In what ways can the May Forth Movement be regarded as a turning-point in modern Chinese history?
In 1919, things in Europe shocked the world, the Treaty of Versailles after the WWI totally changed the balance of power in European map, while the May Forth Movement triggered in China also served as a turning-point in Chinese history. After the May Forth Movement, different aspects of China had changed, including the society, ideology development and the response to unfair treatments.
Firstly, the acknowledgement of plain language (baihua) as official language after the May Forth Movement signified the structural change in Chinese society. The significance of the introduction of plain language was far-reaching as it bridging the gap between the lower class and the upper class. It did so in the way that letting the majority, mainly illiterate peasants, as well as the educated class to understand the government’s codes more thoroughly and directly. The government’s codes were untouched by the mass, but only the gentry and intellectuals, as they were in complicated language. As plain language was introduced, the knowledge from all grounds could then infiltrate into the mass more effectively then. The traditional structure of Chinese society was changed. People from the peasant class could become middle class through education, which was hard or even impossible in the past.
The emergence and voice appearing of several new social classes after the May Forth Movement were unprecedented in Chinese history. The merchant, worker, and peasants classes in Chinese society first won their place in the May Forth Movement, in participating he mass movement with the intellectuals. This was the first mass movement in the Chinese history – the May Forth Movement gave rise and recognition to the existing class in the Chinese society, the middle class emerged right after the opening up in 1840s, which was ignored by the Qing Court and the mass. The middle class, including...