The year 1912 is marked above all by the growing conflict situation in Europe, which will lead to the First World War two years later.
Talks between British War Secretary Richard Burdon Haldane and German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg in February about an agreement to limit naval armaments came to nothing. On the contrary, in May the German Reichstag decides to further expand the fleet. In the Balkans, several states still under Ottoman suzerainty found the Balkan League and, encouraged by Italy's successes in the Italo-Turkish War, began the First Balkan War in October against the Ottoman Empire, which was falling apart after the fall of the Young Turks.
After the six-year-old Chinese Emperor Puyi abdicated the throne, the Republic of China was proclaimed, ending the Chinese Empire. This sparks a power struggle for leadership.
Before the presidential election in the United States, the Progressive Party split from the Republican Party under former President Theodore Roosevelt. With candidates from these two parties stealing each other's votes, Democrat Woodrow Wilson emerges victorious.
Other events include the tragic end of the British Terra Nova expedition led by Robert Falcon Scott to the South Pole, the sinking of the British luxury liner RMS Titanic in the North Atlantic and the hosting of the V Summer Olympics in Stockholm.
Politics and World Events
Europe and Mediterranean
January 7: During the Italo-Turkish War, the Italian fleet bombards the port city of Hodeida on the Red Sea and sinks several Ottoman gunboats.
February 24: The Italian fleet bombards the Turkish fortress of Beirut.
March: Italian pilot Carlo Piazza returns from a reconnaissance flight with photographs for the first time.
March 14: At a mass in the Pantheon in Rome, anarchist Antonio D'Alba repeatedly fired on King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy. The king escapes the assassination unharmed.
April 18: After the bombardment of the Dardanelles by Italian warships, Turkey closes the sea connection between the Black and Mediterranean Seas for shipping traffic.
May 4: The Italians stuck in North Africa try to take the war to other regions and conquer the Mediterranean island of Rhodes and other islands in the Dodecanese.
May 25: Universal suffrage (suffragio universale) is introduced by law in the Kingdom of Italy. For the elections held in the autumn of 1913, all male citizens over the age of 21 who can read and write are eligible to vote, as are illiterate males if they are over 30 years of age. Overall, around 27% of the Italian population are entitled to vote.
October 18: The Italo-Turkish War ends after peace negotiations in Ouchy near Lausanne. In the Peace of Ouchy, the Ottoman Empire renounced its North African possessions of Tripolitania, Cyrenaica and Fezzan (in today's Libya) and the Dodecanese in favor of the Kingdom of Italy.
March 13: The Kingdom of Serbia and the Tsardom of Bulgaria conclude a secret defensive alliance, from which the Balkan League, directed against the Ottoman Empire, grows. On May 12, the defensive alliance is expanded to a military alliance.
May 12: The Kingdom of Greece (Megali Idea) and Bulgaria conclude an alliance directed against the Ottoman Empire in Sofia. A similar agreement between Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Montenegro follows later.
8 October: After the Ottoman Empire met the ultimatum of the Balkan League, which meanwhile consisted of Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Greece