May Fourth Movement

Warlords and Revolutionaries

East Asia 1919.0504

May Fourth Movement

The Xinhai Revolution, World War I in Asia, the Warlord Era in China, the Russian Revolution and the Siberian Intervention (4 May 1919)

Historical Map of East Asia & the Western Pacific

World War I ended with Allied victory in November 1918. At the ensuing Paris Peace Conference, Japan was granted the German-leased Chinese territories it had occupied during the War. This provoked nation-wide protests in China, leading to the Chinese government signing a symbolic separate peace with Germany.

Notes

Treaty Ports

Treaty ports were towns opened to foreign trade by unequal treaties in China. Foreigners operating within treaty ports enjoyed extraterritoriality, being subject to their home country's laws. Unlike concessions such as Hong Kong, these territories were not directly leased by the foreign powers and did not have sizable foreign garrisons.

Treaty ports are not shown in the maps after the 1911 Chinese Revolution in order to give a clearer picture of the chaos in China itself and as by that point their numbers had stabilized. After the revolution, some of the smaller ports were phased out while the others became less important as the situation in China meant that only the concessions could provide foreigners with security. Most, however, still continued on into the 1940s when the Japanese entry into World War II and foreign agreements with China brought them to an end.

See this map for treaty ports in 1907, when the system was at its peak.

Yangtze River

By the terms of the Treaty of Tientsin (1858), foreign vessels including warships had the right to free navigation on the Yangtze River. In practical terms, this right extended only as far as Yichang until 1900, when advances in steam navigation allowed access as far inland as Chongqing.

Main Events

Mongolia asks for Chinese military support

Armistice of Compiègne

At 5am Paris time, Germany signed an armistice with the Allies in railway carriage No. 2419 D at Compiègne, France, to end its involvement in World War I. The armistice went into effect at 11am and, although not a formal surrender, demanded that the Germans withdraw their troops to behind their own borders, renounce the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, release all prisoners, promise to pay reparations, and surrender their fleet and materials.

Paris Peace Conference grants German concessions in Shandong to Japan

May Fourth Movement

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