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Mao to Tiananmen Square. Taiwan= Nationalist China -U.S. aided Controlled by Chiang Kai-Shek. Mainland=People’s Republic of China -Soviet Union aided Controlled by Mao. China divided. PRC= People’s Republic of China ROC= Republic of China.

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china divided
Taiwan= Nationalist China

-U.S. aided

Controlled by Chiang Kai-Shek

Mainland=People’s Republic of China

-Soviet Union aided

Controlled by Mao

China divided

PRC= People’s Republic of China

ROC= Republic of China


Mao Inherits a “post civil war” underdeveloped country

Years of foreign and civil wars had caused widespread damage to Chinese industry.

Many peasants were on military service and were away from their villages

Small units of land

Lack of investment



CHINA IN 1950’s


No farm machinery, no fertilisers

Outdated machines

Damage to transport systems –roads, rail, bridges

Old-fashioned methods of farming

by hand.



In the cities, factories and businesses were owned by an elite rich.

In the countryside, most of the land was owned by a few rich landowners

The ordinary people lived in great poverty, poor housing, working long hours, often in dangerous conditions, for low pay, poor health, little education.

the great leap forward
The Great Leap Forward
  • A five year plan (1958-1963) to develop the agriculture and industry in China
  • Ag = food to feed and sell
  • Ind = manufacturing to build infrastructure and sell products
the great leap forward1

Collective “manpower” - working collectively produces

greater gains than working competitively

The Great Leap Forward
  • What do you see in the picture?
  • What are the people doing?
  • Why are the people there?
  • Who are these people?
  • How many people do you think are in the picture?
  • How do they feel about the Great Leap Forward, and how does this affect them?
mao zedong s aims
Mao ZeDong’s Aims
  • ‘to overtake all capitalist countries in a fairly short time, and become one of the richest, most advanced and powerful countries in the world’
  • To do this he must move he people from illiterate farm workers to a cutting edge productive modern society (realistic?)
goal of great leap politically
Goal of Great Leap (Politically)?
  • Goal - catch up with Great Britain and Russia
  • ‘The imperialists are like the sun at five o’clock in the afternoon while we are like the sun at six o’clock in the morning. The East wind is bound to prevail over the West wind because we are powerful and strong.’
why great leap
Why Great Leap?
  • Sputnik, Autumn 1957
  • Soviet Union economic achievement (model of communism producing results)
  • Wanted China to succeed differently (less reliant on machinery, more reliant on man power)
  • Wanted “Self-reliance”



Mao wanted China to be a great military power But China was poor and over 90% of its population were peasant farmers.


1. FIVE YEAR PLANS were introduced - based on the Russian model. Russian advisers were brought in to help.

2. IRON AND STEEL - Mao made iron and steel production the central focus of his industrial reform program.

3. FARMING REFORMS - The cost of modernizing industry would have to be paid by selling Chinese farm produce. Mao saw that Chinese farming also needed to be reformed. BUT he believed in manual “hands in the dirt” as being more valuable than a machine doing all the work.

* Believed in manual labor as being “connected” to the work. Building something with your own 2 hands produces pride and concern for quality

mao s belief
Mao’s belief
  • The collectivized peasants would produce a surplus of food
  • This surplus food could be sold abroad to raise money to expand Chinese industry

Sounds like capitalism (re-investing profit to expand and update the company), BUT the benefit is for the country not the individual

the emperor of the blue ants
The emperor of the “Blue Ants”
  • Mechanical diggers were shunned favor of the hands of workers
  • Bridges, canals and dams were constructed by hand
  • Thousands dressed in identical blue uniforms
tiananmen square built
Tiananmen Square Built
  • Began in 1957
  • Completed within 2 years
  • Mao wanted it to be bigger than Moscow’s red square.
  • Cooperated with Russia but wanted to be better
backyard furnaces
Backyard Furnaces
  • Mao’s naive belief was producing masses of steel would solve China’s economic problems
  • Insisted on construction of ‘backyard furnaces’
  • China would draw supplies of iron and steel from large foundries, mills and small family kiln

Localized production – each person is a small factory in itself

home made goods
Home-made goods
  • Worthless steel
  • Most of it was unrecognizable
  • Goodwill did not produce good steel
state owned enterprises
State owned enterprises
  • SOE’s fulfilled notion of centrally controlled industry
  • Wanted industry under total government direction
  • No profit-making concerns
  • No bargaining
  • Prices, output targets and wages were fixed by the state
falling of soe s
Falling of SOE’s
  • Inefficient
  • SOE’s were given state subsidies
  • Workers received guaranteed wages
  • No motivation for managers or workers
  • No initiative
  • Is this why “communism” doesn’t work?
snap shot of the ideal
Snap shot of the “Ideal”
  • 25,000 peasant workers
  • Organized into “People’s Communes” where they ate, slept, and worked together,

all for the benefit of the state, rather than the benefit of the individual.

growing division 1962 1965
Growing Division (1962-1965)
  • Mao Zedong vs. Deng Xiaoping
  • charismatic leadership vs. bureaucracy

Deng Xiaoping

cultural revolution 1966 1976
Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)
  • Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
    • commitment to revolution and “class struggle”
    • power struggle to succeed Mao
  • Phase in developments to move away from Mao’s policies
  • Into a more modern approach (with greater state control)
mao dies in 1976
Mao Dies in 1976,
  • Turning point in China
  • End of the Cultural Revolution
china since 1945
China since 1945
  • Mao dies in 1976 and Deng Xiaoping comes to power.
  • Deng institutes the Four Modernizations, which focuses on improving agriculture, industry, science and technology as well as defense.
  • Deng was in power until his death in 1997
  • He was the Leader during the Tiananmen Square event