To What Extent Was the Chinese Communist Party Able to Develop as a Significant Political Force in the Years 1927 to 1945

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To what extent was the CCP able to develop as a significant political force in the years 1927 to 1945? The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was a revolutionary movement led by Professors Chen Duxiu and Li Dazhao, who emerged from the May Fourth Movement, challenging the traditional Confucian Chinese ideas and were influenced by the ideas of Karl Marx. When the CCP was first founded, in 1921, it contained only 50 members. However, throughout the years 1927 to 1945 it went through horrific defeats by the Nationalists and their leader Chaing Kaishek, but still survived, eventually triumphing by the late 1940’s. This essay will identify to what extent the CCP was able to develop as a significant political force in the years 1927 to 1945, focusing on four major events; The White Terror (1927), the Jianxi Soviet (1928–34), The Long March (1934-5) and the Yanan Soviet (1936-45). The main areas within these events that will be discussed will centre on the emergence of the CCP, the building of support, defeats/triumphs of opposing parties and the general consensus/spirit of the Chinese nation. Firstly, it would make sense to study the emergence of the CCP. A small Party initially, it formed a united front with the Kuomintang Nationalist Party (the GMD) from 1924-27, and campaigned against the rule of warlords during the Northern Expedition 1926-28. The Communist contribution to the United Front’s victory in 1928 was of vital importance, they provided troops, and caused great trouble for warlord forces through acts of sabotage and disrupted strikes and boycotts. From the Northern Expedition, the CCP emerged as useful, competent party and was likely to have won over the approval of many. However, once Chaing Kaishek was satisfied the warlords had been beaten began to turn against his allies, the CCP. He began purging his own party of Communist sympathisers, and regarded Communists as the main obstacle to complete power. Chaing’s brutality towards the CCP was demonstrated...
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