PRINCE WIED: THE PRINCIPALITY OF ALBANIA IN 1914

Abstract

Author(s): ?hsan Burak B?REC?KL?

In the London Conference of Ambassadors which decided that Albania was autonomous principality in 1913. During the the years of 1913-1914, the history of the Albanian state and down into a lot of important periods: Ismail Qemal’s temporary Government, International Control Commission and the monarchy of Prince Wied. Prince William of Wied (26 March 1876-18 April 1945) was born of a noble protestant family in Neuwied on the Rhine and was the nephew of Queen Elizabeth of Romania. He was a captain in the Prussian army. In October 1913, the Great Powers persuaded a German prince, the throne of Albania. Albanians played no part in the selection of their future monarch. Finally, Prince William of Wied accepted the crown of Albania. He arrived in Durrës on 7 March 1914 aboard an Austro-Hungarian naval vessel to take the throne of his new little kingdom. The chaotic political situation both within Albania and Albania’s neighbors. It had no currency or banks, and the economy was primitive and almost entirely agricultural. In addition, he received little or no financial or military support from abroad. He ruled Albania for six months in 1914, but after fighting with lord Esad Toptani and then having World War I break out, was force to withdraw. On 3 September 1914, the prince abandoned Albania, though without formally abdicating and never to return. The reign of Prince Wied was short, confused and inglorious. The territories of the Albania’s principality were invaded and occupied between the neighbours. Not only did Greece, Montenegro, Serbia and Bulgaria, participate in this division, but so did Italy and Austria-Hungary. During World War I, he served and fought in the German army during the war. In 1917, he recorded an 82-page (Memorandum on Albania), in which he presented his view of his short reign. He had hoped to return to Albania after the war, but Germany’s defeat in 1918 made such expectations illusory. In this study, I am researching his six months life in 1914.

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