Mao's China


Key developments 1911-1949

Key developments 1911-1949:

- China had undergone dramatic changes in the period before the CCP seized power in 1949.

- The Qing dynasty of emperors, which had been overthrown in 1911 had been in power since 1644.

- The Republic that replaced them in 1911 disintegrated almost immediately as China plunged into a period of chaos, with rival warlords fighting to establish control of it's regions.

- It took 10 years before of unrest before Chiang Kai-Shek and the nationalist party (GMD) defeated China and brought down the warlords. Bringing China under greater central control.

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Nanking decade 1927-37

Nanking decade 1927-37:

- Chiang Kai-Shek established relative political stability and tried to destroy the Communists, driving them into the interior of China. Where they eventually regrouped to set up the Jiangxi Soviet in 1928.

- However, in 1934 100,000 communists embarked on a retreat known as the Long March. Only 20,000 survived, making it to Yanan, where they established a new Soviet.

- It was here that Mao asserted his leadership over the party, and here the Communists gained vital experience of the government.

- Meanwhile, the GMD had been powerless to prevent Japanese from invading and occupying the rich north-eastern province of Manchuria in 1931. By 1937, the Japanese were ready to extend their control further and so the Sino-Japanese war began.

- GMD and CCP made a new United Front against the invaders.

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Nanking decade 1927-37 continued

Attack on pearl harbour 1941 = turning point

- Americans began to help the Chinese to fight back against the Japanese. 

- Chiang Kai-Shek hoped that the US Army force would land on Chinese Soil as a prelude to attacking Japan, an army that he hoped would also be used to destroy the Communists. 

- However, the Japanese surrender came sooner than expected when the Americans dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

- Although China was free once again, Chiang Kai-Shek still faced the problem of the Communists, who had grown in popularity during the war years, largely because they had sucessfully cultivated the support of the peasantry.

- Despite attempts by the USA to get the 2 sides to compromise and form a coalition government, open civil war broke out between the GMD and CCP in 1946. 

- In December 1949, Chiang Kai-Shek left the mainland and flew to Taiwan. Although he still claimed to be the legitimate ruler of the country, Mao amd the Communists were left in complete control.

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Difficulties in ruling China during the 20th Centu

What were some of the difficulties in ruling China during the 20th Century?

- Vast size of the country

- Disparities (great difference) in wealth

- The centre of China was very poor

- Disease

- Language barriers and different ethnicities such as Han; Manchu

- Climate range such as Gobi Desert; Cold

- Social cohesion (unity), women referred to 'maggots in rice' and large amount of religious groups.

- Political infrastructure was poor.

- Natural disasters

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Aftermath of the Civil War 1946-9

Problems faced:

- Factory output 44% lower than 1937.

- Food production at subsistence (minimal) level

- Countryside starvation

- Hyperinflation 

- Millions of experts/officials fled

- Half railway network destroyed

- 5% of 600 million population were proletariat, most illiterate

- Poor support in cities

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Problems faced continued

Problems faced:

- GMD still active south of Yangtze

- Secret societies and cults active in countryside, rebellions

- USA would only recognise GMD government.

- Tibet was unconquered

- Poor mechanisation/ transport

- Soviets still controlled much of Manchria.

Good things for Mao:

- People happy Mao ended Civil War

- More effective at organising infrastructure than GMD

- Utopian honeymoon, many believed that they could be apart of it

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Party and State Structure

CPPCC 1949:

- Approved temporary constitution (common program): temporary constitution, would be updated in 1954 (5 years time) to cover civil war and repair what had happened, stressed alliance of peasants/workers, proclaims gender equality, makes law that women should be paid the same as men, gave army and police supreme power to suppress opposition as well as accpeting co-operation between working class and capitalist framework.

- 610 delegates

- Mao announces he's making a democratic centralism (looks democratic on the surface, but in reality is a constitution.

- Drafted new constitution

- Passed laws

-Chose state symbols

- Appointed Central People's Government

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Party and State Structure Continued

Route of laws:

Politburo Decision -> Central People's Government -> CPPCC

- Politburo of 14 make decisions on law.

- This is passed to CPG to authorise

- Law is then passed on to Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference for ratification.

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1954 onwards

1954 onwards: - The CPPCC remained as a advisory body to National People's Congress. Met annually at the same time as National People's Congress.

- National People's Congress, New legislature, Rubber-stamped Politburo decisions 

- State Council, New name for Central People's Government, Same functions

The bureaux:

- China divided into 6 regions, or bureaux

- illusion of de-centralisation

- Each region was run by 4 Communist Officials

- A PLA commander

- Government chairman

- PLA political commisoner and CCP Party Secretary

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1954 onwards continued

Why was bureaucratisation of the revolution a danger for Mao?:

- Corruption is linked with bureaucracy

- Unelected

- No accountability

- Careerists

- Middle class resurgence

- Exploitation of peasants

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The CCP and PLA

The role of the CCP:

- To run the country

- To unite party and state, individuals

- Real power concentrated on Politburo and Mao.

- Rule from the centre, Zhongnanhai

- Monitor the civil service , legal system, army and education

- Youth league

- Women's federation

- Danwei

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Role of the PLA

The role of the PLA: (peoples liberation army)

- Mythic status for CCP members

- World's largest army , 5m in 1950

- Expensive , 40% of budget

- Led by Peng Dehuai

- Forced respect towards peasantry

- Conscription

- Work projects

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Mao's priorities & Promises

Mao's priorities:

- End any GMD military resistance

- Secure internal power

- Shore up popularity

- Remove people not wholly loyal to the cause

- Remove potential threats to the cause

Mao's Promises:

- Peasants, land distribution

- Workers, better living conditions, minorities offered autonomy

- Businessmen, contribution of private ownership

- Intellectuals, freedom

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Who are the enemies?

Who are the enemies?

- GMD, KMT, Chiang Kai-Shek, Nationalists, Foreign powers, Land owners, Intellectuals , Businessmen, America & Korea

What tactics did Mao use?

- Terror

- Snitching on people to settle scores, reporting friends & family

- Kind towards the peasants

- Restrictions on food & resources

- Fear, forced labour camps

- Endear to party values, learning slogans

- Propaganda

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The Reunification campaigns (1949-50)

- PLA invaded Tibet October 1950

- Tibetans regarded themselves as culturally different

- 60,000 troops resisted for several months

- PLA imposed as a CGP leader

- Resettled the land with Han Chinese

- Dalai Lama fled in 1959.

Terror- labelling:

- Danwei (workplace) denial, 60 labels each citizen could be given such as 'good' 'bad' or 'middle'

- Judges loyalty to regime and family history, labelled 'red' and 'black'. 'Blacks' sent to reeducation classes.

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The Great Terror 1950

The Great Terror 1950:

- Under veil of the Korean War

- 1-2 million deaths

- Denunciations

- Quotas 1/1000 branded running dogs

- Horrific torture

- 'merciless destruction'

- Peasant uprising

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