History of Albania

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The Durrës Amphitheatre is one of the largest amphitheatres in the Balkan peninsula.
Gjergj Kastrioti Skanderbeg, the National Hero of the Albanians successfully rebelled against the Ottomans for 25 years.

The history of Albania forms a part of the history of Europe. During Classical Antiquity, several Illyrian tribes lived in Albania. They were the Ardiaei, Albanoi, Amantini, Enchele and Taulantii. There were also Thracian and Greek tribes, as well as several Greek colonies established on the Illyrian coast.

In the 3rd century BC, Rome conquered the area. It became part of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia, Macedonia and Moesia Superior. The territory remained under Roman and Byzantine control until the Slavic migrations of the 7th century. The Bulgarian Empire conquered it in the 9th century.

Krujë became the capital of the first autonomous Albanian state in the middle ages, the Principality of Arbër.

The Principality of Arbër and a Sicilian union known as the medieval Kingdom of Albania were established in the Middle Ages. Some areas became part of the Venetian and later Serbian Empire. Between the mid-14th and the late 15th centuries, most of modern-day Albania was dominated by Albanian principalities. They fell to the rapid invasion of the Ottoman Empire. Albania remained under Ottoman control as part of the province of Rumelia until 1912. After a short occupation by the Kingdom of Serbia, the first independent Albanian state was founded by the Albanian Declaration of Independence. An Albanian national consciousness was formed in the later 19th century. It is part of the larger phenomenon of the rise of nationalism under the Ottoman Empire.

The short-lived 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 occupation by Italy just before World War II. After the collapse of the Axis powers, Albania became the Socialist People's Republic of Albania. It was a communist state. Enver Hoxha governed it most of its duration (died 1985). his political succesor Ramiz Alia oversaw the disintegration of the communist state. This happened during the wider collapse of the Eastern Bloc in the later 1980s.

The communist regime collapsed in 1990. The former communist Party of Labour of Albania was defeated in elections in March 1992, amid economic collapse and social unrest. The unstable economic situation led to an Albanian diaspora during the 1990s. The crisis peaked in the Albanian Turmoil of 1997. Albania was able to join the NATO in 2009 thanks to the improved economic and political conditions. The country is applying to join the European Union.

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