Communist China - The Great Leap Forward

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  • Created by: Alex
  • Created on: 06-01-11 00:59

Mao Zedong wanted to make China into one of the world's leading industrial nations at the same time as improving it's agriculture. This will be done in another Five Year plan, from 1958- 1963.  Mao anticipated that China's economy would overtake Britain's within fifteen years and America's in twenty to thirty years. This plan was called the 'Great Leap Forward'.

The Communes

Unlike the first Five Year Plan, the Great Leap Forward was aimed to develop agriculture as well as industry. Both heavy and light, all at the same time.

The way to achieving this goal was to organize the Chinese workers into communes.Communes were groups of villages sized from from a few kilometers to sizes of a country. The average number of people living in these communes was around 5000 people. Whom gave up their land, animals and tools to everyone who was in the commune (Sharing!)

The purpose of constructing these Communes was to release what Mao called 'The tremendous energy of the masses' by making sure that time and effort was not wasted and the members could work at a great variety of tasks.Mao said that the advantage of Communes was that the people could combine industry, agriculture, commerce,education and military affairs.

Communes were organized so that nothing would distract them from work, around four million communal eating halls were constructed so people who spent time coking meals were reduced. Children were put in nurseries and the elderly were put in 'houses of happiness' so that the adults would have their full working potential and hence freed for full time work (YAY!)

Communes Controlled nearly every aspect in a person's lives because they combined  several different functions.

  • Firstly, a commune was a local government, with a committee made up of peasants, Party members and soldiers running schools, clinics, nurseries, eating halls, entertainment and other public services.
  • Secondly, a commune was a unit of work organization, with the work of the commune divided among…


John Busher


Is there another resource describing how it all went horribly wrong somewhere? (it did).

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