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How far was Mao a great leader of China?

Mao’s China, c.1930–1976

Why did China become a Communist state?

Why did the Communists start the Long March?
How far was the Long March a success?
How far did the Second World War weaken the Nationalist government and strengthen the Communists?
Why did the Communists win the Civil War?

How far had Communist rule changed China by the mid 1960s?

What changes in agriculture did Communist rule bring?
What was the impact of the Communists’ social reforms?
How successful were the Five-Year Plans in increasing production?
Did the Chinese people benefit from Communist rule?

What was the impact of Communist rule on China’s relations with other countries?

What have been China’s changing relationships with neighbouring states?
Why did China try to improve relations with the USA after 1970?
How far was China established as a superpower by the time of Mao’s death?

Did Communism produce a cruel dictatorship in China?

How successful was ‘The Hundred Flowers Movement’?
Why did Mao launch the Cultural Revolution?
What was the impact of the Cultural Revolution on China?
How far was Mao a great leader of China?

How far was Mao a great leader of China?

Narrative

Mao's achievements:

Mao became leader of China at a time when the country was in turmoil. There had been decades of war and the nation was economically devastated as a result. Likewise there was little political stability as a consequence of the years of fighting. Under Mao's leadership China became more stable, there were no civil wars and civil unrest was limited. Industry developed as a result of the Five Year Plans and the vast majority of farming was conducted in Communes by the time of Mao's death. Huge changes had taken place in terms of the way that both agriculture and Industry were organised. There were huge public works that aided economic growth and China was acknowledged on the world stage as a significant military, economic and political power. Mao is largely responsible for these achievements.

Criticisms of Mao:

Many of the achievements came at a great human cost. Many died as a result of the Cultural Revolution and that policy poured funds into statues and pictures when economic investment was perhaps more important. Mao never really had total control of the party and there were several occasions when his views were challenged within the Politburo and when he was seen to be losing power.

Sources

 

Links

Wikipedia - overview of Mao's life and leadership.

Experience Festival - a series of links to articles about Mao's leadership.

Cultural China - an account of Mao's time as leader of China.

Time magazine - Mao's health and China's leadership.

 

 

 

   

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