The Albanian Prizren League factor and beyond: distinct developments exposed by the Western sources

  • MA. Arben Salihu ILIRIA College
Keywords: Prizren League, Albania, Ottoman Empire, Serbia, Montenegro, war,


For many countries in Europe, both in the West and in the East, the nineteenth century was critical in their respective paths towards the attainment of national independence goals. Each nation had its own unique struggles in that political course. Albania, and the Albanian nation was no exception. The seizure of the Albanian territory by the Montenegro, Serbia and Greece during the last two centuries severely affected the Albanian nation. The aim of this research, however, is not to focus exclusively on the ways and means related to Albanian territory division, but to delve into foundations of the selected events, with great impact to the Albanian nation. The current developments and challenges in the Albanian territories in the Balkans cannot be productively analyzed without examining the historical context, within which, the Prizren League played a critical part. Indeed, even though the League, at the time, was largely overlooked by the Western powers, still played, an important role in the ensuing Albanian historical developments. The League, initially an Ottoman supporting mechanism, of mutual (Albanian-Ottoman) interest, developed into an autonomous organization revolting to the perceived enemies of the Albanian cause, later, even against the Ottomans.

This study aims to highlight the causes of the formation of the Prizren League, its activities, Albanian revolts against the perceived enemies and other related topics that painted their ordinary life, in the stipulated period. The objective of the research is to focus exclusively on the Western sources visa-a-vis the examined topics in an endeavor, to present, as much as possible, an unbiased picture of events and developments. Numerous themes have been explored in light of many old and authentic sources, in an attempt to enrich the quantity of the examined themes with qualitative inputs...


‘A carnival of misrule and anarchy appears to’ (1884), The Times, 26 August, p.9.

‘Albania‘ (1885), The Times, 12 March, p.5.

‘Albania‘ (1885a), The Times, 21 August, p.5.

‘Albania‘ (1886), The Times, 3 August, p.3.

‘Albania’ (1887), The Times, 13 October, p.5.

‘Albania’ (1889), The Times, 4 September, p.5.

Anderson F. M. and Hershey A. S. (1918), Handbook for the diplomatic history of Europe, Asia, and Africa, 1870-1914, Government Printing Office, Washington.

‘Austrian Postal Administration In Albania‘ (1881), The Times, 31 March, p.10.

Boué, A. (1840), La Turquie d'Europe, Vol II, Arthus Bartrand, Paris, p. 32.

Britannica (2019), Albanian League in [Accessed on August 20, 2019].

‘Current Foreign Topics‘ (1882), The New York Times, 17 November, p.1.

‘Current Foreign Topics‘ (1883), The New York Times, 19 June, p.5.

‘Current Foreign Topics‘ (1883a), The New York Times, 5 November, p.5.

Denton W. (1877), Montenegro: its people and their history (Daldi, Isbister and Co., London, 1877).

‘Egypt‘ (1882), The Times, 23 November, p.5.

‘Egypt‘ (1882a), The Times, 25 November, p.5.

Elsie R. (2012), A Biographical Dictionary of Albanian History, I. B. Tauris, London, p. 148.

Elsie R. (2015), The Tribes of Albania: History, Society and Culture, I.B. Tauris, London.

‘Europe’s Disorderly Elements‘ (1884), The New York Times, 26 October, p.7.

Gawrych, G. (2006), The Crescent and the Eagle: Ottoman Rule, Islam and the Albanians, 1874-1913, I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd, London.

‘Germany and Italy‘ (1887), The Times, 4 October, p.5.

Great Britain Foreign Office (1920), Albania, H.M. Stationary Office, London.

Hertslet E. (1891), The Map of Europe by Treaty showing the various political and territorial changes which have taken place since the general peace of 1814. Vol 4, Harrison and Sons, London.

‘Latest Intelligence‘ (1884), The Times, 16 January, p.5.

‘Latest Intelligence‘ (1884a), The Times, 1 February, p.5.

‘Latest Intelligence‘ (1884b), The Times, 17 September, p.5.

‘Latest Intelligence‘ (1884c), The Times, 25 September, p.5.

‘London’ (1881), The Times, April 23, p.11.

Newman B. (1945), Balkan Background, Macmillan Company, New York.

‘News‘ (1885), The Times, 22 September, p.5.

‘News in brief‘ (1881), The Times, 11 January, p.5.

‘News in brief‘ (1881a), The Times, 20 January, p.5.

‘News in brief‘ (1881b), The Times, 22 April, p.5.

‘News in brief‘ (1883), The Times, 2 April, p.6.

‘News in brief‘ (1885), The Times, 10 April, p.5.

Pollo, S. and Pulaha S. (eds) (1978), Akte të Rilindjes Kombëtare Shqiptare, 1878-1912 (Instituti i Historisë, Tirana), p. 40-48.

‘Position of Sultan in Asia’ (1881),, The Economist, Issue 1966, 30 April, p.3.

‘Prince Bismarck and Turkey’ (1882), The Economist, Issue 1882, 7 January, p.3.

‘Recent Troubles In Old Servia‘ (1890), The Times, July 19, p.13.

Reclus E. (1883), The Earth and its inhabitants: Europe, Vol. 1, D. Appleton and Co, New York.

Schem A. J. (1878), The War in the East: An Illustrated History of the Conflict Between Russia, H.S Goodspeed and Co, New York.

Scott-Keltie J. (Eds) (1887), The Statesman's Year-Book, MacMillan and Co, London, p.327.

‘Servia and Bulgaria‘ (1885), The Times, 1 October, p.3.

‘The Balkan States‘ (1890), The Times, 19 December, p.3.

‘The Balkan States‘ (1890), The New York Times, 2 September, p.5.

The Encyclopaedia Britannica (1910), The Encyclopaedia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, Volumes 1, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

‘The Eastern Crisis‘ (1885), The Times, 19 October, p.5.

‘The Eastern Crisis‘ (1885a), The Times, 6 November, p.5.

‘The Eastern Crisis‘ (1885b), The Times, 9 November, p.5.

‘The Eastern Crisis‘ (1885c), The Times, 18 December, p.5.

‘The Eastern Crisis‘ (1886), The Times, 8 February, p.5.

‘The Greek, and Albanian’ (1881), The New York Times, 20 February, p.2.

‘The Greek Preparations For War’ (1881), The Times, January 11, p.4.

‘The Macedonian Question‘ (1885), The Times, 25 July, p.7.

‘The naval demonstration‘ (1880), The New York Times, 13 September, p.4.

‘The Revolution in Eastern Roumelia ‘(1885), The Times, 23 September, p.5.

‘The Revolutionary Movements In Turkey’ (1878), The Times, 7 October p.10.

‘The Turkish Balkan Provinces‘ (1885), The Times, 16 March, p.5.

‘The vexed question as to the delimitation‘ (1884), The Times, 18 September, p.9.

‘Turkey‘ (1879), The Times, 11 June , p.5.

‘Turkey‘ (1880), The Times, 11 June, p.5.

‘Turkey‘ (1881), The Times, 17 February, p.5.

‘Turkey‘ (1881a), The Times, 4 May, p.7.

‘Turkey and Afghanistan’ (1878), The Times, 2 October, p.5.

‘Turkish Troops on the Greek Frontier’ (1881), The New York Times, 23 February, p.3.

Wade H. T. (ed) (1931), The New International Year Book: A compendium of the world’s progress for the year 1930, Mead and Company, Dodd.

Review Articles