Risen Against Gravity


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Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Mao's domestic policies

I wonder how many marks my history 2158 essay for Mao's Domestic Policies will score...

below is my essay:


Mao implemented political policies along Maoist lines after the fall of Kuomintang (KMT). Economic policies were also implemented to prove Chinese communism would be a success in bringing about growth in China.

In September 1954, the National People’s Congress was formed, with Mao Zedong as the first president and Zhou Enlai as the Premier. The CCP controlled elections and monopolized membership of the governing bodies. The country’s 18 provinces were also re-grouped to 6 regions with CCP committees at every level of administration.

Social policies targeting Women, Religion, Education and Welfare were passed. Women were liberated by the banning of arranged marriages and child-bride system. Divorces were also made easy. In education, emphasis was place on simple literacy. In religion, the 100000 missionaries in China in 1949 had all left by 1951 as people were increasingly turned to Marxist beliefs and connections were cut. In welfare, the Trade Union Federation was set up in 1950, reforming work conditions.

To concentrate the public’s attention on specific problems, the party organized the three Antis campaign against corruption, waste and red tape, and the five antis campaign against bribery, tax evasion, fraud, theft and spying. Offenders are sent to labour camps for thought reforms. Interest groups like the Young Pioneers are set up to allow for talent scouting and spread of party propaganda.

In industry, the first five year plan was introduced. It aimed at the development of heavy industries. Emphasis was placed on targets as well as technical education. Full communication was restored. Inflation also came under control, but Mao felt industrialization not suitable for China.

The Hundred Flower Campaign was introduced in 1956 to convince people of righteousness of communism. It was also to prevent a possible counter-revolution by those badly affected by the five year plans, Mao allowed people to vent their frustrations by airing their views on him, the party and its policies. Although the people were wary at first, the situation got out of hand. When order was finally restored in 1957, Mao decided that there was to be no more future invitations to open debate.

In agriculture, land reform was introduced in 1950. It aimed to take land from the land owners and distribute to the poor peasants, to increase produce and help in development of China. However, because land holdings were less than one acre, mechanization and new farming methods could not be introduced. So though peasant support increased, productivity was still low.

The Great Leap Forward was aimed to develop Chinese-style democracy, increase agricultural production and also overtake USA and Britain as an industrial power in 15 years.

Communes were organized, aiming to make China self-sufficient. It was a unit of local government, consisting of peasants, party members and soldiers. A party committee was to ensure that party decisions were adhered to.

The Backyard Steel campaign placed emphasis on steel, with improvements being made to the infrastructure. 600000 backyard steel furnaces were set up.

Though there was an increase in production of steel, coal and fertilizers, the quality of steel was poor. Infrastructural projects were incomplete. Besides, agriculture became neglected, resulting in famines from 1959 to 1961. This period is known as the three bitter years. Mao had to step down but still retained position of party chairman.

The Cultural Revolution was aimed to restore prestige to the CCP and gain support for Mao by removing opposition. Mao launched the Socialist Education Movement to get people back onto the path of communism. Revisionists and intellectuals were purged. He gained support from Lin Biao, the Defence Minister as well as the People Liberation Army (PLA). The PLA played an important role in governing the country and shared tasks of government with communist councils.

Students in Beijing formed military groups called the Red Guards. Schools were closed as curriculum was revised to get rid of capitalist influences. Red Guards began violence against people, and the police were ordered not to stop them. They killed about 400000 with thousands injured and imprisoned. The cult of Mao was set up, where Red Guards memorized the Little Red Book.

The PLA controlled central and provincial party organizations. Education was hindered. As a result, 120 million people under 45 were illiterate. The moderates were removed. September 1967, Mao attempted to restore order. Schools were reopened and Red Guards were called to re-educate themselves. The revolution officially ended in 1659 but lasted till early 1970s. It had caused much upheaval, but restored Mao’s power.

Erm... Any comments??

1 comment:

weenie said...

Interesting essay on Mao, but you need to provide more details. I'm not a teacher but I'd want to know things like: What were the work conditions like before the Trade Union Federation made reforms in 1950?
Why did Mao feel industrialization was unsuitable for China?
In what way did the situation get out of hand with people venting their frustrations?
Etc, etc
You make some very good points, but that's all they are, points - you need details to back up the points.
B+ for effort! :)

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