ORGANIZE POPULATION INTO PRODUCTION UNITS • TOTAL CARE -- HEALTH, • EDUCATION, WELFARE • INSPIRE WITH CONTUNOUS IDEOLOGICAL WORK
Mao believed the country should focus on industry and food. Mao made a five year plan and called it The Great Leap Forward
Great Leap Forward • The Commune is Like a Mighty Dragon, Production is awe-inspiring
Great Leap Forward – Second Five Year Plan (1958-1962) Collectivization became the official policy. China’s land was divided into 70,000 communes He hoped that it would help unemployment and cause a genuine communal unity He accused peasants of hiding grain and used force against them The food would be traded for money to buy weapons or used for fuel
How did the Great Leap Forward affect China? • Mao believed that both industry and agriculture had to grow to make the other work. The industry had to be well fed to be good industry workers, and agriculture needed industry to make good tools for them. • In order to make the industry and agriculture grow, China was reformed into a series of communes. • A commune is a relatively small, often rural community whose members share common interests, work, and income and often own property collectively.
The Great Leap Forward • Mao’s second Five-Year Plan is known as the Great Leap Forward, and involved utilizing the massive amounts of human labor to avoid having to import industrial machinery. • Who needs a bulldozer when you’ve got a few hundred people with shovels, right? • Mao believed that steel and grain would make China great, and these endeavors were complete and total disasters.
Great Leap Forward, 1958-60 • In 1958, Mao decided that the Russian strategy of industrial development was not suitable for China. • This urban, large-factory system was not having enough of an impact on the mass of the population in the countryside. • Mao decided to opt for a unique Chinese method of industrialization.
THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD - THE COMMUNES • Develop Agriculture as well as Industry • Chinese Commune System - All Encompassing Collective Farm & Work Units • Purpose: Releasing the Worker’s Tremendous Energy
How? Peasants placed into communes Mass mobilization
THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD - THE COMMUNES The advantage of People’s Communes lies in the fact that they combine industry, agriculture, commerce, education, and military affairs. - Mao • People’s Time Managed Effectively for Work • Commune in Control of All Activities - Hierarchy • Commune Creation Extremely Speedy - More than 25,000 at end of 1958
Communes were made up of many families ( often as many as five thousand families) • The commune owned everything, tools, animals, and land. • People worked for the commune, not for themselves. • The commune provided schools, nurseries and healthcare so workers could work instead of taking care of babies and older parents • Would any of these things help your family?
The Great Leap Forward • Farming was further collectivized into larger farms called “communes.” 26,000 communes were created, each covering 15,000 square miles, supporting about 25,000 people each. • Life on the communes was strictly controlled, peasants worked the land together, ate together in cafeterias, slept in communal dorms, and raised their kids in communal nurseries.
Propaganda posters often use symbolism • The dragon in this picture symbolizes steel production • The bird symbolizes grain production • How does this poster make you feel?
THE GREAT LEAP FORWARD - PROPAGANDA & ENTHUSIASM • Propaganda a Key Element • Goal to Inspire Workers to Overachieve Goals • Impressive Construction Projects Completed
Write at least two sentences that you think this poster might be saying.
The Great Leap Forward • Funerals, weddings, and religion were replaced with meetings and propaganda. • Only work points, not pay, were awarded. • Only the state profited from this labor, and peasants had no reason to work hard. • Criticism of the commune would label you as dangerous, and escape was next to impossible.
Effects of Communes Economic difficulties Most peasants had lost their incentives to produce get everything in the people communescommunal eating halls provided the peasants with very generous meals free of charge lower productivity = food crises, decline in production, devaluation of money, high inflation and a huge national deficit
Causes of the Famine • 1958 had particularly good weather for growing food. Party leaders claimed that the harvest for 1958 was a record 260 million tons • – which was not true. • Still the leaders over-reported their harvests to their superiors in Beijing, and what was thought to be surplus grain was sold abroad.
The Famine • What factors contributed to the famine of 1959-62? • “Encouraged by expectations of a great leap in agricultural productivity from collectivization, the government diverted massive amounts of agricultural resources to industry and sharply raised grain procurement from the peasants, eventually leading to malnutrition among peasants and decimation of their labor productivity in growing next year's crops. The consecutive years of bad weather also aggravated the fatal economic policies. The decline in food availability was indeed a cause of the GLF famine. But other institutional factors, including urban bias in China's food distribution system, radical local policies, and grain exports, were also major contributors of the excess mortality. By and large, the GLF catastrophe was the result of a series of failures in central planning.” • While the inflated numbers reported by communes contributed to the famine, what is more disturbing is that the top CCP officials knew it was happening, and yet continued to take large portions of the grain yields.
Causes of the Famine • The excellent growing weather of 1958 was followed by a very poor growing year in 1959. • Some parts of China were hit by floods. • In other growing areas, drought was a major problem. The harvest for 1959 was 170 million tons of grain – well below what China needed at the most basic level. • In parts of China, starvation occurred.
Results • Famine! • “When there is not enough to eat people starve to death. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.” -Mao
The Famine • 1960 had even worse weather than 1959. • The harvest of 1960 was 144 million tons. 9 million people are thought to have starved to death in 1960 alone; many millions were left desperately ill as a result of a lack of food. • The government had to introduce rationing. • This put people on the most minimal of food and between 1959 and 1962, it is thought that 20 million people died of starvation or diseases related to starvation.
The Famine (con.) • Estimates range from 30-45 million deaths; it is the worst famine in recorded history • 2-3 million of those were beaten to death or buried alive • The power of the local cadres also played a role-they could deny food to anyone not “on board” with the GLF • In 1962, having lost about ten million people in Sichuan, provincial leader Li Jingquan compared the Great Leap Forward to the Long March in which only one in ten had made it to the end: “We are not weak, we are stronger, we have kept the backbone”
Great Sparrow Campaign • The Great Sparrow Campaign (打麻雀运动) was part of Mao Zedong’s Four Pests Campaign (除四害运动, Chú Sì Hài Yùndòng). • A part of the Great Leap Forward (大跃进, Dà Yuèjìn) from 1958-1962, the goal of the Four Pests Campaign was to get rid of rats, flies, mosquitoes, and sparrows. • Sparrows were considered pests because they ate grain seeds. • Farmers were encouraged to tear down sparrows’ nests, break sparrow eggs, and bang pots and pans to scare sparrows away. • Later, China’s authorities discovered that sparrows actually prefer to eat insects rather than grain seed. • More importantly, sparrows had served an important function in the farm ecology by eating locusts.
Great Sparrow Campaign • Illogical agricultural methods were used, such as overplanting. Mao believed the seeds of the same species would not compete, and higher harvests would result. Grain production actually fell. • As part of the Great Leap, Mao also launched the Great Sparrow Campaign in which the Chinese people were encouraged to kill sparrows because it was believed that they ate the grain.
Great Sparrow Campaign • Sparrows eat insects. The kinds of insects that eat grain… With no birds, the insect population exploded and China’s crops were devastated. • Officials were often pressured to lie about their to produce grain, resulting in communes being forced to sell more grain that they could afford to give.
Great Sparrow Campaign • Initially, the campaign did improve the harvest. • While the sparrow population declined, the locust population grew: • Sparrows are a predator of the locusts in the food chain • Locusts swarmed the country and caused disruptions to crop harvesting.
Great Sparrow Campaign • While the Great Sparrow Campaign initially appeared to produce an increase in grain output, the countryside became infested with locusts, a much more serious pest than sparrows. • Mao called the plan off, but it was too late. • Swarming locusts coupled with bad weather and the misguided Great Leap Forward led to the Great Chinese Famine (三年大饥荒, Sān Nián Dà Jīhuang), which killed 30 million people between 1958 and 1961.
Propaganda Poster to encourage rural children to hunt and kill the sparrows