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Albania gets Indipendent
(Albania during 1912-1939)


1912 28th of November 1912. The Proclamation of Albanian Independence, with the first Albanian (liberal-democratic) government led by Ismail Qemali (1844-1919).

1913 July 29th, A conference of Ambassadors in London confirms Albanian independence, under the supervision of an International Control Commission. New frontiers are settled. The great powers drew the boundaries of the new state of Albania. Kosova is given to Serbia, and southern parts to Greece. Albania is declared by the Conference as a Protectorate. Half of the Albanian people are handed over to other states.

1913 September 23rd, Serbia sends troops into Albania, following Albanian raids on areas assigned to Serbia by Treaty of London.

1914-1918 The First World War. Montenegrin, Austrian, Italian, French, Greek, Bulgarian and Serbian troops, overruns Albania.

1914 January 15th , Ismail Qemali’s Government gives way to an International Control Commission, with Essad Pasha Toptani (a one-time Turkish / Albanian and Gendarme Officer) as the most powerful political figure.

1914 February 21st, The German Prince Wilhelm von Wied, German army officer and close relative of Queen Elizabeth of Romania, accepts the throne of Albania (having been proposed by Austria – Hungary).

1914 March 7th, An Albanian Administration is appointed in Durres on the authority of King Wied. Esat Pashe Toptani is Prime Minister.

1914 June, Civil War breaks out in central Albania, directed against King Wied.

1914 August, World War I begins.

1914 September 4th, Wied flees due to popular uprising, having effectively controlled only Durres, while local armed groups assisted by Serbia, Greece ad Italy dominate the rest of Albania. The powers that appointed him now abandon him, due to his unwillingness to commit Albania or to take sides in the War. He does not abdicate, non renounce his claim to throne.

1914 Italians land at Vlore, and gradually occupy most of southern Albania, while Serbs and Montenegrins occupy the north till driven out by Austrians.

1915-1917 All Albania is occupied and partitioned: Austria- Hungary takes the north; Italy the southwest; Greece the south; France takes Korce.

1915 April, Greece proclaims her full annexation of southern Albania as “Northern Epirus”.

April 26th, A secret Treaty of London convenes, in which the Allied Powers agree to carve up Albania after the War in favor of Italy. Italy would annex Vlore, Sazan Isle and the region of Vlore to Himara in the south. In north and northeast it would have Vjosa river as its boundary. In Central Albania a truncated State would be formed under Italy’s protectorate, while the northern and southern regions of Albania were to be divided among Serbia, Montenegro and Greece.

May 29th, Italy formally occupies Vlora, and Albania is in state of anarchy.

June 27th, Montenegro, which invaded northern Albania on June 11, occupied Shkoder. Britain, Italy and Russia protests.

July 4th, Serbia occupies Durazzo (Durres), but evacuates it on July 17 under Italian pressure.

October, Serbia withdraws from Albania.

1916 January 23rd, Austrians take Shkoder from Montenegro, then Berat (February 17).

1917 June 3rd, The Italian military commander in Albania, General Ferrero, proclaims unified and Independent Albania under Italian protection. France responds by proclaiming an autonomous Republic of Korçe, which lasts three months.

1920 January 21st – 23rd, The Congress of Lushnja, at which the Albanian Constitution is established, a new Government formed, Tirana is proclaimed capital, and the demand is made for Italian troops to withdraw.

April, Durrës is liberated from Italy, and Tirana becomes the new capital seat of government.

November 20th, The Congress of Ambassadors in London acknowledges Albanian Independence.

December 10th, Iliaz Bey Vrioni, a moderate Liberal, forms a Cabinet.

December 17th, The League of Nations recognizes Albania (at its 1913 frontiers), giving Italy some mandatory powers. Italian troops withdraw. Albania is admitted to the League, despite abjection’s from Yugoslavia and Greece that the country is not a specific political entity. The U.K. supports the membership of the League.

1921 April 21st, The first Parliament was constituted. Pluralistic life began in the Albanian Parliament with the major political groups.

1921 November 9th, Conference of Ambassadors recognizes Albania’s independence, but Italy has “special interests” in Albania.

1921 December 28th, Elections are held to National Assembly and western style political parties emerge; Democratic Party, Popular Party, Progressive Party. Ahmet Zogu becomes Interior Minister.

1922 August 1st, At the Congress of Berat, the Albanian Orthodox church constitutes itself as a church independent of Patriarch of Constantinople.

1922 December 2nd, Ahmet Bej Zogu, leading tribal chief, forms a Government. Zogu is both Prime Minister and Interior Minister.

1923 Popular dissatisfaction with Zogu. Groups rally against him.

1924 June 16th, Liberal-Democratic Government of Fan Noli is elected, depriving the Progressive Party’s Ahmet Zogu of power. Zogu flees to former Yugoslavia. Noli announces agrarian reforms to abolish feudalism and makes certain changes to the Constitution, however does not have time to come into effect.

1924 February 19th, Zogu signs a commercial treaty with Italy.

1924 September 1st, Yugoslav (former Yugoslavia) troops enter Albania. Fan Noli’s Government is overthrown by December 23rd. Zogu enters Tirana on December 24th, and is restored to power as Prime Minister.

1925 January 15th, Ahmet Zogu assumes supreme power as commander in chief and forms a new cabinet. January 31st, Zogu is elected first President of Albanian Republic.

1925 October 18th, Ramiz Alia, Party’s leader after the death of Enver Hoxha, and the first Albanian president, was born of a poor Muslim family in Shkoder.

1926 November 27th, Zogu signs the Treaty of Tirana “Pact of Friendship and Security” with Italy.

1928 September 1st, Constituent Assembly proclaims Albania a Kingdom. Zogu is declared Zog I, King of Albania.

1938 King Zog I marries Geraldine Appony, Hungarian aristocrat, their son Leka is born in March 1939.

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