A brief description of the history of Albania

The history of Albania forms a part of the history of Europe. During the classical times, Albania was home to several Illyrian tribes such as the Ardiaei, Albanoi, Amantini, Enchele, Taulantii and many others, but also Thracian and Greek tribes, as well as several Greek colonies established on the Illyrian coast. In the 3rd century BC, the area was annexed by Rome and became part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia, Macedonia and Moesia Superior. Afterwards, the territory remained under Roman and Byzantine control until the Slavic migrations of the 7th century. It was integrated into the Bulgarian Empire in the 9th century.

In the Middle Ages, the Principality of Arbër and a Sicilian dependency known as the medieval Kingdom of Albania were established. Some areas became part of the Venetian and Serbian Empire, but passed to the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. It remained under Ottoman control as part of the province of Rumelia until 1912, when the first independent Albanian state was founded by an Albanian Declaration of Independence following a short occupation by the Kingdom of Serbia.
The formation of an Albanian national consciousness dates to the later 19th century and is part of the larger phenomenon of the rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire.

A short-lived monarchical state known as the Principality of Albania (1914–1925) was succeeded by an even shorter-lived first Albanian Republic (1925–1928). Another monarchy, the Kingdom of Albania (1928–1939), replaced the republic. The country endured an occupation by Italy just prior to World War II. After the collapse of the Axis powers, Albania became a communist state, the Socialist People’s Republic of Albania, which for most 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 in March 1992, amid economic collapse and social unrest. The unstable economic situation led to an Albanian diaspora, mostly to Italy, Greece, Switzerland, Germany and North America during the 1990s. The crisis peaked in the Albanian Turmoil of 1997. An amelioration of the economic and political conditions in the early years of the 21st century enabled Albania to become a full member of NATO in 2009. The country is applying to join the European Union.

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