Analysis of 3 Images, May 4th Movement?


Student Protests, 1919, Sydney Gamble, Courtesy of Duke University.

pg 6 Soldier prisoner

Soldier Prisoner, 1919, Sydney Gamble, Courtesy of Duke University.

pg23 student arrest soldiers on guard


Student Arrest Soldiers on Guard, June 4, 1919, Sydney Gamble, Couresy of Duke University


With each of these images the theme I noticed was the seemingly martial state of Beijing in 1919. because of the public humiliation of the soldier in the first image, the protesting students in the second, and the multitude of soldiers standing on guard for the arrest of students, I am led to believe that these images are a result of the May Fourth Movement in Beijing. During this time students protested a weak governmental response to the Treaty of Versaille and from these protest arose an anti-imperialist movement and a shift from intellectual elites to a populist culture. (Chow Tse-Tsung: The May Fourth Movement. Intellectual Revolution in Modern China (Cambridge/Mass.: Harvard University), 1960.)

Within these images I see students protesting what could either be soldier activity such as the arresting of students or the humiliation of their own troops as a result of the may 4th movement. I also see an aggresive response by the Chinese soldiers in their intense show of force against the students and against disention in their own ranks. Questions arise for me as to why this martial state was necessary, as the student protests seem to be within reason and not at all violent or aggressive as one may see in a riot.

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