China Definitions - Establishing Communist rule 1949 - 1957

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  • Created by: JasmineR
  • Created on: 26-10-15 15:06
People's Republic of China.
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Guomindang - the Nationalist Party.
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Chinese Communist Party
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The People's Liberation Army
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United Front
An arrangement between two groups holding significantly different outlooks, who put their differences aside in order to address a more serious threat to their survival. The first United Front had been created to defeat the warlords from 1924 - 1927.
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Scorched earth
These are tactics that involve destroying resources and infrastructure in the course of retreating, in order to prevent the enemy utilising them. It was a ploy used to great effect by the Russians as they retreated before the German advance in 1941.
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Inflation is a fall of the purchasing power of money, usually the consequence of prices going up faster than wages. Hyperinflation is when this happens to an extreme extent.
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Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference - A conference to which the Communists invited delegates of 14 other parties in a continuation of the old United Front approach. It acted as a provisional Parliament until 1954.
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Central People's Government
Composed of the ministers and department heads, this acted as the government of the new China. From 1954, it became known as the State Council.
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Common Program
This was the new constitution, which was updated in 1954.
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The key decision-making body of the CCP. There were 14 members when it met for a plenary session, but in-between these meetings, decisions were taken by the five-man standing committee. Such decisions became laws when the legislature approved them.
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The government body responsible for passing laws (legislation).
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Political commissar
Responsible for monitoring people's loyalty to the Party at a local level and enforcing control as necessary.
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Bureaucratisation of the revolution
This was a frequent fear of the Communist leaders. It was felt that the dynamic nature of change would be slowed down if too much influence passed to the civil servants who ran the government behind the scenes.
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In Russia it is applied to an organised group of revolutionaries, but in China, it applies to to individual people. Part of their work involved reporting on the loyalty of their fellow Party colleagues and of the general public.
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Every citizen belonged to a work unit (danwei) that was led by a Party cadre/
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The Rectification Campaign 1941 - 1944
The purge of Mao's enemies, real and imagined, inside the Party. Its success helped to cement his position as leader.
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Struggle sessions
Organised to humiliate opponents and to frighten people into conforming. Victims who had been denounced by neighbours had to make full confessions and self-criticisms, and were frequently beaten viciously in the process.
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Uyghurs are a central Asian ethnic group, and make up most of the population of Xinjiang. Most are Sunni Muslims.
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The Han people are the main ethnic group in China.
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A dossier containing detailed personal information on anyone that came to the attention of the Party. Access to employment, housing or pensions depended on the contents of this, and the file was constantly updated once it was opened.
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These gangs were criminal organisations that had long controlled urban crime, particularly currency trafficking, drugs and prostitution.
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Tao Zhu (1908 - 1969)
A rising star, who rose to become fourth in the Party hierarchy, before being purged in the Cultural Revolution.
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Luo Ruiqing (1906 - 1978)
Served first as minister for the public security and then, from 1959 to 1965, as chief of general staff in the PLA. However, he became a victim of infighting in the Cultural Revolution and tried to commit suicide, but ended up becoming a cripple.
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Rao Shushi (1903 - 1975)
Party leader in Shanghai, sometimes referred to as Rao Rashi.
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Bo Yibo (1908 - 2007)
A former guerrilla fighter who had joined the Central Committee in 1945 and went on to become a leading economic planner in the 1950s. He was purged during the Cultural Revolution because of his moderate views.
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Gao Gang (1905 - 1954)
Rose to favour as a force in economic planning, but had over-reached himself and began plotting to replace Zhou Enlai as vice-chairman of the Party.
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The new currency introduced in 1950, also known as renminbi.
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Thought reform
A form of mental torture where prisoners had to demonstrate that they had changed their way of thinking. It involved attending struggle sessions with other prisoners, where the only way of proving you had changed was by beating up other prisoners.
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Five-Year Plan
The plans were intended to accelerate China's economic development over a five-year period.
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Hu Feng (1902 - 1985)
A prominent writer who was accused of being a counter-revolutionary when he disputed the CCP's right to be the sole judge of artistic merit. This provided the pretext for a wide purge of intellectuals.
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A blanket term that was applied to anyone Mao wanted to get rid of. The implication was that they had betrayed the principles of the revolution by being too far to the political right.
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Christian missionaries
The Vatican ordered its missionaries to stay in their posts, while the Communists whipped up public hatred by levelling wild accusations at nuns murdering babies in orphanages.
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Domino theory
This was an American idea that the fall of one country to Communism would produce a knock-on effect on its neighbours.
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Card 2


Guomindang - the Nationalist Party.



Card 3


Chinese Communist Party


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Card 4


The People's Liberation Army


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Card 5


An arrangement between two groups holding significantly different outlooks, who put their differences aside in order to address a more serious threat to their survival. The first United Front had been created to defeat the warlords from 1924 - 1927.


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