• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To What Extent did the Gradual Abandonment of the Maoist Development Paradigm Between the years 1978 and 1988 Improve or Worsen the Lot of the Chinese Peasant?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To What Extent did the Gradual Abandonment of the Maoist Development Paradigm Between the years 1978 and 1988 Improve or Worsen the Lot of the Chinese Peasant? Unlike most modern dictators, Mao Zedong seems to have escaped the posthumous discredit that seems his due. He is still a national hero, and considered the father of the Chinese people. Although his political legacy may have avoided destruction, his economic one has not. Soon after his death, the ascension of Deng Xiaoping caused the beginning of a process that would change China from a large but inefficient nation to a world leader, poised to overtake America as the largest economy on Earth. It is fairly obvious that for the Chinese economy as a whole, the reformist policies of Deng and his successors were good news, but in the great capitalist game there are always losers as well as winners. In this instance the losers may well have been the rural peasants, the people that the party set out to protect. Was the transition from a centrally planned economy for the benefit or the detriment of the rural worker? There are many issues that must be addressed before an examination of the question proper can begin. For a start, it must be shown that the policies of Mao were actually abandoned. According to Diana Hunt, the Maoist Development Paradigm had as its central aim the abolition of all income differentials (you're right she does, but is she correct?), be they between individuals or regions. At the same time he wanted the social ownership of all productive assets to lead to a greater material abundance for the people. He was keen to develop and balance productive forces and productive relations, in the knowledge that it was important not only to have the capital and labourers to produce goods but also the correct relations to manage and integrate them. ...read more.

Middle

As mentioned earlier, this should lead to an implicit rise in rural incomes. As is evident from the graph, the gradual rise in rural incomes is roughly matched by that of state food prices. It can therefore safely be assumed that the rising prices of food had a positive impact upon the incomes of peasants. Because the price rises were deliberate, it can once again be said that the policies of Deng improved the situation of the peasant. Despite their huge importance, agricultural prices were not the only issue of significance for determining peasant incomes. Output levels, employment rates in different industries, food to cash crop production ratio, unemployment, as well rural industry all affect peasants' wealth. Between 1978 and 1984 per capita grain output rose by 78kg a year, an index rise of 24%. Cotton production went from 2.3kg to 5.9kg, a rise of 156 %, and meat production went from 9.0kg per person per year, to 14.9kg, a rise of 65.6%!7 When the government abandoned forced grain self sufficiency which had before been imposed on the collectives, more specialisation and diversification was possible. This is the main reason for the increased range of production, and therefore another way in which policy change helped the peasants. Because more diversification was allowed, the proportion of peasants working in agriculture dropped from 90% in 1978 to just 79% in 1988. Transport, building, commerce and industry all expanded greatly as a result of the loosening of laws, and the result was greater consumption production? options for the people. It was not all good news however. The freeing up and dismantling of the communes had the effect of greatly increasing unemployment. In 1978 there were 25,549,000 'surplus' rural workers, compromising 9% of the rural workforce. What does 'surplus' mean in this context? By 1987 this figure had risen to 111,255,000, meaning that 36% of the rural workforce was 'surplus to requirements'.8 One of the effects of this was the urban migration that occurred during this period. ...read more.

Conclusion

of an east coast resident being around 6 times that of a peasant. Communism is no more in China, with repression and human rights abuses the only remnants of an abandoned doctrine. Bibliography: * J. Zink, China's One Child Policy, axe.acadiau.ca/~043638z/one-child/index.html * C. Riskin, China's Political Economy, Oxford, 1991 * Kueh and Ash, Economic Trends in Chinese Agriculture, Oxford, 1993 * P. Nolan, The Political Economy of Collective Farms, Cambridge, 1988 * China SSB, Zhongguo Tonji Nianjan (ZGTJNJ) (Chinese statistical yearbook), 1989 * J. R. Taylor & J. Banister, China: The Problem of Employing Surplus Rural Labour * G. Heilig, Can China Feed Itself, http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/LUC/ChinaFood/index_h.htm * Z.X. Simon & T.S.P. Christopher, Spatial Disparities, Inflation, and their Impact on China's Investment Environment in the 1990s and Beyond, Hong Kong Baptist University * S.G. Powell, Agricultural Reform in China 1978-1990, Manchester, 1992 DEPARTMENT OF HISTORICAL STUDIES PROJECT FEEDBACK SHEET NAME: Joe Inwood TOPIC: Reforms MARK: 70 Very Good ? Satisfactory ? Needs More Attention STRUCTURE AND FOCUS Engagement with question as set ? Clear development of argument Good Sustained analytical approach Good Relevant deployment of evidence Good Effective introduction ? Range of issues covered Good Effective conclusion ? QUALITY OF ARGUMENT/EXPRESSION Clarity and fluency of writing ? Use of vocabulary and grammar ? Appropriate use of quotations ? Acknowledgement of sources Good Use of relevant analytical concepts ? Awareness/use of historian's ideas ? Independence of thought Good Ability to reflect on/interpret the past ? Presentation ? Length ? RANGE OF KNOWLEDGE Range of reading and knowledge ? Sense of historical development ? Integration of general/detail ? Use of IT (Excel, Access etc) ? Use of IT (Internet etc) ? COMMENTS A thoughtful, perceptive and carefully put together Project. You develop your theme quite effectively. I think you underestimate the effect of the rise of rural industry on peasant incomes (at least after the initial rise in agricultural prices). You also need to take account of the effect of various subsidies to the urban population. On the whole though, a good Project. There is no evidence that you have used any web-based material. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Population & Settlement section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Population & Settlement essays

  1. Explain why development is a complex term to measure and define

    Therefore, even if countries have the same GDP per capita, people in those countries will not be able to afford the same things. To try to account for the difference in purchasing parity, The Economist have developed the Big Mac Index, which shows the purchasing parity in different countries by

  2. Geography revision - flooding - Urbanisation - Population problems

    Convenience stores Low Order Goods - Convenience goods The area from which a shop or settlement attracts people is called its sphere of influence an area with its own sphere of influence is called a central place the minimum number of people needed to support a place is called the threshold population.

  1. Labor Migration - Politics and Governance

    Thailand and Malaysia demanded Filipino laborers starting in the 1960s, while some were employed in Indonesia as loggers in the area of Kalimantan. On the Western hemisphere, specifically in Canada, immigration policies were liberated. This prompted for a more permanent migration.

  2. Rural development: Strategy for incorporating it into India's overall economic development agenda.

    In this paper we first try to understand the whole Socio-Economic structure of India. The factors affecting the rural economy have been discussed in the first section. Then we will discuss the change agents- those who have the say or will or resources to bring about the change, then the proposed structure/model, how and why it will work.

  1. The rural aftermath - The effects of the plagues.

    It was, quite simply, the surplus population which was removed, the last stage of progressive cull which had begun at least eighty years before the Black Death. In the countryside marginal lands which had been newly colonised were abandoned as agriculture contracted back onto the best lands.

  2. I will discuss the differences and inequalities of China as a nation in its ...

    There is obviously the very famous highest point in the world known as 'Mount Everest' with a height of 8850m. This section of China is very challenging in its physical aspect being very cold in the winter with high amounts of snow and wind chill.

  1. Population policies

    China was experiencing social, economic and environmental problems in the 70s when it was experiencing rapid growth, to try and control this, the the Chinese government introduced the one child policy in 1979, China says that the policy has helped to prevent an extra 400 million births which would have placed the current population near 1.7 billion.

  2. China's One Child Policy - Success or Failure?

    many questions have been raised as to exactly how these new allowances will be funded.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work