Mao and Peasant Army 1927-1928 Essay Example

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Mao's first attempt to prove the validity of the peasants potential for revolution was in the city of Changsha, during the Autumn Harvest Uprising of September of 1927. The uprising took place during the harvesting period to intensify the class struggles in the village. Mao had realized the revolutionary potential of the peasant class because the peasants, who were the most exploited class, had already begun revolting against the ruthless economic exploitation that they were subjected to by the petty bourgeoisie, the warlords and landlord classes. Consequently, Mao rallied the peasants and organized a small army and which he led during the Hunan movement. This army was quite successful and it captured several cities in the Yangtse region, in a revolutionary peasant explosion. During the Autumn Harvest Uprising, the peasant army violently attacked and caused radical upheaval for several weeks and the landowning classes of the entire province trembled in the wake of these attacks. This continued until the peasant army was repressed at Changsha within a week of its initial attack. According to Jerome Ch'en, the failure of the uprising resulted from the inexperience of the peasant forces compounded with the fact that the situation of China had changed since Mao's Investigation into the Peasant Movement eight months earlier. Chiang Kai-Shek's White Terror had entered the countryside and Mao's army was easily ambushed and slaughtered. Although the failure of the Autumn Harvest Uprising resulted in the deaths of most of the peasant army, for Mao, the deaths were an acceptable consequence because he believed that the peasants were the key to the successful transition of China towards the utopian ideal of communism. This failure gave Mao an opportunity to reevaluate the ideas in his Hunan report and resulted in the development of the five conditions as expressed by Benjamin Schwartz; Mao's Strategy. This strategy reorganized the peasant masses into a formidable army,

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