May 4, 1919 — The Chinese Movement, precurser of 20th Century Chinese Revolution

May Fourth Movement (1919)

May Fourth Movement, 1976

May Fourth Movement, 1976

At the end of the First World War, in 1918, China was convinced it would be able to reclaim the territories occupied by the Germans in present-day Shandong Province. After all, it had fought along with the Allies. However, it was not to be. The warlord government of the day had secretly struck a deal with the Japanese, offering the German colonies in return for financial support. The Allies, on the other hand, acknowledged Japan’s territorial claims in China. When it became known in China in April 1919 that the negotiations over the Treaty of Versailles would not honor China’s claims, it gave rise to a movement that might be considered even more revolutionary than the one that ended the Empire. Continue reading