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One Child Policy DBQ

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Topics: Mao Zedong, China
One Child Policy
In 1949, Mao Zedong governed China from nineteen forty nine to nineteen seventy six. Chinas population was poor at the time and the government was running out of ways to help chinas economy fix itself. China was in a dire need for a change. So Mao decided that he would encourage families to have more and more children. His logic was that the more people birthed would mean more workers to work on farms, ensuing a stronger China. He wanted China to thrive and surpass the richer nations. Mao did not realize this at the time but China was about to become one of the most overpopulated countries to exist. After he helped China get on its feet he decided to make a drastic change called the Great Leap Forward. The goal of the Great Leap Forward was to change China from a lush traditional country to a hard, steel producing nation. This recoiled on him and his people started starving because China was not importing enough food to support the growing population, causing thirty million deaths. He needed to fix this problem and fast. His solution was to slow down the growing birth rate with the slogan “Late, long, and few.” The idea behind the slogan was for couples to marry late and have few children. After this, the fertility rate in China was cut in half in only nine years. This decrease in fertility rate did not settle well with the government so the Chinese government implemented the -one-child policy to further decrease the fertility rate. The one-child policy was a policy that banned the Han Chinese, which makes up 90% of Chinas population, from having more than one child. (Background Essay.) Despite the harsh measures it took to put the one-child policy in place, research has shown that the policy has boosted the self esteem of children and saved the environment by increasing the water amount per capita. Currently over 90% of urban Chinese children and 60% of rural children have no siblings. This is impacting the way children act with each other. Some may argue that the one-child policy is crippling the upcoming generation because the children are becoming more spoiled but that is just a matter of opinion. According to Document F only children have been more likely to score higher on test, make better grades, and are more sociable because of this policy. The reason for the increase of test scores is because the parents let their children grow up with a more privileged life. Since the parents of only children have no other siblings they want to invest the education of their children. This means getting them the education they need to prepare them for the work force weather it’s a public school or it’s a private academy. If the one-child policy was not enforced the parents of several children would not be able to afford the lavish life and academic opportunities schooling they receive today. Aside from the education aspect of the policy, daughters with ought siblings favor this policy because they are viewed as important. Female only children are a jewel in the eye of the parents. They have no other siblings to fight for the attention they crave. The one-child policy has also benefited the only child girls because it has changed the way women are seen in society. Women used to be viewed as less important in society but today women play roles in important high paying jobs that men used to obtain (Document D). The one-child policy has certainly benefited the children of China today by increasing the women’s role in society and the opportunity to get a better education. The economy and the environment have been affected by the one-child policy as well. Henan, a city in China that is affected by the one child policy, has recently been stressed for resources. It has a quarter of the water and one fifth of the land per capita in comparison to the national average. This means that the average person in Henan has less water and land per person that any other city or nation (Document C) This is putting an increased amount of pressure on the water supply. To solve this problem the government put in place the one child policy. The one-child policy has decreased the amount of people in China by five point eight number of kids per woman in nineteen seventy to an astonishing two point seven kids per woman in nineteen seventy nine (Document B).This prevented nearly two hundred and fifty million births in China (Document E). This decreased the amount of water pollution (by thirty point eight percent) and sulfur dioxide emissions by seventeen point six percent because there were less people to use up the water and emit sulfur dioxide. (I need help on the transition). Document A shows that before the one child policy was put in place there where steep inclines in the number of people each year, for example the population increased by one hundred and fifty million from nineteen sixty to nineteen seventy. But when the one-child policy was implemented the growth of the population was about forty thousand in one year. The reason the policy isn’t declining just yet is because when the policy was put in place the generation of people who had five or six sibling were still alive (generation X). When generation X stopped having children, because of the one-child policy, they were still alive keeping the population high in China. Once generation X dies off, the population will start decreasing, creating the attended affect of the one child policy. It is predicted that in 2100 the population will have decreased to nine hundred and forty million. This is amazing in comparison to Chinas population peak at one hundred and forty million in 2030 (Document A) Despite the harsh measures it took to put the one-child policy in place, research has shown that the policy has boosted the self esteem of children and saved the environment by increasing the water amount per capita. The policy has decreased the pollution and increased the amount of water available for the people of Henan. The policy has proved affective so far and once generation X dies off the rate that the population is decreasing will jumpstart. Although it may seem cruel to some, it seems affective to many. It has prevented between 250 to 400 million births in Henan. If the one-child policy was not implemented Chinas population would have spiraled out of control and China would have been put into a mass recession and millions would have died from famine. In the eyes of many the one-child policy has really saved China from recession.

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