By: Vincent Dalai
Who was Mao Zedong ?
Mao Zedong was the leader of the Chinese communist party from 1935 and the chairman of The People's Republic of China from 1949 to 1976. Mao Zedong revolutionized China from a unrestful state to a example of a successful a communist system. Mao Zedong was an influential leader to his people. he came to power during the Chinese Civil War and the Second Sino-Japanese war. He was the creator of a successful communist system and led to the disastrous polices of The Great Leap Forward and the Cultural revolution.
What was Mao's Zedongs Role in the Chinese Civil War and the Second Sino- Japanese war?
Mao Zedong was a guerrilla leader of the Communist party during the Chinese Civil War. He led the first uprising against the Kunomitang Nationalist Party, the party that was killing communists including Maos first wife. The Communist party won the war against the Nationalists. Mao was of high importance during the Second Sino-Japanese War, by using good military strategy to defend China.
Mao as Chairman of the People's Republic of China
The People's Republic of China was inaugurated in 1949 and Mao Zedong was named Chairman. He had unlimited power, which in effect made him the emperor. With the support of his people who believed in him because of national unity after three decades of war, and the fact that he was in a political party that was battle tested.Using good political policies Mao Zedong created the foundation for a successful China.
The Great Leap Forward
The Great Leap Forward in the short period of 1958 to 1960. The Great Leap Forward began when there was a split between Mao Zedong and Nikita Khrushchev because differences in political ideology. The 15000 Soviet engineers and staff abandoned their projects and destroyed their blueprints and left China. Mao now realized that China had to industrialize and develop on their own, so he created the Great Leap Forward. It was much like Stalin's Five year plan, which was to industrialize Russia and make it self sufficient. Mao Zedong called for the peasants to work in communes and meet a certain quota for food production. He also wanted them to create backyard blast-furnaces to melt down scrap metal into usable metal for tools and machinery. This plan failed because of problems in food production and bad policies of the state. The outcome was terrible causing famine to the Chinese people. These mistakes led to the deaths of twenty to forty-three million Chinese peasants from famine and extermination as a result of the famine. That was about six times higher than the deaths of Jewish victims of Hitler's Holocaust.
The Great Protelitarian Cultural Revolution
Mao Zedong believed the communist system in China needed to be revised. So, he with a group of radicals began an attack on the leadership of the Communist Party. These radicals with Mao Zedong were his wife, Lin Biao, Chen Boda, and Kang Sheng. The radicals were supported by Zhou Enlai, but he was not part of the radical party. In 1966 in Tiananmen square Mao Zedong ordered the Red Guards(young supporters of Mao Zedong), to destroy old ideas and old behaviors of China, like communism. The Red Guards attacked many party members who supported the Communist Party at the time and destroyed many things of the old ways. The Red Guards overthrew the Communist Party leaders and replaced them with radicals. The Cultural Revolution was called off in 1967. But the non-radicals of the Communist party were punished and some were killed. Mao led China to economic and political turmoil during this time.
Mao Zedong's legacy
Mao Zedong is revered as the founder of The People's Republic of China. He is credited for the success of the Chinese Communist Party and the early success of socialism in China. But, he is also compared to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, because of the high amount of deaths he caused to the Chinese people. Mao Zedong is a unforgettable leader in human history.