PattersonChinaLand

PattersonChinaLand - Land Reform in China: From 1950 to the...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–4. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Land Reform in China: From 1950 to the Present Stephanie Patterson Economics 508 TR 3:30-5:18 March 1, 2005
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Land reform in China makes for a fascinating topic of research, considering that history is unfolding before our very eyes. The reform process in China is far from complete, yet it is rather astounding when one considers how many changes have occurred in just the last fifty years. For a large, rural country like China, land reforms have an enormous effect on the population in general. When Mao Zedong proclaimed the birth of the Chinese People’s Republic in 1949, one of the goals pursued was redistribution of land to individual households in preparation for collectivization. Prior to the change in power, warlords held authority over peasants in a feudal system. Contributing to the binding nature of feudalism were Confucian values, values that came into conflict with the revolutionary ideas of the early 1950s. Recognizing feudalism as the central obstacle to China’s revitalization, Mao sought to dismantle the system immediately. 1 In fact, the Chinese Communist Party won millions of supporters among the poor when the land and other property of landlords were redistributed so that each household in a rural village would have a comparable holding, creating a stratum of private smallholders and eliminating the landowning elite. 2 As the Communist Party took control of regions, it taught the peasants in those areas that social and economic inequalities were not natural and that redistribution of property was the first step in creating a new communal order where all would work together unselfishly for common goals. For this purpose, the Party would send a small team of party administrators and students to a village to cultivate relations with the poor, organize a peasant association, identify potential leaders, and organize struggle sessions. Eventually the inhabitants would be classified into five categories: landlords, rich peasants, middle peasants, poor peasants, and hired hands. The government would then confiscate the holdings of landowners, and sometimes land owned by rich and middle peasants, and redistribute it more evenly. 3 It should be noted that such collectivization was mandatory and imposed by the Communist government, although it must have seemed a great thing to the poorest of peasants. A second land reform in the mid-1950s strengthened the idea of collectivization with the introduction of People’s Communes. More specifically, in 1953, the Chinese 1 Liu 2 Chen and Davis 3 Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia 2
Background image of page 2
Communist Party announced its first five-year plan to speed up the socialization of China through a planned economy, aiming to produce maximum returns from agriculture in order to pay for industrialization. The means chosen was the collectivization of agriculture. Land and farm implements were pooled into cooperatives and later into collective farms, which controlled the production, price, and distribution of products. Economic inequality within villages was virtually eliminated, but peasants were restricted
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 4
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 07/17/2008 for the course ECON 508 taught by Professor Fleisher during the Winter '06 term at Ohio State.

Page1 / 13

PattersonChinaLand - Land Reform in China: From 1950 to the...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 4. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online