Mao Tse Tung- the People's Emperor

Topics: Deng Xiaoping, People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong Pages: 3 (984 words) Published: July 30, 2013
Zachary Lee
Mao Tse-Tung: The People’s Emperor
“From Cold War to Global Terror”

Mao Tse-Tung: The People’s Emperor
Mao Tse-Tung is undeniably one of China’s most prominent historical figures. Born in 1893 into a wealthy family, Mao had a Confucian upbringing, while receiving new, western style schooling in high school. After a brief stint in the revolutionary army from 1911 to 1912, Mao enrolled at Peking University, where he was first introduced to the doctrines of Marxism-Leninism. Mao adopted the ideas of communism into the Chinese Communist Party in 1921. Despite having a complicated, and ultimately mutinous relationship with the Nationalist Party and its leader, Chiang Kai-shek, Mao rose to power in 1949 when the People’s Liberation Army forced Chiang out of the country to form the People’s Republic of China. Upon taking control of the new administration, Mao originally tried to organize production into small communes during an initiative called the Great Leap Forward in 1957, promising to let “a hundred flowers bloom” as flaws in the system were pointed out by loyal intellectuals. However, after economic output and welfare conditions plummeted after the implementation of the Great Leap Forward, Mao put a de facto cap on the rising criticism of his ideals by reassigning writers and intellectuals to distant rural communes. The message was clear. Mao’s restriction of criticism and his ability to gather support through numerous means would become common themes within his political career.

Due to the failure of the “Great Leap Forward” in the mid 1950’s, Mao resigned as the chairman of the republic despite maintaining his popularity both within the party and the People’s Liberation Army. During his absence, Liu Shao-Ch’i emerged as the new chairman, inherently aiming to take the party in a different direction. As early as 1962, Mao and Liu had clashed over the party’s goals. In 1965, however, Mao’s prestige helped him stage a comeback and...
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