AQA Mao's China Key Topic 1

  • Created by: prudii
  • Created on: 05-12-16 10:13

1 China in 1949

PRC was created in 1949- 

•Backward, lacking an organised central government 

•Economy still reliant on small-scale agri production 

•80% of pop lived in poor rural areas 

•Little healthcare and poor education- vast majority of peasants illiterate 

•China's problems further exacerbated by 40 years of conflict

1.1 The Civil War 1946-49

•1911 revolution- overthrew the Qing dynasty 

•2 Political groups- GMD & CCP 

•GMD- Guomindang- advocated capitalist economic development but rejected Western democratic values in favour of authoritarian rule- Led by Chiang Kai-shek 

•CCP- Communist Party of China- advocated the development of a communist state- Led by Mao Zedong 

•Co-operating in fighting the Japanese- after conflict continued

1.2 China at the end of the Civil War

•Tens of millions had been killed in the battle to suppress warlordism, civil war and the war against japan 

•Bankrupt and Chaotic 

•CCP came to power through military success  

•Had support from peasants in rural areas- wanted land reforms 

•Less popular among businessmen and middle classes in large Chinese cities 

Administrative chaos- 

•GMD stripped the country of assets such as gold, silver and dollar reserves, alongside cultural treasures. 

•Many of educated elite, bureaucrats and businessmen left 

•Few experienced officials left to run cities or with enough technological knowledge to rebuild the economy 

•Communist party members had little knowledge of civilian government 


•1 million bandits roamed the countryside  

Economic problems- 

•No stable or unified currency 

•Hyperinflation- GMD printed mass amount of money 

The state of China's Industry- 

•Majority of China's industrial equipment was destroyed 

•Manchuria- majority of steel mills and had huge reserves of iron ore/coal/fertile farmland- Soviet Union dismantled industrial equipment in factories and mines, confiscated tools and gold 

•Many skilled personnel who had the knowledge required to rebuild industrial production had fled to Taiwan with the nationalists 

•Lack of industrial production created an ideological problem- no industrial workers to stage a revolution 

The state of China's agriculture- 

•Communist Party appealed to the peasants- "land to the tiller" 

•Agriculture suffered due to wars 

•Agricultural tools and livestock were in short supply 

•Many peasants had been forcibly conscripted in the Civil War 

•1949- food production was at subsistence level and some parts- famine 

•Land Reform- hard to control land reform, size and diversity- cadres lacked local knowledge and too many villages for all party members to reach 

National Infrastructure- 

•Nationalist forces were still in China 

•Threat from CKS- backed by USA 

•Corruption was rife 

•Warlords still controlled large areas 

•Bandits evaded law and order, making communication and travel dangerous 

•Central government had broken down- further emphasised by lack of common language 


•Transport networks were badly damaged-half the rail network had been destroyed 

•Telephone lines had been damaged 

•Rivers and harbours had been blocked up 


•Inexperienced communists were not prepared to run cities or set up an efficient government administration 

The nationalist threat- 

•Nationalist still posed a threat after the communist took control 

•Sent spies and saboteurs  

•US supplied planes bombed coastal cities- damaged electricity and water


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