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How successful was the leadership of Mao Tse-Tung between 1949 to 1976? Address economic, societal, and cultural aspects of Mao's time in leadership.

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Michaël January 2013. Lebrun. How successful was the leadership of Mao Tse-Tung between 1949 to 1976? Address economic, societal, and cultural aspects of Mao's time in leadership. Between 1919 to 1949, China had endured a lot of conflicts. The biggest of all being the 1946-1949 civil war which ended the three-decade period of tension. When the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) led by Mao Tse-Tung came to power in 1949, China's economy and people held the scars of the conflictual years. The rivalry had opposed the CCP and the nationalists (the Kuomintang), which were lead by Sun Yatzen until 1925 and by Chiang Kai Shek until the faction's dissolution. The civil war saw Mao and his CCP rising to victory, before his declaration of China being "The People's Republic of China" in 1949. From 1949, Mao's ultimate goal was to turn China into a super-power, perhaps into the world's most sovereign nation. To attain his goal, Mao established numerous policies. His programs and policies encompassed three areas: the economy, the culture, and the society. The policies have been judged to be everything from effective and useful to futile and crude. This essay will examine which policies were effective and which were not, and what was it that ultimately lead to the end of Maoism. Once the civil war was over and China was declared as the People's Republic of China, instability in society was high. ...read more.


This economic reform was followed by the 1953 People's Republic of China's first five-year plan. The movement which ended in 1957, targeted industrial increase within three specific areas: coal, steel, and chemical products. To most, China's first five-year plan was an unquestionable success, as production aims were not only reached but surpassed. The five-year plan period testified a 9 percent increase in China's economic growth rate as it created an abundance of job opportunities but also gave birth to a railway system which would move goods and raw material all around the country. Meanwhile, China's population kept increasing at yet unseen speeds. Satisfied with the industrial progress made with the economic policies, Mao began targetting the people by the agency of social policies. Mao wanted to hear the honest thoughts of his people. Consequently, he launched the 100 flowers campaign in the year 1957. Mao hoped that this movement would promote creativity and progress from the arts to science. The movement did not appear to bring the wanted results and so Mao abruptly changed course. Mao had "enticed the snakes out of their caves" (in the words of Mao), and now it was time to publicly criticize those who had been disloyal and to punish them in labour camps. The decrease of visible maoist loyalty caused by the campaign demanded the re-imposement of public maoist devotion which catalyzed the subsequent anti-rightist movement. ...read more.


After peace had been somewhat restored in the early seventies, more and more Chinese people became unenthusiastic about the Cultural Revolution. However, the cult of Mao was so well established that his authority was not likely to be overthrown for as long as he would be alive. Fortunately for many, his declining health promised an imminent end to the Cultural Revolution and to Mao's reign. Since his appointment as the first chairman of the communist party of the People's Republic of China, Mao had developed an almost surrealistic influence over his people. So powerful indeed, that he was considered by many to be a "son of heaven". His policies, economic societal or cultural proved to be erratic, unpredictable, and sometimes ruthless. One of his first goal was to obtain the obediance and admiration of the people, which he gained, among other things, through his few successful policies. These included the marriage law and the first five-years plan. On the other hand, his failed policies such as the 100 flower campaign, the great leap forward, and the cultural revolution have had disastrous consequences. Despite this, Mao still greatly developed China's economic system during his first five-year plan, as industries and production rapidly grew. Mao also greatly affected China through his social with among others the marriage law. All in all, it can certainly be agreed that the tragic consequences of his failed policies overweigh the good that his successful policies have given to China and its people. Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundred_Flowers_Campaign http://internationalschoolhistory.net/eeb3/s7_4hr/china.htm www.markedbyteachers.com. ...read more.

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