Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

May Fourth Movement

4 May 1919
Poster May Fourth Movement 1919 (1976)
BG E15/575

The peaks of Communist influence in the pre-communist Chinese workers' movement occurred  in the course of nationalist protests in which other classes participated and with which employers sympathized. The May Fourth movement grew out of a student's demonstration in Beijing on 4 May 1919, demanding national sovereignty and protesting the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, including the return to China of the territory and rights of Shandong, which Japan had taken from Germany during World War I. The students also called for a boycott of Japanese products. Simultaneously with the May 4th Movement, the workers of Qingdao in the Shandong Province struck. Two weeks later Beijing workers struck, demanding the return of all national territory in foreign hands.

From: Jack Gray, Rebellions and Revolutions. China from the 1800s to 2000 (Oxford 2002) Call no 2003/4952