China Under Mao

Need to know:


1. China 1949-1957 ("Early Years"); i.e. What CHANGES did Communists make?
  • Common Programme
  • Marriage Laws
  • Agricultural Law

2. 100 Flowers Movement
3. Great Leap Forward (also known as "Second Five-Year Plan")
4. Mao's loss of influence as a result of the failure of the Great Leap Forward (and his return to dominance by starting the...)
5. Cultural Revolution

1. Mao- Leader of Communist Party/ China. For much of his rule his word was treated as law. He believed China and the CCP (the government) needed constant revolution to insure there would be no return of the class system/capitalism.
  • Deification (made "God-like")
PICT_Mao_cult_poster.jpg Mao.gif

2. Deng Xiaoping- Moderate, more practical (he eventually took over after Mao's death and his practical economic reforms led to China's strong economic growth). Considered a "rightist" in power struggle with those who wanted a 'permanent revolution' for China. He suffered during the Cultural Revolution (was 'purged' from the Party), but was eventually brought back and regained power.
Famous Quote:
"Black Cat, White Cat, who cares? As long as it catches mice"- demonstrates his more practical approach to economic growth
Time magazine's Person of the Year in 1978 and 1985

Deng Xioping: Leader with Mo; purged during Cultural Revolution but came back to become the architect of China's economic recovery

3. Zhou Enlai- Mao loyalist. Helped to open up China's foreign relations with the West.

PICT_Zhou_Enlai.jpg PICT_Zhou_Enlai_Bust.jpg

4. Lin Biao- Head of the People's Liberation Army ("PLA"). He helped Mao 'purge' the CCP during the Cultural Revolution, and was appointed Mao's heir. Eventually, however, Mao believed Lin posed a threat to his (Mao's) dominance. Lin plotted to assasinate Mao in 1971, and when Mao found out about the plot Lin tried to flee to the Soviet Union. His plane was either shot down or crashed, and Lin was killed.
PICT_Lin_Biao.png Below is a poster of Mao and Lin Biao (obviously before he plotted to kill Mao)PICT_Lin_Biao_poster_with_Mao.jpg

5. Liu Shiaoqi- China's Head of State. Another 'moderate' who as regards China's economy wanted to do what worked. He was 'purged' (gotten rid of) during the Cultural Revolution and died in prison, disgraced.
Liu Shiaoqi being confronted by Red Guard students during the Cultural Revolution

FULL CLASS TEXT OF "CHINA SINCE WWII": I recommend you print this out (double-sided) so you have it for highlighting/ reference.

Below find the readings broken up by section/ assignment.

Text Readings:

1. : China Becomes Communist
  • Land Reform
  • Great Leap Forward
  • Backyard Steel Mills
Additional Reading: Boorman Ch. 12 & 13

2. : China's Continuing Revolution (this was Excerpt 1, a mistake on my part)
  • Thought Control
  • 100 Flowers Bloom Campaign
  • Cultural Revolution
Additional Reading: Boorman Ch. 14-18
3. : Power Struggle between Mao and the "Moderates"
  • Mao v. Lin Biao (and the plot to kill Mao)
  • New Leadership
  • End of Mao Era
  • Gang of Four
Additional Reading: Boorman Ch. 18-19

4. : Post Mao- Deng Xiaoping takes control
  • China's New Economy
  • Embracing the World
  • Beijing Spring
  • Tianaman Square
Additional Reading: Boorman Ch. 20

5. : China today
  • Unequal Growth
  • China's Leaders
  • China's Century?


1. : Well laid out powerpoint

3. Click here to see a terrific series of Chinese Propaganda Posters


Mao Paragraph Writing Assignment

Write 2 paragraphs which address the following question:

Was Mao's leadership good for China?

Obviously this is not a yes/no question. There are, generally, arguments to be made for both sides of this question (thus the 2 paragraphs).

: Can be used to help organize the facts/ conclusions/ analysis (now interactive)
: Use this organizer to help with your writing assignment

Study Guide: 1949 through Cultural Revolution