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

To what extent was the Maoist approach to insurgency shaped by conditions that were unique to China?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent was the Maoist approach to insurgency shaped by conditions that were unique to China? "The laws of war - this is a problem which anyone directing a war must study and solve. The laws of a revolutionary war - this is a problem which anyone directing a revolutionary war must study and solve. The laws of China's revolutionary war - this is a problem which anyone directing China's revolutionary war must study and solve." - Mao Tse-Tung "Strategic Problems of China's Revolutionary War" 1 The entire basis of the Maoist approach to insurgency stems from Mao's interpretation of China as a 'semi-feudal' and 'semi-colonial' country. This, coupled with the war of resistance against Japan forms the basis of Mao Tse-Tung's writings on the strategy of warfare in China. The conditions for insurgency began in the latter half of the 19th Century with the ancient autocratic 'Manchu Ching' Dynasty that had (amongst others) ruled relatively unchanged for thousands of years enacting 'piecemeal' democratic reforms in order to prevent itself from being toppled by revolutionary forces demanding wholesale changes within the governmental structure. China was also in danger of becoming another 'Africa' for the European powers to divide up between themselves. ...read more.

Middle

"In this report on the peasant movement in Hunan [Mao] argued that peasant dissatisfaction was the main potential force for revolution in China; if the new government in Wuhan supported the peasant movement the revolution could be victorious."5 Mao also stipulated that the peasant classes must first seize power and then be educated in Marxist thought, rather than vice versa. This established the bedrock of Mao's belief in a revolutionary-peasant guerrilla army. After the failure of the United Front (KMT nationalist forces, communists and other forces united in favour of national unity) in July 1927, the CCP almost collapsed. The failure of external influences on the CCP from organisations such as the communist international and the USSR resulted in subsequent CCP policies and ideology to take on a highly individualistic flavour (i.e. a Marxist party without many of the conventional Marxist-Leninist ideas, most notably the lack of emphasis on the urban proletariat) from the 1930's onwards. Urban insurrections had taken place in the late 1920's and early 1930's under the guidance of Moscow in cities such as Nanching, Hunan and Canton without any success and urban insurrection was 'put on the back burner', reserved only to 'support the rural soviets'.6 After the collapse of the Manchu Ching Dynasty, China was broken up into 'warlordships', a situation that was unique to China. ...read more.

Conclusion

If we only have Red guards of a local character but no regular Red Army, then we can only deal with the house-to-house militia, but not the regular White troops."8 The cultural influences on the Maoist approach to insurgency are very important in trying to understand the context in which it was formed. Due to the extremely rich cultural heritage of China that stretches back millennia, it would have been totally impossible and undesirable for Mao and his fellow communists to enact a complete 'break with the past'. "Mao himself, while he sought in that peculiar Westernizing ideology known as Marxism-Leninism the ideas and methods by which to re-shape his own society, also stressed the need to adapt and transform Marxism in the Chinese environment."9 The basis behind the Chinese traditional methods of political philosophy was the doctrine of 'Confucianism' 1 Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung - Vol.1 - p.175 (Lawrence & Wishart, 1954) 2 Dunn, J - Modern Revolutions p.72-73 (Cambridge, 1972) 3 Ibid. p.73 4 Beckett, I.F.W. - Modern Insurgencies and Counter-Insurgencies - p.70-71 (Routledge, 2001) 5 Gray, J - Rebellions and Revolutions - p.250 (Oxford 1990) 6 Ibid. p. 256 7 Selected Works of Mao Tse-Tung Vol.1 p.64 (Lawrence & Wishart, 1954) 8 Ibid. p.66 9 Schram. S.R. - Mao Zedong: A Preliminary Reassessment - p.2 (St.Martins press 1983) ...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 International History, 1945-1991 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 International History, 1945-1991 essays

  1. Why did Mao Zedong introduce a second five year plan in 1958 and to ...

    He made China more accessible through buying and selling. China became more up to date and began to allow other political parties, but only those that didn't threaten communism. With Mao anyone suspected of not being a fully-fledged communist was sent away, tortured or even killed.

  2. Indian History. To what extent did large dams built before 1990 fulfil Nehru's ambitions?

    This may even be an optimistic figure, with the Public Accounts Committee finding 32 major projects in the Fifth and Sixth Plans alone that had run over budget by more than 500% (Singh, 1990, p. 563). In terms of Cost-Benefit, such discordance had fundamentally undermined the financial aims of dam-building with the 1:1.5 ratios rarely being met.

  1. Communist China a project

    He became a Communist. In 1921 Mao and a few friends decided to form the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). In 1926 he was head of the peasant department of the CCP. He believed that the peasants had to be armed and trained to lead the revolution.

  2. Has the Historical context of both the texts shaped the way that they are ...

    There was a generation of poets such as Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves who evolved from pity to very sharp criticism of the war. One of the most important things to come out of this period and

  1. Mao Tse-tung, who began as an obscure peasant, died one of history's great revolutionary ...

    Complex Figure One of the most remarkable personalities of the 20th century, Mao was an infinitely complex man-- by turns shrewd and realistic, then impatient and a romantic dreamer, an individualist but also a strict disciplinarian. His motives seemed a mixture of the humanitarian and the totalitarian.

  2. Do the Writings of Clausewitz have contemporary relevance?

    "The destruction of the enemies forces in war must always be the dominant consideration"16 While this may have been the ideal way of winning wars in the 19th Century it is arguable that in today's world this view is obsolete for a variety of reasons.

  1. Why were the Communists able to come to power in China?

    In sum, the Chinese had lived in insecure conditions, of which some are due to major problems and disruption after European penetration in early nineteenth century. Therefore, the people were looking for a government, which would bring solutions and put a final end to their struggle.

  2. Assess the origins and consequences of the Cultural Revolution in China.

    So Mao had won the fight. This boosted Mao?s confidence which enforced him to launch the revolution. It was one of the main triggers as again Mao wanted to cleanse the writers and artists whom challenged his ideas. This again emphasises that Mao overall rivalry within the CCP enforced Mao

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