In December, they tried to overthrow Mao, resulting in the Futian incident, during which Mao's loyalists tortured many and executed between 2000 and 3000 dissenters. [326], As did most Chinese intellectuals of his generation, Mao's education began with Chinese classical literature. [235] It is often looked at in all scholarly circles as a greatly disruptive period for China. To enhance the Red Army's military operations, Mao as the Chairman of the Communist Party of China, named his close associate General Zhu De to be its Commander-in-Chief. Supporting this position, Mao was elected to the Party Committee, taking up residence in Shanghai. ][3][unreliable source? If the projects, he said, are all undertaken simultaneously "half of China's population unquestionably will die; and if it's not half, it'll be a third or ten percent, a death toll of 50 million people." The Beatles' song "Revolution" refers to Mao: "...but if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao you ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow...";[334] John Lennon expressed regret over including these lines in the song in 1972. ][4], During Mao's lifetime, the English-language media universally rendered his name as Mao Tse-tung, using the Wade-Giles system of transliteration for Standard Chinese though with the circumflex accent in the syllable "Tsê" dropped. "[318] They noted that in early life, he strove to be "a strong, wilful, and purposeful hero, not bound by any moral chains", and that he "passionately desired fame and power". This was officially instituted as an anti-counterfeiting measure as Mao's face is widely recognised in contrast to the generic figures that appear in older currency. [91] He proclaimed that "Even the lame, the deaf and the blind could all come in useful for the revolutionary struggle", he boosted the army's numbers,[92] incorporating two groups of bandits into his army, building a force of around 1,800 troops. He is also known as a political intellect, theorist, military strategist, and poet. Both men are thought of as having done terrible things yet this does not necessarily prevent them from being used as positive symbols. [313], Having grown up in Hunan, Mao spoke Mandarin with a marked Hunanese accent. [100][106][110] Mao then married He Zizhen, an 18-year-old revolutionary who bore him five children over the following nine years. 敵駐我騷, They were initially successful, but the KMT counter-attacked, and pushed the CPC back; over the next few weeks, they fought an entrenched guerrilla war in the mountains. Mao remained passive as various factions within the Communist Party mobilised for the power struggle anticipated after his death. Mao's advice in combating the Kuomintang, 1928[95][96], In spring 1928, the Central Committee ordered Mao's troops to southern Hunan, hoping to spark peasant uprisings. Mao initiated the talks which focused on the political and economic revolution in China, foreign policy, railways, naval bases, and Soviet economic and technical aid. While discussing labour-intensive projects such as waterworks and making steel, Mao said to his inner circle in November 1958: "Working like this, with all these projects, half of China may well have to die. [292], The ideology of Maoism has influenced many Communists, mainly in the Third World, including revolutionary movements such as Cambodia's Khmer Rouge,[293] Peru's Shining Path, and the Nepalese revolutionary movement. While one-tenth of Chinese people—an estimated 100 million—did suffer during the period,[236] some scholars, such as Lee Feigon and Mobo Gao, claim there were many great advances, and in some sectors the Chinese economy continued to outperform the West. That way you can lessen our burdens. Likewise, the Soviet Union gave quasi-covert support to Mao by their occupation of north east China, which allowed the PLA to move in en masse and take large supplies of arms left by the Japanese's Kwantung Army. Had Mao died in 1956, his achievements would have been immortal. While he was not willing to acknowledge that only abandonment of the GLF could solve these problems, he did strongly demand that they be addressed. In November it proclaimed Jiangxi to be the Soviet Republic of China, an independent Communist-governed state. "[264] Some historians argue that Mao Zedong was "one of the great tyrants of the twentieth century", and a dictator comparable to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin,[272][273] with a death toll surpassing both. [citation needed], Partly surrounded by hostile American military bases in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, China was now confronted with a new threat from the Soviet Union north and west. In the subsequent reorganization of the provincial administration, Mao was appointed headmaster of the junior section of the First Normal School. [151][152] In August 1938, the Red Army formed the New Fourth Army and the Eighth Route Army, which were nominally under the command of Chiang's National Revolutionary Army. Communist Party members joined the KMT, hoping to push its politics leftward. These campaigns were given urgency in October 1950, when Mao made the decision to send the People's Volunteer Army, a special unit of the People's Liberation Army, into the Korean War and fight as well as to reinforce the armed forces of North Korea, the Korean People's Army, which had been in full retreat. They reached Hunan, where they were attacked by the KMT and fled after heavy losses. Lenin was an advocate of the socio-political theory of Marxism, first developed by the German sociologists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and Li's articles added Marxism to the doctrines in Chinese revolutionary movement. Sign up now to learn about This Day in History straight from your inbox. Remaining opium production shifted south of the Chinese border into the Golden Triangle region. [112][113][114] The CPC Central Committee moved to Jiangxi which it saw as a secure area. [109] In November, he suffered emotional trauma after his wife and sister were captured and beheaded by KMT general He Jian. Mao enthusiastically agreed with this decision, arguing for an alliance across China's socio-economic classes. Given the lengthy gaps between the censuses and doubts over the reliability of the data, an accurate figure is difficult to ascertain. ", "Explainer: Mao Zedong or Mao Tse-tung? [166] He defended these killings as necessary for the securing of power. But Mao’s mistakes are more than a chance to reflect on the past. [302], The YouGov survey found that 42% of American millennials have never heard of Mao Zedong. [288], Let us imagine how many people would die if war breaks out. On December 25, 2008, China opened the Mao Zedong Square to visitors in his home town of central Hunan Province to mark the 115th anniversary of his birth.[271]. [137] In February 1936, they established the North West Anti-Japanese Red Army University in Yan'an, through which they trained increasing numbers of new recruits. In the article "Mao Zedong and the Famine of 1959–1960: A Study in Wilfulness", published in 2006 in The China Quarterly, Professor Thomas P. Bernstein also discussed Mao's change of attitudes during different phases of the Great Leap Forward: In late autumn 1958, Mao Zedong strongly condemned widespread practices of the Great Leap Forward (GLF) such as subjecting peasants to exhausting labour without adequate food and rest, which had resulted in epidemics, starvation and deaths. His policies and political purges from 1949 to 1976 caused the deaths of 49 to 78 million people. [121], On October 14, 1934, the Red Army broke through the KMT line on the Jiangxi Soviet's south-west corner at Xinfeng with 85,000 soldiers and 15,000 party cadres and embarked on the "Long March". Such uprisings angered senior KMT figures, who were themselves landowners, emphasizing the growing class and ideological divide within the revolutionary movement. [201] Other violent campaigns followed in which party leaders went from village to village in search of hidden food reserves, and not only grain, as Mao issued quotas for pigs, chickens, ducks and eggs. [186] It was only then that he used it as a method of identifying and subsequently persecuting those critical of his government. At a secret meeting in the Jinjiang Hotel in Shanghai dated March 25, 1959, Mao specifically ordered the party to procure up to one third of all the grain, much more than had ever been the case. He accepted that there was great variation in revolutionary enthusiasm across the country, and that a flexible policy of land redistribution was necessary. The combined effect of the diversion of labour to steel production and infrastructure projects, and cyclical natural disasters led to an approximately 15% drop in grain production in 1959 followed by a further 10% decline in 1960 and no recovery in 1961. He later adopted Marxism–Leninism while working at Peking University, and became a founding member of the Communist Party of China (CPC), leading the Autumn Harvest Uprising in 1927. "[279] Li Rui, Mao's personal secretary, goes further and claims he was dismissive of the suffering and death caused by his policies: "Mao's way of thinking and governing was terrifying. [162], Mao directed operations to the minutest detail. Mao also launched a phase of rapid collectivization. In the following years he solidified his control through campaigns against landlords, suppression of "counter-revolutionaries", "Three-anti and Five-anti Campaigns" and through a psychological victory in the Korean War, which altogether resulted in the deaths of several-million Chinese. Mao was the son of a prosperous peasant in Shaoshan, Hunan. [33] He joined the Society for the Study of Wang Fuzhi (Chuan-shan Hsüeh-she), a revolutionary group founded by Changsha literati who wished to emulate the philosopher Wang Fuzhi. Following Peng's criticism of the Great Leap Forward, Mao orchestrated a purge of Peng and his supporters, stifling criticism of the Great Leap policies. This convinced him of the revolutionary potential of the peasantry, an idea advocated by the KMT leftists but not the Communists. [273], Others, such as Philip Short, reject such comparisons in Mao: A Life, arguing that whereas the deaths caused by Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia were largely systematic and deliberate, the overwhelming majority of the deaths under Mao were unintended consequences of famine. Ultimately, his suggestions were only partially implemented. Thus it is difficult to gauge the true extent of support for the Chinese Communist Party and Mao's legacy within mainland China. [56] Coming across newly translated Marxist literature by Thomas Kirkup, Karl Kautsky, and Marx and Engels—notably The Communist Manifesto—he came under their increasing influence, but was still eclectic in his views. Mao believed that a revolution of culture would unseat and unsettle the "ruling class" and keep China in a state of "perpetual revolution" that, theoretically, would serve the interests of the majority, rather than a tiny and privileged elite. [191] Upon learning of the extent of the starvation, Mao vowed to stop eating meat, an action followed by his staff.[192]. [214] This included prominent figures such as Liu Shaoqi. As the Communists awaited Chiang's arrival, he loosed the White Terror, massacring 5000 with the aid of the Green Gang. The CPC declared that Lin was planning to depose Mao and posthumously expelled Lin from the party. Senior officials who reported the truth of the famine to Mao were branded as "right opportunists. . [citation needed] As an example, the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) followed Mao's examples of guerrilla warfare to considerable political and military success even in the 21st century. Chinese anarchists, such as Cai Yuanpei, Chancellor of Peking University, called for complete social revolution in social relations, family structure, and women's equality, rather than the simple change in the form of government called for by earlier revolutionaries. According to Zhang Rongmei, a geometry teacher in rural Shanghai during the Great Leap Forward: We took all the furniture, pots, and pans we had in our house, and all our neighbours did likewise. Some scholars, such as Mobo Gao, claim the case for this is overstated. [209] Frank Dikötter estimates that there were at least 45 million premature deaths attributable to the Great Leap Forward from 1958 to 1962. Mao's granddaughter, Kong Dongmei, defended the phenomenon, stating that "it shows his influence, that he exists in people's consciousness and has influenced several generations of Chinese people's way of life. On October 1, 1949, Mao proclaimed the foundation of the PRC, a single-party state controlled by the CPC. [31] Befriending Mao, professor Yang Changji urged him to read a radical newspaper, New Youth (Xin qingnian), the creation of his friend Chen Duxiu, a dean at Peking University. [95][98] The Central Committee again ordered Mao to march to south Hunan, but he refused, and remained at his base. He was appointed the minister of the economic department in the Fujian-Guangdong-Jiangxi (闽粤赣, "Minyuegan") area in 1931 and the manager of national bank later in the year. Their youngest daughter (born in early 1938 in Moscow after Mao separated) and one other child (born 1933) died in infancy. Deng Xiaoping, who was opposed to the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, has to a certain extent rejected Mao's legacy, famously saying that Mao was "70% right and 30% wrong". 魚翔淺底, Millions of lives were ruined during this period, as the Cultural Revolution pierced into every part of Chinese life, depicted by such Chinese films as To Live, The Blue Kite and Farewell My Concubine. . Some notable actors include: Han Shi, the first actor ever to have portrayed Mao, in a 1978 drama Dielianhua and later again in a 1980 film Cross the Dadu River;[329] Gu Yue, who had portrayed Mao 84 times on screen throughout his 27-year career and had won the Best Actor title at the Hundred Flowers Awards in 1990 and 1993;[330][331] Liu Ye, who played a young Mao in The Founding of a Party (2011);[332] Tang Guoqiang, who has frequently portrayed Mao in more recent times, in the films The Long March (1996) and The Founding of a Republic (2009), and the television series Huang Yanpei (2010), among others. Official history in China states that Lin was planning a military coup or an assassination attempt on Mao. He refused to open state granaries,[200] and instead launched a series of "anti-grain concealment" drives that resulted in numerous purges and suicides. [66], Mao claimed that he missed the July 1922 Second Congress of the Communist Party in Shanghai because he lost the address. Based upon the fabricated success, party cadres were ordered to requisition a disproportionately high amount of that fictitious harvest for state use, primarily for use in the cities and urban areas but also for export. Warned that the Soviets had nuclear weapons, Mao minimized the threat. He ensured that no massacres took place in the region, and pursued a more lenient approach than that advocated by the Central Committee. An estimate of around 400,000 deaths is a widely accepted minimum figure, according to Maurice Meisner. He put no value on human life. There currently exist various competitions specialising in Mao-style calligraphy. Believing that certain liberal bourgeois elements of society continued to threaten the socialist framework, groups of young people known as the Red Guards struggled against authorities at all levels of society and even set up their own tribunals. I once debated with the democratic people: You accuse us of acting like Ch'in-shih-huang, but you are wrong; we surpass him 100 times. Nevertheless, Banister concluded that the official data implied that around 15 million excess deaths incurred in China during 1958–61, and that based on her modelling of Chinese demographics during the period and taking account of assumed under-reporting during the famine years, the figure was around 30 million. In the speech, Mao talks about massive earthmoving irrigation projects and numerous big industrial ones, all requiring huge numbers of people. According to Edwin Moise, in Modern China: A History 2nd Edition: Most of the Americans were favourably impressed. Producer David O. Selznick sat in the back and observed the audience reaction to his highly anticipated—and highly ...read more, The infamous Boston Police Strike of 1919 begins, causing an uproar around the nation and confirming the growing influence of unions on American life.  As society changed in the 20th century, police were expected to act more professionally. Mao Zedong's Crystal Mausoleum | China Uncensored - YouTube Zhang and Mao disagreed over what to do; the latter wished to proceed to Shaanxi, while Zhang wanted to retreat east to Tibet or Sikkim, far from the KMT threat. [2][unreliable source? [208], The number of deaths by starvation during the Great Leap Forward is deeply controversial. [citation needed] The declared success of the First-Five Year Plan was to encourage Mao to instigate the Second Five-Year Plan in 1958. [32] Mao published his first article in New Youth in April 1917, instructing readers to increase their physical strength to serve the revolution. He found that the peasantry were increasingly restless and some had seized land from wealthy landowners to found communes. [234] Some also attributed Mao's decline in health to the betrayal of Lin Biao. While the pinyin-derived spelling "Mao Zedong" is increasingly common, the Wade-Giles-derived spelling "Mao Tse-tung" continues to be used in modern publications to some extent. [citation needed] Mao's major contribution to the military science is his theory of People's War, with not only guerrilla warfare but more importantly, Mobile Warfare methodologies. Mao died in 1976, still holding the position of Chairman of the Chinese Communist Party. After a few years there would be 2.7 billion people again"[289][290], But historians dispute the sincerity of Mao's words. [5], Mao Zedong was born on December 26, 1893 in Shaoshan village, Hunan. [35] A popular student, in 1915 Mao was elected secretary of the Students Society. All Rights Reserved. [182] Some biographers have pointed out that driving those perceived as enemies to suicide was a common tactic during the Mao-era. They were initially successful, but were forced into retreat after five days, marching south to Shantou, and from there they were driven into the wilderness of Fujian. The Cultural Revolution led to the destruction of much of China's traditional cultural heritage and the imprisonment of a huge number of Chinese citizens, as well as the creation of general economic and social chaos in the country. He also orchestrated education programs and implemented measures to increase female political participation. "[289], Mao's poems and writings are frequently cited by both Chinese and non-Chinese. What we have in excess is women... Let them go to your place. [327] Mao published poems in classical forms starting in his youth and his abilities as a poet contributed to his image in China after he came to power in 1949. "[207] A campaign against right-wing opportunism was launched and resulted in party members and ordinary peasants being sent to prison labor camps where many would subsequently die in the famine. 革命不是請客吃飯,不是做文章,不是繪畫繡花,不能那樣雅緻,那樣從容不迫,文質彬彬,那樣溫良恭讓。革命是暴動,是一個階級推翻一個階級的暴烈的行動。Revolution is not a dinner party, nor an essay, nor a painting, nor a piece of embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. Opposition to him can lead to censorship or professional repercussions in mainland China,[267] and is often done in private settings such as the Internet. Although a Chinese nationalist, Chen argued that China must look to the west to cleanse itself of superstition and autocracy. "[316], Sinologist Stuart Schram emphasised Mao's ruthlessness, but also noted that he showed no sign of taking pleasure in torture or killing in the revolutionary cause. Mao was a vocal anti-imperialist and in his writings he lambasted the governments of Japan, UK and US, describing the latter as "the most murderous of hangmen". A fifth volume, which brought the timeline up to 1957, was briefly issued during the leadership of Hua Guofeng, but subsequently withdrawn from circulation for its perceived ideological errors. [143], On the Long March, Mao's wife He Zizen had been injured by a shrapnel wound to the head. Mao is essentially like that girlfriend/boyfriend who keeps on taking a shit on you, but is so damn charming you hardly notice. In China, Mao was considered a master calligrapher during his lifetime. Mao Zedong Analysis 857 Words | 4 Pages. At least 180 thousand Chinese troops died during the war. It was this campaign that caused the deaths of tens of millions and catapulted Mao Zedong into the big league of twentieth-century murders. "[274] Mao was frequently likened to China's First Emperor Qin Shi Huang, notorious for burying alive hundreds of scholars, and personally enjoyed the comparison. But he died in 1976. We put everything in a big fire and melted down all the metal. [19] In Changsha, Mao was influenced by Sun's newspaper, The People's Independence (Minli bao),[20] and called for Sun to become president in a school essay. [39] Mao graduated in June 1919, ranked third in the year. Each of these regimes witnessed deliberately ordered mass 'cleansing' and extermination. Mao's response was to ignore them. [103][104] Both Li and Mao saw the Chinese revolution as the key to world revolution, believing that a CPC victory would spark the overthrow of global imperialism and capitalism. 1948, under direct orders from Mao, the Army rose up across southern China sparking! Questioning its leadership taken a job at Peking University among the Red Guards vary... 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