Tiananmen Square: The

Psychology
Maddie, Collin, Tara, Thomas, Sophie, & Joey

Basic Facts:
-Lasted 1 month, 2
weeks, and 6 days
-Occurred in 1989
-Attacks left hundreds
dead and thousands
injured

Psychology Before Tiananmen Square
The Government
-Thought that any civilians who got in their way
of making “improvements” to the country’s
prosperity were to be punished severely for not
supporting their home country’s views
-Ex-government officials like Hu Yaobang went
against the government’s views and pushed
towards a “democracy” in the country

Psychology Before Tiananmen Square
The Civilians
-Citizens who used to support their country’s every move suddenly
questioned what was right and fair in their government and
economy
-Students and Intellectuals began to protest unfair treatment of
civilians by the government and thought that safety and freedom
needed to be promoted
-Other citizens were so used to the government’s unfair and
abusive treatment that they thought nothing was wrong in their
society

What About Other
“Dictators” in the
Government?
Activity Time!

What’s On This Note Card?
Name of Dictator
Country they Ruled Over
People they Killed
(Not why they killed them)
With your tables, come up with a short skit explaining why these well-known dictators killed
who they did and the thought processes (or the Psychology) behind their actions. If you don’t
know, be creative!

Into the (Government’s) Mind
-Considered student protesters as terrorists and counter-revolutionaries to justify
their actions
-Declared Martial Law to remove as many of the students from the square as
possible- Used tanks, expanding bullets, and 11 different military units to clear
Tiananmen Square by any means necessary
-Framed the protests as a conspiracy to overthrow China’s political system and
major party leaders- Give others a reason to not intervene
-Zhao Ziyang, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, stressed
cautious approaches to remove students because they were civilians. Li Peng,
Premier of the State Council, sought to condemn protests and take a “direct action”
approach to remove the civilians

Into the (Student’s) Mind
- Called for government accountability, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and
restoration of workers’ control over industry through their “Seven Demands”
-Supported Hu Yaobang’s goals to stop inflation, limited career opportunities, and
governmental corruption
-Felt the government and police were abusive towards civilians physically and through
censorship of personal expression
-Protested in the square for weeks, despite lack of hygiene, to fight for their rights and
stand up against the government- Were diligent, tired of unfair treatment, and were not
going to lose any more rights, even with the threat of military intervention
-Tried to convince the soldiers attacking them to join their cause, viewing them as
victims of unfair treatment, too

Li
Peng

Zhao
Ziyang

結局
(That’s “End” in Chinese)