China’s Struggles Since before WWII China had a civil war going on. The US was supporting the Nationalist party led by Jiang Jieshi. We feared that if the Communists won they would form an alliance with the USSR (their neighbors).
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong was the leader of the communist party in China. Mao grew up as a poor peasant in China’s country-side and had the support of the people. He led the communist army using guerilla attacks against the
Jiang Jieshi/Chiang Kaishek Jiang Jieshi was leader of the Nationalist party and army in China. He did not have the wide range of support from the people like Mao did. He and his officers were corrupt and often wasted the money they received from the US to fight the
China Becomes Communist In October 1949 Mao Zedong and the communists were able to defeat Jiang Jieshi. The Nationalists left the country and China declared themselves to be communist. In 1950 they signed a friendship treaty with the
China Expands Their Power Despite Mao’s victory in mainland China the US continued to send money and support to Jiang Jieshi and the Nationalists. The Soviets started now providing support to the communists in China. The US tried to strengthen their influence in Japan and Korea so the Soviets wouldn’t have more power than us in Asia. We tried to contain their influence. Mao began to expand his control over China and many of the surrounding areas such as: Mongolia, Northern India, and Tibet.
Mao and Marxist Socialism Mao’s goal was to reshape China’s economy based on the principles of Marxist Socialism (communism). Mao took farmland from the landlords, sometimes violently. He worked to gradually bring all private
Communes and the Great Leap Forward Mao created large collective farms known as communes where many families would work. This plan to move towards communes and collective farming was known as the “Great Leap Forward.” When it was not successful Mao began to implement other harsh Agriculture needs a great leap policies to get the people forward.