported on the changes in Central and Eastern Europe. In 1989, Albania passed a wave of anti-government demonstrations, and at the turn of June and July 1990 there were riots in Tirana and a mass influx of opponents to the embassy system.

Contemporary Albania

During the parliamentary elections in March 1991 APP won. At the same time, the new government of the Communists began a series of free-market changes and liberalizing the system - the assets belonging to state-owned farms were distributed among the peasants. On 29 April 1991 the Albanian Parliament changed its name to the Republic of Albania, the first president announced Alia, and changed the constitution of Albania by introducing a division of power and broadening the scope of civil liberties. On September 30, 1991, a law was passed that would allow prisoners to be released from political prisoners, except for those who committed acts of terror with fatalities. On May 16, 1991, a general strike erupted, with its completion (June 7), the APP authorities carried out the X Congress of the party on 10-13 June, in which the supporters of the reforms renamed the party to the Socialist Party of Albania (SPA); Its chairman was F. Nano. In June 1991 Albania became a member of the CSCE. In November 1991, the largest opposition group, the Democratic Party of Albania (DPA), obliged Prime Minister Y. Bufi to set a deadline for free parliamentary elections and for a move away from communist authorities. Soon, the DPA came forward with a statement accusing the authorities of terrorizing political opponents and called for investigations into fraud by the elite of power and the Hock family. Under the pressure of public opinion in December 1991, a widow was accused of corruption following the death of leader N. Hoxha and the coalition government of Vilson Ahmeti was set up to prepare the election.

March 22, 1992 democratic elections were held for the parliament, culminating in a decisive victory over the democratic opposition. The new parliament on April 8 elected President Sali Berisha, chairman of APD. Under his leadership, a decommissioning action was taken, including Removing the symbols of the old regime, invalidating the decorations and even academic titles given by the communist authorities. It mobilized the supporters of the old order for the counter-attack.

In 1994, an attack on Peshkopia by Greek separatists concentrated in the Northern Epirus Liberation Front occurred. Anastasios Giorgos, a former Greek army officer, was to be the leader of the bombers.

The parliamentary elections of May 1996 have marginalized the post-communist Socialist Party of Albania, as the Democratic Party won the parliamentary seat with 122 seats in 140 seats. However, the opposition and international observers have announced numerous irregularities during the election.

The opposition boycotted the parliamentary session, and in 1997, pyramid schemes collapsed, which led to social protests. As a result of anarchy in a country induced by the incompetence of new authorities in solving social conflicts, and the cleaning services and army with little effectiveness, the control over a large part of the country by the so-called. Rescue committees, which demanded the resignation of the government, who resigned from the military solution by the OSCE observers arriving in Albania. This atmosphere was accompanied by riots in the country resulting in the death of almost 2 thousand people. At the turn of June and July 1997, the ruling Democratic Party decided to write an election to regulate the situation in the country. In this situation, the government took over the Socialist Party of Albania. In July 1997 the parliament elected President Rexhep Mejdani, a center-oriented policy that he had relied on in the army. Among the most important changes in the state was the adoption of a new constitution on October 21, 1998. The constitution introduced by the socialists limited the scope of the president's power and strengthened the role of the prime minister.

Albania at the turn of the 20th and 21st century was one of the least attractive European countries for investors due to its poor infrastructure and the lack of property regulations. However, the economic collapse of Albania has saved the so-called. Gastronomists, ie people working abroad who left the money in the country, for example through families. At the end of the impasse, Albania received international assistance in restoring infrastructure or training in state security structures. The importance of Albania in the international arena increased when it served as one of NATO's most important operational bases during the operation in Kosovo in 1999.

The government of Fatos Nano, who ruled again in 2002-2005, did not overcome corruption or organized crime, and the north-eastern rim of the country was plagued with poverty. Also the rebuilding of the mafia structures that appeared to be ubiquitous in the postwar Albanians affected the end of the Socialist government in 2005, because this year the Democratic Party won the parliamentary elections. The Prime Minister of the country was Sali Berisha, who announced the fight against corruption and crime. Berisha signed the Association Agreement with the European Union in February 2006. Consequently, works have begun to align Albanian law to EU requirements. In November 2006, a resolution was adopted which condemned the communist regime and the 1985 ruling Envera Hora. The opposition led by the Socialist Party of Albania recorded another defeat in July 2009 and did not block Bamira Topi's bid for president of the country, which was sworn in on July 24, 2007. Albania and Croatia joined NATO on April 1, 2009.

On June 11, 2012 the Albanian Parliament elected Bujara Nishani as the President of the Republic of Albania. July 24, 2012 he swore an oath and formally began to fulfill the duties of the head of state. On 23 June 2013 parliamentary elections took place, which brought a change on the Albanian political scene, as the ruling Democratic Party was defeated by the Socialist Party led by Edi Rama.