The Cultural Revolution

  • Created by: rakso181
  • Created on: 21-05-16 14:56

Ideologues vs. pragmatists

- Greater division after 7000 cadre conference 1962

- 1963 - Mao launches 'Socialist Education Movement' to remove trad. elements in China 

- Mao is an ideologue whereas Liu, Deng, Chen and Bo Yibo are pragmatists 

- Pragmatists believe in ideological compromises for economic progress

1 of 18

Quest for Permanent Revolution

- Mao wants to use m. mobilisation to push forward the revolution

- Didn't want to make same mistakes as Khrushchev and the USSR with de-Stalinisation

- Wants younger members to experience revolutionary struggle and ensure they are fully committed

- Socialist Education Movement fails due to Liu's control of m. mobilisation - Campaign against Wu Han (Zhou's ally) aimed to destabilise Liu

2 of 18

Attacks on bureaucracy

- Mao wants a peasant-led revolution

- New rectification campaign to cleanse party of bourgeois attitudes

- Purging of Mandarins within the party

3 of 18

Mao's opponents vs. his supporters

- Opposition: Chen Yun, Bo Yibo, Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqui

- Supporters: Lin Biao, Jiang Qing, Kang Sheng and Chen Boda

- Zhou Enlai stuck in the middle

- Mao removes Peng Zhen (mayor of Beijing), one of Liu's closest allies

- May 1966 - Central Cultural Revolution Group (CCRG) set up

4 of 18

Mao's hold over young people

- 1966 - carrying the 'Little Red Book' was a social necessity 

- Aug 1966 - Mao calls for students to 'Bombard the Headquarters' 

- Red Guard opens career oppurtunities and oppurtunity to get back at party cadres

5 of 18

Mass rallies and Attacks on the Four Olds

Mass rallies:

- 18th Aug 1966 - First rally with 1 million in Tiananmen Square

- Free train travel makes it easier for RG to reach rallies 

- Mao identifies targets at the rallies

Attacks on the Four Olds:

- Old culture, ideals, customs and habits - put under blanket term of 'Confucious and Co.' 

- Western influences like fashion and hairstyles

- Correction stations set up 

- Street names changed

- Houses ransacked for bourgeois possessions, sometimes leading to beatings

6 of 18

Four Olds (ctd.) and Cultural Destruction

Four Olds:

- Concept of family attacked - young people to treat CCP as their true parents and inform Red Guard of parents clinging to old attitudes

- Religion attacked - clergys imprisoned and public worship and ceremonies banned

- April 1976 - 1000's attend the Festival of the Dead ceremony in tribute to Zhou Enlai's death

Cultural destruction:

- Zhou stops attempt to destroy Forbidden City

- 2/3 of 7000 important historical/cultural places in Beijing destroyed

- Attack on Confucius' home town

- Over 100K homes broken into for 'old' artefacts

7 of 18

Growth of anarchy and use of terror

- Free reign on who to attack - first unpopular teachers then old attitudes/wealthy/priveledged people 

- Lengthy struggle sessions used

- Sep 1966 - RG presented with list of 'bad classes' (landlords, rich peasants, rightists etc.)

- 1966 - Babaoshan Crematorium disposes of 2000 bodies in 2 weeks 

- Guangxi 19666-76 - roughly 67K deaths 

- 1966 - new RG formed in factories and offices

- PLA and politburo memebrs take things into their own hands to avoid struggle sessions - Mao tells RG to override the PLA but then does a U-Turn and organises a crackdown

- Violent infighting (Shanghai especially) - Mao and PLA intervene in 'January Storm' 1957

8 of 18

Attacks on Liu and Deng

- Liu removed as President and and Deng as General Secretary after RG demonstration 

- Mao opposed to their private farming and top-down leadership

- Late 1964 - Liu accused of being a 'capitalist roader' and Deng accused of working independently

- Liu put through several struggle sessions - dies in Nov 1969 and his wife, Wang, is subject to humiliation and interrogation 

- Deng treated less harshly with public humiliation and sent to a labour camp - son is thrown through a window and paralysed 

- Deng rehabilitated by Zhou in 1972

9 of 18

Attack on Lin Biao

- Plays pivotal role in Civil War with only Mao above him in the PLA - made PLA more radical force for Mao's use

- 1969 - constitution names Lin as Mao's successor

- PLA and Lin become less valuable to Mao after radical phase of the C. Rev.

- Mao organises Military Affairs Commission with more of his own supporters and less of Lin's

- Mao attacks Lin's close friends like Chen Boda

10 of 18

Death of Lin Biao (1971)

- Accused of planning to assassinate Mao - their Russian-bound plane crashes in Mongolia

- Plunges Mao into long-term depression

- Casts a lot of doubt on party

- News not released until 1972 - Jiang Qing starts campaign called 'criticise Lin Biao and Confucius'

11 of 18

Purging CCP membership

- 'Bombard the Headquarters'

- 25/29 first secretaries in provinical branches lose jobs, mostly to PLA officers

- Many veterans purged and replaced with newcomers

- Increased PLA influence - 2/3 central congress, 1/2 politburo, 45% central committee

- 20% local party officials purged - 3 million cadres sent to cadre schools

- Only 9/23 politburo members in 1966 hold their posts 

- 4/6 regional first secretaries purged

- 70% regional/provincial officers purged

- 1966-68 - 2/3 central committee purged 

- Oct 1968 - Mao calls for full central committee meeting to expell Liu from government and be told that the C. Rev. was a success

12 of 18

Purging Capitalist Roaders and Foreigners

- Most attacks in urban areas - workers in schools, factories and shops scrutinised as bourgeois

- 1968 - CCRG set up committees across the country to eradicate capitalist ideas - causes brief disruption to indus. prod.

- Cleansing of 'rural capitalism' accounts for over 100K deaths 

- 1970 - 'One strike and three antis' - eradication of any economic ideas that halt progress

- Foreign embassies attacked by RG in 30 different countries - 1967: RG break into Chinese embassy in London over British occupation in Hong Kong 

13 of 18

Restoration of order by PLA

- RG had been undermining PLA and damaging economy and education 

- Mao orders RG and workers factions to stop infighting 

- New revolutionary committees introduced and controlled by PLA

- Full-scale purge of RG: 'Cleanse the class ranks' - all their newspapers closed down by 1968

- Full-scale civil war in Shanxi and looting of weapons in Vietnam 

- PLA re-enforce discipline in schools and universities

- Lack of education had led to a drop in industrial output and a rise in youth unemployment 

14 of 18

'Up to the mountains and down to the villages'

- 5 million young people (1968-70)

- Showing RG that the revolution was based on peasantry 

- Hardening urban intellectuals and bureaucrats with manual labour 

- Young people not used to low standard of living - felt like they were being used as Mao's pawns

15 of 18

Return of Deng and Zhou

- Zhou uses Mao's uncertainty with Lin Biao to launch his 'Four Modernisations' - develop agric. indus., defense and education 

- Establish greater connections with the West for technological expertise 

- Raises standards of further education with entrance exams 

- Zhou is considered the ultimate survivor, having been PM from 1949-76

- Zhou gets Deng back into the party - Mao wants Deng to train his chosen successor, Wang Hongwen 

- Deng leads Chinese delegations at the UN and becomes Army Chief of Staff to prevent warlordism 

- March 1973 - Deng appointed Vice Premier 

- 1974 - Deng appointed to his old post of Party Secretary 

- Purged again in 1976 by Jiang Qing and other radicals 

16 of 18

Reigning in of the Gang of Four

- The Gang of Four: Jiang Qing, Wang Hongwen, Jiang Qing and Yao Wenyuan

- PLA had control from 1968 but G. of 4 reassert influence in 1973 with campaign after Lin's death

- Order a boycotting of Western goods and a renewal of the People's Communes

- Had the ability to manipulate media, all had a good relationship with Mao and all wanted to overthrow moderate officials supporting Liu and Deng 

- Gain power during C. Rev. and maintain power after with propoganda and media

- Lose power after Mao's death in 1976

- Tried in 1980-81 for their crimes in the C. Rev.

17 of 18

Death of Mao (Sep 1976)

- Health had been in decline since Lin Biao's death in 1971

- Issue of Mao's successor complicated after Lin's death

- Zhang Chunqiao considered but rejected due to low support base

- Wang Hongwen considered but was too close with Jiang Qing in 1975

- Hua Guofeng nominated after Deng's exile from the politburo in 1976 - also responsible for the arrests of the Gang of Four

18 of 18


No comments have yet been made

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all China in the 20th century resources »