China: Early Reforms


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  • Created by: Mabel
  • Created on: 29-04-13 14:10

Why did the CCP promote land reform?

win and retain support of peasants in the areas they controlled. Political considerations determined how radical the policies were - in less secure areas they needed support of local landlords and richer peasants so gentle policies like rent control. In more secure areas could pursue land confiscation with violence towards landlords.

ideologically, to engage in class struggle. Objective to eradicate landlords as a class and move towards more egalitarian society

long-term economic objective to collectivise farming (not realistic aim while CCP still trying to win power).

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Why did CCP adopt collectivisation?

communist ideology and objective to eradicate landlord class

win and retain support of peasants

remove opponents

role of individuals - Mao

links to russian experience

communal tradition in Chinese society & experience in communist-controlled areas

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Lao Gai labour camps

Set up in remote areas with harsh climactic conditions. Inmates subjected to hard physical labour in fields/mines. Principle of 'reform through labour', influenced by gulags in USSR. Many people died of overwork or under-nourishment.

Why set up?

outbreak of Korean War (1950) heightened threat to regime from external enemies - used to justify intensification of repression. Chinese with foreign links targetted.

elimination of internal opposition - political opponents, bandits, religious sect members

3 Antis and 5 Antis campaigns provided victims

Mao's ideology that an individual demonstrated their value through hard labour (reform through labour)

prison population was valuable labour force to open up remote areas to agriculture/mining

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Reforms for women


tradition of rights for women - right to vote

ideology of equality

need their support to consolidate control


New Marriage Law 1950 - 

Right to vote, quarter of representatives had to be women

Educational opportunities extended

Extra burdens (especially in countryside) - expected to do manual labour and traditional homemaking role

Attitudes slow to change - considered unfitting for women to be independent. Old prejudices against widows and spinsters.

Conclusion - framework for women to begin to acheive greater equality

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3 & 5 Antis

5 Antis.


Mass meetings with employers denounced by employees.

Guilty subjected to heavy fines, property confiscation and labour camps. Many suicides.


stamp out corruption in business, which had been endemic during GMD rule

consolidate CCP control - one of a series of campaigns in early 50s. Repression and terror were key in consolidation. 

involve the masses in denunciation, humiliation and repression of 'counter-revs' - bind people to the revolution

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