Chinese Culture

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From 1949-2012, China has undergone many reforms. It has been a socialist, communist, and a weird combination of market economy/communist. These reforms are essential in explaining how China has become a major world power. China turned to socialism in 1949, because it seemed like the only answer to the numerous problems China had to face after nearly 20 years of fighting. This is the first step down the road to economic prosperity. In October 1949, Mao declared the People’s Republic of China at the Gate of Heavenly Peace in Beijing. He now faced very large problems. China had been fighting a civil war since the 1920’s and a full-scale war with the Japanese since 1937 to 1945. After nearly 20 years of fighting, China (Mao) had many…show more content…
To allow for this, China was reformed into a series of communes. By the end of 1958, 700 million people had been placed into 26,578 communes. The speed with which this was achieved was astounding. In 1959, things started to go wrong. Political decisions/beliefs took precedence over commonsense and communes faced the task of doing things that they were incapable of achieving. The excellent growing weather of 1958 was followed by a very poor growing year in 1959. Some parts of China were hit by floods. In other growing areas, drought was a major problem. The harvest for 1959 was 170 million tons of grain – well below what China needed at the most basic level. In parts of China, starvation occurred. 1960 had even worse weather than 1959. The harvest of 1960 was 144 million tons. 9 million people are thought to have starved to death in 1960 alone; many millions were left desperately ill as a result of a lack of food. The government had to introduce rationing. This put people on the most minimal of food and between 1959 and 1962, it is thought that 20 million people died of starvation or diseases related to starvation. Some party members put the blame of the failure of the Great Leap Forward on Mao. He was popular with the people but he still had to resign from his position as Head of State (though he remained in the powerful

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