People 's Republic Of China Under Mao

2151 Words9 Pages
People’s Republic of China under Mao The Great Leap Forward was a program designed as an economic stimulus model heavily focused on industry. Under this economic program, individual agricultural areas were merged into larger people’s communities and many of the peasants were ordered to work on enormous infrastructure projects and on the manufacture of iron and steel. Most privatization was banned; personal wealth was confiscated while livestock and farm implements were brought under collective ownership. Under the Great Leap Forward, Mao mandated the employment of a variety of unproven and unscientific new agricultural techniques to boost production. However, due to the diversion of labor to other areas such as steel and infrastructure, China saw a 15% drop in grain production in 1959 followed by a 10% decline in 1960 and no recovery in 1961 . In order to meet government-mandated quotas, many state and local officials exaggerated their respective grain production numbers. Based upon these overstated numbers, party officers had to order a disproportionately high amount of the true harvest for state consumption, primarily in the cities and urban areas but also for export. As a result, peasants in rural communities were left with little food for themselves and from 1959-62, as many as 30 million people starved to death in the infamous famine known as the “Great Chinese Famine”. Furthermore, children who became malnourished during years of hardship and struggle for survival
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