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Lecture 13 text-only version

Lecture 13 text-only version - History 20 Lecture 13 Maos...

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History 20 – Lecture 13 -- Mao’s China: Radical Socialism in a Third World Environment Prologue Today we will look in depth at China’s revolution for socialism, led by the Chinese Communist Party. The rationale for taking this in-depth look at China is two-fold: The Chinese revolution for socialism modeled itself, in the first instance, on what had already happened in the Soviet Union – it was an effort to build a state-directed socialist system as a counter to capitalism. Secondly, because this revolution for socialism unfolded in a Third World country, it became a global example for other Third World countries as they struggled after World War II to find ways to develop newly independent political systems and new forms of economic development. Thus, in its heyday from the 1950s through the mid-1970s, the Chinese revolution had a major impact on how other Third World peoples envisioned their own futures. I. Civil War, 1945-49: The Communists put an end to the last phase of foreign influence in China After the defeat of Japan at the end of World War II, the Nationalists and Communists struggled with each other to determine how to rule. They agreed to compromise but in practice, this was difficult since they had very different visions for how to make China into a strong, independent country. Jiang Jieshi favored private enterprise; Mao Zedong favored socialism. General George C. Marshall, as a special envoy of U.S. President Harry Truman, arrived in China in Dec., 1945, to try to help sort things out. In the end, Marshall had one primary goal – to follow Truman’s anti-communist agenda and help Jiang Jieshi resume full power. The Marshall Mission failed as the Nationalists and Communists proved increasingly unwilling to bargain with each other. Marshall returned to the U.S. and full- scale civil war broke out in China in the spring of 1946. The Communists very quickly resumed land reform in the areas they controlled in the north China countryside and won the support of the peasantry as a result. The Nationalists were pushed ever southward by the Communists in waves of battle (this included both guerilla warfare and more traditional battles).
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The Nationalists, with U.S. assistance, retreated to Taiwan, where Chiang Kai- shek re-established the Republic of China. Mao Zedong and his party (CCP) proclaimed the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing, Oct. 1, 1949. All foreigners who owned businesses or worked for foreign governments were asked to leave. The imperialist heyday in China was now over. People in the U.S. asked, “Who lost China?” II. Phase one of China’s socialist revolution -- Land Reform Land Reform had been started in Communist-controlled base areas as early as
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Lecture 13 text-only version - History 20 Lecture 13 Maos...

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