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The first years of the Peoples Republic of China under the CCP rule 1949-1958

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Introduction

Topic: The first years of the People's Republic of China under the CCP rule 1949-1958 I agree with this statement to a certain extent, I believe the changes the CCP initiated in the years 1949-1958, prior to the commencement of the Great Leap Forward, were in fact, beneficial to China as a whole nation, but however, were not of benefit to the peasant's life specifically. This stance can be supported through the success of the Five Year Plan, the contradictions of Land Reform, and the primary stages of the Great Leap Forward. In 1950, Mao was planning a campaign designed specifically for the peasants; Land reform. Land Reform had great potential for the peasants. It advertised the annihilation of the cruel landlord class, and an overall better life. With Land Reform, landlords were "reduced to below average wealth" (Wood and McManus, 1998) as they lost their land, money, grain, tools and animals. Because of the newfound equality (landlords had less, rich peasants remained rich) between all peasants, one could say the peasants were generally happy with the CCP. ...read more.

Middle

(Encyclopedia of Nations, 2008, China Industry). The FYP also reduced the inflation rate to 15% in 1951. These statistics show that the situation in China was improving; however it is not specific to the life of the peasants. After the success of the Five Year Plan, and China's apparent slow advance forward, one would assume this trend to continue on and fulfill its aim to catch China up with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, Mao's initial steps of the Great Leap Forward resulted in major steps backwards for China. Source 2 takes place during the end of the Five Year Plan, and the beginning of the Great Leap Forward, 1958. The source reveals the fabrication and lies that became routine in the countryside. The people wanted so desperately to impress Chairman Mao, so the officials set higher standards for the agricultural output, in turn; the following offer would improve on this output. The source illustrates that the peasants after being tortured say they will reach ridiculous and unrealistic amount of jin per mu. Being impossible, the standards were never reached by the peasants; and consequently, the officials would lie to the CCP. ...read more.

Conclusion

Taking the author into consideration, there is obviously room for bias in the extract, thus other sources would have to support this source and its' content in order for a historian to create a thesis of the impacts of the Great Leap Forward. Moreover, in 1958, Jung Chang was only six years old; this meaning her first person narrative derives from accounts of her mother and grandmother. Another fault of the source is the period it is referring to. Yes it is reflecting the events of 1958, which in theory is the Great Leap Forward, in contrary; this is merely the beginning of the plan, as it lasted until 1963. One cannot accurately predict the exact path of the Great Leap Forward after this one year, thus the source is reduced to being a secondary source. These flaws are the limitations of the source. The source could serve as additional research to a historian to support the facts of other primary sources discussing the initial stages of the Great Leap Forward. Still, Source 2 is not very useful to a historian aiming to research the overall impacts of the whole Great Leap Forward from 1958-1963 upon the people of China. ...read more.

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