Mao Zedong and the People’s Republic of China Global History and Geography II name

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Mao Zedong and the People’s Republic of China

Global History and Geography II Name: ________________________

Excerpt adapted from
Mao Zedong (1893-1976) was a Chinese communist leader and founder of the People's Republic of China… (He) was born into a peasant family …After training as a teacher …he began to read Marxist literature. In 1921, he became a founder (and) member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)… In 1923, the Kuomintang (KMT) nationalist party had allied with the CCP to defeat the warlords…Then in 1927, the KMT leader, Chiang Kai-shek, launched an anti-communist purge.
Mao and other communists retreated to southeast China. In 1934, after the KMT surrounded them, Mao led his followers on the 'Long March', a 6,000 mile journey to northwest China to establish a new base.
The Communists and KMT were again temporarily allied during eight years of war with Japan…but shortly after the end of World War Two, civil war broke out...The Communists were victorious, and on 1 October 1949, Mao proclaimed the founding of the People's Republic of China (PRC). Chiang Kai-shek fled to the island of Taiwan.”

. Napp Date: ________________________

Mao Zedong announcing the founding of the People's Republic of China, October 1, 1949


1: Who was Mao Zedong? _______________________________________

2: What was the CCP? _______________________________________

3: What was the KMT? _______________________________________

4: Who was Chiang Kai-shek? _______________________________________

5: What was the Long March? _______________________________________

6: Why were the CCP and the KMT allies for eight years? _______________________________________

7: What happened on October 1, 1949? _______________________________________

8: Who fled to Taiwan? _______________________________________

9: The majority of the Chinese people were peasants before the Revolution. Why do you think many peasants supported the CCP? _______________________________________

10: How do you think Mao changed China? _______________________________________

Excerpt from
From 1949 to 1978, China had a Soviet-style state socialist political economic model. The state owned all property and controlled the economy through central planning.
As was the case in the Soviet Union, this centrally planned political economic model favored the development of heavy industry at the expense of consumer goods…
Mao and the Communist Party sought to emulate Stalin's successful crash industrialization policy by launching the Great Leap Forward (1958-1959)… Vowing to progress "twenty years in a day" and to catch up with the industrialized West in fifteen years, Mao promoted the creation of small-scale, labor- intensive industry…The Great Leap Forward further collectivized agriculture by creating gigantic communes…
The Great Leap Forward was a gigantic failure. The diversion of energy to industry and away from agriculture, and a drop in food production caused by the forced collectivization of agriculture, was largely responsible for a three-year famine that killed as many as 30 million people.”


1: Describe China’s economy from 1949 to 1978. ________________________________

2: What is a centrally planned economy? ________________________________

3: What was the Great Leap Forward? ________________________________

4: Why did Mao want to industrialize China? ________________________________

5: How was the Great Leap Forward similar to Stalin’s Five-Year Plans (from previous lessons)? ________________________________

6: How did agriculture change as a result of the Great Leap Forward? ________________________________

7: Why was the Great Leap Forward a failure? ________________________________

All political power comes from the barrel of a gun."

~ Mao Zedong
A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery.

~ Mao Zedong

Excerpt adapted from
The failure of the Great Leap Forward (1958-62) weakened Mao's position considerably in the Communist Party as factions began to form against him…Mao also genuinely feared that China was slipping in an (unequal) direction…
Hidden enemies in the party and intellectual circles had to be identified and removed…(The) aim of the Cultural Revolution was to attack the Four Olds-- old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits…
During the Cultural Revolution, millions of educated youths were sent to rural areas to work in the countryside and learn from the peasantry. Mao believed that this would ultimately create a new society where there was no gap between urban and rural, laborers and intellectuals…
In June 1966 middle schools and universities throughout the country closed down as students devoted all their time to Red Guard activities. Millions of these young students were encouraged to attack counterrevolutionaries" and criticize those in the party who appeared to have deviated from Maoist thought…

This is a 1967 poster depicting Red Guards speaking through a megaphone and distributing leaflets.


1: What was the Cultural Revolution? _____________________________________

2: Why did Mao start the Cultural Revolution? _____________________________________

3: What were the “Four Olds”? _____________________________________

4: Why did Mao send millions of educated youths to rural areas? _____________________________________

5: Who were the Red Guards? _____________________________________

6: What was the “Little Red Book”? _____________________________________

During the Cultural Revolution, Red Guards carried “The Little Red Book.” The “Little Red Book” was a collection of the quotes of Mao Zedong.

Excerpt adapted from
During 21-28 February 1972, President Richard Nixon spent an extraordinary week in the People's Republic of China (PRC). The first U.S. president to visit China, Nixon was playing a central role in opening up a new political relationship…The highlight of Nixon's trip was his meeting with Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong but its substance lay in a series of almost-daily extended conversations with Premier Zhou Enlai…”

Excerpt adapted from
Since Mao's death in 1976, the emphasis among China's Party planners has been on economic reform and the gradual dismantling of state-run enterprises - all, of course, in the name of preserving Mao's communism…

But Mao's legacy - even his official one - is not untainted. It is perfectly acceptable in official quarters to speak of Mao's mistakes: the political upheaval of the Cultural Revolution, during which intellectuals and suspected "capitalist roaders" in the party were tormented, hounded from office, and exiled, being the most prominent, and painful, example…
While many of China's dynamic entrepreneurs are too young for the Cultural Revolution to carry much meaning, Mao represents for them a fierce nationalism and pride at a time when China - after the bitter humiliations of the past - is becoming increasingly confident on the world stage.
Hong Kong has been returned to the motherland and Macau is to follow later this year. Mao would have been pleased.”


1: What was the significance of Nixon’s visit to China? _____________________________

2: When did Chairman Mao die? _____________________________

3: How has China changed since his death? _____________________________

4: What were Mao’s mistakes? _____________________________

5: What does Mao represent to many young people in China? _____________________________

The people's democratic dictatorship is based on the alliance of the working class, the peasantry and the urban petty bourgeoisie, and mainly on the alliance of the workers and the peasants, because these two classes comprise 80 to 90 per cent of China's population.”
~ Mao Zedong

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