Dictionary of East European History since 1945

By Joseph Held | Go to book overview

Bibliography

Biberaj Elez, Albania ( Boulder CO, 1990).

Constitutions of Albania. Three constitutions were adopted in Albania during the communist regime. The first, enacted in 1946, established Albania as a People's Republic on the Yugoslav model. The constitution declared the Communist party to be the leading force of the country, allegedly ruling in the name of the "proletariat." All political power was vested in the leaders of the Communist party.

The next constitution was enacted in 1950 after the Soviet-Yugoslav rift. Albania was now firmly in the Soviet Bloc, and the new constitution was patterned after the Stalinist Soviet constitution of 1936. Its basic law was the "dictatorship of the proletariat," embodied in the Communist party. The constitution regulated the economy by declaring that the already accomplished nationalization of industry, banking, finance, and land was in line with building socialism.

The constitution of 1976 replaced both previous documents. It proclaimed Albania to be a socialist republic. It prohibited the stationing of foreign troops on Albanian soil and the establishment of foreign military bases. This paragraph was certainly aimed at the Soviet Union which withdrew its military advisers and submarine fleet from Albania in the early 1960s. It also declared that Albania's ruling ideology was Marxism-Leninism and it created a defense council headed by Enver Hoxha (see Hoxha, Enver). The constitution stressed that Albania was building a new society under the severe conditions of enhanced class struggle that would ensure the final victory of socialism It asserted that Albania had entered the final phase of socialist construction. "Albania," the constitution declared, "is the state of the dictatorship of the proletariat and the Albanian party of Labor is its only leading force in politics." All trade was placed under the control of the state as were all aspects of economic and social life. Religion was completely banned by the constitution. This document aimed at the continuation of the general line of the Albanian Communist party after the expected departure of Enver Hoxha and his presumed successor, Mehemet Shehu (see Shehu, Mehemet).


Bibliography

Prifti Peter R., "The Labor Party of Albania," in Stephen Fischer-Galati, ed. The Communist Parties of Eastern Europe ( New York, 1979); Starr Richard, The Communist Parties of Eastern Europe ( Stanford, CA, 1989).

Cultural Policies in Communist Albania. There were several motives for state-sponsored development of cultural life in Albania. First of all, it was a means to indoctrinate the people in the ideology of Marxism-Leninism. Second, culture was to serve as a tool in creating a socialist society. At the same time, culture was to promote "communist patriotism," really Albanian nationalism under another name. Culture was also to play a decisive role in promoting the class struggle against perceived internal and external enemies of the communist regime, including the "revisionists,"

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