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

What social and economic changes did the Communists make when the came to power in China in 1949?

Extracts from this document...


What social and economic changes did the Communists make when the came to power in China in 1949? On his ascension to power in China in 1949, Chairman Mao said: "The People's Republic of China will strive for independence, democracy, peace, unity, prosperity and strength." Little did Mao know it would be nine years, and many reforms later that China would still be striving for those things. Mao would start a whole series of reforms aimed to appease and change the public, starting with the Marriage Law. The Marriage Law stated that women had to be 18 years and men 20 years in order to marry; thus preventing the marriage of children which had gone on for years before Communist rule. Women were given more rights, divorce by mutual consent was made legal, husbands and wives jointly owned property, before Communist rule, any divorce was illegal and only husbands owned property. Perhaps more importantly than these changes was that 1949 saw the end of the feudal system that had ran through China for centuries upon centuries. ...read more.


700 new production plants helped China to double their output of coal, oil and cement and quadruple the amount of pig iron, steel and fertilizer produced. These types of advances had never been seen before in China, yet they did not come without a cost. Light industry, such as cotton making, was neglected whilst this heavy industry was developed, therefore people had to live without consumer goods. There was now many more mouths to feed in industrialised areas, consequently different stage farming co-operatives were implemented to make peasants farm more effectively. In some villages, 'lower-stage co-operatives' were made; up to fifty families pooled their land and farmed it together in a more efficient manner. Still more advantageous was that families still owned the land and were paid rent by the Communists for its use. However, the Communists realised that the 'lower-stage co-operatives' would not produce enough food for the considerable workforce. Therefore, Communist Party officials went to the countryside and almost forced families to join 'higher-stage co-operatives', which consisted of 200-300 families clubbing together their land and farming it even more effectively. ...read more.


All children were put into nurseries or schools so both their parents could work full time. Communes were not just where the peasants worked but also where the people did everything. Propaganda played a massively important role in the "Great Leap Forward". The Chinese had experienced it seldom before, but now loudspeakers played speeches and music whilst people worked and it is down to this, it could be said, that huge projects were completed ahead of schedule. One such example being when a dam outside Beijing was built without great machinery and people dug the materials with their bare hands. The final major reform the Communists made was in the form of the "Backyard Steel Campaign". Steel furnaces were placed in towns, and people with little experiences of how to operate them attempted to make steel with them. Against all odds, the amount of steel produced in 1957 rose by 65% on the year prior. The Communist Party made many social and economic changes after they came to power; some good, some bad but all had an impact on the success of modern day China. James Murphy History Coursework 10Braithwaite - 1 - ...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 Does the Chinese Government At the Start of the 21st Century Refuse To ...

    During the 19th century there was a decline in the strength of the emperors leading to problems with colonial powers forcing the Chinese into agreements that had bad consequences for the Chinese society. An example of this is the opium wars where the Chinese were forced to buy opium from the British and allow use of Chinese ports.

  2. Why did the Communists come to power in China in 1949?

    armies and vigilante police forces, therefore the two parties had to team up and out their political views aside to defeat their adversaries. After the success of the march north (1926), which saw all the warlords either defeated or surrendering, the CCP and the Nationalists parting company in the bloodiest of fashions.

  1. American History.

    Though some colonists were still boycotting it, many had given up. But then, in May 1773 Parliament passed the Tea Act, which was designed to save the East India Co. from bankruptcy. - The Tea Act made EIC's tea the only legal tea in America and enabled the company to

  2. The Economic "Miracle".

    Though not all farmers were poor most had impovershied life style. All ethic groups, blacks, migrant Mexican workers, Asians, all suffered an subject to malnutrition and starvation. C. The Inner Cities As white gained wealth they moved to outer city.

  1. The Long March is embedded deep in the psychology of the Chinese communist party. ...

    Many non-Han nations see this as colonialism by the back door. The living standards and quality of life of the nations on the western fringes of the Chinese state are much lower than in the industrial hubs to the east.

  2. Why did the Communists win in 1949?

    The military garrison at Hankou revolted and was joined by the Imperial Navy. The foreign countries wisely stepped out of china's affairs while the civil war was fought. When victory finally came and a republic was set up, the leader, Sun Yatsen came back from exile to become the new president of China.

  1. How far did life improve for the following groups between 1949 and the early ...

    However, there were downsides. For the older generation, who were fierce traditionalists, this would have been shocking and disruptive, and since they had not much time left to enjoy the newfound freedoms brought by Communism, they might be opposed to these changes.

  2. What was the Reason for the Communists Victory over The Guomingdang in 1949?

    Chiang Kai-shek began his campaign to eradicate the Communists in around 1927. His policy was zero tolerance on anyone that supported the Communists or opposed the GMD. The GMD had most cities in China under control, any attempt at a peasant uprising was crushed immediately by the GMD.

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