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DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405189224.2011.x


A country in the western balkans whose largely mountainous territory lies on the Adriatic coast between montenegro and greece and runs inland towards kosovo and macedonia . In the fifteenth century the Albanians, like the other peoples of this region, had fallen under the rule of an expansionist Turkey (see turkey and europe ). However, as Ottoman power in the Balkans waned during the nineteenth century, there was growing Albanian nationalism . This benefited, at least indirectly, from the almost autonomous personal rule secured from 1798 to 1820 by the locally-born chieftain, Ali Pasha of Janina. There was an unsuccessful rising in favor of greater self-governance in 1831, and during the russo-turkish war of 1877–8 the League of Prizren (largely comprising conservative landowners) emerged with further pleas for improved autonomy. By the early twentieth century Albanian patriots were shifting their focus towards complete self-rule. In November 1912, following Turkey's decisive defeat in the balkan war of that year, a national assembly proclaimed full independence. Despite objections from a serbia keen to acquire territory on the Adriatic, Albanian sovereignty was confirmed by the powers gathered at the London Conference of May 1913. Even so, no clear governmental structure had been developed for Albania by the time that world war i began. At that point Italy, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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