The oldest evidence of human presence in Albania dates back to the Middle Paleolithic (sites of Xara and Shën-Marina, near Tirana). The most ancient Neolithic facies, characterized by ceramic, indicate the area as a suture zone between the two Balkan-Anatolian and Adriatic areas. At the beginning of the Bronze Age, the arrival of Indo-European populations is connected with the appearance of corded pottery and burial in mounds; the bronze weapons underline the links with the Aegean, Minoan and Mycenaean areas; the Illyrian civilization began to form, which had the greatest expansion in the Iron Age, as evidenced by the necropolis (valley of the Mat and plain of the Korce) and fortresses (oppida located in strategic points).
From the 7th-6th century. BC Greek colonies were established on the southern coast: Epidamnos-Dyrrhachion (od. Durazzo), Apollonia, Buthroton (od. Butrinto). In Roman times, the regions that had constituted the kingdom of Epirus – largely corresponding to Albania southern – belonged first to the province of Macedonia (148 BC) then to Achaia (27 BC), while those to the north were included in Illyrian. Passed, with the definitive subdivision of the Roman Empire, to the dependence of Byzantium, the to. it was invaded by the barbarians, some of whom created ephemeral lordships (late 6th century: Slav; 619: miser; later Serbian).
From 917 to 1019 the Albania it was almost totally absorbed by the reign of the Bulgarians. With the sec. 11 °, returned under Byzantium, began to undergo the military penetration of the Normans and the successive kings of Sicily and Naples, and the commercial one of Venice, which took advantage of the fourth crusade (1204) to take possession of it, even if the feudal lords gave themselves to Despot of Epirus Michael Angelo Comneno. Conquered in 1230 by the Bulgarian Tsar John Asjan II, shortly after it passed for the most part to the Serbian kings of Rascia. The battle of Kosovo (1389) led to Albania the Turks, who, first contained by the League of Albanian peoples created in 1444 by Giorgio Castriota known as Scanderbeg, had the better of the latter’s death (1467). The populations became Islamized and the Albania it was divided into small autonomous principalities subjected to Ottoman sovereignty.
In the 19th century. the revolts were accentuated, including that of ‛Alī Tepeleni, pasha of Giannina, who managed to become de facto independent (1820-22). After the treaties of St. Stephen and Berlin (1878), which began the dismemberment of the Balkan territories, Turkey regained ground and promoted the Albanian League (1878) against Serbia, Greece and Montenegro.
In the 20th century. the intersection of Balkan nationalisms and the alternating vicissitudes of the European powers determined in Albania a very fluid situation. In 1913 the conference of ambassadors in London created an Albanian free state, under the principality of the German William of Wied, who however found himself immediately against the autonomous government, in fact Greek, of Gjirokaster, and the revolt of the partisans of Esad Pasha, so much so that in 1914 he gave up power. After the First World War, in 1920 the conference of ambassadors in Paris reconfirmed the independence of the Albania, which had become a constitutionally republic. But from 1920 to 1924 there were coups of hands of various political leaders (Ahmed Zogu, Ahmed bey Toptani, Shefquet bey Verlaci, Fan Noli), until in 1924 Zogu managed to secure power. Leaning decisively on Italy (1927), Zogu was therefore elected mbret, ie king (1928); in fact, the to. it was now under Italian tutelage, and as soon as it tried, under French and English pressure, to get rid of it, the Italian government occupied its territory in five days, with the expedition starting on April 7, 1939; and Vittorio Emanuele III assumed the crown. In 1941, under the leadership of E. Hoxha, a resistance movement arose against the Italian occupation and therefore against the German one (1944).
On 11 February 1945 the National Liberation Front proclaimed the Albanian People’s Republic and in December of the same year confirmed its power in the elections. On the international level, the Albania he first pursued a policy of close alliance with Yugoslavia (1946-48), then after the break between Tito and Cominform he sided with the USSR, immediately receiving technical and economic and military aid. These relations lasted until 1961, when the Albanian regime turned towards People’s China; in 1968 he withdrew from the Warsaw Pact. In 1974 the formation of a new government, from which the pro-Chinese Minister of Defense B. Balluku was excluded, marked the cooling of Sino-Albanian relations, definitively interrupted in 1978.
In 1981, according to agooddir, the suspicious death of Prime Minister M. Shehu, a supporter of openness to the West, opened a serious crisis, which was followed by a rigid closure to the outside. R. Alia, head of state since 1982 and secretary of the Communist Party after the death of E. Hoxha (1985), attempted moderate liberalizations, also re-establishing international diplomatic relations. In the 1991 elections, in which several political forces participated, the Labor Party won a large majority; the new parliament re-elected Alia as head of state, drafted a provisional constitution and in June voted for a coalition government formed by the Labor Party (since then the Socialist Party of Albania) and the Democratic Party, the major opposition force. However, the coalition went into crisis at the end of 1991 and in 1992 the elections gave the majority to the Democratic Party. Alia was replaced as president by S. Berisha, who decisively continued on the path of complete liberalization of the economy, with the support of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.. Berisha’s growing authoritarianism, the spread of corruption and the continuous exodus of the population to Italy, however, heralded a new internal crisis. In 1994 the project for a new Constitution, supported by the government and submitted to a popular referendum, was rejected; in 1996 the Democratic Party won the elections, but the opposition parties withdrew from the competition requesting its cancellation; in 1997 the numerous financial companies born in the early 1990s went bankrupt, in which a large part of the population had invested their savings. This provoked a wave of protests that soon took on the characteristics of an anti-government revolt. After the failure of a provisional coalition government, in 1997 from elections, held in the presence of international observers protected by a multinational force, sent by the European Union, with the consent of the UN, the Socialist Party emerged victorious. The socialist leader F. Nano, head of the new executive, and the president of the Republic R. Mejdani (elected in July after Berisha’s resignation) tried to restore public order, to restore the national economy and to regulate the exodus of the population, which continued uninterrupted throughout 1997.
But the stability of the country was put to the test again in 1998, first by an insurrection attempt promoted by Berisha, then by the crisis in Kosovo, which resulted in the NATO war against Yugoslavia (1999) . Hundreds of thousands of refugees poured into the country, increasing the consistent and uninterrupted flow of immigrants to Italy. THERE. it became the center of humanitarian activities deployed by Western countries and the huge resources linked to international aid contributed to increasing the already widespread illegality. The administrative elections of 2000 and the political elections of 2001 confirmed the majority of the Socialist Party, which remained in government until 2005 when, after the elections won by a large majority by the Democratic Party, the President of the Republic Albania Moisiu (elected in 2002) entrusted to Berisha the task of forming the new government. The 2006 elections brought a member of the Democratic Party, B. Topi, also to the presidency of the Republic. In the same year a stabilization and association agreement created a free trade area between Albania and the European Union, constituting the first step towards its accession to the EU, followed by the official candidacy approved by the Council of the EU in 2014. In 2008, the. joined NATO. In the 2009 elections, the center-right coalition led by Berisha won, however, accused of fraud by the Socialist Party. In the following years, the political instability produced by a majority with only four parliamentarians more than the opposition and the difficult economic situation gradually eroded popular consensus; in June 2012 the Parliament elected President of the Republic B. Nishani, exponent of the Democratic Party of Prime Minister Berisha, while in the political elections held in June 2013 the center-right alliance was defeated by a center-left coalition (53 % of preferences) and its leader E. Rama took over as prime minister from Berisha, who resigned as president of the Democratic Party. The new president of the country was elected in April 2017 the former premier IR Metaj (in office from the following July), who received 62.14% of the votes from Parliament, while following the clear affirmation in the legislative consultations of the Socialist Party, which obtained an absolute majority of seats (74 seats out of 140), Prime Minister Rama was reconfirmed in office, obtaining a third term after the elections of April 2021, at which the socialists won 50.5% of the votes and 75 seats out of 140 in Parliament. Internationally, in June 2021 the Bulgaria exercised its veto, already expressed the previous year, on the country’s entry into the European Union.