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The Background of the May Fourth Movement in China - Essay Example

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The May Fourth Movement that shook China in May 1919 in its significance equals, if not exceeds, the other important political revolutions of the 20th century. But in order to fully understand its background, the May Fourth Movement should be studied in the context of political and cultural developments in China in the first decades of the 20th century.
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The Background of the May Fourth Movement in China
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The Background of the May Fourth Movement in China

Download file to see previous pages... Indeed, in the WWI China had joined the allies against Germany, and after the war demanded that allies end the occupation of the Chinese territories, but such demands were ignored in the Versailles Treaty. Frustration and indignation of the Chinese escalated and lead to student demonstrations on May 4, 1919 in Beijing, which quickly expanded to other main cities. The disappointment over the West instigated many Chinese to search elsewhere for help. Still, while the May Fourth Movement grew on the base of the student protests, it had a deeper historic background that contributed to it. In fact, the roots of the May Fourth Movement, also called the New Cultural Movement, can be found in China already around 1916, when Chinese intellectuals began to spread disdain for the traditional Chinese culture, blaming it for turning China into a secondary international player. So, it is no wonder that the controversy over the Versailles Treaty lead to the explosion of popular outrage, and amplified appeals to much needed "new culture" and the need to return to China its due international role. Moreover, at the same time the government of the Northern Warlords, the militant sovereigns and ruling groups, submitted to the foreign powers and significantly increased taxation, which made the population suffer. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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