Cai Yuanpei, one of the founders of the New Cultural Movement, which inspired revolutionary leaders to reform China’s intellectual, political, and social traditions. In 1917, as chancellor of Beijing University, Cai Yuanpei invited Chen Duxiu to become the Dean of the School of Letters. Chen added many faculty members to the editorial board of the magazine New Youth, in which many of the intellectual debates of the movement took place.
During the early twentieth century, many classically educated Chinese intellectuals, disillusioned with a weak and inefficient government, advocated for a new Chinese culture based not on Confucian values, but instead on Western-style ideals and thought. The resulting New Culture Movement inspired revolutionary leaders—radical and conservative—to reform China’s intellectual, political, and social traditions, thus shaping modern China.
The term “New Culture Movement” refers to a short span of time in the early twentieth century when Chinese intellectuals, influenced by knowledge and events from abroad, hastily and passionately set new directions in intellectual, social, political, and cultural trends. It is often used synonymously with the “May Fourth Movement.” Historians tend to use the years 1915 and 1923 to delineate the beginning and ending of this event, but they disagree about what constitutes its most salient aspects. Some see the movement primarily as a watershed in revolutionizing literary and intellectual consciousness, as a form of Chinese Renaissance or Enlightenment (Hu Shi, Benjamin Schwartz, and Vera Schwarcz, to name just a few); others see it as a political awakening that enabled the rise of Chinese Communism (Mao Zedong and mainland Chinese Marxist historians); still others view it as a two-tiered process by which cultural iconoclasm eventually led to political radicalism (Chow Tse-tsung, Joseph Chen, and others); and others consider it to be neither cultural Renaissance nor Enlightenment, but a multidimensional and multidirectional movement of both radical and conservative ideas (Yu Yingshi and others).
But all authorities concur that a defining moment in this process was the May Fourth demonstration of 1919, when over three thousand students marched on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square to protest the negative outcome of the Treaty of Versailles. The stipulations of the treaty, negotiated in Paris from January to June 1919, led the Allies to turn over German-controlled territory in Shandong Province to Japan instead of China, whose hope had been buoyed by Woodrow Wilson’s call for national self-determination. This incident signaled a new chapter in Chinese political and intellectual history because the demonstrators were young students who came of age after the elimination of the civil-service exams in 1905, a system that had reinforced Confucian values and provided a path toward official success for many centuries. Informed by Western political ideologies introduced mainly from Japan, they railed against the government for selling out to the same Japanese and Western imperialist powers. Most importantly, they were joined by merchants, laborers, and other hitherto apolitical segments of the Chinese population. The New Culture Movement, therefore, not only signified a time when intellectuals reexamined all aspects of society, including its literary, intellectual, and philosophical underpinnings, in an attempt to save the country, but it also inaugurated a period in which new social groups experimented with disparate political ideologies, foreshadowing the eventual showdown between the Nationalists and the Communists in the ensuing decades.
Decline of Imperial China
The year 1915 is often considered the start of the New Culture Movement, not only because it marked the founding of the most influential magazine of the period, Youth (Qingnian), later renamed New Youth (Xin Qingnian), but also because it was the year that President Yuan Shikai (1859–1916) of the Republic of China was issued the infamous Twenty-One Demands by Japan. On 18 January the Japanese minister to China secretly presented Yuan with a list of conditions that would give Japan effective control of the whole country. The effete Chinese government, under the threat of war, leaked the terms of this onerous document in the national and foreign press, and won a great deal of moral support both at home and abroad. After Japan presented an ultimatum on 7 May, China acquiesced to most of the terms on 9 May. Public indignation was roused to an unprecedented height, and these two dates were marked as National Humiliation Days.
Japan could confront China with such brazen aggressiveness because by the early twentieth century, the political and socioeconomic conditions in China had deteriorated to a point of no return. Beginning with the First Opium War (1839–1842), China endured a series of disastrous military defeats at the hands of the West and Japan, and with each loss the Chinese ceded more territorial control and millions of ounces of silver in indemnity payments. China’s humiliating defeat in the First Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895 cost the dynasty 200 million taels of silver and the island of Taiwan, among other indignities. The debacle of the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 resulted in an indemnity payment of 450 million taels to eight foreign nations, a sum more than four times the annual income of the state. Internally, a series of rebellions that began in the 1850s and 1860s brought more hardship on the people, and weakened the control of the central government. The Taiping Rebellion (1850–1864) occasioned the loss of approximately 20 million lives and nearly toppled the Qing dynasty (1644–1912). Several serious famines and floods in the second half of the nineteenth century led to further social unrest, and the situation was aggravated by a corrupt bureaucracy that could not relieve the sufferings of the people. Opium addiction and unemployment contributed to the demoralization and turmoil of society. Beset by internal disorder and external encroachments, the dynasty was teetering on the verge of extinction at the turn of the twentieth century.
The New Republic
As anti-Manchu revolutionary societies began to appear across China, Sun Yat-sen’s Revolutionary Alliance, formed in 1905 in Japan, became the most popular and well-organized group. Composed of intellectuals and secret-society members, these revolutionary societies staged uprisings in various parts of the country, and succeeded in overthrowing the Qing in October of 1911 (the emperor abdicated in February 1912). Sun Yat-sen (1866–1925) assumed the office of the provisional president of the Republic of China on 1 January 1912, but soon yielded the office to Yuan Shikai (1859–1916), who had superior military power. In an effort to stem Yuan’s increasing political ambition, the Revolutionary Alliance absorbed four other political parties and was renamed the Nationalist Party (Guomindang) under Song Jiaoren in 1912. Song’s assassination in 1913 was widely believed to have been ordered by Yuan. In an effort to halt Yuan’s growing dictatorial ambitions, the revolutionaries in the Nationalist Party launched a second revolution. It collapsed in a short few months, whereupon Yuan became unstoppable. At the onset of World War I in Europe, Yuan was preparing for his role as emperor. He died of illness in 1916, after which the country endured a decade of warlordism. By 1918 the country was roughly divided into the northern government, controlled by warlords of the Beiyang faction under Duan Qirui, and the southern government of Sun Yat-sen, backed by Chen Jiongming and other southern warlords.
China’s decision to join World War I by sending laborers to Europe for the Allies was made in the hope that an Allied victory would gain the return of the Jiaozhou Peninsula, which was ceded to Germany in 1898. Woodrow Wilson’s advocacy of national self-determination had raised the hopes of the Chinese people. It was therefore a devastating blow to learn that Britain, France, and Italy had signed secret treaties with Japan in 1917 backing its claims to Germany’s rights in China. Their disappointment turned to fury when the Japanese diplomats in Paris further disclosed that Duan Qirui’s government had negotiated a secret loan in 1918 for the construction of railroads in Shandong, and not only had pledged the property and the income of the two railroads to Japan, but also agreed to a seven-point Japanese proposal with regard to management and policing of the railroads.
When news of this development reached the Chinese public on 3 May 1919, the students of Beijing University, with the support of Chancellor Cai Yuanpei (1868–1940), decided to move up the date of a planned demonstration on 7 May to mark National Humiliation Day. On 4 May, over three thousand students from thirteen colleges and universities in Beijing gathered at Tiananmen Square, protesting the treachery of their own government and the aggression of the foreign powers and urging the Chinese delegates in Paris not to sign the treaty. The demonstration began peacefully but turned violent as the marchers arrived in front of the residence of the pro-Japanese minister of communications, Cao Rulin, and were forced back by the police. Angry students set fire to Cao’s residence, and a few were arrested by the police. After an initial period of confusion, the government adopted a hard-line approach by arresting thousands of students. This act only increased the indignation of the public. As a result, sympathy strikes by students spread to more than twenty cities within a month. In Shanghai, the Federation of All Organizations of China was formed on 5 June, linking merchant and labor groups, the press, and the student union. On 16 June a Student Union of the Republic of China was established with representatives from several cities and provinces. The public uproar finally forced the resignation of the three pro-Japanese officials who were targets of the May Fourth demonstration. Duan resigned in the following year, as the struggle for power continued throughout the country.
The political and cultural iconoclasm that characterized the New Culture Movement grew out of changes in the late Qing period. As the dynastic center spun out of control, a breathing space was provided for opponents of the political and cultural status quo to voice their discontent without recrimination. Deeply concerned with the breakdown of the Qing state, Chinese intellectuals initiated a soul-searching examination of all aspects of their world—from religion, philosophy, politics, literature, and epistemology to the nature and direction of China’s modernization. Most significantly, they questioned the viability of Confucianism as doctrinal canon for a new China. The revisionist and reformist writings of individuals such as Kang Youwei (1858–1927) and Tan Sitong (1865–1898), as well as Yan Fu’s (1854–1921) translations of Herbert Spencer, Montesquieu, and numerous Western philosophers and thinkers forged a link between evolutionary change and social and political progress in the minds of their readers. While Yan Fu focused on the material learning of the West, Liang Qichao (1873–1929), Kang’s most famous disciple, believed that China needed to overhaul its legal, educational, and bureaucratic systems in order to create a new citizen, “one whose character would be based on “civic activism, respect for human rights and a spirit of adventure” (Chang Hao 1971, 216). Yan and Liang were also among the first intellectuals to discuss social Darwinism, suggesting that the concept of “great harmony” (datong) was compatible with the concept of socialism, thus providing a “scientific” alternative for the May Fourth generation to counter the hegemony of Confucianism. In doing so, they severed the link between the Confucian spiritual order and the sociopolitical system, freeing the May Fourth intellectuals to embrace a scientific world view and to entertain the concepts of democracy, socialism, anarchism, and communism as possibilities for China.
Reforms and New Youth
Even as the late Qing reformers were adopting Western political ideas and denouncing aspects of their own cultural heritage, a concern for the future of the country was uppermost in their minds. Nationalism, in the sense of a patriotic concern with China’s future, was arguably the dominant theme in the writings of most Chinese intellectuals from the 1890s onward. In October 1905, Sun Yat-sen laid out a program to save the nation in his revolutionary paper People’s Journal, articulating the “Three People’s Principles”: nationalism (minzuzhuyi), democracy (minquanzhuyi), and socialism (minshengzhuyi). Sun’s journal was instrumental in broadening the discourse on socialism in the first decade of the twentieth century. Two of the editors of the People’s Journal, Liu Shipei (1884–1919) and Zhang Binglin (1868–1936), espoused anarchist principles in the paper. Liu founded an anarchist group in Tokyo in 1907. Calling for the overthrow of the state and of all ideas and institutions that inhibit freedom, such as the Confucian ideology and the family, the anarchists envisioned a universal brotherhood based on mutual assistance, grounded on the principle of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” (Gasster 1969, 164). They drew inspiration variously from Laozi and the Daoist thesis of nonstriving (wuwei), or the theory that one does only what comes naturally, as well as from strands of Mahayana Buddhism and Kroptokin’s concept of mutual aid. While anarchism was one voice among a plethora of socialist doctrines in the early decades of twentieth-century China, historians have long recognized the important role of anarchists in paving the way for the Chinese acceptance of communism. They credit anarchists with radicalizing the discourse on change, for bringing together laborers and intellectuals in work-study programs, for elevating the importance of labor, and for hailing the Russian Revolution as a universal social revolution.
Many of the intellectual debates of the New Culture Movement took place within the pages of the New Youth magazine, particularly before its transformation into an organ of the Chinese Communist Party in 1923. Founded in Shanghai in 1915 by Chen Duxiu (1879–1942), who went on to establish the first Chinese Communist cell in 1920 and the party itself 1921. the magazine targeted high school and university students, and reached a monthly circulation of over 10,000 copies at its height. In 1917, when Chancellor Cai Yuanpei invited Chen to become the Dean of the School of Letters at Beijing University, Chen added many faculty members to the editorial board of the magazine. His opening salvo—”To Youth”—summarizes his already-radical views. In this article Chen Duxiu called on the new generation to become independent, progressive, aggressive, cosmopolitan, utilitarian, and scientific in order to save the country. By addressing the young generation, Chen encouraged their direct political and social involvement in society. He followed this essay with a discussion on French civilization and credited France for contributing three gifts to mankind: democracy, evolutionism, and socialism. “Science” and “democracy” became the rallying cry of the generation who came of age with the New Youth magazine, and “tradition” became the common enemy. As Chen stated in defending his magazine from detractors: “In order to advocate Mr. Democracy, we are obliged to oppose Confucianism, the codes of rituals, chastity of women, traditional ethics, and old-fashioned politics; in order to advocate Mr. Science, we have to oppose traditional arts and traditional religion” (Chen Duxiu 1926, 10–11).
One of the most important achievements of the New Culture Movement was the vernacularization of the written language. In 1917 Hu Shi (1891–1962) published his “Some Tentative Suggestions for the Reform of Chinese Literature” in New Youth, in which he called for a new literature that did not imitate the ancients, one that emphasized substance over form, one that was devoid of clichés, and one that embraced the language of popular literature. Hu declared that the classical written Chinese was a dead language, and that only the spoken, or vernacular Chinese, was a living language and therefore it was the only appropriate medium for the creation of a living Chinese literature. Chen Duxiu responded enthusiastically, and together they denounced the fundamental assumption of Chinese literary theory, which was the idea that literature must convey the Way (dao), or the moral principles of the Confucian teaching. Chen proposed instead that Chinese literature adopt the style of realism found in European literature, in order to reflect life’s contemporary problems. Like most of his contemporaries, Chen possessed a somewhat simplistic understanding of European literature as progressing in a linear fashion from classicism, romanticism, and realism to naturalism.
Ironically, in order to earn the respect of their fellow intellectuals, the contributors to New Youth at first felt compelled to display their erudition by making frequent allusions to classical texts and by composing “new” poetry in a classical form. Eventually New Youth launched a campaign in 1918 for editors and readers to create poetry, plays, and translations purely in the vernacular style. In the process they created a new genre, the short essay, which became a powerful vehicle for social commentary. As Hu Shi issued a call for “a literature in the national language, and a literary national language,” (Hu Shi 1918) readers set up hundreds of literary societies in response. Along with Lu Xun (1881–1936), one of the greatest writers in Chinese literature, Hu Shi and his colleagues—including not only Chen Duxiu, Qian Xuantong, Shen Yinmo, Li Dazhao, and Zhou Zuoren, but also their students, Fu Sinian, Luo Jialun, Zhu Zhiqing, and Ye Shaojun—spearheaded the new literary movement. By March of 1920 the Ministry of Education in Beijing decreed that school textbooks should be written in the vernacular language, and within a year the vernacular language was officially recognized as the national language.
A dominant theme in the new literature of the New Culture Movement was the desire on the part of the Chinese writers to save their nation. Lu Xun’s short story “Iron House” poignantly captured the despair of someone who could not awaken a nation because its people were in deep slumber and oblivious to their imminent demise. The intense subjectivism of the literature of the period was manifested in an intense preoccupation with the self, and with a celebration of individualism. Stories revolving around the theme of love replaced that of propriety, as love became symbolic of freedom and the new morality. Women’s issues became prominent in the writings of the New Culture Movement, touching on topics such as women’s education, the concept of chastity, and the practice of forced marriage. Eight or more new women’s publications appeared during this period. Ibsen’s Nora became an emblem of the May Fourth generation, symbolizing women’s increasing self-assertion and individualism. But women’s suffrage was not yet granted, and Lu Xun’s pointed question of what happens after Nora leaves home was met with silence. In Miss Sophie’s Dairy, the respected female author Ding Ling (1904–1986), blazed a new literary trail by creating a female protagonist who reveals her sexual desires for two men, shocking her audience. In 1921 the manifesto of the Association for Literary Societies proclaimed for the first time that writers were a professional group dedicated to the practice of literature as an independent vocation. The emancipation of the literary form and language during the New Culture Movement led to the development of a rich body of short stories, novels, and the founding of literary societies such as the Crescent Moon Society, the Creation Society, and the Association for Literary Societies in the 1920s.
Another major feature of the New Culture Movement was the use of scientific methodology in reexamining China’s past. At first Chinese intellectuals understood Western science simply as the use of Baconian inductionism, which emphasized observation and the accrual of data; they were relatively unconcerned with the speculative element in the collection of these facts. Hu Shi, Gu Jiegang, and Fu Sinian embarked on projects to “reorganize the national heritage,” and produced new histories of philosophy, folk literature, and philological treatise using “scientific” methodology. The study of archaeology became an important “scientific” tool to determine the veracity of claims to Chinese antiquity. Ding Wenjiang, a geologist and one of the few trained scientists among the New Culture intellectuals, even advocated eugenics and a scientific bureaucracy to transform society. Chen used the concept of “science” to attack the stultifying and superstitious customs of Chinese society, from arranged marriage to foot binding, while others called for a “scientific” way of living, complete with pointers on personal hygiene.
The impulse to employ scientific perspectives in evaluating all phenomena had a significant impact in the realm of politics. Influenced by social Darwinism, the May Fourth intellectuals perceived that socialism represented the most advanced state of political evolution. The success of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 further enhanced the prestige of socialism and communism. As a high school student in Hunan, Mao Zedong (1893–1976) formed the New People’s Study Society, and some of its members eventually became leaders of the Chinese Communist Party. By the end of 1919, a Society for the Study of Socialism was established at Beijing University under the protection of Chancellor Cai Yuanpei; it soon split into different organizations studying guild socialism, anarchism, and syndicalism. In 1920, under Li Dazhao’s (1888–1927) leadership, some of its members regrouped to create the Society for the Study of Marxist Theory. Other societies involved a mixture of educators, journalists, writers, and students. The most notable of these was the Young China Association, whose members initially devoted themselves to the study of economic and social problems both at home and abroad.
The search for solutions for a better society led the faculty and students of the Beijing higher institutions to experiment with living arrangements. Zhou Zuoren (1885–1967), Lu Xun’s younger brother, was enamored of the Japanese utopian social movement, in particular the atarashiki mura (new village) concept introduced by Mushakoji Saneatsu, which he and Lu Xun discussed extensively both in New Youth and in New Tide, a magazine formed by students of Beijing University in 1918 and supported by the faculty. Inspired by the new village and work-study concepts, these students organized the Work-and-Learning Mutual Assistance Corps in several big cities in China in 1919. This was a short-lived attempt to adopt a new style of living with the ultimate aim of creating a utopian society. In the same year, students from Beijing Higher Normal College founded the Work-and-Study Society, also attempting to build a society modeled on the work-and-study units. Inspired by their teachers, students formed organizations and study groups enthusiastically to do their part to save the country. Student demonstrations proliferated after the May Fourth incident, totaling more than 125 significant protests in 1922 alone.
By the early 1920s, disillusionment with the republican system of government at home and with the tragedy of World War I led many to reexamine the limitations of Western-inspired notions of science and democracy. Opposing this torrential trend to tear down China’s cultural heritage was a group of scholars associated with the 1922 journal Critical Review, based in the National Southeastern University in Nanjing. Led by Mei Guangdi (1890–1945) and Wu Mi (1894–1978), two scholars educated under Irving Babbit (1865–1933) at Harvard University, they argued that the transcendental moral order and the moral value of literature in Confucianism could be refashioned to fit the new age. They aimed to propagate Babbit’s interpretation of New Humanism in China by forging their own understanding of Confucianism. Similarly Feng Youlan used Western philosophical methods to reevaluate Zhu Xi’s once-orthodox interpretation of Confucianism. Because they wrote in classical Chinese and vehemently opposed the literary revolution, they have been branded “conservatives” in the conventional literature on the New Culture Movement. But recent scholarship suggests that their complete rejection of all previous interpretations of Confucianism was arguably an act as revolutionary and radical as those who endorsed the vernacular movement.
Political Implications of the New Culture Movement
Perhaps more than at any other time in the last two thousand years of Chinese history, the New Culture Movement became a crucible for the transformation of the political conviction of Chinese intellectuals. From this period onward, intellectuals could be generally classified into four groups: the liberals, the radicals, the members of the Nationalist Party, and the members of the Progressive Party. The liberals were an ill-defined group who generally advocated democracy but tended to stay out of practical politics. The early radicals were anarchists or socialists, but not yet converted to Marxism. Hu Shi, China’s most famous liberal, wrote an article titled “More Study of Problems, Less Talk of ‘Isms’” in July 1919, suggesting that focusing on practical studies of specific problems, and not on high-sounding theoretical doctrines, was the only way to solve China’s problems. Li Dazhao, by then committed to Marxism, countered that “isms” were crucial in formulating a structural framework to elucidate the problems. Hu Shi replied that civilization was created incrementally, and that the solution to societal problems must also proceed “by inches and by drops.” Li, however, argued that society needed a complete transformation in economic structure in order to progress.
During this time, John Dewey, Bertrand Russell, the mystic and poet Rabindranath Tagore, and Russian Comintern agents all visited China, adding the weight of Western political authority, and sometimes their own practical knowledge and experience. In the early 1920s, while members of the Progressive Party, associated with Liang Qichao, espoused a form of guild socialism inspired by Bertrand Russell and Henri Bergson, the Nationalist Party found itself divided between a southern revolutionary faction under Sun Yat-sen, and a northern parliamentarian faction struggling with the warlord-dominated government in Beijing. Committed to a socialist vision for China, Sun Yat-sen aligned with the leftists in endorsing Leninist party organization and welcoming Russian advisers into his fold. Meanwhile, Chen Duxiu, also contacted by Comintern agents, formed the first Shanghai Communist cell in 1920, which formally became the Chinese Communist Party in the following year. From the early 1920s until this day, Chinese history has been profoundly shaped by the struggle between the two major parties inspired by the ideas and politics of the New Culture Movement.
Bernal, M. (1976). Chinese socialism to 1907. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Cai Yuanpei & Hu Shi (Eds.). (2001). Daxue jingshen: wusi qianhou zhishi fenzi lun daxue jingshen zhijing dianwen xian, Xindian Shi, Taiwan: Lixu wenhua shiye youxian gongsi.
Chang Hao (1971). Liang Ch’i-ch’ao and intellectual transition in China: 1890–1907. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Chen Duxiu. (1926). Xin Qingnian [New Youth]. Shanghai: Shanghai shudian. (Original work published 1916)
Chen, Joseph T. (1971). The May Fourth movement in Shanghai: The making of a social movement in Modern China. Leiden, Brill.
Chen Pingyuan. (1999). Chu mo li shi: wu si ren wu yu xian dai Zhongguo [Touching history: The people of the May Fourth and modern China.] Guangzhou, China: Guangzhou chu ban she.
Chen Pingyuan. (2005). Chumo lishi yu jinru wusi [Touching history and entering the May Fourth]. Beijing: Bejing Daxue chubanshe.
Chen Wanxiong. (1997). Wusi Xin Wenhua de Yuanliu [The origin of the May Fourth new culture]. Beijing: Shenghuo, dushu, xinzhi sanlian shudian.
Chow Tse-tsung. (1960). The May Fourth movement: Intellectual revolution in modern China. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Dirlik, A. (1989). The origins of Chinese Communism. New York: Oxford University Press
Dirlik, A. (2005). Marxism in the Chinese revolution. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Feigon, L. (1983). Chen Duxiu: Founder of the Chinese Communist Party. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Gasster, M. (1969). Chinese intellectuals and the revolution of 1911: The birth of modern Chinese radicalism. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Goldman, M., & Lee, L. O. (Eds.). (2002). An intellectual history of modern China. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Grieder, J. B. (1981). Intellectuals and the state in modern China: A narrative history. New York: The Free Press.
Hockx, M. (1999). The literary field of twentieth-century China. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Hu Shi. (1918, April). Discussion on a constructive literary revolution. Xin Qingnian [New Youth], 4(4) 289–306
Kuo, Y. (2008, January 5). New interpretation of old values: Mei Guangdi and new humanism. Paper presented at the 122nd Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, Washington, D.C.
Lin Yusheng. (1979). The crisis of Chinese consciousness: Radical antitraditionalism in the May Fourth era. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Nathan, A. (1976). Peking politics 1918–1923: Factionalism and the failure of constitutionalism. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Price, D. D. (1974). Russia and the roots of the Chinese revolution, 1896–1911. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Rankin, M. B. (1971). Early Chinese revolutionaries: Radical intellectuals in Shanghai and Chekiang, 1902–1911. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Reynolds, D. R. (1993). China, 1898–1912: The Xinzheng revolution and Japan. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Sang Bing. (1995). Qingmo Xin Zhishijie di Shetuan yu Huodong [The social groups and activities of the sphere of new intellectuals at the end of Qing.] Beijing: Shenghuo, dushu, xinzhi sanlian shudian.
Schwarcz, V. (1986). The Chinese enlightenment: Intellectuals and the legacy of the May Fourth movement of 1919. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Schwartz, B. I. (Ed.). (1972). Reflections on the May Fourth movement: A symposium. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Wang, Y. C. (1966). Chinese intellectuals and the west, 1872–1949. Durham: University of North Carolina Press.
Weston, T. (1959–1978). Wusi shiqi qikan jieshao (Vols. 1–3). Zhonggong zhongyang Makesi Engesi Liening Sidalin zhuzuo bianyi ju yanjiu shi ed. Beijing: Sanlian shudian.
Weston, T. (1970). Wushi shiqi di shetuan [Social Organizations of the May Fourth period] (Vols. 1–4). Beijing: Sanlian shudian.
Weston, T. (2004). The power of position: Beijing University, intellectuals, and Chinese political culture, 1898–1929. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Yu Yingshi. (1999). Wusi xinlun: Jifei wenyi fuxing, yifei qimeng yundong: “wusi” bashi zhounian jinian lunwen ji. Taibei: Lianjing chuban shiye gongsi.
Zarrow, P. (1990). Anarchism and Chinese political culture. New York: Columbia University Press.
Only when all contribute their firewood can they build up a strong fire.
Zhòng rén shí chái huǒ yàn gāo
Source: Chao, Anne Shen. (2009). New Culture Movement. In Linsun Cheng, et al. (Eds.), Berkshire Encyclopedia of China, pp. 1586–1593. Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing.
New Culture Movement (Xīnwénhuà Yùndòng 新文化运动)|Xīnwénhuà Yùndòng 新文化运动 (New Culture Movement)