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An impressive but flawed (imperfect) achievement. Is this a fair assessment of Communist rule in China between 1949 and 1961?

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Introduction

"An impressive but flawed (imperfect) achievement". Is this a fair assessment of Communist rule in China between 1949 and 1961? After the Chinese Civil War; a fierce four-year struggle for supremacy ended with the complete victory of the Communists. Chiang and his Nationalist Party were driven from Mainland China to the offshore island of Taiwan, which was their one remaining stronghold. Consequently in October 1949 Communist leader Mao Zedong triumphantly declared that a new Communist society had come into being, which he claimed to be The People's Republic of China. Between the years of 1949 and 1961 the most demanding task was to bring stability to a nation, which has been riven with turmoil for decades. Mao Zedong's approach consisted of consolidation of the Communist Party by removing any opposition. He attempted to reshape China through a process of modernization, where two five-year plans mimicking the Soviet style regime were followed, encompassed by the Great Leap Forward. Moreover Mao unfolded a process of collectivisation, which eliminated private farming in order to achieve a socialist collectivism. It was these three elements of consolidation, modernization and collectivisation that although impressive at the surface, were deeply flawed in determining the advancements of China. ...read more.

Middle

Although the concept of consolidation by eradicating class enemies was impressive in invoking the traditional Chinese duty of respecting authority it was heavily flawed. Firstly, the authority that Mao had commanded as leader of a one-party state effectively made him absolute ruler. Since his regime caused members of his party to fear commenting on his mistakes, may errors were magnified. The political correctness of the system taught that Mao was incapable of faults and that he was beyond criticism, hence the majority of people either ignored the truth or were forced to suppress it. The next facet of communist rule from 1949 to 1961 entailed relentless attempts to modernise the China and its economical power. Mao desired to model the Chinese political system around Stalin's Five-Year Plans, and as a result brought about his own Five-Year Plan aimed at developing the growth of heavy industry directed under the control of the state. Immediately after the Great Leap Forward was launched, which was a term used by Mao to describe the Second Five-Year Plan of 1958 to 1962. The aim was identical; Mao intended to revolutionize China's agricultural industry in order to build up the Chinese economy to equal those of major nations and to eventually overtake them. ...read more.

Conclusion

The outcome however was catastrophic, as there were no birds to eat insects and small creatures, which now were enabled to gorge themselves on grains and plants. Yet nobody challenged the absurdity of the enterprise, which caused excessive hunger, as to challenged collectivism would be challenging Mao himself. Again although the efforts to progress the agricultural developments were theoretically impressive, they failed to achieve their desired goal and instead caused havoc on the Chinese population. Conclusively, consolidation, modernization and collectivisation were the three main regimes occurring from 1949 to 1961 under the Communist Party. All three methods of progression validate the claim "an impressive but flawed achievement" when describing the Communist leadership. Consolidation was impressive in the authority it commanded and the fear it produced, although it was flawed in the way that Mao was enabled to dictate the future of Chinese affairs without any opposition. Similarly the ideological constructs of modernization and collectivisation were impressive in maintaining ambitious objectives; nonetheless both caused much harm on China resulting in widespread famine. Therefore it is a fair assessment to make the claim that the Communist rule in China from 1949 to 1961 was "an impressive but flawed achievement". Elizabeth Hadjia 1 ...read more.

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