China has historically had trouble feeding its people.
Mao and communists take power in 1949 (year of shocks).
From 1949 to 1957, china was engaged in the transition to socialism.
The first few years the soviets helped out China.
The soviets shipped food, technology, sent engineers, etc to help china.
The soviets tried to use their own model.
The communists nationalized all major industries and the financial system. Took land and
redistributed it to peasants. Abolished private enterprise altogether.
Stalin dies in 1953 and Krushchev took power. This is when the trouble started between
china and the soviets.
Mao didn’t like K’s attempt with peace with the west and he didn’t like him denouncing
The soviets cut back on their aid to china, which angered Mao.
Mao realized that they were still dependent on outsiders for many things and he
determined that china needed to be self sufficient.
Mao collectivized the farms so that everyone in a given village would own the land, work
the land, be responsible for what it produced. There were quotas set for production.
1955, agricultural production began to drop. Mao organized farms into even bigger units,
Large communes were sets of villages responsible for certain amounts of crops.
That didn’t work out so well either, but Mao pressed ahead.
People melted down all the metal they could find in an attempt to industrialize.
Mao wanted this kind of thinking because he thought
Political control was centralized in Beijing so there were fewer people going out and
checking on the villages.
Massive famine in 1960
The Chinese had bought into a soviet crop science, which was not that good.
Lysenko, Russian agriculturalist – close planting. He said people should plant crops very
close together to get more food out of the same amount of space. It didn’t work out.
Mao blamed everybody else for the famine problem. He blamed intellectuals, commune
leaders, fellow party officials, the Americans bc of preoccupying china with the Korean
He decided to give someone else a shot. He rdrned power over to three men. Zhou Enlai,
Deng Xiaoping were the most important. 3 was
Enlai was very intelligent, smart man
Deng was like mao; self taught, metal worker. He was clever rather than intelligent. He
could talk people into things.
Peoples liberation Army, largest army in the world
Mastwas going to give the 3 men five years to turn things around.
1 , they wanted to get rid of huge agricultural collectives and give the land back to
They approached soviets about importing modern machine tools.
The soviets charged the Chinese top dollar on old machinery and overcharged on grain.
Mao realized they were still depending on outsiders. In the meantime Mao was reading up on new ways to change the country.
After the five years, Mao decides to make a comeback.
1966, he stages a media event to show everyone even though he’s old, he can still run
things. He gave a speech where he declared cultural revolution in China.
The cultural revolution was an attempt for them to go back to their ideological roots.
He picked five people to help him. One was his wife.
Deng was sent out in the country to be a metal worker. Zhou remained in Beijing but
wasn’t as powerful as he used to be.
Red guards, the young people could join. Mao asked red guards to lead the cultural
revolution. He closed schools down so that they wouldn’t interfere with the red guards.
The red guards would abuse their teachers, old people, etc. None of this accomplished
The production fell again, industrial and