Mao - Topic 4: Was Mao a cruel dictator?

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What did Mao mean when he said 'let a Hundred Flowers bloom' in 1956?
An open debate which would lead to better ways of running government.
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What were the results of the Hundred Flowers movement?
There was an explosion of criticism which deeply upset Mao.
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Why did the movement end in June 1957?
Mao's government was bombarded with posters, speeches and books which criticised it.
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How was the Hundred Flowers movement a failure for Mao?
He received much more criticism than he expected and the movement did not last very long.
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How was Mao able to use the Hundred Flowers to his advantage?
He consolidated his power by identifying those who were anti-communist and punishing them
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Why did Mao introduce the Hundred Flowers movement?
Many say that his attitude was just a plot to try and get people to think it was safe to air their criticisms, but once they revealed themselves they could be denounced as anti-party and then punished but some say he really wanted open debate.
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How did Mao repress political opposition?
Shanghai and Canton: executed 70,000 triad gangsters in Canton and 30,000 in Shanghai. Dangans, claimed that Gao Gang and Rao Rashi (his leading officials) were traitors and 10,000 Laogai: prison camps which dehumanised prisoners until they broke.
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Why did Mao treat minority groups differently?
Cross-frontier nations, 6% of the population and 60% of the land, access to natural resources, propaganda and 'civilising' the barbarians.
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How were minority groups treated?
54 official minorities identified and were given limited liberties and regional autonomy. Great leap forward, pluralism, cultural revolution and Shadian Incident (killed 1,000 Hui Muslims).
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Why did Mao lose control of China in 1959 and who replaced him a president?
After the Cultural Revolution there was a power struggle and Hua Guofeng became president.
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What was Mao's role post 1959?
Chairman of the CCP
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What concerned Mao by the mid 1960s?
The direction China seemed to be taking - middle-class experts and townspeople again seemed to be getting wealthy at the expense of the peasants and ordinary people.
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Why did Mao launch the Cultural Revolution?
To get people back on the road to Communism.
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How was Mao celebrated during the Cultural Revolution?
In 1966 posters celebrating Mao's achievements appeared everywhere and millions of copies of Mao's Little Red Book were printed and distributed free.
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What happened to Deng Xiaoping and Liu-Shao-qi?
They were dismissed from their jobs. Deng was forced to become a waiter while Liu died in 1969 after three years in prison.
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Who/what were the Red Guards?
An army of young students who went on a rampage to get rid of anti-communists.
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What were the activities of the Red Guards?
They denounced their own parents as anti-communists. Many teachers and lecturers were beaten and abused for being anti-revolutionary, demonstrations took place and thousands of innocent people were beaten, tortured or killed after trials.
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How did the Red Guards become out of control by 1967?
They began to divide into rival factions and fight street battles. In other areas, they fought with gangs of peasants or even militia formed from ousted managers and local party officials.
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How was the violence ended in 1968?
Lin Biao's PLA stepped in to disarm the Red Guards and restore peace and order.
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What problems did the Cultural Revolution cause?
1 million people are estimated to have been killed, the education of a whole generation had been lost, and industrial production had fallen.
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What was the impact of the Cultural Revolution?
Many Chinese people had lost faith.
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What was the power struggle that emerged after the Cultural Revolution?
Lin Biao plotted to kill Mao but, before he could succeed, Lin died in 1971 in a 'plane crash' which was almost certainly a political murder.
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What was the split in the communist leadership?
On the one side there was Mao's old rival Deng Xiaoping and another veteran Communist Zhou Enlai. Against them were Mao and the 'Gang of Four' - Mao's wife and three supporters.
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What happened to the leadership when Mao died in 1976?
The Gang of Four were arrested. They were put on trial for their actions during the Cultural Revolution.
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What did Chang and Halliday argue about Mao?
Mao was a monster and 'was as evil as Hitler or Stalin, and did as much damage to mankind as they did.'
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What do a range of historians argue about Mao?
Chinese historians: Mao was 70% right 30% wrong. Cold war histories: Mao was a monster. Western sympathetic writers: Formed a romantic image of Maoism. Mao was successful at bringing China into the modern world. 'Scar' literature: He caused suffering
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What were the results of the Hundred Flowers movement?

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There was an explosion of criticism which deeply upset Mao.

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Why did the movement end in June 1957?

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Card 4

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How was the Hundred Flowers movement a failure for Mao?

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How was Mao able to use the Hundred Flowers to his advantage?

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