After the death of George Kastriota—popularly known as Skanderbegin 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 Durrës (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 C.-in-C. 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. 1926, reigned as King Zog till April 1939, when, on the occupation of the country by the Italians, he fled to England.
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