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Profession / Private Belief - Tiananmen Papers (Essay Sample)


Question 2: Public Profession / Private Belief
Throughout our course, one major theme of our discussions has been the difference between what people say publicly (that is, what they profess) and what they actually believe. Choose one period that highlights this duality and gives some examples from each. How can we, as historians, get at the innermost beliefs of historical subjects? Carefully chosen evidence from course readings is crucial to your answering this question.






Profession / Private Belief - Tiananmen Papers

A member of the People's Republic of China (PRC) smuggled out documents highlighting the party deliberations on how to deal with student led 1989 Tiananmen Square protestors (Nathan 4). The public image is that the Tiananmen protests were led by a small group of students and had little influence on China. Information on the protests is not publicly discussed in China, and the government even maintains tight control, over the internet that mention of the protests blocked. The Tiananmen Papers highlight the different views on how to address pro-reform protestors in 1989 and the reasons behind smuggling the papers.

In maintaining tight control over information surrounding the demonstrations the Chinese officials have managed to hide information that even current generation does not know

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