The Chinese Cultural Revolution

Marcus VonRuden

Mao ZeDong

Mao ZeDong (1893-1876) was the leader of China who started the Chinese Cultural Revolution in 1966 became very well known as Chairman Mao as it states in the online articel “Mao Tse-tung (Biography.com Editors). Even after the shock of his death, the Revolution still had lasting effect for many more years to come. Mao started out living in a peasant family, but it was marxist books he found that led him to learn about the communist ways. The article “Mao Zedong: Biographical and Political Profile” describes, “From an early age, Mao was a voracious reader. He particularly liked popular historical novels concerning rebellions and unconventional military heroes” (Asia for Educators). In 1921 he decided to found his own party called the Chinese Communist Party. All his life, Mao was trying to grow his communist party, but he was forced to flee so many times and fight to keep his party afloat. He didn’t have his first victory until after WWII a civil war broke out and his communist party saw an opportunity. They won the civil war and changed the name to “The People's Republic of China” in 1949. It was because of his failure in his “Great Leap Forward” movement that gave him the motive to start the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

Political Views on Art

How Maoist followers feel about art is made clear by Brian Williams when he wrote, “Many artists, writers, and teachers were forced to leave their jobs and go to work on the land” (World History Encyclopedia, 223). Mao’s main focus for the revolution was to boost the economy and assert his authority over China. To do this, he figured work was valued over education, so many children were forced to quit any kind of education that didn’t include communist teachings. This includes, sports, instrumental lessons, and school altogether. Even books were outlawed if they didn’t include communist writing and quotes. If anyone were to take part in reading, writing, or school, they would be brutally punished by the Red Guards as summarized by Brian Williams (World History Encyclopedia, 222).

The People's Liberation Army

The People’s Liberation Army is what enforced Mao’s rule during the revolution as explained in the article 1966: China’s Cultural Revolution (Perry Knize). He also explains in the same article how corrupt the Army had become, “The guerrilla general, who had become the second man in China by intimidation, used the Red Guards as his private political army”. Military leaders such as Lo Jui-ching used the Army only to purge people in China who weren't Maoist. They killed millions of people during the Revolution including both citizens and fellow military members. They would also hold large rallies in villages if someone well known was imprisoned. To make an impression of what would happen to someone who opposed Chairman Mao, they would embarrassed and abuse or even execute prisoners in rallies.

Red Guard

According to the editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, “They were formed under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party in 1966 in order to help party chairman Mao Zedong combat “revisionist” authorities”(Read Guards). Surprisingly, Mao Zedong never made the Red Guard. The Red Guard started out small. They first called themselves Chairman Mao’s Red Guards (Long Bow Group). They were just a group of middle school students in Beijing who had learned about Mao Zedong's beliefs and they thought they should go into effect to change China for the better. Mao quickly found out about Chairman Mao’s Red Guards and had them announced on the radio and shown in newspapers. Children in other schools began their own Red Guards as well. With Mao’s support, more people from all over China joined the Red Guard and spread their political beliefs in radical and often violent ways.
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Works Cited

Asia for Educators. "Mao Zedong: Biographical and Political Profile | Asia for Educators | Columbia University." 1984, 2004. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.

http://afe.easia.columbia.edu/special/china_1900_mao_early.htm


Ganeri, Anita, Brian Williams, and Hazel Mary. Martell. World History Encyclopedia. Bath, U.K.: Dempsey Parr, 2000. Print.


Knize, Perry. "1966: China’s Cultural Revolution." Columbia Journalism School Centennial. N.p., 2015. Web. 20 Nov. 2016.

http://centennial.journalism.columbia.edu/1966-chinas-cultural-revolution/


Long Bow Group. Living Revolution | Red Guards December, 2014. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.

http://www.morningsun.org/living/redguards/redguards.html


Mao Red Book propaganda. Digital image. Mao ZeDong : A Feminist. Women of New China, 2016. Web.

http://maoandfeminism.weebly.com/little-red-book.html


"Mao Tse-tung." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, May 11, 2016. Web. 16 Nov. 2016. http://www.biography.com/people/mao-tse-tung-9398142


Official Mao ZeDong portrait. Digital image. Wikipedia. Wikipedia Editors, n.d. Web.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maoism


Red Guard Propaganda. Digital image. Pinterest. Hannah Gough, 2016. Web.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/384846730637105339/



The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica, Sep 5, 2008. "Red Guards." 2016 Web. 16 Nov. 2016.

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Red-Guards


Wikipedia Editors. "Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 9 Nov. 2016. Web. 18 Nov. 2016.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quotations_from_Chairman_Mao_Tse-tung

Mao's Little Red Book

In 1963, Mao Zedong wrote 200 Quotations From Chairman Mao. According to Wikipedia. the book later became known as Mao’s Little Red Book. As explained by Wikipedia, “During the 1960s, the book was the single most visible icon in mainland China, even more visible than the image of the Chairman himself” (Wikipedia Editors). Also, according to Wikipedia Editors, there are many different estimations on exactly how many copies were made; the average estimation is about 6.5 billion companies. The book contains 200 quotes said by Chairman Mao which explains his marxist beliefs. During the Cultural Revolution, these quotes were in songs and chanted in Communist rallies. It was expected that all Chinese citizens carried the book, and anyone who didn’t would be punished or accused of being bourgeoisie.