Mao Zedong Worksheet General Directions

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Mao Zedong Worksheet
General Directions: read the passages that follow and then answer the questions below.

Mao is the “sun in the sky.” He is considered the greatest leader in Chinese history. Mao freed China from its medieval backwardness and transformed it into a modern nation. Under Mao’s leadership, China was transformed. What had taken centuries in the West, took only decades in China. China made the leap from a semi-colony to a Great Power.

  1. Why is Mao considered the “sun in the sky” in Chinese history?

Mao is consided “sun in the sky” because he transformed China from medival to modern.


Mao liberated the Chinese people from economic exploitation and social oppression. He freed China from its Confucian past, gave women equal status in Chinese society, opened China to the west and expanded China’s economy. China’s economy grew at an average annual rate of 11% to 15% per year, thereby creating the industrial infrastructure that laid the basis for the economic transformation that took place during the rule of Deng Xiaoping.

  1. How did Chinese life improve under Mao?

Chinese life improved under Mao because he gave women equal status, expanded China’s economy, and opened China to the West.


According to Lee Feigon, author of Mao – A Reinterpretation, the Cultural Revolution transformed China for the better. During the Cultural Revolution, Mao battled corruption, streamlined bureaucracy, strengthened the economy, reduced and decentralized Soviet-style bureaucracy that was threatening to choke China, promoted artistic and educational reform, and worked towards social justice and the feminist ideal.

  1. How did the Cultural Revolution change China?

The Cultural Revolution changed China by making it better because it stengthened the economy, reduced and decentralized the bureaucracy, and promoted artisitic reform.


“Although urban schools closed for a time, Mao used the Cultural Revolution to dismantle elitist and formalistic educational system that the country had returned to in the early 1960s. He shifted resources to rural education, in the process radically expanding China’s educational system.”

- Dongping Han, “Impact of the Cultural Revolution on Rural Education and Development”

  1. How did China’s educational system improved as a result of the Cultural Revolution?

China’s educational system improved as a result of the Cultural Revolution because it expanded China’s educational system.


The Great Leap Forward was a failure. Rather than a leap forward, it became a lurch sideways. By 1961, China was on the brink of economic ruin and internal collapse. As a result of the loss of fertile farmland and poor management of what farmland remained, the annual harvest declined. The result was widespread famine. Industrial output also fell. Even Mao himself was forced to admit that his idea was a disaster. He was forced to step down from his post as chairman of the CCP.

  1. Why was Mao forced to step down from his post as chairman of the Chinese Communist Party?

Mao was forced to stepdown from his post as chairman because the Great Leap Forward was a failure that caused a lot of bad things to happen such as Famine.


Mao launched the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in 1966. The Cultural Revolution remains a titanic catastrophe in which human rights, democracy, the rule of law and civilization were crushed. During the decade that followed, literally millions of people were sacked, imprisoned and otherwise ostracized for their hidden 'bourgeois tendencies,' while tens of thousands were executed. Mao encouraged students to rebel against authority, inform on their politically incorrect seniors, and join the Red Guard – the ideological militia that pushed the Cultural Revolution forward. China collapsed into a state of near anarchy. Schools shut down, offices closed, transport was disrupted – it was so bad that even today, the full history is still far from known. While the Cultural Revolution 'officially' ended in 1969, and the worst abuses stopped then, the politically charged atmosphere was maintained until Mao's death in 1976.

  1. How did the Cultural Revolution affect China?

The Cultural Revolution affected China because tens of thousands of people were killed, and Mao changed a lot of things that were not so good, such as rebeling against authority.


The Cultural Revolution had a disastrous effect on the educational system and the scientific community within China; an effect that was felt well into the late 80's. Those people in China who were between the ages of 15 to 25 during the period of the revolution are now referred to as the “lost generation.” This is because they are the ones who lost out: losing the chance for an education, losing the chance for a normal youth.

  1. Who were the “lost generation?”

The lost generation were people who who were between the ages of 15 to 25 during the revoution.


Mao’s rule brought about more deaths of his own people than any other leader in history. The total death toll is only exceeded by all the dead people of World War II. Some 12 to 15 million deaths can be attributed to Stalin. The systematic elimination of the Jews under Hitler was approximately 6 million. Under Mao, over 40 million people lost their lives.

  1. Was Mao’s rule more brutal than that of Stalin or Hitler?

Mao’s rule was more brutal than Hitler and Stalin because he killed a lot more of his own people then they did. He killed 40 Million+ , they only killed 6 – 15 million.


According the Chen Yuen, “Had Mao died in 1956, his achievements would have been immortal. Had he died in 1966, he would still have been a great man. But he died in 1976. Alas, what can one say?

What conclusion can you draw from this statement?

What I can conclude is that when Mao had just started he had really good ideas that nobody would forget, as he got older around 1966 people had still liked him and what he was doing, but as 1976 came he made bad chices and ideas that made China fail so people stopped liking him.

Hero and Villian!

Is Mao Zedong a Hero or a Villain?

Answer the question above:

    • 7-10 lines / Spell-checked

    • 3-5 facts from the secondary source material above

    • Reflect: Should Mao Zedong be honored like our American heroes?

In my opinion Mao Zdong should not be remebered as an American hero because he did some good things for the people, but most of the things that he accomplished did not benefit or help the people of China out. Although he did help China in a few ways such as helping China become modernized, and helped to improve Chinese life. He did more bad things than good things like he killed more people than any of the other people such as Hitler or Stalin, and he didn’t let the kids between the ages of 15-25 get an education so they missed out.

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