In October 1949, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was established and led by Mao Zedong. China’s new communist leaders turned their backs on China’s traditional output (based on individual and small scale household production) economy and set out to create a massive socialist industrial government inspired by the Soviet Union. This idea introduced a model, which prioritize industrialization known as the “Big Push Model”. China started prioritizing investments into the heavy industry, which would reshape the Chinese economy and create a Command economy. Mao’s economic policies seemed be working in the earlier years of its development, but Mao soon became obsessed with Industrialization (and putting less priority on agriculture) and competing with the western world that his own personal power and self justifications became an obstacle for China’s development. Mao’s poor economic decisions for China became clear during the “Great Leap Forward” which caused and led the great Chinese famine. In this essay I will explore how Moa Zedong agricultural policies caused the great famine; firstly by analyzing the early years of the Big push development strategy and the new command economy (first five year plan), the Great Leap Forward (second five year plan) and its dramatic effects on China and lastly explaining how China could have potentially avoided this crisis.
A new economic system was introduced to China in 1949, Government institutions now governed specific resources and allocated decisions, this type of economy is known as a Command Economy. A command economy is an effective way to subordinate individual economic decision-making and create an overall national economic development strategy. The command economy was introduced in the Big Push because the market forces became to be severely curtailed and government planners were