Opium Wars: Britain established opium trades with China, forced them to buy opium, people of China got addicted to the drug China began to outlaw opium, burned down British warehouses

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2. Assess the social and economic causes of the Chinese Civil War.

Economic Causes:

Opium Wars:

  • Britain established opium trades with China, forced them to buy opium, people of China got addicted to the drug

  • China began to outlaw opium, burned down British warehouses, the British then attacked

  • They defeat China

  • Strong Effect on British Imperialism

  • This lead to the "Unequal Treaties"

  • Europe got control over all of China's ports

  • This then led to people's hatred for the Manchus Dynasty

  • Led to Taiping Rebellion

  • Instabilities of the Chinese government which led to long term condition of the CCW and Mao's rule

Social Causes:

Boxer Rebellion - 1900:

  • This was a party's response to the weakness of the Manchus Dynasty

  • This group of people were trained in martial arts & boxing- consisted of a lot of rebels

  • They hated Chinese people who converted to Christianity - called them "Foreign Devils"

  • They would destroy Christian churches & help Europeans captive

  • The harsh methods that were used to end this rebellion made the Chinese hate the Europeans more

  • This rebellion led to the hatred for the "foreign imperialists" in the CCW

  • Exposed more weaknesses of the Manchus Dynasty, couldn't maintain peace within its own borders

Revolution of 1911:

  • The goal of the Chinese Revolution of 1911 was the revival of national power and the establishment of a democratic form of government. Yet, this revolution inaugurated a long period of internal chaos and foreign interference, which ended only in 1949.

  • Sun Yat-sen one of the leaders of the Revolution

  • He wanted to eliminate the Manchus and Monarchy

  • Wuchang Rebellion starts in 1911, he joins the rebellion and helps it spread

  • He does not want to start a Civil War so he steps away from his position

  • Yaun Shikai begins to rule China as a dictator

  • Dies in 1916

  • Led to rise of Mao & conditions for the Chinese Civil War

  • Chinese Civil War Test

  • Part 1 Causes:

    Explain two major political causes of the Chinese Civil War:

    One political cause would be the Boxer Rebellion of 1900. During this Rebellion, there was a group of people formed who specialized in martial arts and boxing. They were completely against any Chinese person who converted to Christianity and any other foreign people. They began to capture and kill these people, which led to riots in the streets and ended with the Boxers being crucified in the middle of the street, for all the civilians to see. Another political cause was the Opium Wars between China and the Western countries. They began selling opium to China and getting the people addicted to this. Problems then arose which led to the creation of the Unequal Treaties which that gave Europe control over Chinese ports and trading. China then began losing a lot of land a supplies, which led to the start of the war as they were trying to regain their ports from the Western countries.

    Part 2- Practices:
    Analyze three tactics or strategies that were most helpful in the Communists winning the Chinese Civil War (Analyze means to break down into parts and explain)
    One strategy of the Communists was to take over the land in the North that the Japanese had left when were forced to move their grounds. The Communists would do this by destroying railways and dans nearby to make the area look not useful to the Japanese so then they could take over the land and have a better chance of making a direct attack. Another strategy was their creation of "liberation areas." These were used to give the Communists more than against the Japanese so they could have more beneficial area to battle in. Also, the Communist's use of guerilla warfare was helpful in winning the CCW because they were able to attack the opponents off guard so they could make a more successful attack and kill more people. These strategies were beneficial to the Communists because it easily gave them more reign over their opponents and they were able to control more land by using these strategies.

    Part 3- Effects
    Explain two major economic effects of the Chinese Civil War:
    One economic effect was the Communist's destruction of railways, dams, canals and other forms of transportation. This effected the Nationalist's chance of winning the war because they had less control over getting the supplies. This also led to the Communist's formation of the liberation areas which also put more problems on the Nationalists and there chance of winning. Another economic effect is the inflation caused by the war because so much money was needed to battle in this war. This also led to food shortages and people starving. The economy became worse after the Chinese Civil War was over. Also, because of this there was very high unemployment. And Maos Land Reform Law was made in June of 1950, this was a domestic policy of Mao.

    Part 4- Alternative Assessment

  • Answer any one of the additional questions from the above choices
    Explain two major political effects of the Chinese Civil War:
    One political effect is the the fear and suspicion from the US and the Western countries were going to start the spread of Communism from the Chinese. The Us greatly opposed the spread of Communism around the world in Asia until 1991. Another political effect was the Peoples Republic of China being formed. it inherited corrupt local governments and the Nationalists left behind their history of corruption and bribery.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Effects of the Chinese Civil War


  • 1949 National form a gain in Taiwan (still exists today)

  • 1949 People's Republic of China is formed - Inherited corrupt local govts. Nationalists left behind a history of bribery/ corruption

  • China becomes a single-party state, Communist

  • PRC forms an alliance with the USSR - Treaty of Mutual Aid and Assistance 1950 - USSR sends advisers and gives credits to China

  • Fear and Suspicion from USA and West about spread of Communism - United States opposes expansion of communism around the world in Asia 1945-1991

  • This was part of USA's Containment theory to prevent the domino effect - US Wars in Korea 1950-1952, Vietnam 1965-75

  • Mao becomes leader of PRC in 1949-1976

  • The PLA is put back to work, rebuilding China and infrastructure (A method Mao uses to unite China)


  • Railways dams, canals and farms destroyed

  • Food Shortages

  • Inflation

  • High Unemployment

  • June 1950 Land Reform Law - Domestic Policy of Mao

Posted by emma dilemma at 7:09 AM 0 comments

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why Communists Won Civil War?

  • Communists moved into the areas in the North where the Japanese had left

  • They created "liberation areas" while they were expanding into north and central China

  • Avoided major battles with Guomindang and concentrated on making guerilla attacks against them

  • Night rades at opponents bases, blowing up railways

  • Loss of US support, support of peasants

  • Took most of central and northern China during 1947 and forced Guomindang on to the defensive

  • Nationalists couldn't deal with the bad economy, riots break out

  • Chinese Civil War of 1945–1949

  • Although the Chinese Nationalist and Communist movements had pledged to unite against Japanese aggression in 1936, conflict between them actually grew during the war against Japan (1937–1945), setting the stage for a civil war. The approaches the Chinese Nationalists and Communists employed during the war against Japan basically determined the outcome of the civil war. From 1941 through 1945 the Nationalist government held back from major offenses against the Japanese while it grew in international stature and acquired a powerful and generous ally in the United States. Nevertheless, the Nationalists suffered from a variety of internal weaknesses, including loss of its economically advanced territories to Japan, serious inflation, and deteriorating popular support. For their part, the Chinese Communists made simple living and self-reliance into a patriotic virtue while winning widespread admiration for their aggressive anti-Japanese nationalism. Most important, they increased their territorial control across North China, where Communist military units, supported by local militias, knitted together popularly based regional governments behind Japanese lines. Operating largely without outside support, the Communists forces grew tremendously and developed a bold confidence in their newfound abilities.

  • U.s. Attempt at Intervention

  • The United States, fully aware by early 1945 of the looming Nationalist-Communist conflict, intervened in the hope of creating a single Chinese government as its chief ally in East Asia. When initial efforts by Ambassador Patrick Hurley stumbled, President Harry Truman dispatched General George C. Marshall to China. But Marshall failed to achieve compromises between the two sides during his fourteen-month mission from December 1945 to January 1947.

  • Full Civil War

  • As Japan's collapse loomed in early August 1945, both the Communists and the Nationalists set in motion hastily made plans to expand their territorial control. The Nationalists held Sichuan and the southwest as well as some parts of central China, but they needed to reestablish their pre-1937 control over East and South China, especially the rich and fertile coastal provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Fujian, and Guangdong. Chiang Kai-shek (1887–1975), the leader of the Nationalists, also intended to gain control of huge areas of China where his Nationalist government had never governed before 1937, including North China, Manchuria, Inner Mongolia, the northwest, and the huge but sparsely populated Xinjiang. Yet only two regions, North China under Communist control and Manchuria occupied by the Soviet Union, became the civil war's major battlegrounds.

  • Chiang rushed his forces to principal cities all around China, typically using U.S. air and naval units to transport his armies while demanding that defeated Japanese units hand over control only to his forces. Consequently, the Nationalists wound up with their armies in important cities throughout China, but their military and political strength was often thinly spread.

  • Communist strategy called for building on their present strength by surrounding and taking over the cities of North China. In a bold and ultimately decisive move, Communist leader Mao Zedong (1893–1976) dispatched General Lin Biao (1908–1971) with a large army to Manchuria, where he hoped the occupying Soviet forces might aid their fellow Communists.

  • Lin Biao's forces entering Manchuria received some assistance from the Soviet armies, but primarily in the form of letting Japanese arms fall into their hands. The Soviet Union still recognized Chiang's Nationalist government and so acceded to Nationalist occupation of the region's cities, ports, and railways. Before withdrawing in May 1946, the Soviets concentrated on looting Japanese factory equipment to rebuild their own war-ravaged economy.

  • On the U.S. side, doubts increased about the long-term prospects of its ally, the Chinese Nationalists. Chiang's problems were compounded in late 1945 as inflation continued, public confidence in the Nationalists did not revive, and relations between Chiang's armies and the recently liberated Chinese in the large coastal cities were uneasy. The Nationalists hoped for massive U.S. intervention on their behalf, but in the United States the postwar atmosphere demanded a return to normalcy. President Truman and General Marshall concluded that the Congress and American people would not be willing to commit the amounts of money, material, and fighting men needed to ensure a Chinese Nationalist victory. Nevertheless, the United States continued to give extensive economic and military support to the Nationalists.

  • American efforts in 1945 and 1946 to forge a compromise between the Nationalists and the Communists were unsuccessful because Chiang would not enter a coalition with the Communists, while the Communists insisted on maintaining independent control of the territory they administered. As Marshall prepared to return to Washington in mid-1946, he arranged the appointment of an American missionary educator, John Leighton Stuart, as the new U.S. ambassador. Although Stuart knew both the Nationalist and Communist leaderships in China, he was new to diplomacy and lacked Marshall's close connections in Washington, so his appointment indicated the shifting of U.S. attention away from China. After his return from China in January 1947, Marshall became U.S. secretary of state and gave his name to a plan to revive the European economy, signaling that again Europe would be foremost in U.S. foreign policy concerns.

  • Even during Marshall's mission, Nationalist-Communist armed conflict increased. Overall, Nationalist armies fared well in these battles, and by late 1946 Chiang, certain of victory, reorganized his government with a new constitution followed by national elections. Taking Yan'an, the Communists' wartime capital, in March 1947, buoyed the Chinese Nationalist's military fortunes.

  • Turning of the Tide Against the Nationalists

  • After July 1947 the Nationalist cause began to sputter. Reconciliation with Chinese who had been under Japanese occupation often proved difficult. The serious wartime inflation deepened, making it difficult to restart the modern sector of the Chinese economy. Fear of Communist influence led the Nationalists into general suppression of freedom of expression.

  • In the summer and fall of 1947, Communist armies began to win victories in North China. Then from December 1947 to March 1948, Lin Biao's armies won a series of major battles in Manchuria. By early November 1948, Lin had destroyed some of the Nationalist's best armies and taken over Manchuria. In these engagements, the Communist military adopted a new pattern that departed from its preference for guerrilla warfare by moving to regular battlefield formations composed of large infantry armies supported by some tanks, artillery, and aircraft. Nationalist divisions began to surrender to the Communists and then to reappear on the Communist side under new leadership with their modern American equipment.

  • In North China, Communist commanders used similar tactics with great success. As Manchuria slipped from the Nationalists' grasp, the Communists in October 1948 opened a general offensive in southern Shandong known as the Huaihai campaign. Chiang threw his best remaining divisions into the fray only to lose them by January 1949. As the full enormity of the Nationalist defeat emerged, the Nationalist general in command of the Beijing-Tianjin region surrendered with 200,000 soldiers.

  • Economic collapse compounded these battlefield disasters. Runaway inflation tore through the Nationalist economy like a great typhoon, leaving ruin every-where in its wake. Opposition elements within the Nationalist Party forced Chiang to resign in January 1949, and General Li Zongren (1890–1969) became acting president. In April 1949, Communist armies crossed the Chang (Yangtze) River and began the task of mopping up resistance in the huge areas under real or nominal Nationalist control. Chiang directed evacuation of the loyal remnants of his civil and military machines to Taiwan.

  • Stalemate

  • In the summer of 1950, with the outbreak of the Korean War, the struggle between the Communists and Nationalists became folded into the Cold War. Small-scale military incidents continued for several years, and then both sides entered a stalemate. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, even though the economies of the People's Republic of China (main-land China) and the Republic of China (Taiwan) have become closely interwoven, the Chinese civil war never has been formally ended.

The Chinese Civil War raged on between the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Republic of China who were led by the Kuomintang (KMT) for more than 20 years, and cost China much. So many factors combined to make each side. On one side, Mao Zedong (a Marxist) worked with peasants and advocated a revolution in China as the only hope for their country. He didn't wait for approval from the CCP. Instead, he encouraged the locals to form their own politicized guerrilla force. Mao Zedong had assembled nearly 10,000 troops by 1928. Called the Red Army, they were a formidable force of peasants and converted locals.

The President of the Republic on the other side was a nationalist Chinese named Chiang Kai-shek. He had only led since 1926, and his life was built around culture and traditions. A Confucius believer, he was still very militant and was deeply committed to all three People's Principles.

In 1934, Mao Zedong and his Red Army began the epic march that would involve some 12,500 kilometers. This journey took them through 11 provinces, over 18 mountain ranges, and across 24 rivers. The march cost him thousands of men, and out of the 10,000 that left only 8,000 survived. It didn't slow him down though. In Yenan he rebuilt and his numbers again grew to more than 30,000. Finally Mao got command of the CCP and asserted his guerrilla type government again. Headquartered at Yan'an, his influence grew. Mao believed that government should represent all groups and levels of society which made him very popular. Centralization is what he called it, and he believed it should involve the redistribution of land from wealthy land owners,banks and industry as well.

Finally the CCP was so large it overtook the KMT and the future of China lay in Communism.

As China's last dynasty (Qing) capitulated under foreign powers and became nothing more than a puppet for the Japanese, the revolutionaries of 1911 in the southern part of China would continue their struggle. But, a country ruled by warlords and dynasties for 5,000 years would not have an easy transition into a republic. Political deals would clash, economic outlook and strategies would sit on opposing ends of a spectrum, and worse, personal agendas would get in the way. So it would only be after millions of deaths in the Chinese Civil War from 1927-1950 between the Communists and the Kuomintang (Nationalists) that the Republic of China would finally be established.

The civil war began when Chiang Kai-shek decided to purge the Communists from the KMT-CCP alliance to consolidate power and give the republic a better chance, in his mind, of moving forward economically and politically. To him, communist activities which included labor unions and strikes were socially and economically disruptive. His efforts which would last 10 years (1927-1937) and is named such "Ten Year's Civil War" would fail time and again as China, geographically huge and socially, linguistically and ethnically diverse, and beset with warlords intent on keeping power, would be more than difficult to manage. Driving the Communists continually into the countryside also meant that large swathes of the population would look to the Communists instead of the Kuomintang as their leader.

During this time three capitals would be formed in China: the puppet government of Beijing; the Communist regime at Wuhan; and the Kuomintang at Nanjing.

In 1937, Chiang Kai-Shek's own people finally put a stop to his purge by kidnapping him in what is now known as the Xi'An Incident. The Japanese, again taking advantage of the civil war, had begun invading in full force and the Kuomintang needed to united with the Communists to get rid of the greater threat.

From 1937 until the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese and the eventual dropping of the atomic bomb (1945), Chiang Kai-Shek and the Kuomintang would suffer heavy losses while the Communists would gain even greater ground in the countryside as having no weapons, they evaded instead of engaged the enemy (Japanese). After the defeat of the Japanese, the clashes between the Kuomintang and the Communists would resume in earnest.

By late 1949, the Communists, now armed with weapons the Japanese had left behind as well as with weapons that various warlords and their armies had to give up in support of the coalition government formed after the defeat of the Japanese, had become a formidable foe, driving the Kuomintang further and further south. Chiang Kai-Shek would not only lose troops to clashes, but also to ideology, and sheer exhaustion (desertion).

On October 1, 1949 Mao Zedong proclaimed the birth of the People's Republic of China (PRC) with its capital at Beijing. In the meantime, Chiang Kai-shek and approximately 600,000 troops and 2,000,000 refugees, along with countless treasures looted from the nation's coffers and museums retreated to the island of Taiwan, where he would establish Taipei, Taiwan as the capital of the Republic of China (ROC) on December 1949.

The Decline of the Qing Dynasty (1839-1900)

By the year 1900 the Chinese Empire had been in existence for over 2000 years, and during this time the Chinese had become extremely clever at astronomy, mathematics, engineering and medicine. They were the first people to use paper and had invented printing, and had been using paper and porcelain long before they had been invented in the West. They had also invented silk weaving, gunpowder, reading glasses, the magnetic compass and the suspension bridge.

By 1900 the empire had grown weak. Western powers like Britain, France as well as Japan had gained great influence through trade and the use of force during the nineteenth century, and the Manchu dynasty seemed paralysed and unable to modernise and accept the changes that were happening, or react in a proper way to the challenges. Between 1839 and 1842 the British fought an "Opium War" against China to force the Chinese to keep buying the drug opium from British India, although opium use was banned in China. One of the results of this war was that Hong Kong was signed over to Britain.

During a second war in 1860 a combined British French army attacked Beijing and burned down government buildings. In 1894-95 Japan attacked and annexed Korea, Formosa (Taiwan) and Port Arthur. After each of these wars the foreigners forced the rulers to sign "unequal treaties" giving the foreign powers control of China's sea ports and allowing them special trading rights. China was also divided up into spheres of influence, each falling under one or another foreign power.

There was a lot of discontent in China. Many Chinese blamed the Manchus for allowing China to be taken over by foreign powers and in 1850 the Taiping Rebellion broke out. For 14 years the country was laid waste, cities were destroyed and 20 million people were killed. The Manchus were forced to call on the Europeans to help them put down the rebellion, but this weakened their position even more.

In 1898 the Emperor Guangxu tried to strengthen China by modernising the way the empire was run and during a time known as the Hundred Days of Reform, Guangxu introduced new schools and colleges, improved the government budget and dismissed corrupt officials from court. However Guangxu's aunt, Empress Dowager Cixi had the emperor imprisoned and forced him to grant her the power to rule China in his place.

When two harvests failed one after the other and the Yellow River flooded causing a famine, the discontent boiled over. The rebellion was organised by a movement called Yi-Ho Tuan, meaning Righteous and Harmonious Militia. Because its members practised the martial arts, including boxing, they were known as the Boxers. Empress Cixi managed to win them over to her side and encouraged them to attack the foreigners.

The Boxer Rebellion reached a climax in 1900. When the Boxers killed Europeans and Christian they had captured, European governments sent an armed force to Beijing to protect their nationals. The Chinese army collaborating with the Boxers, who burnt down the French cathedral in Beijing and placed the embassy area under siege for two months, defeating this European force.

The European governments reacted angrily to the siege of the Legations. A six-nation force invaded China, captured and looted Beijing and forced the Manchus to pay an enormous fine. The harsh methods used by the Europeans to suppress the Boxers made many Chinese hate them even more. At the same time, the invasion and looting of Beijing once again showed how weak the Manchus were.

The Fall of the Qing Dynasty (1900-1912)

Most of the enemies of the Manchu Empire after the nineteenth century, were led by Sun Yatsen, a good-looking 34 year old doctor. Doctor Sun Yatsen had been educated in an American school in Hawaii and therefore he was Christian. He had spent many years of his life traveling the world. He saw how advanced technologically other countries were and realized how weak China was. He found that the only way for China to come out of its stall was for it to become a republic on European lines and getting rid of the Manchu's who opposed any change at all costs. By 1911 he had tried to start a revolution ten times but had not succeeded.

In 1908 the 73-year-old empress Dowager Cixi died. Her successor as ruler of China was her nephew, a 2-year-old boy named P'u Yi, who was given the title of Emperor. The Manchu dynasty was clearly in trouble. A regent ruled in his place, Prince Chun. Chun sided with the conservatives in the court, giving the most conservative of the Manchu prince's high positions, and he dismissed many powerful and able officials including Yuan Shikai, a very important general.

In 1911 China entered a period of economic difficulty and discontent. The harvests failed in all the central areas of the country and this caused most of the distress among the peasants. The wealthier classes were not happy either; the government was taxing them heavily to get money for the new army.

On September 1911 a rebellion against the government began in Sichuan Province after police fired on a crowd of demonstrators, killing many of them. Sun Yatsen and his followers immediately went to Sichuan to help spread the rebellion.

On the 10th October soldiers from the new army left their base in Wuchang and joined the rising. From there the rebellion spread throughout central and southern China. The Manchu's tried to deal with the rebellion by recalling Yuan Shikai from retirement. This didn't help because he sided with the rebels who elected him president. In exchange he convinced the emperor and the regent to form a republic.

Finally on 12th February 1912 Emperor P'u Yi stepped down from the Dragon throne of the Manchu's. The edict of abdication that was issued said:

"Today the people of the whole empire have their minds bent on a republic, the southern Provinces having begun the movement, and the northern generals having subsequently supported it. The will of providence is clear and the people's wishes are plain. How could I, for the glory and honor of one family, oppose the wishes of teeming millions? Wherefore I, with the Emperor, decide that the form of government in China shall be a Constitutional Republic."

Early Years of the Republic (1912-1928)

The New Revolutionaries

During the years of warlord rule after 1916, many young Chinese joined revolutionary groups and parties, hoping this way to improve their country. Over the years, these movements include: The May Fourth Movement, Communism, and the Northern Campaign.

The May Fourth movement

The first was a protest movement against the peace treaties, which ended the Great War of 1914-18. It began on 4 May 1919 and is therefore known as the May Fourth movement. China had joined the Great War in 1917 on the side of the Western allies. Nine hundred thousand Chinese labourers were taken to France, Turkey and Africa to work for the allied armies in "labour battalions". All German ships in Chinese ports were seized and all German enterprises were shut down.

After the war Chinese representatives took place in the Paris peace conference. One of the issues was whether the Germans should continue having control of the port of Kiaochow that the Japanese had seized before the start of the war. The Japanese had also imposed the "21 demands"* to increase their influence over China. The Chinese expected to be given back Kiaochow, and for Japan to withdraw it's 21 demands. They obtained neither of these.

When the news got to China on the 4th May 1919, students started huge demonstrations in the streets. This spread to the labourers and workers who started boycotting their jobs and soon the country was on its knees. The May 4th movement added strength to a new party called the New Tide, which had already begun in 1916. It aimed to get rid of old ideas and concepts. It wanted to have a more simple and universal writing so that everybody in China could read and write. It also wanted to do away with foreign powers in China, although it did not mind using foreign ideas for doing so.

Communists and the Goumindang

One set of foreign ideas that had reached China was communism. A movement that had been started by Karl Marx in the 19th century and aimed to create a classless society where there is no private-property and everyone is equal. In 1918 an assistant librarian at the Beijing University named Mao Zedong started a society for the study of Marxism, which quickly became very popular, and lots of people came to the meetings. In 1921 the members started the Chinese Communist Party.

Meanwhile Sun Yatsen was reorganising his party, the Goumindang (People's National Party). Sun's three principles for a new society were National freedom; Democratic government; and the people's livelihood. He planed on taking over the country and liberating it from foreign power. But to do this he had to use foreign support. However the Western powers such as Britain refused to support him.

Demoralised he turned to the USSR where a communist government had taken power. Russia helped Sun by sending him Abram Joffe, one of their best diplomats, to help him reorganise the Goumindang. With Abram Joffe's help, Sun Yatsen reorganized the Goumindang on Russian communist lines. It became a mass party, run with strict discipline, with party members having to show total obedience to the party's decision. Sun invited members of the communist party to join them. Because although their motives were not the same, they had one common goal: revolution.

In 1923 the Russian government sent two more agents, Michael Borodin and General Galen. The general's job was to improve the Goumindang army so it could conquer the rest of China. He sold Sun Russian rifles and he set up an officer-training academy in Haungpu. In charge of the academy was Sun's Brother in law, Chiang Kaishek.

The Northern Campaign

On March 1925 Sun Yatsen died of Cancer. While other Goumindang leaders fought over who would take his place, Chiang Kaishek became Commanding General of the Army. By this time his military academy had turned out about 500 officers and was ready to take over China. In July 1926 Chiang Kaishek began the march towards the north. He sent forwards political agents to obtain support in the Warlord-Sick people. The going was very easy; most of the smaller warlord's armies mutinied and joined the Goumindang.

One of the Goumindang armies led by Communists conquered Hankow and set up a government there in September 1926. Another Goumindang army conquered Nanjing early in 1927 and set up a Nationalist government. The peasants in the poor communities welcomed the armies, believing that they would bring better times ahead, but where they were not welcomed warmly Chang Kaishek did not hesitate to use cash to win support.

Now that the Communists and the Goumindang had conquered most of China the alliance between them broke down. As the Goumindang prepared to enter Shanghai there was a Communist rebellion inside the city, and the workers took over the city under Zhou Enlai. When the Goumindang entered Shanghai they rounded up all the Communists and killed them in the streets. Later on in the year, Chang's men also massacred the Communists in Guangzhou, killing hundreds in the streets and forcing even more to flee for their lives.

After being expelled from the cities, the communists escaped to Jiangxi in the Hunan province. Chiang Kaishek in control of the cities and head of the government in Nainjing now got ready to conquer the rest of China.

Kuomintang and Communist (1928-1937)


In October 1928 the Kuomintang formally established the Nanjing government. Chiang Kai-shek became chairman of Kuomintang, also known as the National Party. At first many people were against dictatorship by Chiang Kai-shek. However, Chiang maintained his power thanks to giant military power and support by bourgeoisie. He tried to construct a modern state against the background of property. It was the CCP that survived with a display of "liberation of the people" which Kuomintang abandoned.


Although the force of the CCP was swept away by Kuomintang, Mao reconstructed the rest of his unit, aiming to establish an " army for the people." This is the model for the Red army. The units that survived the guerilla wars laid the groundwork for a revolution, a strategy to "dominate over city by farm village"-to use the farmlands to win the cities.

The Establishment of Manchkuo In September 1931 Japan initiated the seizure of Manchuria. Japan established the puppet regime of "Manchukuo" under the Qing's last emperor, P'u Yi. That caused an anti-Japanese campaign everywhere in China, but the Kuomintang considered it more important to exterminate the CCP than resist Japanese invaders. That made the people gradually doubt the Kuomintang.

Long March

When Chiang's fifth extermination campaign began in October 1933, the Communists suddenly changed their strategy. Other members of the party who advocated meeting Chiang's troops in pitched battle were undermining Mao's authority. But this strategy proved disastrous. By October 1934 the Communist had suffered heavy losses and were driven into a small area in Jiangxi. On the brink of defeat, the Communists decided to retreat from Jiangxi and march north to Shanxi.

There was not one 'Long March' but several, as various Communist armies in the south made their way to Shaanxi. The most famous was the march from Jiangxi Province which began in October 1934, took a year to complete and covered 8000 km over some of the most inhospitable terrain. On the way the Communists confiscated the property of officials, landlords and tax collectors, redistributed the land to peasants, armed thousands of peasants with weapons captured from the Kuomintang and left soldiers behind to organize guerrilla groups to harass the enemy.

Of the 90,000 people who started out in Jiangxi only 20,000 made it to Shangxi because of fatigue, sickness, exposure, enemy attacks and desertion all took their toll. The march proved, however, that the Chinese peasants could fight if they were given a method, organization, leadership, hope and weapons. It brought together many people who later held top positions after 1949m including Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Zhu De, Lin Biao, Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shoqi. It also established Mao as the paramount leader of the Chinese Communist movement. During the march a meeting of the CCP hierarchy recognized Mao's overall leadership, and he assumed supreme responsibility for strategy.

War Against Japan and World War II (1937-1945)

Japanese Invasion

In July 1937, a discharge occurred at Marco Polo Bridge outside Beijing . Who discharged is not clear to this day, but the Japanese said it was the Chinese who fired first. Japan tried to gain control of northern China by invasion. Japan asked Chinese troops for an apology, but China wouldn't give it. By this time Chinese resistance had grown strong. Japanese troop began to deliver an all-out attack against China for the complaint of such an attitude. Japan occupied a capital, Nanjing in December. In Nanjing a great deal of Chinese who resisted Japan were massacred.

In such a situation Chiang called all the people to fight against Japan. The biggest operation of Japanese troops was almost completed by the end of 1938, where Japan controlled the major cities and railroads in China. Japan imagined that by making a puppet regime everywhere and encouraging the regime they had they could plunge the Chiang government into small and rural towns.

Japanese power had grown strong, and with that the CCP's influence was expanded. In rural regions there was no one to subdue government officials after the Kuomintang army retreated from the region. The rest of peasants made an army against Japan under the leadership of the CCP's guerilla group. The army started to fight against Japanese troops, by which Japanese troops suffered severely.

Such an increase in the CCP's influence made the Kuomintang guard against the CCP even more. An accident occurred where the Kuomintang attacked the CCP, a supposed mishap that triggered a breakdown in the CCP-Kuomintang treaty. Despite that, a front against Japan was not collapsed. The center of the front became CCP controlled rather than Kuomintang controlled.

In the region of liberation made under the leadership of the CCP, democracy prevailed. The government was constructed by election, and the people were guaranteed their freedom of speech, publication, assembly, and association.

They escaped from the Japanese subjection or the Kuomintang's blockade through production and unity of thought among CCP. Soldiers, CCP's leaders, and also students worked together and did their best to multiply production. The CCP said, "Communists must always contribute to the people." The CCP tried to unite the people by making each person rely on their own person responsibility. This united the CCP and create a great sense of patriotism in China.

Waorld War II

In 1940,The World War II started, and Kuomintang government became one of the Union. But the government was negative and against the Japanese War. The government prepared for a decisive battle against the CCP. In Chongqing the original positive move by the people was almost lost by the dictatorship by Chiang and anti-CCP policy.

Under such, Chiang's dictatorship and the corruption of Kuomintang were getting terrible. Both public servants and officers were absorbed in gaining money by making use of the war. Some smuggled strategic materials out of Japan and some had materials given imported from the United States. This monopolizing of funds by the privileged class brought about severe inflation and stagnation of commerce and industry.

Chiang's ideal China was a society connected by families and neighbors based on Confucianism. He thought that it is only the Kuomintang that is able to construct this society. At the end of the war however, a move looking for democracy and freedom occurred also in the region of the Kuomintang. A sect desiring anti-Japanese, democracy, and unity cried for the powers that be to "Stop dictatorship, promoting democracy by connection with each party and each section".

In 1945 World War II was counting down its final stages. In May the Soviet Union captured Berlin, and in June American troops overwhelmed Okinawa, Japan. In China nineteen regions of liberation were established, the population there reached one hundred million. Following this, both the Kuomintang and the CCP held congressional hearings.

At the CCP's congress the authority of Mao Zedong was established, a course after war was plotted under "Maoism". Mao said not to give up fighting against Japan until the war was over, and a "New Democratic system" based on the majority of the people was constructed. He also suggested that a dictatorship and anti-CCP policy against the Kuomintang be abandoned. Kuomintang, on the other hand, didn't change their anti-CCP policy.

End of War

In October a nuclear bomb was released at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. The Soviet Union army began to advance on Manchuria. On 10 Oct, Japan accepted the Potsdam Declaration, by which World War II, and the China-Japan War was over. Chinese people were all excited over winning the war. Firecrackers exploded and excited voices were heard everywhere in China. In the end however, 10 million Chinese died.

Civil War (1945-1949)

From 1937 to this day, the number of the dead in Chinese troop reached over one million, and over 10 million in civilian casualties. In Japan, only about 400 thousand troops died.

After the end of the War, Chang and Mao discussed national plans in Chongqing. The negotiations were slow. Especially the matters about unification of national troop, a local autonomy and establishment of constitution have not resolved. What was agreed was merely to avoid a civil war and establish new China of independent, liberated, and powerful. By that the CCP reduced the number of military hands, and made way toward its goal of avoiding a civil war

In January 1946, a military truce was arranged. An atmosphere for peace and unification was getting near. However, the Kuomintang didn't keep this truce, and started killing the opposition.

Start of Civil War

In the region of liberation under CCP, on the other hand, the people themselves blamed landowners who killed or oppressed the people during the past war and also put them on trial, sometimes executing them. Energy of the people was put to Land Reform. The progress of Land Reform made the people's eagerness for the revolution higher.

It also made the conflict with the Kuomintang, supported by landowners, even more critical. In danger of entering a civil war, the United States made an effort to intervene. But the intervention couldn't change Chang's will against crushing the CCP. At last a civil war started in July 1946.

Land Reform was promoted in countryside, while the confusion had already begun in cities. At the end of the war, soldiers and government officials came back to the cities. At first the people welcomed them enthusiastically. But the people were disappointed soon. The officials monopolized factories or stores Japanese people owned in the past.

Besides the government issued banknotes the moment the civil war started, so by the end of the war, inflation was getting out of control. Prices in 1947 were up to a hundred and fifty thousands times as much as that before civil war stated. The productivity decline more and more, and the number of people starving to death was over ten million just for one year in 1946.

China was in more chaos than in a time controlled by Japan and puppet regime. Disturbance and student movements occurred everywhere. Then the Kuomintang cracked down on the confusion, but at that time the people's trust for Kuomintang had been all but lost with their bad credibility.


Taiwan was made controlled under Japan for about fifty years from the Japanese victory in 1895. When the control of Japan was over with the end of the war, the people were all the more delighted. But Kuomintang act like a conqueror and had been oppressed the people. The people determined to fight against Kuomintang. They fought for human rights, but the Kuomintang arrested the leader and executed him. After that, Taiwan went under the control of the Kuomintang.

Victory of Communist

For the early one years of a civil war, the Kuomintang was dominant over the CCP. And Kuomintang occupied Yan'an, "capital" of CCP in March 1947. But it was just the consequence CCP predicted. The CCP had been prepared for a waiting game by getting the people's support. CCP had been able to find the people's favor by promoting Land Reform. The people supported the CCP. At last the People's Red Army began to counterattack Kuomintang scattered in various cities.

In January 1949 Chang resigned. In the negotiation for peace between the Kuomintang and CCP, CCP required Kuomintang to surrender unconditionally. But the Kuomintang refused to accept it. Taking this refusal, the People's Red Army started an all-out attack. They occupied big cities such as Nanjing or Shanghai, cornering Kuomintang in the south. And in December the People's Red Army occupied all main land except Taiwan. Chang fled into Taiwan with followed by five hundred thousand soldiers.

Finally CCP won a victory in the civil war by gaining the people's enthusiastic support.

"Without a doubt it is one of the most remarkable example that the more small but devoted and well-organized troop beat the troop which was the more larger but decline morale and not popular."
----Stewart Suram

Summary of CCP Strengths/GMD Weaknesses during the Chinese Civil War (1945-49)

GMD Weaknesses
•   GMD corruption (not really Chiang himself, but the people below him.  Chiang led a very modest life) (Officers were corrupt within the army, stealing etc.)

•   HyperInflation - price index in 1937 was 100, by 1946 it had risen to 378,217.

•   Ruthless Political Terror (The White Terror- against Communists)

•   Destitution and Starvation (flawed tax system, no subsidization, no help to peasants -treated them harshly (bad PR)

The GMD army (Forced Conscription, Morale, desertions)
+As recognized leader of China, Chiang has to fight the Japanese, but fails to do so.

CCP Strengths
•   Peasants view the CCP as favorable (elliminates taxes for poorer peasants, set price controls, only upper 20% pay taxes)

•   Discipline in Red Army was effective (soldiers educated and taught to be kind to civilians, compensate for peasants services, still encourage people lives to continue and city life when they took over towns)

•   Red Army = People’s Liberation Army (good PR)

•   Taxation was kept low (not till 1946-1948 where Mao has harsh policy against rich landowner peasants, took all their land and made them own up to their torturous nature, then after 1948 CCP goes back into moderate policy) (Mao’s land policies are always more favorable to the MASSES)

•   Red Army’s Production Drive of 1941 : Mao solidly gets his supply lines going (Mao takes land, cultivates it, makes food in preparation for the upcoming war, devotes some of his troops to being farmers, much better at supplying his army then the GMD)

•   Local councils could deal with local affairs (more control of rural areas, less centralization)

•   Reforms of Shaanxi were modeled in areas reoccupied (education centers, distributing the land, and improving their lives, marital reforms)

Propaganda –exploits Chiang's failure to combat the Japanese

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