Great Leap Forward Essay

Topics: People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong, Great Leap Forward Pages: 4 (1075 words) Published: November 2, 2013
“The first years of the People’s Republic of China under the CCP Rule 1949-1962” Question 1:
“The changes the CCP initiated in the period 1949 to 1958 were of benefit to the peasants and to China”
Between 1949 and 1958, Chairman Mao Zedong implemented large scale changes to China in hopes of rapidly transforming the country from an agrarian economy into a modern communist society. Inevitably, the changes that Mao implemented in this period of time had a significant impact on both China and the peasants. This essay will firstly analyze the social impact of the changes on China and the peasants, secondly the economic and political impact of the changes on China, and thirdly the impact of these changes on the peasants in China.This essay will argue that while the changes the CCP initiated in the period 1949 to 1958 were of benefit to China, these changes were mostly unfavorable to the peasants.

Both China and the peasants benefitted from social changes initiated by the CCP. Firstly, irrational practices which were commonplace - such as foot binding and prostitution- were made illegal by the CCP; along with “bandits, gangsters, drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes” being “reduced in numbers”1. Also, the Marriage Reform Law was passed in 1950, banning forced marriages, and enabling women to initiate divorces, signaling the end of women's’ oppression, which had a large impact on society.2 The social changes by the CCP promoted equal rights for everyone in the society, and also restored order, unity and stability in the country3 , which undoubtedly bettered the social situation in China both in the short-term and in the long-term. Therefore, it is evident that from a social context, the changes initiated by Mao benefitted both China and the peasants.

The changes initiated by the CCP in the first Five Year Plan benefitted China economically through heavy industry and developing agriculture, while also bringing political success to the CCP. The changes caused the...

Bibliography: Michael J. Lynch. "The Early Years of the PRC 1949-57." The People 's Republic of China 1949-76.
London: Hodder Murray, 2007. Print
Stewart, Geoff. China 1900-76 (Heinemann Advanced History). Essex: Heinemann, 2010. Print.
Ward, Harriet. China in the 20th Century. Oxford: Heinemann Educational, 1990. Print.
Williams, Simon. China since 1949. London: Macmillan Education, 1985. Print.
Ross, Stewart. China since 1945. New York: Bookwright, 1989. Print.
Macdonald, C.K. Modern China. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992. Print.
Hsü, Immanuel C. Y. The Rise of Modern China. New York: Oxford UP, 1970. Print.
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