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

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

Extracts from this document...


"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.


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.


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.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History 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 International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Stalins Purges

    Workers were rewarded for their efforts with cash awards, raises in wages and better housing. The economy experienced a sudden upturn, as the initial portion of Stalin's plans became realities. Not since before World War I had the Soviet Union experienced such prosperity, employment and growth.

  2. Mao Zedong and the Education(TM)s changes in the People's Republic of China

    Between 1969 and 1974 some ten million young students from the cities (graduated from secondary schools) went to live in the country where they worked on farms or did others jobs.9 The changes were therefore occurring simultaneously in education administration under the impact of these reforms.

  1. Internal Assessment: Camp David and Oslo Accords

    for borders and security of the Palestinian state, but there was still disagreement on Palestinian return to homeland and Jerusalem as a capital * Oslo Declaration of Principles was vague and cautious when attempting to negotiate the final outcomes of Jerusalem and the Palestinian refugees * Significance in the recognition

  2. Analyse the factors that led to the rise of the Communist party in China.

    In any case, by now it was too late. Opposition to the empire was rampant in China by this time. In 1900 a Chinese rebellion broke out, known as the Boxer rebellion, as the members of the movement practiced martial arts.

  1. Mao and China Revision Guide

    ? improving the countries heavy industry followed the soviet model Accomplishments * boosted urbanization from 57 mill (1949) to 100 mill (1957) * Yangzi rail and road bridge connecting north and south China * heavy industrial output almost tripled * light industrial output rose by 70% * targets exceeded

  2. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    - The declaration was ratified by the Knesset and PNC - More than 40 countries pledged $2bn over 5 years to support the Palestinian government. - The 'Oslo Accords' envisaged a three-stage agreement between Israel and the PLO: o Stage 1 would see Israel withdraw from Gaza and Jericho (on the WB)

  1. Why did the Communists win the Chinese Civil War between 1945 and 1949?

    However, while CCP had Soviet military guidance, they were not dependant. By employing guerilla warfare tactics, which mostly involved attacking at supply lines and using hit-and-run tactics, the communists were slowly able to cripple the nationalists, and as people defected and deserted, the CCP became stronger while the KMT became weaker.

  2. Account for the Rise of Power of Mao Zedong

    peasants, presenting a sharp contrast to the GMD who seemed to have little concern for the plight of peasants. In order to unite the people with the CCP, Mao?s cult of personality was developed, enabling him personally to be associated with providing for the peasantry and indeed CCP philosophy was commonly referred to as ?Mao Zedong Thought?.

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