"Asses the successes and failures of Mao's domestic policies between 1949 and 1976."

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Raphael Pujol

“Asses the successes and failures of Mao’s domestic policies between 1949 and 1976.”

During the time period of 1919 to 1949, rival warlords and factions struggled to assert authority in China. The two chief contenders were the Nationalists, the Kuomintang led by Sun Yatzen, and the Communists, the CCP led by Mao Zedong. Mao’s initial plan was to obtain support from the peasants as the consisted of more than 75% of the population in China. After the four year struggles that followed Japan’s downfall after WWI, the CCP and Mao Zedong had won the civil war. In 1949, Mao declared the PRC, Peoples Republic of China. From this period on until 1949, Mao had numerous domestic policies, some were failures and some successes. These policies can be divided into 3 categories, “Economic, Thought reform and Political/social.” His optimal goal was to turn China into a super power, a power as powerful or greater than The United States. The focus of this essay is to establish whether Mao achieved this goal with his domestic policies.

The effect of the civil war on China was that there was major instability in the Country. Mao knew it and one of his major concerns in order to achieve his goals was to even out this insecurity. In 1949, Mao launched the Organic law which divided China into 6 subdivisions. Each of these were regulated by offices and bureaus, which also included officials. Force was used to achieve a certain level of stability. His second movement was the Agrarian Reform Law. The communist party workers were dispatched to each village to implement it. The land in the villages was shared between the peasants, and the peasants put the landlords on trial in the “people’s courts.” Many of those landlords were beaten, imprisoned or even executed after having stood accused of abusing their tenants and charging high rents for their own benefits. Although the courts were originally set up by the party officials, it was the peasants who ran them.  As Mao was getting more popular with his land reforms,  those reforms were not a solution to China’s new problem; its population was increasing rapidly but the food production was not.  In 1953, peasants were encouraged to form co-operatives as quarrels arose within the peasants as to whose land should be worked first and as production did not rise fast enough.  This was a system by which the land was jointly owned so one large crop was grown. Many were opposed to this system as it meant they had to give up the land they had fought to own privately; by 1957, more than 90% of peasants belonged to co-operatives.

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During the 1950’s villagers were taught the basic reading and writing skill by the party workers as Mao was only interested in simple literary skills.

Before Mao Zedong, woman had had no rights what so ever in China. Women had arranged marriages and were a tool for reproduction. Female babies could be drowned and girls could be sold as slaves. In 1950, Mao Zedong set up the “marriage law”. This was a great success for him because it meant that from one day to another, the women in china became equal to men, who for centuries before had ...

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This is a thorough and well written response that addresses all aspects of Mao's leadership and comes to a well considered judgment. Evaluation is strong in places but could be more consistent throughout. A strong answer overall though