People's Socialist Republic of Albania

People's Republic of Albania
Republika Popullore e Shqipërisë  (Albanian)
People's Socialist Republic of Albania
Republika Popullore Socialiste e Shqipërisë  (Albanian)

Motto: Ti Shqipëri, më jep nder, më jep emrin Shqipëtar
"You Albania, give me honour, give me the name Albanian"
Proletarë të të gjitha vendeve, bashkohuni!
"Proletarians of all countries, unite!"
Anthem: Himni i Flamurit (in Albanian)
(English: Hymn to the Flag)
Location of Albania in Europe during the Cold War.
Location of Albania in Europe during the Cold War.
StatusSatellite state of the Soviet Union (1946–1960)
Member of the Warsaw Pact (1955–1968)
Common languagesAlbanian
GovernmentUnitary Hoxhaist one-party totalitarian dictatorship (1946–90)
Unitary parliamentary republic (1990–92)
First Secretary 
• 1946–1985
Enver Hoxha
• 1985–1991
Ramiz Alia
• 1946–1953
Omer Nishani
• 1953–1982
Haxhi Lleshi
• 1982–1991
Ramiz Alia
Prime Minister 
• 1946–1954
Enver Hoxha
• 1954–1981
Mehmet Shehu
• 1982–1991
Adil Çarçani
LegislaturePeople's Assembly
Historical eraCold War
16 September 1942
• Formation
10 January 1946
28 December 1976
11 December 1990
31 March 1991
• Reconstituted as the Republic of Albania
30 April 1991
22 March 1992
28 November 1998
198928,748 km2 (11,100 sq mi)
• 1945
• 1989
CurrencyFranga 1946–1947Albanian lek 1947–1992
Calling code355
ISO 3166 codeAL
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Democratic Government of Albania
Republic of Albania
Today part of Albania
Presidential flag of Albania (1946-1992).

Albania (l-/ (About this soundlisten), BAY-nee-ə; Albanian: Shqipëri/Shqipëria; Gheg Albanian: Shqipni/Shqipnia, Shqypni/Shqypnia[1]), officially the People's Socialist Republic of Albania (Albanian: Republika Popullore Socialiste e Shqipërisë), was a Marxist-Leninist government that ruled Albania from 1946 to 1992.[2] From 1944 to 1946, it was known as the Democratic Government of Albania and from 1946 to 1976 as the People's Republic of Albania.

Throughout this period, the country had a reputation for its Stalinist style of state administration influenced by Enver Hoxha and the Party of Labour of Albania and for policies stressing national unity and self-reliance. Travel and visa restrictions made Albania one of the most difficult countries to visit or from which to travel. In 1967, it declared itself the world's first atheist state. But after the end of its communist regime in 1991, the practice of religion slowly increased.[3] It was the only Warsaw Pact member to formally withdraw from the alliance before 1990, an action occasioned by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The first multi-party elections in Socialist Albania took place on 31 March 1991 – the Communists gained a majority in an interim government and the first parliamentary elections were held on 22 March 1992.[4] The People's Socialist Republic was officially dissolved on 28 November 1998 upon the adoption of the new Constitution of Albania.

Consolidation of power and initial reforms

On 29 November 1944, Albania was liberated by the National Liberation Movement (In Albanian: Lëvizja Nacional-Çlirimtare LNC). The Anti-Fascist National Liberation Council, formed in May, became the country's provisional government.

The government, like the LNC, was dominated by the two-year-old Communist Party of Albania, and the party's first secretary, Enver Hoxha, became Albania's prime minister. King Zog I was barred from ever returning to Albania, though the country nominally remained a monarchy. From the start, the LNC government was an undisguised Communist regime. In the other countries in what became the Soviet bloc, the Communists were at least nominally part of coalition governments for a few years before taking complete control and establishing full-fledged Communist states. Having sidelined the nationalist Balli Kombëtar after their collaboration with the Nazis, the LNC moved quickly to consolidate its power, liberate the country's tenants and workers, and join Albania fraternally with other socialist countries.

Partisans entering Tirana on 29 November 1944

The internal affairs minister, Koçi Xoxe, "an erstwhile pro-Yugoslavia tinsmith", presided over the trial of many non-communist politicians condemned as "enemies of the people" and "war criminals".[5] Many were sentenced to death. Those spared were imprisoned for years in work camps and jails and later settled on state farms built on reclaimed marshlands.

In December 1944, the provisional government adopted laws allowing the state to regulate foreign and domestic trade, commercial enterprises, and the few industries the country possessed. The laws sanctioned confiscation of property belonging to political exiles and "enemies of the people." The state also expropriated all German- and Italian-owned property, nationalized transportation enterprises, and canceled all concessions granted by previous Albanian governments to foreign companies.

In August 1945, the provisional government adopted the first sweeping agricultural reforms in Albania's history. The country's 100 largest landowners, who controlled close to a third of Albania's arable land, had frustrated all agricultural reform proposals before the war. The communists' reforms were aimed at squeezing large landowners out of business, winning peasant support, and increasing farm output to avert famine. The government annulled outstanding agricultural debts, granted peasants access to inexpensive water for irrigation, and nationalized forest and pastureland.

Under the Agrarian Reform Law, which redistributed about half of Albania's arable land, the government confiscated property belonging to absentee landlords and people not dependent on agriculture for a living. The few peasants with agricultural machinery were permitted to keep up to 40 hectares (99 acres) of land. Landholdings of religious institutions and peasants without agricultural machinery were limited to 20 hectares (49 acres). Finally, landless peasants and peasants with tiny landholdings were given up to 5 hectares (12 acres), although they had to pay nominal compensation.[citation needed]

In December 1945, Albanians elected a new People's Assembly, but voters were presented with a single list from the Communist-dominated Democratic Front (previously the National Liberation Movement). Official ballot tallies showed that 92% of the electorate voted and that 93% of the voters chose the Democratic Front ticket.

The assembly convened in January 1946. Its first act was to formally abolish the monarchy and to declare Albania a "people's republic." However, as mentioned above, the country had already been under out-and-out Communist rule for just over two years. After months of angry debate, the assembly adopted a constitution that mirrored the Yugoslav and Soviet constitutions. A couple of months later, the assembly members chose a new government, which was emblematic of Hoxha's continuing consolidation of power: Hoxha became simultaneously prime minister, foreign minister, defense minister, and the army's commander in chief. Xoxe remained both internal affairs minister and the party's organizational secretary.

In late 1945 and early 1946, Xoxe and other party hard-liners purged moderates who had pressed for close contacts with the West, a modicum of political pluralism, and a delay in the introduction of strict communist economic measures until Albania's economy had more time to develop. Hoxha remained in control despite the fact that he had once advocated restoring relations with Italy and even allowing Albanians to study in Italy.

The government took major steps to introduce a Stalinist-style centrally planned economy in 1946.[6] It nationalized all industries, transformed foreign trade into a government monopoly, brought almost all domestic trade under state control, and banned land sales and transfers. Planners at the newly founded Economic Planning Commission emphasized industrial development and in 1947 the government introduced the Soviet cost-accounting system.

Other Languages
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Narodna Republika Albanija