Mao's China 1949-76

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  • Mao's China 1949-76
    • 1911-49: There was tension between the chinese communist party (CCP) led by Mao, and the Nationalists (GMD) - they believed in socialism, democracy and national regeneration.
      • The GMD tried to eliminate the CCP in 1927 so Mao marched the CCP to the Jiangxi mountains. He then escaped to Yanan in the 'long march' of 1934
    • Maos Key Political Ideas
      • He believed in the communist ideas of Karl Marx but particularly focused on Dialectic (the stuggle of the strong vs the weak)
        • Prepared to use Violence and be uncompromising
      • "All power grows out of the barrel of a gun" "A revolution is not a tea party"
      • Ruthlessness
      • Democratic Centralism (justifying dictatorship by arguing that while the CCP was democratic in essence, only the leadership were sufficiently educated to take decisions)
      • Peasant Revolution
    • Personal position and dictatorship of Mao
      • Dictatorship was supported by the army, government and civil service with no involvment in government by the vast majority of people
      • Old GMD officials were promised clemency however many were persecuted as class enemies
      • Mao made sure to maintain his position of dominance over other leaders, he dominated the Politburo and was chairman of the central peoples government
        • Mao also attacked other leading CCP leaders to consolidate his power, demonstating his unwillingness to tolerate rivals
      • The Hundred Flower Campaign was used to draw critics into the open and allow them to be attacked. Even the foreign minister had to make a humiliating public apology
      • Mao suffered from Stalinesque personal paranoia
    • The Party (CCP)
      • Power was supposedly based on the authority of the workers and peasants
        • Although there were no other parties by 1952 abd the CCP also oversaw all elections
      • The Politburo was the seat of power - Mao dominated this.
    • The PLA
      • China was divided into 6 regions, each with its own chairman, party secretary, military commanders and political commissar.
        • China was under military rule
      • The 'reunification campaigns' of the PLA in Tibet in 1950 showed how ruthless Mao and the PLA could be.
      • Run by Peng Duhuai
    • Violence and Terror
      • The CCP targeted anyone who didnt conform to their ideas in campaigns (Anti-movements)
        • Anti-movements aimed to destroy the 'Bureautic capitalist class' Mao didnt like the middle class.
          • Although in reality they just destroyed anyone who got in their way or was suspicious
      • By 1952 all other parties had been banned.
      • Religion was attacked



This is a concise and accurate summary of the key features of Mao's state. Useful to organise revision for Edexcel Unit One, option D2.

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