End of a Nation? Why Albania Fell Apart A Difficult History Led to the Current Crisis in This Unique Balkan Nation

By Sharon Johnson-Cramer, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, and Uliana Kociu, Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, March 2, 1997 | Go to article overview

End of a Nation? Why Albania Fell Apart A Difficult History Led to the Current Crisis in This Unique Balkan Nation


Sharon Johnson-Cramer, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, and Uliana Kociu, Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


What's at stake?

Europe's tinderbox

Albania, Europe's poorest country and one of its smallest, has descended into anarchy over the last two months. Popular outrage against the government was ignited by the collapse of several shaky pyramid schemes that bankrupted many Albanians. Like other turmoil in Europe this century, the crisis might draw in the United States. Here's the worry: The disorder could lead to uprisings by ethnic Albanians in neighboring Serbia and Macedonia, where American troops are stationed. Many people in Albania are very poor and may decide to sell weapons they have looted from Army depots to these Albanians outside of Albania in order to earn money for food. Many nationalities live in this southeast portion of Europe known as the Balkans. It has been referred to as the tinderbox of Europe ever since the 19th century, when the Islamic Ottoman Empire increasingly lost control of the region, and European nations began to compete for influence. World War I was sparked in the Balkans. Europe's future Solving the Albanian crisis is seen as a test of Europe's ideal of creating a peaceful continent of market democracies after the end of the Soviet empire. The European Union's inability to end the war in Bosnia, and America's role in finally forging a peace accord, has put a spotlight on Europe's response to the current crisis. In all post-communist Eastern European nations, the challenge continues to build democracies and civil societies. For close to two generations, Albania experienced Europe's most repressive, isolationist Communist rule. Enver Hoxha ruled the country with an iron hand from the early 1940s until his death in 1985. Albanians were ignorant of the outside world, denied the practice of religion, and became accustomed to near-total dependence on government. That legacy helps account for their belief in the get-rich-quick pyramid schemes, and the popular outrage that followed the collapse of the schemes. Who are the Albanians? Albanians are descendants of the Illyrians, an Indo-European people that settled in the Balkan peninsula from north of the Danube during the first millennium BC. When the area was invaded by migrating peoples such as the Slavs in the 5th and 6th centuries, only the Illyrians in the south of the region - roughly modern Albania - remained unconquered and unassimilated. Thus Albanians are not considered Slavs, unlike most others in the Balkans. Modern Albania is roughly divided between two ethnic-linguistic groups, the Ghegs, who live north of the Shkumbin River, and the Tosks in the south. The Tosk dialect is in official use. Despite minor differences in appearance, dress, and culture, both groups - representing 97 percent of the country - consider themselves Albanian. But the north-south divide appears to be growing. Former Communist dictator Hoxha was from the south, and it remains a stronghold for the Socialists, many of whom are former Communists. President Sali Berisha is from the north and has been accused of giving northerners positions within his government at the expense of southerners. The south is primarily held by a loose coalition of rebel groups that demand Mr. Berisha's resignation. Many observers say that the mafia and the opposition Socialists comprise most of these rebels. Most Albanians in the north still appear to support Berisha. Why did they invest in pyramid schemes? Fraudulent get-rich-quick schemes still nab the unwary in almost any country. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

End of a Nation? Why Albania Fell Apart A Difficult History Led to the Current Crisis in This Unique Balkan Nation
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.