Economy of China, China between the fall of the KMT and Mao Tse-Tung's death

Essay by stefan albrechtHigh School, 10th grade December 1996

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The time from 1949-1976 was a time of transition for China. Many social and

economic changes occurred through this period. When the Kuomintang government

collapsed and Mao Tse-Tung assumed control, this marked the beginning of massive

reformation for what would become the People's Republic.

With Mao Tse-Tung's rule came governmental reform which led to social

betterment. His first years of rule included careful development and reorganization

backed by Soviet support. The landlord class was wiped out with the nationwide land

reform and the land was divided among the peasantry. Equality prevailed for women and

attacks where made on official corruption. Efforts were made to improve sanitation and

literacy among the people. These changes generated patriotism during China's

involvement in the Korean War.

While social reforms proved to be beneficial to China, attempts for industrial and

agricultural growth were not as successful. From 1953-57 industrial production was

expanded and agriculture was collectivized.

But disappointing agricultural production

led to the frenzied Great Leap Forward of 1958-60. This program, initiated by Mao, was

designed to step up industrial production to a level with Britain and create a truly

communal society without Russia's aid; all in the course of 15 years. The project was a

failure and Liu Shao-Ch'i temporarily took over Mao's position as head of state.

When differences between party leaders arose, and Mao Tse-Tung began feeling

that the revolution was exhausted, he launched the Cultural Revolution of 1966-69. This

was intended to stir up the conservative government/military and add more revolutionary

elements, ridding the nation of the 'four olds': old ideas, old culture, old customs, and

old habits. These revolutions often turned into violent acts. When stability was restored,

foreign relations was vastly improved. The People's Republic of China was admitted into

the United Nations in 1971.

The time period...