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DBQ: Communist Leaders in China

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  1. DBQ: Communist Leaders in China Document 1: Mao Zedong, “The Peasant as Revolutionary” 1935 …The present upsurge of the peasant movement is a colossal event. In a very short time, in China’s Central, Southern, and Northern provinces, several hundred million peasants will rise like a mighty storm, like a hurricane, a force so swift and violent that no power, however great, will be able to hold it back…They will sweep all the imperialists, warlords, corrupt officials, local tyrants, and evil gentry into their graves. Every revolutionary party and every revolutionary comrade will be put to the test, to be accepted or rejected as they decide. Question 1: Identify two groups that the peasant movement will target. Document 2: Mao Zedong, “The Foolish Old Man Who Removed the Mountains” 1945 [The Foolish Old Man’s] house faced south, and beyond his doorway stood the great peaks, Tia-hang and Wang-Wu, obstructing the way. With great determination, he led his sons in digging up these mountains hoe in hand. Another graybeard, known as the Wise Old Man, saw them and said derisively, “How silly of you to do this! It is quite impossible for you few to dig up these two huge mountains.” The Foolish Old Man replied. “When I die, my sons will carry on; when they die, there will be my grandsons, and then their sons and grandsons, and so on to infinity. High as they are, the mountains cannot grow any higher and with every bit we dig, they will be that much lower. Why can’t we clear them away?”… Today, two big mountains lie like a dead weight on the Chinese people. One is imperialism, the other is feudalism. The Chinese Communist Party has long made up its mind to dig them up. We must preserve and work unceasingly…if [the Chinese people] stand up and dig together with us, why can’t these two mountains be cleared away?... Question 2: Why does the Old Foolish Man think he can remove the two mountains?

  2. Document 3: Professor Thayer Watkins, “The Great Leap Forward Period in China”, San Jose State University Famine ensued and was particularly severe in some areas. The people in these areas were forbidden to leave their area and so were doomed to starvation. Altogether about thirty million people died in the famine. The famine was caused by the shortfall in food production but this was a result of the bad policies and centralization of power in the central government. It was made worse by the refusal to admit the problem. During the time peasants were starving in the country side the government was shipping grain to the Soviet Union to repay loans. Some grain also rotted in warehouses in the cities where it was taken from the communes. Question 3: Identify two reasons for the famine that occurred during the Great Leap Forward Document 4: Poster: “Chairman Mao is With Us Forever” Created in late 1960s Text: "You should be concerned about national affairs and follow through the cultural revolution till the end!" Question 4: What does this poster suggest about Mao’s influence during the Cultural Revolution? Document 5: Deng Xiaoping, “The Present Situation and the Tasks Before Us” 1980 First it is essential to follow a firm and consistent political line: Unite the people of all our nationalities and bring all positive forces into play so that we can work with one heart and one mind, go all out, aim high and achieve faster, better, and more economical results in building a modern powerful socialist country…This superiority [of the socialist system] should manifest itself in many ways, but first and foremost it must be revealed in the rate of economic growth and in economic efficiency. Without political stability and unity, it would be impossible for us to settle down to construction. This has been borne out by our experience on the more than twenty years since 1057… Question 5: Identify one way in which Deng Xiaoping believes China can improve.

  3. Document 6: Elisabeth Rosenthal, The New York Times, 1988 Ten Years ago, this group did not even exist. Today its core of independent businessmen has been joined by a growing number of private-sector lawyers, artists and employees of joint-venture companies. It is first defined by what its members have: cell phones, washing machines, computers and, increasingly, cars and homes. On Saturday nights they go to concerts; in winter they vacation in Thailand. But the rapid accumulation of material things has left its psychological mark as well, infusing this group with a kind of independence and carefree optimism that has not existed in China for decades… Question 6: Identify two different ways in which the lives of independent businessmen have improved. Document 7: Minxin Pei, Newsweek International, October 28, 2002 (adapted) The party (Mao’s Communist) offered an ideology open to all citizens. Yet the regime’s own blunders have only deepened China’s underlying fissures…The government misallocated resources to capital-intensive heavy industries and neglected agriculture…State planning restricted the free flow of labor and capital, either across regions or from the countryside to cities. These policies kept people poor… At first the reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping reversed this trend. With market forces, not the government, channeling people and money, income disparities fell by 20% between 1979 and 1991. But Deng himself undermined the process with his famous call to “let some get rich first.” In practice, this meant giving priority to the coast…Private enterprise was encouraged. Foreign investors arrived en masse, pouring more than $300 billion in to China in the 1990s. Within a decade the entire eastern seaboard had been transformed…” Question 7a: Summarize the effect of Mao’s economic policies Question 7b: Summarize the effect of Deng’s economic policies

  4. Document 8: Rob Rogers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazatte, 1997 Question 8: According to the cartoon, what was a negative aspect of Deng Xiaoping’s rule despite his economic success? D Document 9: Tom Toles, “The Deng Memorial” Buffalo News, 1997 Question 9: According to this cartoon, what is the legacy of Deng Xiaoping? Document 10: Quotes from Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping Mao: “A wind has been blowing from the West, now it will begin to blow from the East.” (1949) Deng: “It doesn’t matter if the cat is black or white as long as it catches mice” (1961) Question 10: According to these quotes, how did Mao and Deng differ in what they believed to be important?

  5. DBQ Essay – Communist Leaders in China This question is based on the accompanying documents. The question is designed to test your ability to work with historical documents. Some of the documents have been edited for the purpose of this question. As you analyze the documents, take into account the source of each document and any point of view that may be represented in the document. Task: Evaluate which man should be most honored in modern Chinese history, Mao Zedong or Deng Xiaoping? To answer the question, take the following steps: - Describe the social, economic, and political goals and policies of both Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping - Evaluate the impact each man had on China. Guidelines: Be sure to incorporate at least 6 documents and incorporate relevant outside information. DBQ Essay – Communist Leaders in China This question is based on the accompanying documents. The question is designed to test your ability to work with historical documents. Some of the documents have been edited for the purpose of this question. As you analyze the documents, take into account the source of each document and any point of view that may be represented in the document. Task: Evaluate which man should be most honored in modern Chinese history, Mao Zedong or Deng Xiaoping? To answer the question, take the following steps: - Describe the social, economic, and political goals and policies of both Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping - Evaluate the impact each man had on China. Guidelines: Be sure to incorporate at least 6 documents and incorporate relevant outside information.

  6. Name: ______________________ Score: ___/20 DBQ Responses Question 1: ________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Question 2:_________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Question 3: _________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Question 4: ________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Question 5: ________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Question 6: ________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Question 7a: ________________________________________________________ Question 7b:________________________________________________________ Question 8: _________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Question 9: _________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________ Question 10: ________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________