Unionist militias were formed by Edward Carson and James Craig to oppose the imminent third Irish Home Rule Bill. At the start of 1912, Unionists and members of the Orange Order started drilling
8 February: First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill addresses a pro-
9 April: 250,000 Unionists converged on Balmoral Showground in Belfast, declaring that under no circumstances would they accept Home Rule. Carson and Conservative leader, Andrew Bonar Law, reviewed 100,000 Ulster Volunteers marching in columns.
11 April: Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Herbert Asquith, introduced the 3rd Home Rule Bill in the British House of Commons.
14 April: RMS Titanic, the largest vessel in the world, built in Belfast and making its last stop at Queenstown (Cobh), collided with an iceberg and sank.
30 April: Winston Churchill moved the second reading of the Home Rule Bill at Westminster.
9 May: The second reading of the Home Rule Bill was accepted in the British House of Commons. A Unionist amendment rejecting the Bill was defeated.
May – September: Carson and Bonar Law continue their campaign against the Home Rule Bill in Ireland and Britain.
28 September, Ulster Day: 218,206 men signed the Ulster Covenant pledged to “using all means which may be found necessary to defeat the present conspiracy to set up a Home Rule Parliament in Ireland”.