China Between The Fall Of The KMT and Mao Tse-Tung's Death
The time from 1949-1976 was a time of transition for China. Many social and economic changes occurred through this period. When the Kuomintang government collapsed and Mao Tse-Tung assumed control, this marked the beginning of massive reformation for what would become the People's Republic. With Mao Tse-Tung's rule came governmental reform which led to social betterment. His first years of rule included careful development and reorganization backed by Soviet support. The landlord class was wiped out with the nationwide land reform and the land was divided among the peasantry. Equality prevailed for women and attacks where made on official corruption. Efforts were made to improve sanitation and literacy among the people. These changes generated patriotism during China's involvement in the Korean War. While social reforms proved to be beneficial to China, attempts for industrial and agricultural growth were not as successful. From 1953-57 industrial production was expanded and agriculture was collectivized. But disappointing agricultural production led to the frenzied Great Leap Forward of 1958-60. This program, initiated by Mao, was designed to step up industrial production to a level with Britain and create a truly communal society without Russia's aid; all in the course of 15 years. The project was a failure and Liu Shao-Ch'i temporarily took over Mao's position as head of state. When differences between party leaders arose, and Mao Tse-Tung began feeling that the revolution was exhausted, he launched the Cultural Revolution of 1966-69. This was intended to stir up the conservative government/military and add more revolutionary elements, ridding the nation of the 'four olds': old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits. These revolutions often turned into violent acts. When stability was restored, foreign relations was vastly improved. The...
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