1. A) According to source A, Mao Zedong along with the Party Central Committee were able to efficiently construct a socialist system in China, within a very short period of time. Mao and the PCC were able to analyze the economy of China and develop a system called the Great Leap Forward, which would fix the problems that they had discovered. That system quickly transformed China into a self-sufficient country, which were able to function under a socialist system. B) Source D displays Chairman Mao with his many supporters at a massive rally, where he had condemned the bourgeois intellectuals. Mao is shown sitting down with a very straight and serious face, along with his many supporters with their fists up. This photo shows Mao’s supreme command over people and his serious demeanor while ruling over people as well as talking about the bourgeois class.
2. Source B shows Mao Zedong’s beliefs about his rapid socialization, which is very successful. Mao shows anger and rage in his speech towards party members who wanted the progress of China to be slow down because he believed his movement was becoming increasingly successful. Source E on the other hand, displays Mao’s policies in an alternate manner. The author explains that the Chinese economy was hurt by Mao’s attempts to rapidly industrialize it. He stated that the economy did not stabilize until Mao took a break from politics. When Mao returned to the realm of politics again, he introduced a policy that would transform Chinese society. These policies would offset the progress that was made during Mao’s political absence and would also introduce more problems and strife into society. Source B shows approval towards Mao’s attempts to swiftly change society however; source E shows the damaging effects for China nationally.
3. Source A is a newspaper article, which talks about judgments on Mao’s political policies. The author’s intent on writing the article was to persuade people that Mao’s policies transformed China into a powerful and self-sufficient socialist nation. While Mao was in power, he imposed heavy censorship of the Chinese media. The author had to please Chairman Mao, so this made it very difficult to portray his actual points. Therefore, the article is most likely biased and cannot present an accurate primary source account of Mao Zedong. However, the article can be utilized as an example of Mao’s censorship of media during his time of rule. Source C is a brief rant that a university student wrote and published on a wall poster at a Qinghua University.
The rant was written in order to persuade Chinese people that corrupt leaders like Chairman Mao are taking advantage of them. The author also seems to be calling his audience to take action and overthrow Chairman Mao. He supports this notion by saying that the people gave Mao power in China, and the people can also easily take it all back. The rant is full of emotion, with no factual evidence towards his claims, which takes away from the validity of this document. This piece doesn’t contain an abundance of data or facts, but it does give the reader a true account of the rage and anger many bourgeois intellectuals felt during Mao’s rule. The value in this source is that it establishes the true feelings of oppression towards the bourgeois class by a communist dictator.
4. Between 1953 and 1964, Mao transformed China into a socialist nation. In actuality, China displayed characteristics of a single party state led by Mao Zedong. Source D displays a picture of a massive rally led by Mao, and his followers raised their hand in passion against the bourgeois intellectuals. The people were very proud of their government and proud to be on Mao’s side, as seen by all their hands in the air. It is striking however, that Mao is sitting there without his fist in the air and the same conviction as his followers. Chairman Mao has all the power in his hands although it looks as if the people commonly share the power.
The proletariat class would have power in a true socialistic government however; Mao controls the people of China under his iron fist. Source A is a newspaper article that respects and acknowledges the Great Leap Forward as a step in the right direction for the Chinese economy. In actuality, Mao’s Great Leap Forward was a failure. The production levels increased in factories, but at a detrimental cost to the Chinese population. Many farmers lost their lives through the collectivization plan, which took more grain away from the people and handed it to the government. Source A shows a controlled positive image of Mao’s success with transforming the economy, so the people can become brainwashed to believe that Mao is helping the Chinese people, when he is actually killing them.
Mao’s clever use of Cult of Personality allowed him to create this untruthful positive divine image of himself and thus source A was written to conform to Mao’s image and also so this person would not be accused as a counter-revolutionary. The third source, Source C, displays the outright control Mao had over the bourgeois intellectual class. A student offers his opinion on the oppressive ways of Chairman Mao. His rant shows rage towards Mao’s political system, which is corrupt. It also provides a heartfelt account of true emotion about what citizens actually think about Mao Zedong and not a censored image of Chairman Mao.
Sources A and C both display characteristics of a single party dictator instead of a socialist government. Mao controls all aspects of Chinese life and makes all the decisions; unlike in true socialism where the proletariats are given the rights to chose the structure of government. He transformed Chinese people into a single-minded inferior race that blindly follows the leader. Socialism on the other hand provides the absolute opposite, where people can think for themselves, but more importantly the people make decisions and work towards the goal of a better country.
Courtney from Study Moose
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