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HIST 1500
William M.Last

China  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 Stalin.  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, called communes.  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 war.  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 individual farmers.  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 much.  The production fell again, industrial and
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