May Fourth Movement
Chinese intellectual revolution and sociopolitical reform movement (1917–21).In 1915 young intellectuals inspired by Chen Duxiu began agitating for the reform and strengthening of Chinese society through acceptance of Western science, democracy, and schools of thought, one objective being to make China strong enough to resist Western imperialism. On May 4, 1919, reformist zeal found focus in a protest by Beijing's students against the Versailles Peace Conference's decision to transfer former German concessions in China to Japan. After more than a month of demonstrations, strikes, and boycotts of Japanese goods, the government gave way and refused to sign the peace treaty with Germany. The movement spurred the successful reorganization of the Nationalist Party and gave birth to the Chinese Communist Party. See also Treaty of Versailles.
* * *▪ Chinese historyintellectual revolution and sociopolitical reform movement that occurred in China in 1917–21. The movement was directed toward national independence, emancipation of the individual, and rebuilding society and culture.In 1915, in the face of Japanese encroachment on China, young intellectuals, inspired by “New Youth” (Xin qingnian), a monthly magazine edited by the iconoclastic intellectual revolutionary Chen Duxiu, began agitating for the reform and strengthening of Chinese society. As part of this New Culture Movement, they attacked traditional Confucian ideas and exalted Western ideas, particularly science and democracy. Their inquiry into liberalism, pragmatism, nationalism, anarchism, and socialism provided a basis from which to criticize traditional Chinese ethics, philosophy, religion, and social and political institutions. Moreover, led by Chen and the American-educated scholar Hu Shi (Hu Shih), they proposed a new naturalistic vernacular writing style (baihua), replacing the difficult 2,000-year-old classical style (wenyan).These patriotic feelings and the zeal for reform culminated in an incident on May 4, 1919, from which the movement took its name. On that day, more than 3,000 students from 13 colleges in Beijing held a mass demonstration against the decision of the Versailles Peace Conference (Versailles, Treaty of), which drew up the treaty officially ending World War I, to transfer the former German concessions in Shandong province to Japan. The Chinese government's acquiescence to the decision so enraged the students that they burned the house of the minister of communications and assaulted China's minister to Japan, both pro-Japanese officials. Over the following weeks, demonstrations occurred throughout the country; several students died or were wounded in these incidents, and more than 1,000 were arrested. In the big cities, strikes and boycotts against Japanese goods were begun by the students and lasted more than two months. For one week, beginning June 5, merchants and workers in Shanghai and other cities went on strike in support of the students. Faced with this growing tide of unfavourable public opinion, the government acquiesced; three pro-Japanese officials were dismissed, the cabinet resigned, and China refused to sign the peace treaty with Germany.As a part of this movement, a campaign had been undertaken to reach the common people; mass meetings were held throughout the country, and more than 400 new publications were begun to spread the new thought. As a result, the decline of traditional ethics and the family system was accelerated, the emancipation of women gathered momentum, a vernacular literature emerged, and the modernized intelligentsia became a major factor in China's subsequent political developments. The movement also spurred the successful reorganization of the Nationalist Party (Kuomintang), later ruled by Chiang Kai-shek (Jiang Jieshi), and stimulated the birth of the Chinese Communist Party as well.
* * *
Look at other dictionaries:
May Fourth Movement — Students in Beijing rallied during the May Fourth Movement … Wikipedia
May Thirtieth Movement — A propaganda poster depicting a foreign imperialist and a local warlord torturing a Chinese patriot in the aftermath of the May 30th Movement in China. The May Thirtieth Movement (pinyin: wǔsà yùndòng May 30, 1925) was a labor and anti imperalist … Wikipedia
May Fourth — may refer to: May 4 May Fourth Movement May Fourth Square Kent State shootings of May 4, 1970 This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an … Wikipedia
May Fourth Square — (Wusi Guangchang) is a large public square in Qingdao s central business district. It is located between the new municipal government building and Fushan Bay and is composed of Shizhengting Square, the central square and the coastal park. Named… … Wikipedia
May 4 — << May 2011 >> Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa 1 2 3 4 5 … Wikipedia
May — /may/, n. 1. the fifth month of the year, containing 31 days. 2. the early part of one s life, esp. the prime: a young woman in her May. 3. the festivities of May Day. 4. (l.c.) Brit. the hawthorn. 5. a female given name. v.i. 6. (l.c.) to gather … Universalium
movement — /moohv meuhnt/, n. 1. the act, process, or result of moving. 2. a particular manner or style of moving. 3. Usually, movements. actions or activities, as of a person or a body of persons. 4. Mil., Naval. a change of position or location of troops… … Universalium
fourth — /fawrth, fohrth/, adj. 1. next after the third; being the ordinal number for four. 2. being one of four equal parts. 3. Auto. of, pertaining to, or operating at the gear transmission ratio at which the drive shaft speed is greater than that of… … Universalium
may — may1 /may/, auxiliary v., pres. sing. 1st pers. may, 2nd may or (Archaic) mayest or mayst, 3rd may; pres. pl. may; past … Universalium
May 2010 — was the fifth month of that year. It began on a Saturday and ended after 31 days on a Monday. International holidays (See Holidays and observances, on sidebar at right, below) Portal:Current events This is an archived version of Wikipedia s… … Wikipedia