The Cultural Revolution in China (1965-1976) led by Mao Zedong Essay Sample

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            Mao Zedong or Mao Tze-tung in his Chinese name was a Chinese political leader, a poet, statesman, one of the founding members of the Chinese Communist Party, founder of the People’s Republic of China, and the Father of Chinese Revolution.  He led the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in May 16, 1966 to gain back his power after the disastrous Great Leap Forward campaign of his political rivals Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping and was ended in 1969.

            Wu-Ch’an Chieh-Chi Wen-Hua Ta Ke-Ming in Chinese language means The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.  It is best describe as a period of social chaos and political anarchy in the People’s Republic of China which greatly affected every part of the country and the livelihood of the people, in addition to altering the country’s moral, historical, and social perceptions in their entirety[1].

The Cultural Revolution

Origins – A certain historian named Wu Han, who’s also the Deputy Mayor of Beijing in early  1960’s, brought out a historical piece entitled Hai Rui Dismissed from the Office.  It tackled about how the corrupt ruler successfully and lawlessly dismissed an honorable and righteous official.  It gained commendable appreciations from the crowd, public and   authorities including Mao Zedong.  However, in 1965, the said play received criticisms which were actually initiated by Mao Zedong’s 4th wife Jiang Qing with the help from   her protégée and a well-known broadsheet editor Yao Wenyuan.  The criticism said tha the play was part of Wu Han’s tactic to destroy Mao Zedong’s political career and was figuratively pinpointing Mao Zedong as the bad ruler and villain on the said drama while Wu Han as the upright officer and the protagonist.

Almost a year later, a manuscript was distributed saying that the Cultural Revolution has begun, and many believed that the said decision was also under the manipulation of Jiang Qing.  Part of Jiang Qing’s intelligent tactic was forming a group called Group In-Charge of the Cultural Revolution (GCCR) and Red Guards organization which was created in Tsinghua University’s Middle School. The said move was later on confirmed that all Jiang Qing’s decision has a blessing from the idealistic and Dictator Mao Zedong to eradicate Mao Zedong’s political rivals and enemies, as well as the intellectuals, professionals, diplomats and academic leaders.  It was a form of massive suppression to destroy possible threat to Mao Zedong’s ideas and principles and political career.

Principles – Basically, the basis of Mao Zedong’s ideology was Marxism-Leninism, but he adapted it to Chinese conditions.[2]  He was completely disagreed imperialism, ethnic beliefs and traditions, religious activities, and even condemned the Confucianism  ideology and denounced it being the main principle of Chinese people in the past.  He put   a great cult of personality and allowed his right hand Lin Biao along with other four loyal individuals including Jiang Qing (also called the Gang of Four) to glorify and promote his godly image, a God who can provide all the needs and necessities of his people.  On 1966 until early of 1970, he instigated another campaign, which is the Down to the Countryside Movement, and forced the young intellectuals including students and fresh graduates to be exiled in far and remote provinces to study peasantry works. Religious leaders and workers, artists, and academes were maltreated.  Historical reserves  and places, valued manuscripts and national treasures were obliterated and dismantled.

Results – Massive lost of lives, tangible and intangible property damaged, reports of exploitation and violence, devalued culture and poor living are some of the results of Cultural Revolution.  Hua Guofeng was the successor of Mao Zedong after his death on September 9, 1976.  A month later, Hua Guofeng ordered arresting the Gang of Four. This was how the Cultural Revolution officially ended. However, being a believer and follower of Mao Zedong, Hua intentionally continued Mao Zedong’s ideas, thoughts and teachings as guide to China. Thus, Maoism remained controversial and popular in the world even years after the Cultural Revolution has ended.

R E F E R E N C E S

(2003). Mao Zedong (1893-1976). Retrieved April 19, 2007 from Books and Writers.  Web site:

     http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/mao.htm

(2004). Influences Somewhere. Retrieved April 19, 2007 from Cultural Revolution. Web site:

     http://www.famouschinese.com/virtual/Cultural_Revolution

(2007). Cultural Revolution.  Retrieved April 20, 2007 from Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia.

     Web site: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_revolution

[1] Wikipedia. The Free Encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_revolution

[2] 2003. Books and Writers. http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/mao.htm

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