The Great Leap Forward

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  • The Great Leap Forward
    • Aims
      • Industrialisation
        • Be on par with USSR and the West
        • Overtake Britain within seven years and then catch up with the US
        • Predicted 700 million tonnes of steel by 1970s
      • Autarky
        • Breakdown of Sino-Soviet relationship: 'peaceful co'existence with West'
        • Further aims of socialism and MZT
      • Socialisation
        • De-centralisation: remove power from central gvt. and give to local party cadres
          • Communes to function as local governments
        • Mass mobilisation of the peasants
    • Successes
      • Women were brought into the workforce
        • Meant that women could work - emancipation of women
      • Access to education improved due to availability in communes
    • Failures
      • Steel produced in backyard furnaces was poor quality - unusable
        • Lacked scientific knowledge so used any steel which made it impure and weak
      • Famine/ Reduction in grain
        • Caused by poor weather: droughts in north, floods in south
        • Could also be caused by falsified statistics: Mao thought the policy was succeeding so he continued it when actually it was destroying agriculture.
        • approx. 50 million died
        • Propaganda: people told the GLF was working so they ate more and had no incentive to work hard so grain production decreased
        • Lysenkoism: deep ploughing and close planting, Russian 'scientist' who said these techniques would increase yield
          • Complete failure which led to reduction in grain
          • Also involved Sparrowcide because sparrows ate grain/seeds but they also ate insects who fed on plants
        • Lack of experts: either withdrawn when Sino-Soviet relationship deteriorated or purged in the Hundred Flowers Campaign
      • Mao failed to recognise failures so continued the policy
        • Lushan Conference: Pend Dehuai spoke out against GLF and was denounced
        • No one else wanted to speak out for fear of denunciation
          • Silenced by the Hundred Flowers Campaign
    • What actually happened
      • Peasants organised into communes
        • Kindergartens and 'happiness homes'
          • Meant that women could work - emancipation of women
        • Communes had 'backyard furnaces
        • All peasants would work together and share resources. A portion would be requisitioned by the State.
        • Communes to function as local governments
        • Eradicate private family spheres: 'bourgeois family attachments'
      • It was the 2nd 5YP
      • 1958 - 1962
    • Consequences
      • DEATH
        • 50 million peasants
        • Extreme cases involved cannibalism due to extreme hunger
        • In factories - poor training and accidents
      • Mao was forced to resign from Head of State
        • He lost face which ultimately led to the Cultural Revolution
        • He felt like an 'old ancestor'
        • Control given to 3 moderates: Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaopeng and Zhou Enlai
        • Moderates used policies to achieve economic stability - needed to be slightly capitalist
      • Poor harvest
        • Famine/ Reduction in grain
          • Caused by poor weather: droughts in north, floods in south
          • Could also be caused by falsified statistics: Mao thought the policy was succeeding so he continued it when actually it was destroying agriculture.
          • approx. 50 million died
          • Propaganda: people told the GLF was working so they ate more and had no incentive to work hard so grain production decreased
          • Lysenkoism: deep ploughing and close planting, Russian 'scientist' who said these techniques would increase yield
            • Complete failure which led to reduction in grain
            • Also involved Sparrowcide because sparrows ate grain/seeds but they also ate insects who fed on plants
          • Lack of experts: either withdrawn when Sino-Soviet relationship deteriorated or purged in the Hundred Flowers Campaign
      • Weak steel produced from backyard furnaces
        • Steel produced in backyard furnaces was poor quality - unusable
          • Lacked scientific knowledge so used any steel which made it impure and weak

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