Mao China


Boxer Rebellion

The Boxer Rebellion was a Chinese/ peasant movement which was spiritual against foreigners which were:

  • USA
  • Germany
  • France
  • India
  • Russia
  • Japan
  • Australia
  • Italy 

They wanted all Chinese people to leave the country. They killed the German Ambassador just as he was arriving. 

The Foreign powers were talking together about how to take over China. They wanted free trade and silver 

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Mao's Main Worries after Boxer Rebellion

He was worried about:

  • Unfair trade
  • Civil war/ regionalism
  • Concerned about ordinary people
  • Well being of China
  • Hatred of Chinese Elite
  • Falling behind west 
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Maos Childhood and Upbringing

  • Born in 1893 in Shaoshan 50km from Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province
  • His parents were farmers with a piece of land of about 1.2 hectares
  • He attended a local school and studied the confucian classics, as well as learning to read and write 
  • A pamphlet on 'the dismemberment of China' was to have a strong influence on Mao. 
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Why was China unsettled before 1949?

They were unsettled by 1949 because:

  • Sunyetion 1912 (democratic)
  • Fall of cinq dnasty 1911
  • Corrupt elite
  • Peasant revolts
  • Warlordism/ anarchy 1916
  • Western powers explotation of China
  • Japan- expansion
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Europe/ USA's relationship with China before 1949

  • USA had announced its 'open-door policy' in regard to foreign spheres of influence
  • USA wouldn't accept preferential agreements among powers
  • Viewed as impearlism (economic) by China
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Relations with Japan before 1949/ Influences on Ma

  • Japan was emerging as the dominant power
  • Japan defeated China in the Sino-Japanese War
  • Japan was to become a major factor in the later struggle for power in China

Influences on Mao:

  • Economics/ ordinary people
  • concerned about foreign explotation
  • Elitism
  • Regionalism 
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Mao's achievement of leadership of CCP

1912- Republic

1914- Southern China Revolts

1919- Declaring Emperor

1919- Mao marxist

1921- Foreign Invasion

1921- CCP

1925- Jiang leader (GMD)

GMD- Guomindang 

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Mao's achievement of leadership of CCP

Threats and Problems for Mao:

  • Regionalism/ factions
  • GMD more powerful
  • Urban support for GMD
  • Foreigners
  • Foreigners prefer GMD
  • Monarchists 

Strengths of and Opportunities for Mao:

  • Peasant support CCP
  • Russian support for CCP
  • Japanese incursion in Manchuria potential help CCP
  • Ideological purpose 
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Long March 1934- CCP began this

Why did the CCP begin the Long March in 1934?

  • Jiangxi base 1934
  • Communist stronghold in the south - over 1 million people
  • Mao puts the emphasis on peasants rather than workers in cities
  • Chiang determined to 'exterminate' the communists here - army of 700,000 encircle CCP
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How did Mao become ruler of China?

  • External Factors- foreign powers
  • Peasant popularity ideology
  • Japanese invasion 1930s
  • Divisions of GMD

Mao had: 

  • Mass peasant support
  • Vision/ ideology
  • Anti-foreign
  • Personality/ Propaganda
  • Control of CCP
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How did Mao become ruler of China?

          In Mao’s Red base in Yanan the CCP experiment with putting their ideologies into practice and draw supporters from all over the country

          The CCP favour the peasantry and educate and empower the poor

          The Red Army gets access to education and training and grows a fierce sense of loyalty and discipline to the communist cause

          The ‘Rectification of Conduct’ campaign is carried out in 1942-4 and solidifies discipline and political correctness amongst the CCP

          The CCP become a centralised, experienced and cohesive force, headed by charismatic leaders

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Why did Mao focus on peasants rather than Proletar

Maoist Ideology, or Mao Zedong thought, was the product of Mao’s background and upbringing. Born into a middle ranking peasant family in 1893, he knew of the hardship, the humiliation brought by the foreign influence and the prevailing sense of disillusionment with the government. As a teenager, he experienced life as a volunteer soldier in the 1911 revolution and was bitterly disappointed when the warlords took over. Mao was an intelligent boy with a love of reading. His decision to train as a teacher in 1913 brought him into contact with Yang Changji, who had spent six years in Japan and four years in Britain and rejected Confucianism, in which Mao steeped as a boy. Yang Changji was a contributor to the periodical Hsin Ch’ing-nien (New Youth), which spread ‘Western’ ideas. He introduced Mao to the work of Yan Fu, a scholar who had stressed the need for strong leadership to bring change in China, and of Wang Fuzhi, who believed that ‘there is not a single part of human nature already shaped that cannot be modified’. This is obviously what influenced Mao to maybe doing something about the peasant’s situation as it was extremely important. 

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Elements of Maoist that were effective for power

Marxist revolution, the importance of the peasants as this was one of the main problems that worried Mao and also, he knew what it felt like to be a peasant because he was brought up a peasant in his childhood. Ruthless determination AND mass mobilization and voluntaryism.

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The Main strength of Mao's political platform

The Importance of Peasants and I think this is the Main strength because it allowed peasants the freedom that they had been hoping for and to look like an amazing leader who had the power to help them would win him more support from the people of China. This also helped him to become a main figurehead and to be looked upon and to make his country proud. The peasants were thrilled when they knew that Mao was completely on their side because no one else in the country was on their side. He showed willingness and determination. He kept on going until he achieved his aim. Now he had secured the peasants support, it was up to him now to keep on going and change the country for the better just as he was told to do when he was in his childhood. Also, Ruthless Determination would be a strength of his political platform because this meant that there was sufficient Will power and determination to bring about change provided everyone showed total commitment. Violence was a necessary element of Revolution. 

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Nature of Maoist China after 1949

  • Ideological
  • Extreme left
  • Tactical
  • Controlling
  • Revolutionary
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Great Leap Forward

What happened and why?

  • Peasants to produce Iron/ Steel before grain
  • Flooding
  • Food to urban areas first
  • Lack of rain
  • Buying grain from Canada
  • Seeds from Ukraine, wrong for China

All leads to famine of 25-40 million people 

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Groups during the GLF


Ø  Money to buy new equipment

Ø  Worry that the crops are not growing

Ø  Don’t want to tell Mao that the new methods aren’t working because he will punish them.

Ø  We have lots of new equipment but nothing is working

Old people:

 No food or money

Grain gets taken away by provincial Leader

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Groups during the GLF/ What did Mao Want?

Steel worker:

Ø  Long hours

Ø  Pressure of demand

Provincial leader:

Ø  If they don’t reach the target they will get arrested

They have to take away the grain


Ø  Wanted rapid development and o become a great world power

Ø  Trying to make china strong and powerful

Ø  Didn’t do anything about these problems

Ø  Political threats

Ø  Threat of falling industry

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Cultural Revolution

Cultural Revolution= changing traditions, general ideals, values, habits

What actions do I need to take as a young led revolutionary?

  • Re-educate the young (old)
  • Eliminate enemies
  • Work with the peasants
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Cultural Revolution aims/goals

The cultural revolution was to defeat the 'Four Olds':

  • Customs
  • Culture
  • Habits
  • Ideas/ thoughts

GOAL 1: To remove all capitalistic elements in society 

GOAL 2: Remove traditional and cultural elements

What did he do?

  • Students attack party officials
  • Demotes moderate- Deng, En Lai 
  • Promotes Lin Biao
  • Rallies, speeches
  • March, educate peasants
  • struggle sessions
  • Army has to stop nred guards 1967
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The Impact of the Red Guards and PLA

  • Divided China
  • Changed the government 
  • More radical
  • Us or them outlook
  • Transformation of land
  • More jobs
  • More urban
  • Prosperous 
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Why did the Cultural Revolution take place?

The Cultural Revolution had roots in the 1958-61 Great Leap Forward, the collectivization of agricultural and industrial output that precipitated a famine that left as many as 45 million dead. Mao was blamed and partly sidelined by Communist Party leaders who pulled back some of the most extreme collectivization efforts.

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Why and how did the Cultural Revolution go wrong?

During the Cultural Revolution, Red Guards targeted the authorities on campuses, then party officials and “class enemies” in society at large. They carried out mass killings in Beijing and other cities as the violence swept across the country. They also battled one another, sometimes with heavy weapons, such as in the city of Chongqing. The military joined the conflict, adding to the factional violence and killing of civilians. The pogroms even included cannibalization of victims in the southern region of Guangxi. The exact number of dead is not known, but a figure of one million or more is most commonly cited. Estimates range from 500,000 to eight million dead, according to a 2011 paper by Song Yongyi, a scholar of the Cultural Revolution. The number of people persecuted is usually estimated in the tens of millions.

The chaos of the period, mass relocations and the closing of schools are believed to have sharply curbed economic output.

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Why did the Cultural Revolution come to an end

Zhou acted to stabilize China by reviving educational system and restoring numerous former officials to power. In 1972, however, Mao suffered a stroke; in the same year, Zhou learned he had cancer. The two leaders threw their support to Deng Xiaoping (who had been purged during the first phase of the Cultural Revolution), a development opposed by the more radical Jiang and her allies, who became known as the Gang of Four. In the next several years, Chinese politics teetered between the two sides. The radicals finally convinced Mao to purge Deng in April 1976, a few months after Zhou’s death, but after Mao died that September, a civil, police and military coalition pushed the Gang of Four out. Deng regained power in 1977, and would maintain control over Chinese government for the next 20 years.

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Why did the Cultural Revolution come to an end

Some 1.5 million people were killed during the Cultural Revolution, and millions of others suffered imprisonment, seizure of property, torture or general humiliation. The Cultural Revolution’s short-term effects may have been felt mainly in China’s cities, but its long-term effects would impact the entire country for decades to come. Mao’s large-scale attack on the party and system he had created would eventually produce a result opposite to what he intended, leading many Chinese to lose faith in their government altogether.

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