Communist Revolution • By the end of World War II, Chinese communists had gained control of much of Northern China. • Communist forces led by Mao Zedong vs. Nationalist forces led by Jiang Jieshi. • 1949- Communism gained control of China. Vs.
Why communism won in China: • Mao appealed to China’s huge peasant population. • Communist gave land to poor peasants and ended oppression by the landlords. • Nationalists lost popularity • Captured rail lines and surrounded Nationalist cities.
Mao Zedong • Mao became one of the first members of the new Chinese Communist Party in 1921. • October 1949, Mao announced the formation of the People’s Republic of China. He declared himself as emperor.
Life in Communist China • The communist government discouraged the practice of Buddhism, Confucianism and other traditional Chinese beliefs. • "sweeping away the dust of all the old ideas, culture, customs and habits of the exploiting classes." • Government seized property. • Opponents of the communists were put down as “counterrevolutionaries.”
Life in Communist China • Many counterrevolutionaries were beaten, sent to labor camps or killed. • Distributed land to peasant class. • Built dams and factories. • Imposed collectivization. • Communist party seized control of all media and used it to promote Mao, his political strategy and his party.
Great Leap Forward • 1958-1960 • Urged people to make a superhuman effort to increase farm and industrial output. • Communes: Brought together several villages, thousands of acres of land, and up to 25,000 people in order to make agriculture more efficient. • Intention was that by 1988 China would have an economy that would rival America.
Great Leap Forward • Failure: • Backyard industries turned out low-quality, useless goods. • Quickly produced machinery fell to pieces when used. • Bad weather added to the problem and led to a terrible famine. • 1959-1961- 55 million Chinese starved to death.
Cultural Revolution • Launched in 1966. • Goal was to purge China of “bourgeois” tendencies. • Youth was urged to experience revolution firsthand. • Red Guards- • Formed by teenagers. • Attacked those they considered bourgeois. • The accused were publicly humiliated or beaten and sometimes killed.
Enthusiasm of the Red Guards slowed the economy and threatened civil war. • Schools and colleges were closed due to chaos. • Mao had the army restore order.
Deng Xiaoping • Continues communism in China. • Wanted to reform and improve the economy of China. • Improvement Program: “The Four Modernizations” • Agriculture • Industry • Science • Defense
Deng Xiaoping • Communes were disabled. • Government still took a share of crops. However, Farmers under Deng could sell any surplus produce and keep the profits. • Chinese Entrepreneurs could set up businesses. • Move toward capitalism. • Deng welcomed foreign capital and technology. • These economic reforms brought a surge of growth.
Communist Crack Down • May 1989- Tiananmen Square • Demonstrators occupied a huge public plaza at the center of China’s capital, Beijing. • They raised banners calling for democracy. • After several days, government sent troops and tanks. • Thousands were killed or wounded in what became known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre.