May Fourth Movement 

"It is an intellectual 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." (

It is a movement conducted in particular by young Chinese intellectuals who question 

the patriarchal system that has in long existence been evidenced in China in seek for 

new ideologies such as democracy, socialism, liberalism, nationalism, pragmatism, etc. 

This passion for changes in the sociopolitical arena was inflamed further with the 

knowledge that a treaty will be signed at the Versailles Conference, where China agree 

to cede to the Japanese--an allied of the Germans--the German occupied territory of 


This created countrywide demonstrations in China and is said that several students died

in these incidents, and more than 1,000 were arrested. Embargo and boycotts on 

Japanese goods were prevalent and strikes were rampant. This forced the Chinese

governments to dismiss several pro-Japanese officials with the resignation of the 

Cabinet and the treaty was not sign, all executed in an attempt to satiate the people.

As a result, there arise many changes: the decline of traditional ethics and the family 

system; the emancipation of women with the emergence of a vernacular literature.

Reorganization of the Kuomintang, the Nationalist Party later ruled by Chiang Kai-shek

and the birth of the Chinese Communist Party hinges on this movement.