Zooming Albanian factor in the nineteenth century through Western lenses

MA. Arben Salihu


The developments of the nineteenth century were determining for the history of Balkan region as it shaped the future of many generations to come, resulting in (mainly) growing discontents that led to several wars during the last century. It was beginning of the decay of the Ottoman Empire that many longed for, and many nations used every opportunity to take a full advantage of it. The aim of this work is to explore exclusively (only) Western sources in an attempt to provide, as much as possible, an objective and neutral picture. Therefore, the idea behind the decision to examine non-Balkan sources is impartiality, in order to bring the reader as close as possible to the reality of the nineteenth century. A number of nineteenth century books, magazines and newspapers of the time, by respective Western authors, are explored and analysed. Reading and examining a large volume of data and information of this period, offers a unique sense of feeling, similar to that of living the nineteenth century world. Albanians, who have historically populated the heart of Balkans, are focal point of this region (in many of the regional and international sources) for this particular period, vis-à-vis the Ottoman governance as well as relations with other regional neighbours. Their contribution to the history of nations in the region was unquestionably critical, but their conduct in relations to their own cause has produced an unproductive image, portrayed often with confused and incomprehensible deeds. By using authentic sources of the time, the study intends to develop arguments on many points raised, like population and religion. This work also touches briefly the sensitive issue of education in the region and initial Albanian inputs in the history of Balkan education map. Finally the study concludes that Albanians’ altruism and largely visionless focus, produced a relatively expected detrimental outcome.  


Albania; Ottoman Empire; Serbia; Montenegro; war; education


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DOI: 10.21113/iir.v6i2.234

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