Introduction to the Tiananmen Square Massacre

Post date: Dec 31, 2014 5:25:58 AM

This week we begin our unit on the book Forbidden City by William Bell. This book tells the story of a teenage Canadian boy who finds himself in Beijing, China right before one of the most important events in modern Chinese history, the massive student demonstration/protests that followed the death of Communist leader Hu Yaobang. The protests began with students honoring a leader who fought for reform and then exploded into the largest pro-democracy demonstration in China since the founding of the People's Republic of China (which also happened in Tiananmen Square.)

The demonstrations that took place in Tiananmen Square in Beijing received massive popular support from the people of Beijing with more than a million people crowding the square at one time. However, the protests were largely led and driven by young Chinese college students. After more than a month in the square, the Chinese Communist Party, sole leaders of China, ordered the military to ruthlessly crush the demonstrations with force. Talks and armed soldiers rolled into the square and, despite heavy censorship by the CCP, the world watched as the world's largest army was turned against its own people.

Before reading too far into Forbidden City, take some time to watch the videos below to get a solid background on the events surrounding the what happened on June 4, 1989.

First, a Crash Course on Communist China.

This is an excellent documentary done by Frontline in the US back in 1996.

This is a shorter documentary done by the History Channel in the US.