During the first five year plan, the change was successful for China’s industry and agriculture. For China’s agriculture, it was improved by encouraging smaller co-operatives to merge together to form a larger co-operative, they pooled their land together to make bigger and more efficient farms. So that heavy industry (road and railway construction, steel production, etc) in China would be modernized, and that it could also be able to increase agricultural production. Which lead to expansion in both agriculture and industry.
In industry, the Plan gave priority to the expansion of heavy industry, more especially steel, coal and machinery, and led to the setting up of many production plants, especially in the centre of China. This resulted in great expansion in heavy industry but led to the neglect of lighter, consumer industries such as cotton-making and food processing. Another event that took place was the Great Leap Forward, the change wasn’t as successful as the First Five Year Plan. As many people died from starvation and the famine during the time. The Great Leap Forward was a disaster.
Over 30 million people died because of it and there were cultural and environmental damages done that will never repair. Mao never got close to the goals which he had set even though he did manage to get an increase in iron production for a couple of year. During the time of the Great Leap Forward, Industry and Agriculture played a huge part of it. As Mao created communes,which meant joining a number of small farms together in an area to form one large work place and also some were as large as 25,000 people, because Mao felt that mass labor would increase agricultural productions without the cost of modern equipment.
Another change was that industry slumped because people started producing steel which was poor quality and couldn’t be used, and so furnaces took too much of China’s coal and so the trains ran out of coal. Old machines also fell apart from overuse, which meant that less time was spent on agriculture and more time was spent on producing coal. There were also huge food shortages as time was spent on producing coal. So there was famine and people had to starve, as a result many died. This lead to The Cultural Revolution.
The Cultural Revolution had a massive impact on China from 1965 to 1968, The Cultural Revolution is the name given to Mao’s attempt to reassert his beliefs in China. Mao had been less than a dynamic leader from the late 1950’s on (having suffered from the failure of his ‘Great Leap Forward campaign), and fearing that others in his own party might be taking on a leading role that weakened his power within the party and the country. The Cultural Revolution was an attempt by Mao to re-impose his authority on the party and therefore the country.
As a result, many leaders were removed and Revolutionary Committees dominated by the PLA ran the country and the opponents were either killed or sent into exile. Overall, the policies had brought major change to China. Some were successful such as the First Five Year Plan, which gave China’s economy and agriculture a boom. But some like The Cultural Revolution and The Great Leap Forward, weren’t successful and was a failure, many people died throughout the reign of Chairman Mao.