Albanian Kingdom

Albanian Kingdom

Infobox Former Country
native_name = "Mbretnija Shqiptare"
conventional_long_name = Albanian Kingdom
common_name = Albania
continent = Europe
region = Balkans
country = Albania
era = Interwar period
event_start =
year_start = 1928
date_start = September 1
event_end = Government exiled
year_end = 1939
date_end = April 9
event1 = Italian invasion
date_event1 = April 7, 1939
p1 = Albanian Republic
flag_p1 = Flag of Albania 1926.svg
s1 = Albania under Italy
flag_s1 = Flag of Albania (1939).svg|

image_map_caption =
capital = Tirana
national_anthem = Himni i Flamurit
common_languages = Albanian
currency = Sliver franc
Albanian lek
government_type = Constitutional monarchy
title_leader = King
leader1 = Zog I
title_deputy = Prime Minister
deputy1 = Koço Kota
year_deputy1 = 1928-30, 36-39
legislature = National Assembly

The Albanian Kingdom (Gheg Albanian: "Mbretnija Shqiptare", Standard Albanian: "Mbretëria Shqiptare") was the constitutional monarchal rule in Albania between 1928 and 1939. Albania was declared a monarchy by the Constituent Assembly, and Zog I was crowned king. The kingdom was a restoration of the royal identity surviving from Scanderbeg's reign in the 15th century. It also ensured the permanence of democracy and order in Albania, which had just regained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912. The kingdom was supported by the fascist regime in Italy and the two countries maintained close relations until Italy's sudden invasion of the country in 1939.

The 11 years of the Albanian history under King Zog are noted for a great wave of modernization of the country, which had suffered five centuries of harsh Turkish rule. Despite being the smallest, Albania grew into the most powerful developed nation of the Balkan’s region. Its prosperity was temporarily struck by the Great Depression and revived again in the late 1930s to be finally interrupted by World War II and the subsequent communist rule.

The Kingdom of Italy invaded Albania on April 7, 1939. The invasion was an oddity because Albania under Zog held close relations with Italy under Benito Mussolini since 1925, but the reason was largely due to Mussolini's jealousy over Hitler's expanding influence in Europe with the takeover of Austria and Czechoslovakia, though Italy's long intention to take over Greece as part of an Italian Empire also required territory to launch an invasion from, in which Albania could provide. The Albanian armed resistance proved inefficient against the forces of Italy. The king and his government were forced into exile and Albania "de facto" ceased to exist as an independent country. Nonetheless, the invaders set up a puppet government under a new Constitution which turned Albania into an Italian colony. The Albanian throne was usurped by King Victor Emmanuel III who ruled until abdicating on July 25, 1943.

The communist partisans during and after the war, backed by Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, suppressed the Albanian nationalist movements and installed a Stalinist regime that would last for about 46 years. King Zog was banned from entering Albania by the communists and lived in exile for the rest of his life.

See also

*Leka, Crown Prince of Albania

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