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1912

Jan 6  New Mexico becomes the 47th state in the US.

Jan 9  President Taft sends the Marines back to Honduras, the superficial reason commonly given: to quell disorder and protect US economic interests.

Jan 11  In France, Joseph Caillaux's government falls. He wanted good relations with Germany. Germany's standing up to France in "a manly way" last year was an embarrassment to Caillaux. France's new government will be led by Raymond Poincaré. The possibility of reconciliation between Germany and France has been lost. Poincaré is a hardliner regarding Germany and opposed to "internationalists" and pacifists. An arms race between Germany and France will begin. Another step toward the Great War of 1914 has occurred.

Jan 22  American troops occupy Tientsin, China, to protect American interests during social upheaval. A contingent is to remain there until 1938.

Feb 12  In China, Emperor Puyi abdicates, ending the Manchu Dynasty's 268 years of rule.

Feb14  Arizona becomes the 48th US state.

Feb 24  Italy's war against the Ottoman Empire continues. Two of its warships bombard the port of Beirut (Lebanon), killing 97 sailors and civilians.

Feb 25  Italy's parliament formalizes the annexation of Tripoli and Cyrenaica (Libya).

Feb 29  Serbia and Bulgaria secretly sign an alliance pledging to come to the defense of the other during war.

Mar 3  Orozco proclaims his revolt against Madero's government.

Mar 5  In Libya, Italians are using airplanes for reconnaissance behind Ottoman lines.

Mar 10  China has its first parliament. Sun Yat-sen, a revolutionary since 1895, is selected as China's provisional president. He is replaced by Yuan Shikai, a Chinese (rather than Manchu) general with an army who has been ruling in the populous northeast. Sun describes Yuan Shikai as "the right man."

Mar 23  In Mexico, Orozco's forces smash Madero's Federalist army in the northern, Chihuahua, area. Madero is alarmed and brings Victoriano Huerta out of retirement, hoping to quell Orozco's rebellion.

Mar 27  Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gives 3,000 cherry trees to be planted in Washington DC to symbolize the friendship between the two countries.

Apr 14-15  The Titanic strikes an iceberg in the northern Atlantic Ocean and sinks. Deaths number 1517.

May 11  Alaska becomes a territory of the United States.

May 23  Huerta and his federal army defeats Orozco's force, and retreats north to Chihuahua.

Jun 5  US Marines return to Cuba, a contingent of 570, to protect US citizens, justified by the 1901 Platt Amendment. They will withdraw in early August.

Jun 7  Pius X issues an encyclical on "the deplorable condition of the Indians" in South America.

Jul 1  Pursued by Huerta, Orozco moves his headquarters farther north to the city Juarez, on the US border.

Jul 15  Britain's National Health Insurance Act goes into effect. The Liberal Party is in power, led by Herbert Asquith, and the Liberals are moving from classical liberalism to more welfare.

Jul 16  Since the Morocco incident, a desire for a rapprochement with Germany has evaporated. The British sign a military agreement with France that allows a more efficient use of both their navies.

Jul 22  The British move battleships from the Mediterranean to oppose the growing strength of the German High Seas Fleet. France takes responsibility for both French and British naval interests in the Mediterranean Sea.

Jul 30  Emperor Meiji dies. Japan's Meiji era, which began in 1868, comes to an end. The Japanese adjulated him and the country goes into shock. Shops close and economic activity stops.

Aug 16  Madero's General Huerta defeats Orozco in several battles. Huerta takes the city of Jaures, and Orozco goes into exile to Los Angeles. Angry responses of some communities to Orozco's undisciplined men will be said to have contributed to Orozco's losses.

Aug 25  In China the Guomingdang "nationalist" party is founded.

Sep 24  US President Taft signs the Panama Canal Act, which exempts American shipping from paying tolls. Some in the US and Britain consider this a violation of the Hay-Pauncefote Treaty of 1901.

Sep 24  President Taft sends a force of 750 Marines to Santo Domingo to compel the reopening of the Dominican-Custom House on its border with Haiti, which has been closed by revolutionaries.

Oct 8  The war between Italy and the Ottoman Empire, known in Italy as the Libyan War, is ending. The Ottoman Empire is losing prestige and an appearance of military strength. Montenegro sees opportunity and declares war against the Turks. The First Balkan War begins.

Oct 18  Serbia's King Peter joins Serbia to the war against Turkey. He claims that the Turks (Ottoman Empire) "showed no interest in their duties towards their citizens and turned a deaf ear to all complaints and suggestions." He pledges support to Serbs outside his kingdom nominally under Turkey's rule and help to Albanians in conflict with Turks. Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia call themselves the Balkan League, and with Montenegro they are now at war against the Turks. Germany backs the Turks, supplying them with arms to be tested on the field of battle. France backs Serbia.

Oct 23 Felix Diaz, the nephew of the former dictator Porfirio Diaz ,has started a revolt against Madero. He tries to appeal to military men who appreciate the order created by his uncle. His uprising lasts a few days, and he goes to prison.

Oct 24  At the Battle of Kumanovo (in Kosovo province), Serb forces defeat the Ottoman army, the Serbs suffering 687 killed, the Ottomans about 1,200. The Serb army numbered an estimated 132,000, the Ottomans an estimated 58,000.

Nov 21  The Serb victory at the Battle of Kumanovo is followed by Serbian forces reaching the Adriatic Sea at Alessio. Austria-Hungary threatens war against Serbia.

Nov 22  Germany's Kaiser Wilhelm promises his friend, Archduke Ferdinand that Germany would back Austria-Hungary in a confrontation with Serbia. He dislikes Serbs, having described them as Asiatics.

Nov 23  Russians are sympathetic with their fellow Orthodox Christians, the Serbs. Tsar Nicholas of Russia tells his Council of Ministers that he has decided to mobilize three Russian army districts – Kiev, Warsaw and Odessa – in response to Austria-Hungary (Roman Catholic) having mobilized against Serbia. France's Raymond Poincare has already, on the 17th, assured the Russian ambassador to France that France would honor its alliance with Russia in the event of war.

Nov 28  Albania declares independence from the Ottoman Empire. Austria-Hungary is supporting territory held by Serbia and Montenegro to be given to Albania.

Dec 10  The German emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, views "Germandom" in a Darwinian struggle with Slavic people ("Slavdom"). Today he tells the Swiss ambassador in Berlin: 'we will not leave Austria in the lurch: if diplomacy fails we shall have to fight this racial war'. (Max Hastings, 1914: Europe Goes to War, p9)

Dec 31  Madero believed that drafting young men into military service would make the army a people's army and less likely to follow reactionary commanders who might want to overthrow him. But people are unenthusiastic about military conscription, and the year ends with many disappointed that Madero has not made the great change in their lives that they expected.

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