Hinese history final essay based on film To live”

FROM REVOLUTION TO CULTURAL REVOLUTION: Final Essay Assignment based on Zhang Yimouas film To Live (Huozhe ??»c?)i??1994i?0


Historical Background
Following a decade of struggle between the Nationalists and the Communists, eight years of resistance against the Japanese, and four more years of civil war, the Communist forces led by Mao Zedong overthrew the predominantly urban Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek. The latter fled to Taiwan where, with U.S. support, the Nationalists established themselves as the Republic of China and claimed to be the rightful Chinese state.
The long and successful revolution left the Communist Party a legitimate government on the mainland. Its strong Peoples Liberation Army and active party cadres quickly established themselves as dynamic forces in the new state. The new government quickly exerted its authority in Mongolia and Tibet, although resistance still continues in the latter terA¬ritory. Intervening in the Korean War as the UN forces approached its borders, China helped North Korea fight the UN forces, led by the US, to a stalemate. Conflicts with the USSR after 1956, however, led to border clashes between these two Socialiststates.
Following on the revolution, landlords and capitalists were purged and many were executed. Land was given to the peasants, who farmed as smallholders. Industrialization, however, was modeled on the Soviet experience at first, and a large new bureaucracy emerged based on technically trained engineers. While declaring himself a Leninist, Mao nonetheless introduced a new Mass Linethat brought about the collectivization of the land in 1955-56. Calling for public debate in which society would Let a thousand flowers bloom, and one hundred schools of thought contend,Mao promoted debate and discussion of the partyas performance in the summer of 1957. The tide of criticism that emerged from educated citizens in particular soon shocked him into arresting, purging, and exiling many discussants and terminating the new openness. This was known as the a?Anti-rightist movementa? and being branded a a?rightista? could lead to consequences from being denied promotions or access to higher education to being sent to prison or labor camps.
In 1958, Mao introduced the Great Leap Forward that aimed to achieve industrialization through backyard and local effort. Mass will would promote growth. Private kitchens gave way to communal dining halls; agriculture gave way to local industry. Communes became self-regulating, determining their membersa lives. MilA¬lions died in the famines that followed over two years, before Deng Xiaoping and his followers were called out of exile to rebuild the economy. Their efforts in this regard including reintroducing private plots among the peasantry arguing that what mattered was if productivity grew, not how: It doesnat matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.”