The CCP lost all conventional battles with the KMT, leading to the retreat into the mountains By the end of the KMT’s campaign in 1934, the CCP realized it was longer able to sustain its Jiangxi base They decided to go west to the more sparsely populated and mountainous region of China but then realized that there was not a base of poor peasants they could mobilize, so they moved north and ended up in Yan’an, Shaanxi. During this “Long March,” they lost 95% of the CCP armyThe Long March became the ultimate test of loyalty (it was also entrenched in the mythology of the Communist Party in China) oIn the early part of the Long March, a meeting took place in Guizhou—the “ZunyiConference” (1935) where the CCP leadership discussed military tacticsoThey realized that Braun’s traditional military tactics did not work in China oIt was here that Mao Zedong’s affinity for rural-based guerilla tactics (run, fight and repeat) was recognized and validatedoThis established Mao as the military leader of the CCP and marked the beginning of Mao’s ascension to poweroMao ZedongBorn to a rich peasant family in Hunan provinceFamily was relatively well-off and he was well-educated as a resultIn his early 20s, he travelled to Beijing and approached professors at Peking University including Li Dazhao. He became a Marxist. Through his connection with Li Dazhao, he attended the first CCP conference, though he was but a rank-in-file memberOver time, he was able to show his talent as a military leaderChampioned guerilla warfare and focus on the countryside both as a place to hide and a place to mobilize support (from rural peasants) oCCP: The Yan’an Period (1935-1949)For over a decade, the CCP set up operations in Yan’anDuring this time, the CCP was very far from the center of KMT power andwere able to recover and grow
Zhou Enlai was the second in command under Mao and concerned himselfmore with details and pragmatics to the idealism and grand strategy of MaoDuring the Yan’an Period, the CCP collaborated with the KMT for a short period of time in the Sino-Japanese War, although the CCP was not really involved in the war against JapanDid a lot of things in the Yan’an area, thoughLand reforms Development of policies and ideologyo“Mass line”—whenever the CCP makes a policy, they need to consult the people first. The policy will then be formulated at the top. (From the People, To the People) Recruit new members Thought reform—compel people to criticize themselves and scrutinize their own beliefs The party consolidated its ranks, unified under Mao and accumulated strength, all while the KMT was engaged with Japan on the front linesoCCP: The Civil WarIn 1945, Japan lost the war in China The CCP and KMT leaders signed an agreement of co-government but neither side kept the promise and civil war beganCCP was able to win the warSomewhat puzzling that the CCP won the war against the better educated, better equipped KMT forceso
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