Timeline of Albanian history to 1993
E shtune, 07.07.2007, 06:58 PM
Before AD 1
1225 BC Earliest known Illyrian King, Hylli (Hyllus), dies.
358 BC Illyrians defeated by Philip II of Macedonia.
312 BC King Glaucius of Illyria seized Epidamnos(Durres)
229 BC and 219 BC Romanat Shkodër.
AD 1-AD 1400
1st century AD Christianity comes to Illyrian populated areas.
AD 9 Romans, under Emperor Tiberius, subjugate Illyrians and divide present-day Albania between Dalmatia, Epirus, and Macedonia.
AD 395 Roman Empire's division into eastern and western parts leaves the lands that now comprise Albania administratively under the Eastern Empire but ecclesiastically under Rome.
4th century - seventh century Goths, Huns, Avars, Serbs, Croats, and Bulgars successively invade Illyrian lands in present-day Albania.
732 Illyrian people subordinated to the patriarchate of Constantinople by the Byzantine emperor, Leo the Isaurian.
1054 Christianity divides into Catholic and Orthodox churches, leaving Christians in southern Albania under ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople and those in northern Albania under pope in Rome.
1081 Albania and Albanians mentioned, for the first time in a historical record, by Byzantine emperor.
12th century Serbs occupy parts of northern and eastern Albania.
1204 Venice wins control over most of Albania, but Byzantines regain control of southern portion and establish Despotate of Epirus.
1272 Forces of the King of Naples occupy Durrës and establish an Albanian kingdom.
1385 Albanian ruler of Durrës invites Ottoman forces to intervene against a rival; subsequently, Albanian clans pay tribute and swear fealty to Ottomans.
1389 At Kosovo Polje, Albanians join Serbian-led Balkan army that is crushed by Ottoman forces; coordinated resistance to Ottoman westward progress evaporates.
1403 Gjergj Kastrioti born, later becomes Albanian national hero known as Skanderbeg.
1443 After losing a battle near Nis, Skanderbeg defects from Ottoman Empire, reembraces Roman Catholicism, and begins holy war against the Ottomans.
1444 Skanderbeg proclaimed chief of Albanian resistance.
1449 Albanians, under Skanderbeg, rout Ottoman forces under Sultan Murad II.
1468 Skanderbeg dies.
1478 Krujë falls to Ottoman Turks; Shkodër falls a year later. Subsequently, many Albanians flee to southern Italy, Greece, Egypt, and elsewhere; many remaining are forced to convert to Islam.
Early 17th century Some Albanians who convert to Islam find careers in Ottoman Empire's government and military service.
17th century - 18th century About two-thirds of Albanians convert to Islam.
1785 Kara Mahmud Bushati, chief of Albanian tribe based in Shkodër, attacks Montenegrin territory; subsequently named governor of Shkodër by Ottoman authorities.
1822 Albanian leader Ali Pasha of Tepelenë assassinated by Ottoman agents for promoting an autonomous state.
1830 1000 Albanian leaders invited to meet with Ottoman general who kills about half of them.
1835 Ottoman Sublime Porte divides Albanian-populated lands into vilayets of Janina and Rumelia with Ottoman administrators.
1861 First school known to use Albanian language in modern times opens in Shkodër.
1877-1878 Russia's defeat of Ottoman Empire seriously weakens Ottoman power over Albanian-populated areas.
1878 Treaty of San Stefano, signed after the Russo-Turkish War, assigned Albanian-populated lands to Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Serbia; but Austria-Hungary and Britain block the treaty's implementation. Albanian leaders meet in Prizren, Kosovo, to form the Prizren League, initially advocating a unified Albania under Ottoman suzerainty. During the Congress of Berlin, the Great Powers overturn the Treaty of San Stefano and divide Albanian lands among several states. The Prizren League begins to organize resistance to the Treaty of Berlin's provisions that affect Albanians.
1879 Society for Printing of Albanian Writings, composed of Roman Catholic, Muslim, and Orthodox Albanians, founded in Constantinople.
1881 Ottoman forces crush Albanian resistance fighters at Prizren. Prizren League's leaders and families arrested and deported.
1897 Ottoman authorities disband a reactivated Prizren League, execute its leader later, then ban Albanian language books.
1906 Albanians begin joining the Committee of Union and Progress (Young Turks), which formed in Constantinople, hoping to gain autonomy for their nation within the Ottoman Empire.
1908 Albanian intellectuals meet in Bitola and choose the Latin alphabet as standard script rather than Arabic or Cyrillic.
Albanians rise against the Ottoman authorities and seize Skopje.
First Balkan War begins, and Albanian leaders affirm Albania as an independent state.
Muslim and Christian delegates at Vlorë declare Albania independent and establish a provisional government.
Ambassadorial conference opens in London and discusses Albania's fate. Half of Albanian territories are given to neighboring states, Yugoslavia and Greece.
Treaty of London ends First Balkan War. Second Balkan War begins.
Treaty of Bucharest ends Second Balkan War. Great Powers recognize an independent Albanian state ruled by a constitutional monarchy.
Prince Wilhelm, German army captain, installed as head of the new Albanian state by the International Control Commission, arrives in Albania.
New Albanian state collapses following outbreak of World War I; Prince Wilhelm is stripped of authority and departs from Albania.
World War I ends, with Italian army occupying most of Albania and Serbian, Greek and French force occupying remainder. Italian and Yugoslav powers begin struggle for dominance over Albanians.
Albanian leaders meet at Durrës to discuss presentation of Albania's interests at the Paris Peace Conference.
Serbs attack Albania's inhabited cities. Albanians adopt guerrilla warfare.
Albania denied official representation at the Paris Peace Conference; British, French, and Greek negotiators later decide to divide Albania among Greece, Italy, and Yugoslavia.
Albanian leaders meeting at Lushnjë reject the partitioning of Albania by the Treaty of Paris, warn that Albanians will take up arms in defense of their territory, and create a bicameral parliament.
Albanian government moves to Tirana, which becomes the capital.
Albania forces Italy to withdraw its troops and abandon territorial claims to almost all Albanian territory.
Albania admitted to League of Nations as sovereign and independent state.
Yugoslav troops invade Albanian territories they had not previously occupied; League of Nations commission forces Yugoslav withdrawal and reaffirms Albania's 1913 borders.
Popular Party, headed by Xhafer Ypi, forms government with Ahmed Zogu, the future King Zog, as internal affairs minister.
Ecumenical patriarch in Constantinople recognizes the Autocephalous Albanian Orthodox Church.
Zogu assumes position of prime minister of government; opposition to him becomes formidable.
1923 Albania's Sunni Muslims break last ties with Constantinople and pledge primary allegiance to native country.
Zogu's party wins elections for National Assembly, but Zogu steps down after financial scandal and an assassination attempt.
A peasant-backed insurgency wins control of Tirana; Fan S. Noli becomes prime minister; Zogu flees to Yugoslavia.
Zogu, backed by Yugoslav army, returns to power and begins to smother parliamentary democracy; Noli flees to Italy.
Italy, under Mussolini, begins penetration of Albanian public and economic life.
Italy and Albania sign First Treaty of Tirana, which guarantees Zogu's political position and Albania's boundaries.
Zogu pressures the parliament to dissolve itself; a new constituent assembly declares Albania a kingdom and Zogu becomes Zog I, "King of the Albanians."
1931 Zog, standing up to Italians, refuses to renew the First Treaty of Tirana; Italians continue political and economic pressure.
1934 After Albania signs trade agreements with Greece and Yugoslavia, Italy suspends economic support, then attempts to threaten Albania.
1935 Mussolini presents a gift of 3,000,000 gold francs to Albania; other economic aid follows.
March 17 In Rome, the German Ambassador to Italy informs Mussolini that Germany is ready to support Italy in occupying Albania.
March 25 In Tirana, the Italian Ambassador to Albania hands over to King Zog an ultimatum demanding the surrender of Albania to an Italian protectorate.
April In the beginning of April, the Albanian army mobilizes.
April 5 Leka, the heir to the Albanian throne, is born.
King Zog appeals to the democracies.
April 6 King Zog appeals to the Balkan Entente.
April 7 Italian troops invade Albania: 50,000 Italian marines land in the ports of Durrës, Vlorë, Shëngjin and Sarandë. The Albanian army resists, especially in Durrës.
King Zog's wife, Queen Geraldine Apponyi, and their infant son Leka flee to Greece. King Zog follows them.
April 8 Italian troops occupy Tirana at 9:30 AM. During the afternoon motorized columns reach Shkodër and Elbasan. The Italian commander, General Alfredo Guzzoni, lands in Tirana and shortly afterwards the Italian foreign minister, Count Ciano, also arrives by air and tells an Albanian delegation that the Italian troops have come to ensure order, prosperity, and progress, without interfering with Albania's existence as a nation.
April 12 A Constituent Assembly, summoned by the provisional committee of pro-Italian notables which has taken over the administration, meets in Tirana and approves a personal union with Italy: Italy's King Victor Emmanuel III is to become the King of Albania.
Shefqet Bej Verlaci becomes prime minister. His cabinet includes Xhemil Dino (foreign minister), Fejzi Alizoti (finance), Xhafer Ypi (justice), Andon Beça (economy), and Ernest Koliqi (education).
Shefqet Bej Verlaci also becomes the acting Head of State until Victor Emmanuel III comes to the throne.
April 14 Albania withdraws from the League of Nations.
April 16 An Albanian delegation headed by the new prime minister goes to the Quirinale in Rome to formally offer the crown of Albania to Victor Emmanuel III. Italy's King accepts the crown.
April 22 Francesco Jacomoni di San Savino is appointed the king's lieutenant-general (viceroy) in Albania.
1940 The constitution of Albania is voided. A local Fascist party is established. The Albanian army is merged in the Italian army. The National Assembly and the government are subject to the Italian viceroy and his officials. Italy wins the support of a part of Albanians by defending Albania's claims to Kosovo and Çamëria.
October Italian army attacks Greece through Albania.
October 28 From Albania, Italian forces (157,000 men) commanded by General Visconti Prasca invade Greece. A contingent of Albanian auxiliary forces (12,000 men) participate in Italy's campaign against Greece.
1941 April Germany, with support of Italy and other allies defeat Greece and Yugoslavia.
October Josip Broz Tito, Yugoslav communist leader, directs organizing of Albanian communists.
November Albanian Communist Party founded; Enver Hoxha becomes first secretary.
November 8 The Albanian Communist Party is founded.
December 3 Mustafa Merlika Kruja becomes Prime Minister.
1942 September 1942
The Albanian Communist Party organizes the National Liberation Movement, a popular front resistance organization.
September 16, 1942
At the Peza Conference, the National Liberation Movement is established.
Noncommunist nationalist groups form to resist the Italian occupation.
Italy's surrender to Allied forces weakens Italian hold on Albania; Albanian resistance fighters overwhelm five Italian divisions.
German forces invade and occupy Albania.
The Communist partisans, supplied with British weapons, gain control of the southern Albania.
The Communists meet to organize an Albanian government; Hoxha becomes chairman of executive committee and supreme commander of the National Liberation Army.
The Communist forces enter central and northern Albania.
The Communists establish a provisional government with Hoxha as prime minister.
The Germans withdraw from Tirana, the Communists move into the capital.
The Communist provisional government adopts laws allowing state regulation of commercial enterprises, foreign and domestic trade.
Communist provisional government agrees to restore Kosovo to Yugoslavia as an autonomous region; tribunals begin to condemn thousands of "war criminals" and "enemies of the people" to death or to prison. Communist regime begins to nationalize industry, transportation, forests, pastures.
Yugoslavia recognizes communist government in Albania.
Sweeping agricultural reforms begin; about half of arable land eventually redistributed to peasants from large landowners; most church properties nationalized. United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration begins sending supplies to Albania.
Soviet Union recognizes provisional government; Britain and United States make full diplomatic recognition conditional.
In elections for the People's Assembly only candidates from the Democratic Front are on ballot.
People's Assembly proclaims Albania a "people's republic"; purges of noncommunists from positions of power in government begins.
Spring People's Assembly adopts new constitution, Hoxha becomes prime minister, foreign minister, defense minister, and commander-in-chief; Soviet-style central planning begins.
Treaty of friendship and cooperation signed with Yugoslavia; Yugoslav advisers and grain begin pouring into Albania.
Unauthorized British destroyers hit mines off Albania's coast (near Corfu); United Nations (UN) and the International Court of Justice unfairly condemn Albania.
Albania breaks diplomatic relations with the United States after latter withdraws its informal mission.
Economic Planning Commission draws up first economic plan that established production targets for mining, manufacturing and agricultural enterprises.
UN commission concludes that Albania, together with Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, supports communist guerrillas in Greece; Yugoslav leaders launch verbal offensive against anti-Yugoslav Albanian communists, including Hoxha; pro-Yugoslav faction begins to wield power.
Albania refuses participation in the Marshall Plan of the United States.
Albanian Communist Party leaders vote to merge Albanian and Yugoslav economies and militaries.
Cominform expels Yugoslavia; Albanian leaders launch anti-Yugoslav propaganda campaign, cut economic ties, and force Yugoslav advisers to leave; Stalin becomes national hero in Albania.
Hoxha begins purging high-ranking party members accused of "Titoism"; treaty of friendship with Yugoslavia abrogated by Albania; Soviet Union begins giving economic aid to Albania and Soviet advisers replace ousted Yugoslavs.
First Party Congress changes name of Albanian Communist Party to Albanian Party of Labor.
Regime issues Decree on Religious Communities.
Albania joins Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (Comecon); all foreign trade conducted with member countries.
Pro-Tito Albanian communists purged.
1950 Britain and United States begin inserting anticommunist Albanian guerrilla units into Albania; all are unsuccessful.
A new constitution is approved by People's Assembly. Hoxha becomes minister of defense and foreign minister.
Albania and Soviet Union sign agreement on mutual economic assistance.
Hoxha relinquishes post of prime minister to Mehmet Shehu but retains primary power as party leader.
Albania becomes a founding member of the Warsaw Pact.
After Nikita Khrushchev's "secret speech" exposes Stalin's crimes, Hoxha defends Stalin; close relations with Soviet Union become strained.
1959 Large amounts of economic aid from Soviet Union, East European countries, and China begin pouring into Albania.
Khrushchev visits Albania.
Albania sides with China in Sino-Soviet ideological dispute; consequently Soviet economic support to Albania is curtailed and Chinese aid is increased.
Hoxha rails against Khrushchev and supports China during an international communist conference in Moscow.
Hoxha harangues against the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia at Albania's Fourth Party Congress.
Soviet Union breaks diplomatic relations; other East European countries severely reduce contacts but do not break relations; Albania looks toward China for support.
1962 Albanian regime introduces austerity program in attempt to compensate for withdrawal of Soviet economic support; China incapable of delivering sufficient aid; Albania becomes China's spokesman at UN.
1964 Hoxha hails Khrushchev's removal as leader of the Soviet Union; diplomatic relations fail to improve.
Hoxha initiates Cultural and Ideological Revolution.
Albanian Party of Labor "open letter" to the people establishes egalitarian wage and job structure for all workers.
1967 Hoxha regime conducts violent campaign to extinguish religious life in Albania; by year's end over two thousand religious buildings were closed or converted to other uses.
Albania condemns Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia, subsequently Albania withdraws from Warsaw Pact.
Hoxha begins criticizing new Chinese regime after Mao's death.
A new constitution promulgated superseding the 1950 version; Albania becomes a people's socialist republic.
1977 Top military officials purged after "Chinese conspiracy" is uncovered.
China terminates all economic and military aid to Albania.
1980 Hoxha selects Ramiz Alia as the next party head, bypassing Shehu.
Shehu, after rebuke by Politburo, kills himself, possibly murdered on Hoxha's orders.
Alia becomes chairman of Presidium of the People's Assembly.
1983 Hoxha begins semiretirement; Alia starts administering Albania.
Alia featured as party's and country's undisputed leader at Ninth Party Congress.
Greece ends state of war that existed since World War II.
Albania and Greece sign a series of long-term agreements.
Alia, addressing the Eighth Plenum of the Central Committee, signals that radical changes to the economic system are necessary.
Ninth Plenum of the Central Committee; demonstrations at Shkodër force authorities to declare state of emergency.
Alia declares willingness to establish diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union and the United States.
The Secretary General of the UN visits Albania.
Regime announces desire to join the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. People's Assembly passes laws liberalizing criminal code, reforming court system, lifting some restrictions on freedom of worship, and guaranteeing the right to travel abroad.
Summer Unemployment throughout the economy increases as a result of government's reform measures; drought reduces electric-power production, forcing plant shutdowns.
Young people demonstrate against regime in Tirana, and 5,000 citizens seek refuge in foreign embassies; Central Committee plenum makes significant changes in leadership of party and state. Soviet Union and Albania sign protocol normalizing relations.
Government abandons its monopoly on foreign commerce and begins to open Albania to foreign trade.
Alia addresses the UN General Assembly in New York.
Tirana hosts the Balkan Foreign Ministers' Conference, the first international political meeting in Albania since the end of World War II. Ismail Kadare, Albania's most prominent writer, defects to France.
University students demonstrate in streets and call for dictatorship to end; Alia meets with students; Thirteenth Plenum of the Central Committee of the APL authorizes a multiparty system; Albanian Democratic Party, first opposition party established; regime authorizes political pluralism; draft constitution is published; by year's end, 5,000 Albanian refugees had crossed the mountains into Greece.
First opposition newspaper Rilindja Demokratike begins publishing. Thousands of Albanians seek refuge in Greece.
Albania and the United States reestablish diplomatic relations after a thirty-five year break. Thousands more Albanians attempt to gain asylum in Italy.
First multiparty elections held since the 1920s; 98.9 percent of voters participated; Albanian Party of Labor wins over 67 percent of vote for People's Assembly seats; Albanian Democratic Party wins about 30 percent.
Communist-dominated People's Assembly reelects Alia to new presidential term. Ministry of Internal Affairs replaced by Ministry of Public Order; Frontier Guards and Directorate of Prison Administration are placed under the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Justice, respectively. People's Assembly passes Law on Major Constitutional Provisions providing for fundamental human rights and separation of powers and invalidates 1976 constitution. People's Assembly appoints commission to draft new constitution.
Prime Minister Nano and rest of cabinet resign after trade unions call for general strike to protest worsening economic conditions and killing of opposition demonstrators in Shkodër. Coalition government led by Prime Minister Ylli Buti takes office; Tenth Party Congress of the Albanian Party of Labor meets and renames party the Socialist Party of Albania (SPA); Albania accepted as a full member of CSCE; United States secretary of state, James A. Baker, visits Albania.
Sigurimi, notorious secret police, is abolished and replaced by National Information Service.
Up to 18,000 Albanians cross the Adriatic Sea to seek asylum in Italy; most are returned. People's Assembly passes law on economic activity that authorizes private ownership of property, privatizing of state property, investment by foreigners, and private employment of workers.
United States Embassy opens in Tirana. Albania joins International Monetary Fund.
Coalition government dissolves when opposition parties accuse communists of blocking reform and Albanian Democratic Party withdraws its ministers from the cabinet. Prime Minister Bufi resigns and Alia names Vilson Ahmeti as Prime Minister. Alia sets March 1992 for new elections.
The People's Assembly prevents OMONIA, the party representing Greek Albanians, from fielding candidates in the elections planned for March.
March 22 and 29
In the midst of economic freefall and social chaos, a decisive electoral victory is won by the anticommunist opposition led by the Democratic Party. The Democrats win 62% of the votes and achieve an overall majority with 92 of the 140 seats in the parliament. The Socialists, with 26% of the vote, win 38 seats. Turnout is 90%.
Alia resigns as president and is succeeded on April 9 by Sali Berisha, the first democratic leader of Albania since Bishop Noli. The first non-Communist government, headed by Aleksander Meksi, is elected on April 13. Its stated priority is to establish law and order to transform the paralyzed economy through a reform program emphasizing a free-market economy and privatization.
Eduard Selami is elected chairman of the Democratic Party.
Albania signs the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Pact with ten other countries, including six former Soviet republics.
The Albanian Communist Party is outlawed, and its chairman, Hysni Milloshi, is arrested in Tirana and charged with illegally carrying a gun.
Four months after its March defeat, the Socialist Party makes impressive gains in the country's first democratic local elections. The Democratic Party wins 43.2% of the vote, compared to 41.3% cast for the Socialists. Continued economic hardships, general apathy, and a split within the Democratic Party contributed to its poor showing. It holds local administrative control in most large cities, while the Socialists control much of the countryside.
Former President Alia is detained, joining eighteen other former communist officials, including Nexhmije Hoxha, who are charged with corruption and other offenses.
The split in the Democratic Party grows into a rift when a group of reform-minded Democrats break away and form a new party, the Democratic Alliance.
Albania is granted membership of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and in the same month applies to join NATO, becoming the first former Warsaw Pact country formally to seek membership in the Western alliance.
1993 January 27
Nexhmije Hoxha is sentenced to nine years' imprisonment, having been found guilty of embezzling state funds.
Former prime minister Vilson Ahmeti is placed under house arrest, following charges of corruption.
The secretary-general of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation visits Tirana.
Albania recognizes the Republic of Macedonia.
Pope John Paul II makes a historic visit. (The last pope to travel to Albania - in 1464 - died en route.)
Nexhmije Hoxha's prison sentence is increased by two years.
Albania expels a Greek Orthodox cleric, who is alleged to have distributed maps showing southern Albania as Greek territory. Greece subsequently deports thousands of illegal Albanian migrant workers.
The leader of the Socialist Party, former prime minister Nano, is arrested on allegations of abuse of power.
Alia is arrested on charges of abuse of power.
Ahmeti is sentenced to two years' imprisonment.
President Berisha and President Momir Bulatovic of Montenegro meet in Tirana to discuss ways of improving Albanian-Montenegrin relations.
Greece recalls its ambassador for consultations after a series of border incidents and alleged human rights abuses in Albania.
Data as of 1993. This article contains material from the Library of Congress Country Studies, which are United States government publications in the public domain.