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Tiananmen square incident

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Introduction

History coursework: Tiananmen square incident 4th June 1998 1. Source a contains a number of strengths and weaknesses, the source was written in 1990, the year after the incident allowing more information surrounding the amount of deaths and casualties to be gathered as the historian had a whole year to research the subject. But although she had time to research the facts she doesn't seam to have included many in her report, words such as cruel imply that she has adopted a certain amount of opinion in her account. Because she wasn't there she could make a more reliable source as she wouldn't have had as much of an emotional involvement as the people who were there, there for making her more objective in her account. But she would have had to rely on other people for information about the incident, and chose between sources judging whether they were reliable or not, so if she chose an unreliable it may make her source unreliable also. She is from England, a western country, this could possibly make her anti-communist, which could in turn make her biased toward the students as they were pro-democracy, but it could also make her more open minded to other political governments as she would have been educated. Because she is English, she may not understand the full background to the situation as she wouldn't have witnessed it first hand, alternatively her being a westerner could make her less biased as she hasn't lived under a communist government making her have specific views about whether she likes them or not. ...read more.

Middle

which wasn't at all typical, the tanks had already run many people over already many of whom were asleep in tents and didn't have a chance to get out of the way, and source E is just a cartoon there for not very useful as evidence as it has no actual relevance to the actual events of June 4th. However both are very useful to someone studying people's reactions to the incident. Source d was used as a pro-democracy image in the west, it was portrayed as one man standing up against almost inevitable death for what he believed in, that the students involved in the Tianaman Square incident had immense amounts of bravery, and that the Chinese people were prepared to die for a democratic government. The Chinese government also used this image, however, they used it to show the compassion of the troops, that the tank drivers did everything they could not to kill the people, and that the students were irresponsible. Source E is useful to someone studying the viewpoints of westerners to the Chinese political system, that it was commonly thought that the leaders in China stood in the way of the truth, that they tried to cover up the truth about the actual number of casualties on the day, and what happened on the day of the incident. 4. The evidence given in Source g by Joe the American student about the middle classes in China getting richer and wanting a democratic society is backed up by the statistics in source f in that they say the amount of goods possessed by urban household (the middle classes tend to live in cities) ...read more.

Conclusion

This is supposed to show that if just one man stands up for a cause not even an armed tank can get in his way. It could also show, that even though these tanks were on their way to Tianaman square, the drivers didn't want to kill civilians and would rather avoid them. Source e tries to portray that the Chinese political leaders can only stand in the way of the truth for so long, and eventually they will have to either get out of the way of the truth, as the man in the original photo got out of the way of the tanks, or that they would be crushed by it. Source f can be interpreted in both way it could either mean that the middle classes are getting richer and there for may want more than they can have with a communist government, or that they were getting richer there for making them content with the government. Source G is quite anti-communist, but it is thought to be unreliable so although it says that other uprisings would happen they never did. The main reason that no more rallies took place was because of the harsh prison sentences that were inflicted on people found to be plotting to overthrow the government, these sentences could be as long as 11 years in the instance of the case of Wang Dan. This may be another reason that Joes predicted rallies never took place, because all the leading protesters had died in Tianaman Square or were in jail because of related crimes. ...read more.

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