History of Albania
The history of the modern state of Albania is somewhat disjointed
as the people are most likely descendants of the ancient Illyrians. However, these
people never truly had a distinct nation-state for much of history, but were rather
a minority group under foreign rulers for nearly all of time.
For much of this early history they were under Greek, then
Roman, and finally Byzantine rule. Under Byzantine rule the people adopted Christianity
and were fairly well accepted, partially due to the fact that Emperor Justinian
I was actually an Illyrian. Later, in the 1300s the Albanians
fell under Serbian rule.
The 1400s was the first time the Albanian people formed
any sort of organized political movement as they fought the invading Ottoman
Turks. Unfortunately, this resistance only temporarily slowed the takeover
and for the next 500 years the people lived under the rule of the Ottomans.
During the latter years under Ottoman rule independence movements formed and the
Albanian identity was more strongly defined, however most
of the Albanians converted to Islam under the Muslim Turkish
rulers so there was little motivation to overthrown this foreign ruler, who the
people for the most part got along with. In the late 1800s the first substantial
independence movement began but was met with resistance by both the Ottomans and
their neighboring people in the region who sought to rule the same lands as the