Mao's China

Revision cards for Mao's China in Edexcel history AS.

Consolidation of Power

How did Mao consolidate power from 1949?

Problem - Soaring inflation and GMD took China's reserves of foreign currency to Taiwan.
Solution - Regulation of the economy, public spending cut, taxes raised. New currency introduced. Money taken from GMD supporters and kept.

Problem - Industrial production declined.
Solution - banks, gas, electricity and transport industries nationalised.

Problem - CCP didn't have full control of all regions.
Solution - Create rule by fear, 3 reunification campaigns in Tibet, Xinjiang and Guangdong, 28,332 people executed.

Problem - Peasants had been used in the war, agricultural production fallen, food shortages in urban areas.
Solution - Introduces land reforms, land is confiscated from landlords and given to poor peasants.

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The Five Year Plan 1953 - 1957

Why - Mao visited USSR in 1949 and signs Treaty of Friendship with Stalin where China gets financial aid. Impressed by USSR's 5 year plans.

Aims - Develop the growth of industry, increase production of steel and coal, increase transport industry.

Collectivisation - beigns in 1956. Farms grouped together to increase food output.

Positives - economic growth of 9%, figures exceed targets, industrilisation, rail/road bridge built over river Yangzi.

Negatives - reliance on USSR showing lack of independence, agriculture decreases, figures are fabricated, conspiracey of silence begins.

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The Hundred Flowers Campaign

  • 1956
  • Mao travels china in 1950s and wants to give greater freedom
  • 5 year plan has lead to overcrowding and food shortages - communist party loosing support.
  • 1956 Khrushchev de-stalinates USSR - is this a dig at Mao?
  • 1956 Hungarian rising - does Mao need to stamp out opposition?
  • "Let a hundred flowers bloom" - early 1957 criticism begins.
  • People, mainly intellectuals, voice opinions on party, its members and politics.
  • Snowball effect - people become more and more opinionated as risk seems to be gone
  • In June Mao has had enough - he cracks down and anti-rightist movement begins.
  • People sent to reform, free speech banned, press censored, critics have to retract statements. Even Zhou, a loyal and close party member.
  • Nobody is safe.
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The Great Leap Forward - background, aims, commune

Background - Mao witnesses power of the masses during countryside tour of 1958, need to prove power to USSR, the divide between classes is too big.

Aims - Make China world's leading country, overtake USA and UK's economies within 30 years, double steel production, clean streets and create modern industrial country.

Communes - average of 5000 families per commune, 75,000 communes across China, communal eating and sleeping. Huge competition over which commune can grow the most starts. By end of 1958 more than 50% of population live in commune.

Backyard furnace campaign - 600,000 furnaces are set up, all steel put into them. Steel is actually useless and picked up then dumped (peasants do not know this).

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The Great Leap Forward 1958-63 - Effects

The Famine -

Why did it happen? sparrowcide (making sparrows exhasted until they die), steel campaign taking over peasants lives so food production decreased, Lysenkoism was killing the crops, competiton between communes meant crops died and there was an idea there was too much food, some food even exported to other countries.
Effects of the famine - starvation, 50 million die, canibalism, children and wives sold. 

Lushan Conference -

Held in 1959. First chance to dicuss GLF. Peng speaks the truth and is ridiculed and ignored. Zhou hides in shame. Mao decleares the famine is treason. Little offfical help can be given.

Aftermarth -

Mao takes a back seat due to shame of the failure. Revisionists and pragmatists begin to speak out.

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Prelude to Cultural Revolation 1962-66

Socialist education movement - intended to reintroudce basic socialist values into chinese society.
Launched in 1964
Four clean ups
Mao wants nationwide mass mobilisation  Liu wants a more controlled situation. Mao loses faith in him. Accuses Liu and Deng of being capitalist.

Lin Biao made leader of PLA. Published Little Red book, makes army swear oath to Mao.

1965 Mao moves to Shanghai - surrounded by those who fully support his extremism.

Mao fears party members want to knock him from power.

Wun Han affair - writes play suspected about Mao - Lin Biao destroys him.

Jiang sets up gang of 4 who are ruthless.

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Cultural Revolution 1966-69

Launch: May 1966 central cultural revolution group set up by gang of 4, Summer 1966 students encouraged with poster campaign attacking education system. Mao impressed with enthusiasm of young. Become the Red Guards. Red Guards grown up in country of poverty and famine, need to take anger out.

July 1966 Mao swims across Yangzi river. Mao denounces Liu and promotes Lin Biao.

August 1966 Revolution begins. More than 1 million at Titananmen square. Red guards beign violent campaign on people in party taking capitalist road. 

Youth are desperate for adventure. Violence and terror begins. People tortured. 4 old's smashed up. Politeness seen as weakness.

Once it was started Mao had little to do with it. Idea's changed so often.  Had to be finished by bringing the PLA in. Send youth to re-education - punished for following orders. 

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Sadia K


nice and concise :)

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