The philatelic history of Albania  shows the effects of the domination of four nations on the Albanian people as well as the political aspirations of the Albania people themselves. As part of the Balkan area, Albania has had the misfortune to be subject to  political and military intervention by the Turks, the Italians, the Germans, the Soviets, before finally, in the most modern period, having their own fate in their hands. (Don’t forget, the political good fortune of the dozen or so Eastern and Southeastern European countries that became truly independent after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1992 was a historical anomaly. Most of the nations of this area have long been under foreign domination since the Roman Empire. We are apt to forget what wondrous times these are for worldwide freedom.)
In the late nineteenth century, Albania was controlled by the Turkish Empire, and their first issue stamps are Turkish stamps with the Albania eagle overprint. These stamps are very scarce though many collectors avoid them as forgeries are so pervasive. Albania enjoyed a brief period of quasi-independence from 1912-1928, and after 1928, in succession, Albania was dominated by the Italians, the Germans (who took over as the Axis conquerors after fascist Italy collapsed), and after the end of WWII hostilities by the Soviet Union. Albania was a primitive place even in the modern period. The country was not united by rail until 1948, and a form of feudalism existed until that date. Albania is still a poor country, even very poor by European standards, with its per capita income only about 25% of the EU average. The country is very mountainous, and outside the main cities a clannish culture exists, with blood feuds to this day. The population of the country is small

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