Outline the causes and developments leading up to the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989

Essay by stakazHigh School, 12th gradeA, August 2004

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The bloodshed of the Tiananmen Square incident in 1989 was a result of an extended period of high tensions between an unyielding communist government and patriotic citizens of the Peoples Republic of China. The crackdown on the night of June 3rd, in which many citizens and PLA soldiers were killed, stemmed from a history riddled with mistakes and hardships. There are many reasons as to why the incident occurred, but essentially the incident occurred because the Chinese government wanted it to. The opening of fire on the citizens of a country by its own government will always be a defining moment in history, but there is much speculation about what really happened on those fateful days as the truth will probably never be known.

Tiananmen Square is the most important site in the political, economic and social history of China, there is no place as fragrant of triumphs and tragedies experienced in Chinas history.

In 1919 it was the scene of massive demonstrations in favor of science and democracy, just as 80 years later democracy was once again campaigned for. The square has strong links to the Cultural Revolution, just as the Cultural Revolution has strong links to the eventual events of 1989. In 1966 Mao Zedong stood in front of hundreds of thousands of Red Guards in the square as he proclaimed the Cultural Revolution, in which Mao essentially was aiming to overthrow his critics and reform China. The Red Guards were largely a student group, and the government used the students as a mean for reform, just as Zhao Ziyang had wanted to in 1989, and was ousted for. During the revolution objects from the west were destroyed, just as in 1989 democracy, as an embodiment of western ideals, was destroyed. The main link between the Cultural...