How accurate is it to say that the Communist Government reforms brought widespread benefits to the Chinese People 1949-1956?
Mao had no choice but to bring widespread benefits to the Chinese people in the years of 1949-56, this was because he was afraid of counter-revolution, and discoveries of large armaments in a GMD (Chinese Nationalist Party) base in the early years of his power shows he was right to be afraid. His initial aim was to get people on side and be conciliatory, which is important after a civil war. This was more prominent in the first three years, the crackdown on crime in cities like Shanghai and Guangzhou, the land reform and focus on women’s rights. However the lessons Mao had learned in his struggle to power was that the only way to gain and sustain a proletarian revolution was through violence. After the first three years Mao felt he could start implementing his own ideology since his power had become more established because he built popularity and loyalty. This technique was evident in all of the following policies. Reunification Campaigns are a perfect example of Mao’s approach. The name would indicate a conciliatory policy at its finest and on the surface the majority of Chinese citizens supported Mao’s intention to bring everyone together after a civil war. There was a claim of assertion that Tibet had always historically belonged to China. However Tibetans had a different race, culture and religion. It was evident that they regarded themselves as separate people when they assembled a force of 60,000 to fight the PLA and preserve their land and culture. PLA won after 6 months, imposing a regime of terror and wiping out all traces of a separate Tibetan identity. Mao’s view on the necessity of violence is evident here, an idea that people would have to be ‘dragged by force’, subtly laying the foundations of a dictatorship. The same happened in Xingjian and Guangdong. Xingjiang, a Western province which boarded soviet controlled outer Mongolia and had a large Muslim population. Mao worried it would declare independence or fall into soviet hands so again ‘dragged it by force’ imposing communist authority. Guangdong was a GMD base, so PLA imposed communist authority there too. The rest of china saw this as everybody unifying but in reality the CCP was denying the right to any other ideology. One of the immediate things Mao did when coming into power, was a crackdown on crime and rural binding, and this was massively popular. In cities such as Shanghai and Guangzhou which were known for their gangs and triads the PLA with help of local CCP rounded up 130,000 ‘bandits and criminals’, half of which were executed. The other half were sent to Laogai, the communist’s prison camps. However once these prisons camps are set up and start terrorising one kind of people in society there is always the possibility that they will continue until a minority group in society is purged. The crackdown on crime made a massive difference to people living in those areas and was incredibly popular, they therefore did not consider the longer term implications of this approach. The Women and Marriage reform in 1950 was also a benefit for many people living in China. Mao, who had refused an arranged marriage, felt strongly in the right, for women and men to make their own decisions, and for them to be equal. This was the complete opposite to any hints of a dictatorship; instead it supported people’s liberation and made people more certain that Mao was only going to treat them well. Mao firstly outlawed foot binding, this was followed by a new marriage law in 1950 which abolished concubinage, discontinued arranged marriages and forbid paying of dowries and brides. All women and men who had previously been forced to marry could now divorce and marriages had to be officially recorded and registered. In theory these are all seen to be benefits but in practice theses aspects had been tradition and it took a while for things to...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document