AS AQA Impact of Chairman Mao - Controlling the Economy

Notes I've made from the AQA History Book on The Impact of Chairman Mao: China 1946-76

This section is on controlling the economy and includes: The collectivisation of agriculture, Industry and the First Five Year Plan and The Hundred Flowers Campaign.

Hope this helps :)

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S3.5,Controlling The Economy
(Collectivisation, 1stFive Year Plan & 100 Flowers
Campaign)
Collectivisation of agriculture [1953-57]
Mao and the peasants :
Mao's long term aim = Transform China into Socialist ­ society
He wanted to group together small, privately owned farms into much larger, collective farms.
He knew peasants showed a `spontaneous tendency towards capitalism.' -> Mao needed their
support.
However Mao believed collectivisation would have to wait:
He thought in their political and economic situation they were not ready.
However Mao generally favoured a rapid rate of change
Steps Towards Collectivisation:
Stage One:
In 1951, was a step towards a more cooperative form of agriculture. Groups of 10 peasant
households were grouped together to share resources. This was only for the poorer
peasants, isolating the wealthier.
Stage Two:
In 1952-3, the first Agricultural Producers' Cooperatives (APCs) grouped together 30-50
households. Any profit was shared.
Stage Three:
In 1953-5, period of confusing and contradicting directive by Mao. To meet target, peasant
were often forced in cooperative that ran in debt.
In 1953, Mao slowed things -> In 1954 he sped it up after `spontaneous capitalism' was
present.
In 1955, Mao decided to push for rapid collectivisation
The Consequences of Collectivisation:
CPC control in countryside was strengthened
Collectivisation put the pace of change into question
Mao was convinced that material condition didn't need to be the decisive factor in dictating
the pace of change. [Caused catastrophic results later on]
The impact of agricultural production was disappointing. From 1953 to 1957 (5 year plan)
agricultural production grew only 3.8%. Grain production only increased 1%.
Peasants living standards are debatable
Spence
Believes peasants were better fed in 1956-57 than early 1950s.
Chang
Said peasants experienced severe hardship as result of collectivisation.
Industry and the First Five Year Plan
Economic Plans and Results 1953-1967Page 1

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S3.5,Controlling The Economy
(Collectivisation, 1stFive Year Plan & 100 Flowers
Campaign)
China had seen considerable industrial development before communist took control in 1949.
In late 19th century foreign capitalist exploited China's coal and mineral reserves. Cities like
Beijing and Shanghai had become important industrial centres.
Under GMD control in 1920s and 1930s, miles of roads and railways were built with an increase in
coal, iron and steel production.
In 1922, 78% of Chinese coal mines were in foreign hands.…read more

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S3.5,Controlling The Economy
(Collectivisation, 1stFive Year Plan & 100 Flowers
Campaign)
Coal (mils of metric tonnes) 68.50 113.00 130.00 +
Steel (mils of metric tonnes) 1.35 4.12 5.35 +
Cement (mils of metric tonnes) 2.86 6.00 6.86 +
Electrical Power (bils of KWh) 7.26 15.90 19.34 +
Locomotives (units) 20 200 167 -
Problems:
Many new workers were illiterate and not trained for industrial work. Many equipment was
ruined because it wasn't installed properly -> Workers didn't have necessary skills.…read more

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S3.5,Controlling The Economy
(Collectivisation, 1stFive Year Plan & 100 Flowers
Campaign)
First 5-year plan targets were achieved a year early. To achieve further economic progress
Mao needed the educated specialists, who could speed up the process of economic change.
Mao believed there was growing danger from `bureaucratism'.
Opposition to Mao
Many leading figures were afraid to encourage criticism and it would undermine the unity of
the party and create an unstoppable wave of criticism.…read more

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S3.5,Controlling The Economy
(Collectivisation, 1stFive Year Plan & 100 Flowers
Campaign)
`IT was a muddled and inconclusive movement that grew out of conflicts within the
Communist Party leadership. At its centre was an argument about the pace and type of
development that was best for China.'
Genuine Call for Expression?
Some Historians believe Mao genuinely wanted to hear the ideas of expression.
Short -> believed he started to, `bridge the gap between the Party and the people.'
`Made not one but two misjudgements.…read more

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