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Encyclopedia > May Fourth Movement
Students in Beijing rallied during the May Fourth Movement.
Students in Beijing rallied during the May Fourth Movement.

The May Fourth Movement (Traditional Chinese: 五四運動; Simplified Chinese: 五四运动; pinyin: wǔ sì yùn dòng) was an anti-imperialist, cultural, and political movement in early modern China. Beginning on May 4, 1919, it marked the upsurge of Chinese nationalism, and a re-evaluation of Chinese cultural institutions, such as Confucianism. The movement grew out of dissatisfaction with the Treaty of Versailles settlement, termed the Shandong Problem, and the effect of the New Cultural Movement. Image File history File links Information_icon. ... student protests at the May Fourth movement File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... student protests at the May Fourth movement File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Traditional Chinese (Traditional Chinese: 正體字/繁體字, Simplified Chinese: 正体字/繁体字) refers to one of two standard sets of printed Chinese characters. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Hanyu Pinyin (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ), commonly called Pinyin, is the most common variant of Standard Mandarin romanization system in use. ... // Cecil Rhodes: Cape-Cairo railway project. ... May 4 is the 124th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (125th in leap years). ... Year 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... The May Fourth Movement in 1919 marked a turning point in the history of Chinese nationalism. ... The image above is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... The Treaty of Versailles (1919) was the peace treaty which officially ended World War I between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany. ... The Shandong Problem (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: ) refers to the dispute over Article 156 of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. ...

Contents

Background

Following the Xinhai Revolution, the Qing Dynasty was overthrown, marking the end of thousands of years of powerful imperial rule and theoretically ushering in a new era during which political power rested with the people. However, the reality was that China was a fragmented nation dominated by warlords, who were more concerned with their own political powers, the survival of their own private armies, and by foreigners, who had commercial and semi-colonial interests in China. The Chinese Beiyang government was preoccupied with suppressing internal dissent and did little to counter the influence exerted by imperialist foreign powers. The Beiyang government made various concessions to foreigners in order to gain monetary and military support against their rivals. This, together with the continuing tangled warfare among warlords, led to great suffering among the population. Furthermore, the development of the New Cultural Movement promoted the questioning and re-appraisal of millennia-old Chinese values. Defeats by foreign powers and the presence of spheres of influence only further inflamed the sense of nationalism among the Chinese people, particularly in students. These factors were the background which would eventually fuel the May Fourth Movement.


Outbreak and course of the May Fourth Movement

The Beijing government entered World War I on the side of the Allied Triple Entente in 1917, on the condition that all German spheres of influence, such as Shandong, would be returned to China. However, Japan also entered the war as an Allied power and proceeded to attack German interests in China and annexed German spheres of influence when the war ended. In early 1919, the victorious nations of World War I convened a peace conference in Paris. “The Great War ” redirects here. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ...   (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Shan-tung) is a coastal province of eastern Peoples Republic of China. ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Paris Eiffel tower as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ...


The representatives of the Chinese government put forth the following requests:

  • abolish all imperialist privileges, such as extraterritoriality, in China.
  • cancel the "Twenty-One Demands" with the Japanese
  • return Chinese territorial integrity of Shandong, which Japan had taken from Germany during World War I.

The Western Allies dominated the meeting and paid little heed to the Chinese representatives' demands. Britain and France were primarily interested in punishing Germany. Although the United States promoted Woodrow Wilson's utopian Fourteen Points and the ideals of self-determination at the conference, Wilson abandoned most of these ideals in the face of stubborn resistance from David Lloyd George or Georges Clemenceau. Although American advocacy of self-determination at the League of Nations was attractive to Chinese intellectuals, the failure of the United States to follow through was seen as a betrayal. The failure in diplomacy of China at the Paris Peace Conference became the incident that touched off the outbreak of the May Fourth Movement, and was known as the "Shandong Problem". Extraterritoriality is the state of being exempt from the jurisdiction of local law, usually as the result of diplomatic negotiations. ... For other meanings, see 21 demands of MKS. For other meanings, see 21 Demands a Dublin based band. ...   (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Shan-tung) is a coastal province of eastern Peoples Republic of China. ... Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924), was the 28th President of the United States. ... United States President Woodrow Wilson listed the Fourteen Points in a speech that he delivered to the United States Congress on January 8, 1918. ... Self-determination is a principle in international law that a people ought to be able to determine their own governmental forms and structure free from outside influence. ... David Lloyd George, 1st Earl Lloyd George of Dwyfor, OM, PC (17 January 1863 – 26 March 1945) was a British statesman who guided Britain and the British Empire through World War I and the postwar settlement as the Liberal Party Prime Minister, 1916-1922. ... Georges Clemenceau, by Nadar. ... Self-determination is a principle in international law that a people ought to be able to determine their own governmental forms and structure free from outside influence. ... The League of Nations was an international organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919-1920. ... The Paris Peace Conference of 1919 was a conference organized by the victors of World War I to negotiate the peace treaties between the Allied and Associated Powers and the defeated Central Powers. ... The Shandong Problem (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: ) refers to the dispute over Article 156 of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. ...


On the morning of May 4th, 1919 student representatives from thirteen different local universities met in Peking and drafted five resolutions. The first was in opposition to former German concessions in Shandong being transferred to the Japanese. The second was to draw awareness of China's precarious position to the masses in China. The third resolution recommended a large-scale gathering of the masses in Peking. The fourth promoted the creation of a Peking student union and the fifth proposal was to hold a demonstration that afternoon in protest to the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. (Spence 1999, pg299)


On the afternoon of May 4th over 3000 students of Peking University and other schools gathered together in front of Tiananmen and held a demonstration. They voiced their anger at the Allied betrayal of China and the government's inability to secure Chinese interests in the conference. They shouted out such slogans as "Struggle for the sovereignty externally, get rid of the national traitors at home", "Do away with the 'Twenty-One Demands'", "Don't sign the Versailles Treaty". They demanded punishment to figures as Cao Rulin, Zhang Zongxiang, and Lu Zongyu, who held important posts as diplomats. The enraged students even burnt down Cao Rulin's house. The Beiyang government suppressed the demonstration and arrested many students. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The Tiananmen The Gate of Heavenly Peace is the front entrance into the Imperial City A close-up of the rooftop The Tiananmen or Tiananmen (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Tiānānmén; Manchu: Abkai elhe obure duka), is the main entrance to the Imperial City, the... For other meanings, see 21 demands of MKS. For other meanings, see 21 Demands a Dublin based band. ... Woodrow Wilson with the American Peace Commissioners The Treaty of Versailles of 1919 is the peace treaty created as a result of six months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 which put an official end to World War I between the Allies and Central Powers. ... Cao Rulin was Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Northern Government, and an important member of the pro-Japanese movement in the early 20th century. ... Lu Zongyu was a Chinese diplomat in the Paris Peace conference after World War I. Categories: Substubs ...


The next day, students in Beijing as a whole went on strike, and students in other parts of the country responded one after another. Beijing (Chinese: 北京; pinyin: BÄ›ijÄ«ng; IPA: ;  ), a metropolis in northern China, is the capital of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). ...


From early June, in order to support the students' struggle, workers and businessmen in Shanghai also went on strike. So did workers in other places one after another. The center of the movement moved from Beijing to Shanghai. In addition to students and intellectuals, the lower class was also very angry at the current state of affairs, such as mistreatment of workers and perpetual poverty of small peasants. Under intense public outcry, the Beiyang government had to release the arrested students and dismiss Cao Rulin, Zhang Zongxiang and Lu Zongyu from their posts. Also, the Chinese representatives in Paris refused to sign on the peace treaty: the May Fourth Movement won the initial victory. However, this move was more symbolic than anything else. It indicated that this would be an unequal treaty to which the Chinese people would not submit. However, Japan still retained control of the Shandong Peninsula and the islands in the Pacific it had obtained during the First World War. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Cao Rulin was Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Northern Government, and an important member of the pro-Japanese movement in the early 20th century. ... Lu Zongyu was a Chinese diplomat in the Paris Peace conference after World War I. Categories: Substubs ... City flag City coat of arms Motto: Fluctuat nec mergitur (Latin: Tossed by the waves, she does not sink) Paris Eiffel tower as seen from the esplanade du Trocadéro. ... Location of the Shandong Peninsula. ...


Legacy

New Culture Movement

The people in the movement talked about a wide range of different topics and to a wider range of people than ever before. Introducing the Vernacular Chinese (白话), meant that people with just a little education could read texts, articles and books. Classical Chinese, which had been the written language prior to the movement, was only known by highly educated people and mostly officials. Now people who went to school for just a couple of years could read articles, write articles themselves and participate in the movement. The literary output of this time was huge: great writers of the coming years published their first works in that time, such as Mao Dun, Lao She, Lu Xun and Bing Xin. This variety and diversity in literature and writing was unprecedented in China. Vernacular Chinese (pinyin: báihuà; Wade-Giles: paihua) is a style or register of the written Chinese language essentially modeled after the spoken language and associated with Standard Mandarin. ... Classical Chinese or Literary Chinese is a traditional style of written Chinese based on the grammar and vocabulary of very old forms of Chinese , making it very different from any modern spoken form of Chinese. ... Mao Dun (July 4, 1896–March 27, 1981) was the pen name of Shen Dehong, a 20th century Chinese novelist, cultural critic, and journalist. ... Lao She (老舍, Pinyin: LÇŽo ShÄ›), (February 3, 1899 – October 14, 1966) was a noted Chinese writer. ... Lu Xun (pinyin, Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; pinyin: ) or Lu Hsün (Wade-Giles), pen name of Zhou Shuren (Traditional Chinese: ; Simplified Chinese: ; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Chou Shu-jen) (September 25, 1881 – October 19, 1936) is one of the major Chinese writers of the 20th century. ... Bing Xin (Chinese: 冰心; pinyin: BÄ«ng XÄ«n) (October 5, 1900-February 28, 1999) was a Chinese writer and poet. ...


Birth of Chinese Communism

After the demonstrations in 1919 and their suppression the discussion became more and more political. People like Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao shifted more to the Left and were among the leaders of founding the 1921 Communist Party of China. According to the CPC: Chen Duxiu (October 8, 1879 – May 27, 1942) played many different roles in Chinese history. ... Li Dazhao (李大釗, Wades-Giles: Li Ta-chao) (October 29, 1888 - April 28, 1927) was a Chinese intellectual who cofounded the Communist Party of China with Chen Duxiu in 1921. ... The Communist Party of China (CPC) (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ), also known as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is the ruling political party of the Peoples Republic of China, a position guaranteed by the countrys constitution. ...

The May Fourth Movement was a thoroughly anti-imperialist and anti-feudal revolutionary movement. Young students acted as its pioneers. The Chinese working class went up on the political stage, and functioned as the main force in the later period of the movement. Li Dazhao, Chen Duxiu and other intellectuals directed and promoted the development of the movement, and played leading roles in it. On the local level, future Communist Party leader Mao Zedong rallied opposition against Hunan's warlord Chang Ching-yao.

The May Fourth Movement covered more than 20 provinces and over 100 cities of the country. It had a broader popular foundation than the Revolution of 1911. Its great contribution lay in arousing the people's consciousness and preparing for the unity of the revolutionary forces.

The May Fourth Movement promoted the spreading of Marxism in China, and prepared the ideological foundation for the establishment of the Communist Party of China. The October Revolution pointed out the direction for the Chinese revolution. The May Fourth Movement, which took place after the October Socialist Revolution, was a part of the world's Proletarian Revolution. Imperialism is the policy of extending the control or authority over foreign entities as a means of acquisition and/or maintenance of empires, either through direct territorial or through indirect methods of exerting control on the politics and/or economy of other countries. ... Li Dazhao (李大釗, Wades-Giles: Li Ta-chao) (October 29, 1888 - April 28, 1927) was a Chinese intellectual who cofounded the Communist Party of China with Chen Duxiu in 1921. ... Chen Duxiu (October 8, 1879 – May 27, 1942) played many different roles in Chinese history. ... “Mao” redirects here. ... A warlord is a person with power who has de facto military control of a subnational area due to armed forces loyal to the warlord and not to a central authority. ... Combatants Qing Dynasty Chinese Revolutionary Alliance Commanders Feng Guozhang, Yuan Shikai, and local Qing governors. ... Marxism takes its name from the praxis — the synthesis of philosophy and political action — of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. ... The Communist Party of China (CPC) (Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ), also known as the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), is the ruling political party of the Peoples Republic of China, a position guaranteed by the countrys constitution. ... “Red October” redirects here. ... The proletariat (from Latin proles, offspring) is a term used to identify a lower social class; a member of such a class is called a proletarian. ...

The May Fourth Movement served as an intellectual turning point in China. It was the seminal event that radicalized Chinese intellectual thought. Previously Western style liberal democracy had a degree of traction amongst Chinese intellectuals. However the Versailles Treaty was viewed as a betrayal. Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, cloaked as they were by moralism, were seen as Western-centrist and hypocritical. Woodrow Wilson with the American Peace Commissioners The Treaty of Versailles of 1919 is the peace treaty created as a result of six months of negotiations at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 which put an official end to World War I between the Allies and Central Powers. ... Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924), was the 28th President of the United States. ... United States President Woodrow Wilson listed the Fourteen Points in a speech that he delivered to the United States Congress on January 8, 1918. ... Moralism is the philosophy of adherence to morality, created by Max Shapiro, of 20th century Los Angeles. ...


Many in the Chinese intellectual community noted that the United States did nothing to convince the imperialist powers (most notably, Britain, France, and Japan) to adhere to the Fourteen Points, and furthermore the United States declined to join the League of Nations; and as a result turned away from Western liberal democracy. Marxism (Leninism) began to take hold in Chinese intellectual thought, particular among those already on the Left. It was during this time that communism was studied seriously by some Chinese intellectuals such as Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao. The League of Nations was an international organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference in 1919-1920. ... Communism is an ideology that seeks to establish a classless, stateless social organization based on common ownership of the means of production. ... Chen Duxiu (October 8, 1879 – May 27, 1942) played many different roles in Chinese history. ... Li Dazhao (李大釗, Wades-Giles: Li Ta-chao) (October 29, 1888 - April 28, 1927) was a Chinese intellectual who cofounded the Communist Party of China with Chen Duxiu in 1921. ...


Some historians have speculated that Chinese history might have taken a different course had the United States taken a stronger position on Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points and self-determination. The United States was not a major imperialist power (the Spanish-American War being the primary exception) and, having suffered little damage from World War I, was in a position to take a strong anti-imperialist stance. However, it was unlikely, given the prevailing isolationist mood in the United States at the time. Thomas Woodrow Wilson (December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924), was the 28th President of the United States. ... United States President Woodrow Wilson listed the Fourteen Points in a speech that he delivered to the United States Congress on January 8, 1918. ... Self-determination is a principle in international law that a people ought to be able to determine their own governmental forms and structure free from outside influence. ... Imperialism is the policy of extending the control or authority over foreign entities as a means of acquisition and/or maintenance of empires, either through direct territorial or through indirect methods of exerting control on the politics and/or economy of other countries. ... Combatants United States Republic of Cuba Philippine Republic Spain Commanders Nelson A. Miles William R. Shafter George Dewey Máximo Gómez Emilio Aguinaldo Patricio Montojo Pascual Cervera Casualties 3,289 U.S. dead (only 432 from combat); considerably higher although undetermined Cuban and Filipino casualties Unknown[1] The Spanish... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Isolationism is a diplomatic policy whereby a nation seeks to avoid alliances with other nations. ...


Other aspects

Boycott of Japanese products in this period slightly boosted the industries of China. Boycotts of Japanese products have been conducted by numerous Chinese civilian and governmental organisations, always in response to real or perceived Japanese aggression, whether military, political or economic. ...


Some Historians consider the May Fourth Movement the deciding feature of recent Chinese History. This is best expressed by Rana Mitter in his critically aclaimied Bitter Revolution.


References

Find more information on May Fourth Movement by searching Wikipedia's sister projects
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Learning resources from Wikiversity
  • Spence, Jonathan D. The Search for Modern China. ISBN 0-393-30780-8 New York: Norton, 1999.
  • Chow Tse-Tung: The May Fourth Movement. Intellectual Revolution in Modern China (Cambridge/Mass.: Harvard University), 1960.
  • Schwarcz, Vera: The Chinese enlightenment: intellectuals and the legacy of the May Fourth Movement of 1919 (1986). Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Zarrow, Peter, “Intellectuals, the Republic, and a new culture”, in Zarrow, Peter: China in war and revolution, 1895-1949 (New York: Routledge), 2005, 133-143.
  • Zarrow, Peter, “Politics and culture in the May Fourth Movement”, in Zarrow, Peter: China in war and revolution, 1895-1949 (New York: Routledge), 2005, 149-169.

Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Image File history File links Wikibooks-logo. ... Image File history File links Wikiquote-logo. ... Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... Image File history File links Commons-logo. ... Image File history File links WikiNews-Logo. ... Image File history File links Wikiversity-logo-Snorky. ... Jonathan D. Spence (August 11, 1936– ) is a British-born historian, specialising in Chinese history. ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
May Fourth Movement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1628 words)
Outbreak and course of the May Fourth Movement
Though the movement is widely considered to have originated as an outgrowth of the Anarchist movement, the ideology of the May Fourth Movement is now claimed by the Communist government that gained control of China in 1949.
The May Fourth Movement promoted the spreading of Marxism in China, and prepared the ideological foundation for the establishment of the Communist Party of China.
Talk:May Fourth Movement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2050 words)
May Fourth is claimed as the birth of modern Chinese political thought.
The May Fourth Movement and the New Culture Movement are istinctly seperate.
The May Fourth Movement was a Movement of large-scale protest.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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