During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Russia and China faced a number of internal struggles. Dissatisfaction with leadership and a large, unhappy peasant class created instability in both regions. A European ideology developed by Karl Marx, the Communist Manifesto, offered a solution for both societies. According to Marx, communism was a political theory based on the sharing of resources “communally”. These activities offer an in-depth understanding of global communism for students. They are designed to help students understand the links between history and our world today.
Our modern society should be based on nationalism, democracy, and economic security.
The Road To Communism in China
WWl Ends: The May 4th Movement Begins
The Qing dynasty had ruled China for nearly 270 years. Sun wanted a new government based on "three principles of the people". Unfortunately, powerful warlords undermined his vision, and chaos ensued.
China for the Chinese!!
Communists vs. Nationalists
China expected to regain lost territories from a defeated Germany after WWI. Instead, they were given to Japan. Student protesters, called the May 4th movement, created further turmoil.
Sun Yixian's nationalist group was taken over by Jiang Jieshi. They began to struggle for power against the emerging Communists and their new leader, Mao Ze Dong.
Japan Invades China
WWII Ends / Mao Defeats Jieshi
As part of their empire building process, Japan launched a devastating invasion of Northern China. The Nationalist and Communists joined forces to fight the Japanese.
With great local support from a peasant class that wanted land reform, Mao defeated Jieshi. Two Chinas now existed: The Communist mainland and the Nationalist island of Taiwan.
Mao Brings Agrarian and Industrial Improvements
Increased outputs in:
The Great Leap Forward
WE do all the work...
The STATE is the only thing that profits!
The costs for these changes were high: over 1,000,000 landlords were killed during the agricultural reorganization.
Mao created massive "communes" of 25,000 people. They ate, worked, slept, and raised children together, but owned nothing. Ineffective management led to massive famines in 1961 that killed millions.
The Cultural Revolution
Mao encouraged young people to "make revolution". Millions of youth formed the Red Guard. They attacked intellectuals in the hopes of making a society of farmers and workers. Instead, they totally destabilized society.