The territories of present-day Albania have been inhabited as early as 100.000 years ago. It was at the turn of the third millenium BC that an Indo-European population settled there. As the result of the mixture, a population incorporating the unique cultural and linguistic characteristics of the whole Balkan Peninsula was created. Based on this ancient population, the Illyrian people developed through the second millenium and the first century B.C after its fall in the year 30 B.C.
Illria came under the control of Roman Empire. With the collapse of the Roman Empire (395 A.D), Illyria became a part of the Byzantine Empire. The country has suffered continuous invasions over the last 1000 years and by the end of the 15th century. Albania was occupied by the Ottoman Empire after the death of the National Hero ‘Skanderbeg’ . The subsequent efforts and uprisings for independence eventually brought about the proclamation of independence of Albania in 1912. After 192 till the end of WW1, neighboring countries attacked the country. After eleven years of monarchy the country was occupied by Italy in 1939, putting an end to the monarchy. In 1943 the german armies occupied the country.
The resistance against foreign invaders is known as the anti-Fascist National Liberation Front. The Communist party took power in November 1944, when the invaders were ousted from the country. Shortly thereafter, a totalitarian regime was established under the communist leader Enver Hoxha. For about 50 years, the regime applied the policy of self-isolation, leaving the country in economic poverty.
During his time, Hoxha tried to form alliances with Yugoslavia, Soviet Union and China, all of which were eventually broken. Hoxha died in 1985. At the time of his death, entry to Albania by foreigners was extremely difficult, travel abroad by Albanians was restricted, and religion was banned.
Communism fell throughout eastern Europe in the late 1980’s, and the regime collapsed in Albania On February 20, 1991, when rioters toppled the statue Hoxha in Tirana. With the new election of Democratic Party in December of 1992 Albania saw new hope. An upturn in the economy was one of the immediate impacts of the subsequent government of Albania.
In early 1997, civil unrest and anti-government feelings erupted, and a state of emergency had to be declared. A significant cause of this was the collapse of pyramid selling schemes, which eventually were outlawed.
Albania is now making the difficult transition into a liberal society and trying to reach stability and welfare for its own people.