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"Asses the successes and failures of Mao's domestic policies between 1949 and 1976."

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Introduction

"Asses the successes and failures of Mao's domestic policies between 1949 and 1976." During the time period of 1919 to 1949, rival warlords and factions struggled to assert authority in China. The two chief contenders were the Nationalists, the Kuomintang led by Sun Yatzen, and the Communists, the CCP led by Mao Zedong. Mao's initial plan was to obtain support from the peasants as the consisted of more than 75% of the population in China. After the four year struggles that followed Japan's downfall after WWI, the CCP and Mao Zedong had won the civil war. In 1949, Mao declared the PRC, Peoples Republic of China. From this period on until 1949, Mao had numerous domestic policies, some were failures and some successes. These policies can be divided into 3 categories, "Economic, Thought reform and Political/social." His optimal goal was to turn China into a super power, a power as powerful or greater than The United States. The focus of this essay is to establish whether Mao achieved this goal with his domestic policies. The effect of the civil war on China was that there was major instability in the Country. Mao knew it and one of his major concerns in order to achieve his goals was to even out this insecurity. In 1949, Mao launched the Organic law which divided China into 6 subdivisions. ...read more.

Middle

After those five years, china had a railway system which moved goods an raw material. New jobs were opened, as China's population was increasing at an incredible speed. Mao, after being satisfied with China's progress in the 1950's, hinted to party members and workers that it was time for asking the Chinese people to speak their thoughts out loud. Mao told the communist party to be ready and receive criticism from the Chinese people. In 1957, Mao launched the 100 flower campaign. In a speech, Mao said " let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend." He asked the Chinese people to voice their opinions. Once overcoming their fear of showing themselves to be "anti-party", people quickly reacted; criticising individuals and policies for corruption and inefficiency. As more and more was happening, Mao called a stop the free speech idea, by then China moved into a time of suppression. This campaign was soon changed into "the rightist campaign." Many of the Chinese intellectuals who had criticised were resigned to a re-education. They were obliged either to "thought reform" or "reform through labour". Others were sent in prison and labour camps. This "100 flower campaign" was suggested to have been a tool to find who was the enemy of the CCP; this objective would have been successful, but talking about the initial idea of the hundred flowers campaign, it was a failure. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mao Zedong was a very important and influential leader. His domestic policies, reforms and campaigns all consist of successes and failures, including catastrophes and disappointments. Those that failed, such as the hundred flower campaign, the second 5 year plan and the cultural revolution were total disasters, creating chaos and economic instability in the country. However, some of his policies were successful, especially the marriage law and other social reforms; the first 5 year plan. The hundred flowers campaign, on the other hand could be considered as a failure keeping control of the critics, and a success for finding who was rightist, in Mao's point of view. Mao's original goal was to turn China into a super power. His domestic policies were the tool to accomplish that goal. Looking at these policies, one would think that he has failed, due to all the after effects of his failures; but on the other hand, in the end, Mao had accomplished his goal of creating a super power. His domestic policies were mostly failures, Mao had created chaos and famine all over China. He had also never admitted being wrong in some of his policies. Overall his policies were failures, yet he had still accomplished his goal. Therefore one can argue that his domestic policies were both failures and successes. It would be very hard to find only one answer. Raphael Pujol ...read more.

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This is a thorough and well written response that addresses all aspects of Mao's leadership and comes to a well considered judgment. Evaluation is strong in places but could be more consistent throughout. A strong answer overall though

Marked by teacher Natalya Luck 10/04/2013

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