How Did Mao consolidate his power from 1949-1953?
Mao Zedong used a number of different methods constantly to consolidate his power in the years between 1949 to 1953. Most of these are vital to the survival of the Communist Party with Mao as its leader.
The new Government faced a lot of challenges in 1949 as the people of China and their economy was exhausted after years of war and conflict. China had been through decades of internal conflict in the civil war which was fought on and off at irregular intervals from 1927. Mao’s strategies during the civil war meant that he emerged in 1949 as the doctrine of the Communist Party; however his approach to governing the country was one of caution in the early years.
Mao’s ultimate goal was to make China a communist country but his belief in the Marxist-Leninist theory which promotes the development of a communist society led him to believe China wasn’t yet ready to develop into communism. In order to develop as a country in things like agriculture and industry, Mao realised that he needed the support of the national bourgeoisie (this is a term that refers to the middle class for example businessmen but also people of higher professions such as doctors and lawyers). At first Mao tried to make policies that wouldn’t isolate his potential middle-class supporters like shareholders and owners of businesses that had become state controlled were given compensation as long as they were willing to cooperate with his new regime. Mao was also willing to tolerate the existence of other political parties as long as they didn’t threaten the Chinese Communist Party’s power.
Every Chinese citizen who was employed belonged to a work unit or danwei. The work units controlled the allocation of housing, grain, cooking oil and cloth; they also issued permits to travel, marry, enter the army or go to university and to change employment. They started to build records on people known as ‘dangan’. Those who weren’t in employment...
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