Mao Zedong

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Mao Zedong is one of the most controversial leaders of the twentieth century. He has been known both as a savior and a tyrant to the Chinese people. From his tactical success of the Long March to his embarrassing failure of the Great Leap Forward, Mao has greatly influenced the result of what China is today. Most of Mao's major successes have been in the CCP's rise to power, while Mao's failures have come at a time when the CCP was in power. Mao Zedong was born on December 26, 1893 is Shaoshan village in Hunan. He experienced a middle peasant upbringing with a very conservative father. Ironically Mao went to an old-fashioned school where he learned the traditional Chinese curriculum. At this time in his childhood, the whole country could foresee the fall of the previous dynasty. Mao studied to be a teacher at The First Provincial Normal School , in Ch'ansha, which influenced his future thinking and beliefs. Mao believed that the Chinese way of thinking needed reform, therefore focused on younger people and peasants to build his political career. Mao ruled one quarter of the worlds population for one quarter of a century, and the way in which he was brought up and studied influenced his future decisions greatly.Mao was known to be rebellious when he was younger, but his first real experience came in 1912 when he decided to go to Wuhan and serve in the revolutionary army. For five years Mao studied and received an education in academics, but also politics. When Mao graduated in 1918 he was a political writer with a notable following. Mao had studied Marxism and other socialist ideas and by 1919 considered himself to be a Marxist. For a couple of years Mao wrote on his beliefs and even began organizing groups to share their ideas. Mao had organized a group of Communists in Changsha and in 1921 he went to Shanghai to participate in the First National Party Congress of the Chinese Communist Party. By the 1930s Mao was at the center of the Communist party after its defeat in 1927 by Chiang and the KMT. Mao organized and developed plans of a peasant-based guerilla strategy. Based in the province of Jiangxi, otherwise known as the Jiangxi soviet, Mao ruled nine million people and the CCP was begin to be a reckoning force. The KMT seeing the CCP as a threat attacked the Jiangxi soviet. Chiang's forces were badly beaten in four of these campaigns by Mao guerilla tactics. In 1934 Chiang was able to oust Mao and the CCP with an encirclement campaign developed by German advisors. In October 1934, the CCP decided to flee the Jiangxi province and head north to the soviet in north Shensi. 100,000 communists begin this trek known as the Long March but only 10,000 managed to survive this 6,000-mile migration. The Long March, though having a very high fatality rate was a huge success for Mao and the CCP. Mao had been demoted in the Jiangxi soviet by other Communists and upon advisement from Moscow. After the long March, and mainly the Tsunyi conference, Mao emerged as the unquestionable leader of the CCP. The Long March helped in spreading the word and "seed" of the CCP. The Long March also severely aided in building nationalism and pride within and around the CCP, because though many had lost their lives The Long March told the world that the CCP was invulnerable and can not be extinguished. World War II was the turning point for the CCP. Mao, having decided that the Japanese was the true enemy, pushed for a second united front with the KMT. The KMT having been highly discredited by the Japanese forces and unable to successfully defend the cities were pushed to East and agreed on the United Front issue. Mao seeing an opportunity in millions of leaderless peasants presented the CCP as a refuge and successful resistance against the invaders. The Communists used their well-practiced guerilla warfare to cause havoc among the Japanese and increase the notoriety of the CCP. After the war in 1946, Mao was...
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