Chinese Cultural Revolution

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The research engages with the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution, two significant and defining events in Chinese history since the establishment of the People’s Republic of China. The Great Leap Forward (1957–60) was a Chinese economic plan initiated by Mao Zedong aimed at revitalizing all sectors of the economy. Wildly unrealistic planning poorly planned communization of agriculture, and a poor harvest in 1959 caused mass starvation. Mao was forced to turn government administration over to Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping. His popularity diminished severely and thus launched the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution to regain his popularity. The Cultural Revolution (1966–76) was the mass mobilization of urban Chinese youth inaugurated…show more content…
democracy. This coupled with the copious allowance for free speech, in the Chinese regard, during the Cultural Revolution and its devastating aftermath which remained potent in the lives of many individuals lead many Chinese to lose faith in their government altogether. This loss of faith and potency of unsavoury memories may have pushed many Chinese to look towards a better political and social system⎯a democratic one. Chinese society was avidly propagandistic. The aim to maintain a strong communist hold on Chinese society through press and censorship reform had the opposite effect, even subsequently having to be crushed. Thus the events of the Great Leap Forward and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution can be regarded as considerable forces that influenced the Tiananmen Movement and thus its consequent massacre. The Tiananmen Square Massacre (TSM) in 1989 was a brutal attack on the pro-democratic movement and the wave of protests ignited by Chinese university students in protest for greater democracy and call for the resignations of Chinese Communist Party leaders deemed too…show more content…
Deng had taken over a very large, moribund country that was on the verge of collapse. The workforce in China was demoralised, patronised and very poorly educated. Deng has a clear strategy [Source F] to turn a run-down China into a healthy, profitable and sustainable company, bringing modest wealth to the people [Source G]. The reforms saw the emancipation of minds that led to a more politicised country that over a decade had gained reason to believe that democracy was within reach (China joined the Western-controlled International Monetary Fund & World Bank in 1980), after having experienced it between 1979-1989. Through Deng’s reforms even a 30-year old ban on religion [Source F] had been lifted leading the people to psychologically believe that they had gained democratic freedom, only for it to be ‘taken away’ by conservative Chinese Communist Party

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