Communist China Under Mao Zedong 1949- 1976
Anti- Western Elements to New China! No Opium Mao Zedong states: “Ours will no longer be a nation subject to insult and humiliation!” All foreigners out of country, opium gone…
What is Means of Production? Communist believe it is wrong to have a profit, the government should take control of the “means of production” and provide jobs, houses and basic needs to the people. (factories, machines, and tools— along with infrastructure, roads, building etc.)
In beginning, success of Communist! • By 1952- All Foreigners are thrown out of the country! • Opium is outlawed! Gambling is outlawed! Foot-binding is outlawed • Stability after years of warfare. • 2 Significant Laws are Passed 1) Marriage Laws & Land Reform (Agrarian Reform) • Cars, foreigners and foreign businesses all disappeared. The favored means of transport was the bicycle. • Mao isolates & closes China off from the rest of the world!
1950 Agrarian Reform Law & Marriage Law • The Communist Party encouraged the peasants to take over the land and to try "evil landowners". • It is thought that as many as 1 million ex-landlords were executed between 1949 and 1953. • Marriage Reform Law- gives equality to women in China!
No Religion in Communist China! Communism elimination of religion, your focus should be on the “communist party” not religion. Churches, temples etc. are all closed or destroyed.
Mao’s Next Two initiatives! Great Leap Forward Cultural Revolution
Great Leap Forward-Modernize China! 2 Goals: Industry & Agriculture Industry could only prosper if the work force was well fed, while the agricultural workers needed industry to produce the modern tools needed for modernization.
China was “reformed” into communes during the GLF. • By the end of 1958, 700 million people had been placed into 26,578 communes! People now worked for the commune and not for themselves.. Schools and nurseries were provided, health care, food everything was provided~ • The most famous were 600,000 backyard furnaces which produced steel for the communes.
Great Leap ForwardPropaganda Happy Commune! Modernize- super train & rockets! Everybody involved in communes was urged not only to meet set targets but to beat them.
In 1959, things started to go wrong… • Party officials would order the impossible goals- quotas! • Quickly produced farm machinery produced in factories fell to pieces when used. • 1959 & 1960 – Major Floods- 9 million people are thought to have starved to death in 1960 alone; millions were sick from lack of food!
GLF was a Failure!Ideas of “private ownership” return! • Some party members put the blame of the failure of the Great Leap Forward on Mao. • He was popular with the people but he still had to resign from his position as Head of State (though he remained in the powerful Party Chairman position). • The day-to-day running of China was left to three moderates: Liu Shaoqi, Zhou Enlai and Deng Xiaoping. • In late 1960, they abandoned the Great Leap Forward. Private ownership of land was reinstated and communes were cut down to a manageable size. • Peasants also had the incentive to produce as much spare food as was possible as they could sell any spare that they had a market.
Mao wants to regain power & starts the Cultural Revolution! • Red Guards (groups of youths who banded themselves together) encouraged all the youth in China to criticize those oppose Mao! • No-one was safe from criticism: writers, economists, intellectuals, high party officials. • Mao deliberately set out to create a cult for himself!
Red Guards & Cult of Mao! However, the enthusiasm of the Red Guards nearly pushed China into social turmoil. Schools and colleges were closed! The economy started to suffer Public Humiliation Trials- enemies of Mao. Hundreds of thousands are sent to “reform camp” – Labor Camp!
Legacy of Mao Zedong • Mao remains a controversial figure and there is little agreement over his legacy both in China and abroad. • He is generally credited and praised with having unified China and ending the previous decades of civil war. He is also credited with having improved the status of women in China and improving literacy and education. • His policies caused the deaths of tens of millions of people during his 27-year reign, more than any other Twentieth Century leader.