Mao's China 1949-1976 Topic 2

How did Mao deviate from the Marxist line?
Mao emphasised the peasants, not the workers, who would be the "vanguard of the revolution"
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What was the 1950 Agrarian Reform Law?
Aimed to destroy the "gentry-landlord" class, many would have their land redistributed to the peasants
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What was the issue with land reform?
The process of distribution was uneven across the country, in areas held by the CCP for a long time it had already begun.
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What other issues emerged?
Land was organised according to family clans, as such peasants were reluctant to seize land
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How did the communists aim to encourage class consciousness?
Work teams organised attacks on landlords as an attempt to build a scapegoat
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How many households took part in the land to the tiller movement?
88% of households
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Between 1950 and 1952, how much did total agricultural output increase by?
Increased by 15% per annum
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How many landlords were killed in the land to the tiller movement?
1-2 million
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What issue was then created?
The peasants sought to have their dream of owning land realised, while the communists sought to organise communes
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What were Voluntary Mutual Aid Teams (MATs)
Peasants pooled their resources such as tools, ploughs and their own labour
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By 1952, what percentage of peasants belonged to an MAT?
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Why were MATs introduced?
Rich peasants still had more land and capital than poor peasants
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Why were MATs not truly communist?
Still allowed capitalist ideas like the buying and selling of land, hiring of labourers and the lending of money
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What were the Voluntary Agricultural Producers Co-operatives (APCs)?
Peasants shared land, peasants compensated using a points system based on land, labour and tools they had contributed
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How were people paid in the APCs?
Once the harvest was collected, peasants received either money or grain in payment
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How big were APCs?
30 to 50 households
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What percentage of peasants joined the new units?
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What were the effects of APCs?
Unpopular; peasants did not want to share their land and resources, rich peasants were reluctant to join
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What effects on agricultural output did it have?
First 5YP assumed an increase of 23% but output was more like 2%
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What were the Party gradualists?
Argued that China was not ready for full-scale communism; lacked mechanisation
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What did Mao think about this?
Collectivisation was critical to advancing socialism, mass movement by the peasants would make up for lack of equipment
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What was Mao fundamentally motivated by?
Food exports were the only way that China could pay for imports of advanced technology
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What had membership of APCs reached by Dec. 1956?
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Why were party cadres supportive of Mao?
Prove their loyalty, could extract more grain from individuals than APCs
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By January 1956 what had happened?
Private ownership had been abolished, peasants were now only compensated for tools and labour, land was forcibly seized by the state
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What emboldened Mao?
Success of the co-operatives
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What issues did Chinese agriculture face?
Output was low, agriculture rose by only 3.8% in 1955
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What did Mao say
"Without socialisation of agriculture, there can be no complete, consolidated socialism."
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How did Mao think output would be raised?
Moving peasants into communes
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What was the first commune called?
The Sputnik commune; in honour of the first Soviet satellite
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By the end of 1958 how many co-operatives were there?
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How many communes were there?
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How much of the peasant population lived in communes?
99%, almost half a billion people
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What was the vision of the commune?
Peasants would no longer be reliant on urban industry, commune would be self-reliant, producing agriculture, tools and farm machinery, women would be freed of childcare, communal eating
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What was the reality of the communes?
Residents targeted with propaganda, conscripted into militia, family life destroyed, women's lives harder due to intensive work, production didn't rise
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What was the Four Pests Campaign?
Aimed to remove sparrows, rats, mosquitoes and flies who ate grain. Payment given for bodies of the animals, sparrowcide led to growth of caterpillars who decimated the harvest
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Why did Mao embrace Soviet-style centralisation?
It had transformed Russia from a backwards nation into a global superpower capable of beating Nazi Germany
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What CCP slogan was evidence of this?
The Soviet Union's today is our tomorrow
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Name two ways that the USSR supported China's 5YPs?
Sending 11,000 Russian and Eastern European industrial experts to China; a loan of $300 million over the next five years
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What was industrial output in 1949?
10-20% of its pre-WW2 peak
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What were three aims of the first 5YP?
A high rate of growth in steel, coal and heavy industry; make China an autarkic state; state planned to procure 22 million tons of grain in 1953
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Name three successes of the first 5YP?
Industrial output grew 15.5% each year, outstripping the target of 14.7%; industrial working class grew from 6 million to 10 million; railway freight volume more than doubled
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Name three failures of the first 5YP?
Value of agricultural output grew only 2.1% per year; supply of consumer goods was very low; little improvement in healthcare or education
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Why did Mao launch the Great Leap Forward?
Mao wanted to transform China into a great power; 1st 5YP was successful; Mao sought to increase agricultural and industrial output simultaneously; communists appeared to be winning the Cold War
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What successes did the Great Leap Forward have?
Massive irrigation helped make agricultural land more fertile; communes meant that China was closer to communism than ever
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What were the key failures of the Great Leap Forward
Ridiculously over-inflated targets; Mao became convinced that the mobilisation of the masses could overcome all practical obstacles; Anti-Rightist Campaign meant there were no intellectuals left
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What did competition lead to?
Gov't officials inflated targets, aware that the best way to maintain their careers was to impress Mao
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What happened in January 1958?
Ministry of Metallurgy declared that it would double steel production to 20 million tonnes by 1962, reach 100 million by 1977; chemicals minister claimed he could construct thousands of chemical fertiliser factories
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What were the backyard furnaces?
Mao encouraged families to make steel in furnaces; steel was of very poor quality and buried
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By 1962, industrial production had declined by how much?
40% from the 1958-59 level
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What was the issue with the Great Leap Forward?
Cadres sought to meet impossibly high targets, increased grain quotas; grain was used to pay off debts
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How many people died in Henan?
7.8 million people
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How many people died in Tibet?
1 million (the greatest proportion); grain was taken from Buddhist Tibet and given to other provinces; suggests gov't awareness of famine
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What natural conditions exacerbated the Famine?
Typhoons caused flooding in South China; drought reduced the flow of the Yellow River by two-thirds
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How far was Mao responsible?
Party officials didn't dare suggest an end to the GLF after Anti-Rightist Campaign; in Henan, party boss built seven luxurious villas for high-ranking guests
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What was the Lushan Conference?
Peng Dehuai, witnessing the plight of the peasantry, wrote a private letter to Mao; dismissed and Mao threatened to overthrow the gov't
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What did Mao say that acknowledged his responsibility?
"The chaos caused was on a grand scale and I take responsibility"
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What happened?
Mao retired from day-to-day politics, yet never relinquished his role as Party chairman
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Who took over from Mao?
Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping
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What did Deng do in January 1962?
Delivered a speech to 7000 Party cadres dismissing Mao's claim that weather caused GLF and successes outweighed failures 9 to 1
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What reforms did Liu and Deng bring in?
Peasants given greater freedoms to grow what they pleased; allowed to trade on the free market; managers were given more control over the state-owned enterprises; those who possessed technical skills promoted
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What successes did the reforms bring?
By 1965 agricultural output had recovered to pre-GLF levels; light industry such as clothes and furniture grew at a rate of 27% per year
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What was production of consumer goods?
Double the 1957 level
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What was the 1950 Agrarian Reform Law?


Aimed to destroy the "gentry-landlord" class, many would have their land redistributed to the peasants

Card 3


What was the issue with land reform?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What other issues emerged?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


How did the communists aim to encourage class consciousness?


Preview of the front of card 5
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