The Great Leap Forward And The Cultural Revolution

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The Communist fervor that gripped mainland China under Mao Zedong’s rule had lasting effects on the economy and culture. In particular, the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution devastated rural and peasant populations, leading to fatal consequences for a large portion of the chinese demographic. The Great Leap Forward was an attempt at socializing the chinese economy almost ten years after the People's Republic of China was established in 1949. Property and businesses were stripped from private owners by the government and given to community leaders to run with the help of community members. Unfortunately, revolutionary passion blinded community leaders and the government. The former over reported food production while the latter continued to support a failing economic structure and policy. This lead to the Great Chinese Famine, and a decline in economic productivity and revolutionary zeal. The Great Cultural Revolution was meant to reinvigorate the revolutionary spirit. Launched several years after the failure of the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution targeted the youth. A successful propaganda campaign mobilized groups of mostly disadvantaged youth (red guards) and the working class to purge those antithetical to the movement. Millions were killed in the resulting class warfare which targeted capitalists, rightists, and landlords. The effects of these influential events are still explored in modern chinese cinema many years after their occurrence. An
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