Afteb the death of George Kastriota—popularly known as Skanderbeg—in 1467, under whom the Albanians had heroically resisted the Turks for a quarter of a century, Albania passed under Turkish suzerainty and thus remained—nominally or actually according to the locality and period—until 1912. The independence of Albania was proclaimed at Vlonë (Valona) on 28 Nov., 1912, and on 17 Dec., 1912, the London conference of ambassadors agreed to the principle of Albanian autonomy. Subsequently that conference decided upon the frontiers of the new country, and agreed that a European prince be nominated to rule it. Prince William of Wied, having accepted the crown of the principality from an Albanian deputation at Neuwied, on 21 Feb., 1914, arrived at Dürres (Durazzo) on 7 March, 1914. After the outbreak of the war in 1914, the Prince on 3 Sept. left Albania, which fell into a state of anarchy. By the secret Pact of London of 26 April, 1915, provision was made for the partition of Albania; but this arrangement was repudiated by Italy on 3 June, 1917, when the Italian Commander-in-Chief in Albania, proclaimed at Gjinokastër (Argyrocastro) the independence of Albania. In Jan., 1925, the country was proclaimed a republic and on 1 Sept., 1928, a monarchy. Ahmed Beg Zogu, President of the Republic since 31 Jan., 1925, reigned as King Zog till April, 1939, when, on the occupation of the country by the Italians, he fled to England. After the liberation, he was formally deposed in absentia, on 2 Jan., 1946. During the years 1939–44 the country was overrun by Italian and German military forces.
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Books of Reference
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