The Political and Cultural Impacts of the May Fourth Movement

| By Rebecca Chiew and Emery Pan, Editors in the Gale Asia Publishing Team |

May 4, 1919 was a day to remember for Chiang Monlin (蒋梦麟), a senior member of the Peking University administration. Three thousand students from Peking University and more than a dozen other universities in Beijing demonstrated in Tiananmen Square against the upcoming signing of the Treaty of Versailles. Chiang went on to write The China Mission Year Book (1919) and in the chapter dedicated to “The Student Movement,” he offered a gripping account of the incident at Tiananmen, detailing the fury and violence perpetrated by the students on the perceived traitors of China, and the countermeasures taken by the Chinese government on the riotous protestors. Chiang also analysed the causes of the May Fourth Movement, described the philosophy that underpinned the students’ mindset, and the societal changes that this philosophy brought about. Chiang later became the president of Peking University and the Minister of Education (1928–1930).

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Western Books on Southeast Asia Collection

By Gregory Green, Curator of the John M. Echols Collection on Southeast Asia, Cornell University Library

The Gale Archives Unbound collection titled Western Books on Southeast Asia brings together nearly three hundred years of writings by travellers from Europe to Southeast Asia.  These publications range from official reports of government sponsored expeditions to personal journals of people travelling through the region on business or pleasure.  With that variety, one can expect to find a wide range of observations in the collection.  Much of the information is quite accurate, while a large amount is based on misunderstandings of what people were seeing, or in other ways, simply incorrect.  Whether accurate or not, the collection provides a clear view of how Southeast Asia was seen during this period of time by Western eyes.

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‘Sporadic riots’ and ‘false reports’ – British Reporting of the 1929 Igbo Women’s War

By Tom Henderson, Gale Ambassador at Durham University
I am a second-year Durham historian, research scholar and Treasurer of Durham University History Society. I use Gale’s archives to enhance my work and interrogate historiography, as well as browsing for fun in newspapers and advertisements (yes, really). My main interests include intellectual history, religion, feminism and music. In the world outside the library I enjoy choral singing, football, and excessive quantities of tea.

In December 1929, British newspapers reported on ‘sporadic riots’ taking place in the British colony of Nigeria, targeting Warrant Chiefs and Native Courts across several districts. This was the Ogu Umunwaanyi or ‘Women’s War’: a coordinated insurrection of Igbo women against British colonial rule, ignited by a fear of taxation.

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