The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in thePeople's Republic of China was a struggle for power within the CCP that manifested into wide-scale social, political, and economic violence and chaos, which grew to include large sections of Chinese society and eventually brought the entire country to the brink of civil war

It was launched by Mao, the chairman of the Communist Party of China, on May 16, 1966, officially as a campaign to rid China of its 'bourgesie/ rightist/ capitalist/ reactionary' elements and to continue revolutionary class struggle by mobilizing the thoughts and actions of China’s youth, who formed Red Guard groups around the country. It is widely recognized, however, as a method to regain control of the party after the disastrous Great Leap Forward led to a significant loss of Mao’s power to moderate rivals, including Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping, and would eventually descend into waves of power struggles between rival factions both nationally and locally.



The above reading helps to explain and should help give you a sense of the origins, events, Mao-worship, cultural destruction, and eventual end of the Cultural Revolution. Each includes a longer personal narrative from people involved in these events.

A useful note-taking grid:

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