Mao Zedong's Hundred Flower Movememt

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In the 1950’s Mao Zedong’s ‘Hundred Flower Movement’ came far from achieving its goal of improving Chinese Society, by having intellectuals criticise the government and its policies. In order to prove that the Hundred Flower Movement was unsuccessful, this essay will exhibit why Mao believed it would work, as well as how he carried it out and the resulting affect that spread across China afterwards. The Hundred Flower Movement was a campaign spanning from 1956-1957 in which the Chinese Communist Party became expectant of a variety of views on issues regarding national politics. The name of the campaign originated from a poem “Let a hundred flowers bloom; let a hundred schools of thought contend”, and was launched under the slogan “Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the policy for promoting progress in the arts and the sciences and a flourishing socialist culture in our land.” It began as a small campaign, aimed at intellectuals and local bureaucracies with non-communist-associated officials who were refused the right to speak out against any policies and problems within the government. The Hundred Flower Movement began under the leadership of Premier Zhou Enlai. The first attempts, however, were unsuccessful as nobody grew courageous enough to speak out openly. It was not until Zhou Enlai emphasized the need for a larger campaign in 1956, that Mao Zedong superseded Enlai to take control of the campaign. Mao supported the idea at first, saying “The government needs criticism from its people. Without this criticism the government will not be able to function as the ‘People’s Democratic Dictatorship’. Thus the basis of a healthy government lost... We must learn from old mistakes, take all forms of healthy criticism, and do what we can to answer these criticisms.” Enlai’s idea was to promote new forms of arts and cultural institutions after criticism on the government and China’s national issues were given, however Mao saw...
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