Analyse the Methods and Conditions Which Led to Mao`S Rise to Power
Analyse the methods and conditions which led to Mao`s rise to power Mao`s rise to power was down to many factors just as the weakness of the GMD and Chiang Kai-shek that brought corruption, un- organization and hyperinflation, helped the communist`s to appeal to people of China, as did the events of the Chinese Civil War, that showed off Mao`s clever use of guerilla warfare and his inspirational leaderships skills.
As well as Mao`s cult of personality formed from his peasant upbringing and the renowned Long March, as well as his ideology of Land Reforms and being a man of the people, all contribute to Mao Zedong`s rise to power.
China had been a land of unity until the mid-nineteenth century, wars and revolutions followed after that. When the last emperor abdicated and the Warlord Era came over, the country fell in a state of chaos. The GMD then reunited the country promising the three principles of nationalism, democracy and land reform. Chiang Kai-shek- the leader of GMD ignored the ideas of democracy and land reform, he was a strong nationalist and even though he had contacts with Russia he was very right winged and turned out to be very anti-communist.
By 1927 GMD lost their popularity meanwhile Communists Party started gaining support, Chiang Kai-shek started a so called ” purification movement”, which meant nothing else than killing thousands of communists. This movement turned the masses against the GMD, as they understood that GMD don`t keep their word about the three aims which they promised, and oppositely made a way for the Communist Party. The two parties declared war on each other, due to the slaughters in Shanghai, Mao was able to set up the first communist base in Kiangsi.
More and more communists joined Mao in this base, but Chiang and his army soon surrounded the villages around Kiangsi and Mao was forced on the Long March. Quoting a Chinese saying “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” we realize that this first step for Mao represented the Long March in which the CCP marched 6000 miles, crossed 11 provinces, 18 mountain ranges and many deserts being constantly attacked by GMD, they lost more than the third part of people. The significance of the Long March was that it secured relationships between the survivors and created comradeship.
After Mao had rose to power in China and established the People`s Republic of China, all the leaders which helped him to run the county between 1949-1990 had been in the march. Therefore the Long March is seen as a defining moment for Mao, it helped to pave the way for his supremacy as being the leader he was able to show off his leadership skills and emerge from it with a great reputation comparing to Chiang. The Long March was a defining moment for CCP being also a great propaganda boost, a manifesto which spread communist ideas amongst Chinese peasants as Mao believed that they are the main force in a revolution.
Mao took advance of the Long March and emerged out of it as a national hero. The GMD meanwhile lost their support, Chiang spend 65% of budget money for its army which was weaker than Mao`s Red Army made up of peasants.
Using his newly developed guerilla warfare techniques, the Red Army was very successful. The situation actually got worse as the landlords due to the lack of money raised taxes. To help overcome this problem Chiang borrowed money and printed more paper money that led to hyperinflation.
Consequently, there was a drastic fall in the value of the Chinese currency and as result Chiang became increasingly dependent on foreign aid (US) which helped bring about Mao and the CCP`s victory. The government itself was corrupt and very much in favour of the landlords and industrialists. Between 1945-1949, 800000 GMD troops changed sides to become communists, this helped Mao to secure and rise his power and it showed that Chiang had problems controlling his own troops, therefore the people lost their beliefs in him running the country.
Consequently it showed the Chinese that maybe a change was needed, and it began to look as if Mao was the change. During this time Japan saw the opportunity of taking over Manchuria and in 1937 they launched an invasion on China. By 1938 Japan controlled most of the northern Chinese railways, and the GMD weren`t seen to be doing anything or very little in the fight against Japanese. It seemed that Chiang with GMD had just let Japanese walk into China and take control as they were more interested in fighting communists than Japanese.
Therefore it was Mao and the CCP that launched a more effective resistance against the Japanese.
Using the guerilla warfare they were able to defend villages. The peasants were for the first time not ignored, thus CCP was able to gain support from a 100 million peasants. The Japanese war strengthened the communist position. By 1945m the Japanese had then finally been defeated but this was not the end of fighting in China. The GMD was helped by USA to take back all areas which had been occupied by the Japanese, while Russians enabled the CCP guerrillas to move into Manchuria.
Communist armies became large enough by 1948 to go into direct war with the GMD forces.
In 1949, after definitively defeating the GMD, Mao declared the founding of the People`s Republic of China of which he was the chairman. Mao directed the reconstruction of China following the model of the USSR, still Mao did not use the Russian Communism in China. Mao knew it would not work this way for China, that`s why he applied the idea of communism changing it. Conditions in China had become gradually worse in the twentieth century. The peasants, the major part of the Chinese population suffered under their landlords.
When GMD came and promised them land reforms people hoped, but Chiang did not fulfil their wishes, so the peasants wanted a government which will act for their interests. Mao won their support by lower their taxes, giving them land and cancelling their debts to money-lenders. The communists were disciplined, kind and fair while the GMD was corrupt and uncontrolled. The events in the Chinese Civil war such as the USSR raking control of Manchuria that had been previously controlled by Japanese, gave the communists an advantage as the USSR gave weapons to fight with the GMD.
Also the use of guerilla war tactics against the numerous GMD showed the people of China, the communist`s determination and courage as well as Mao`s intelligence being the leader.
Mao`s cult of personality that had been formed after the legendary Long march, and helped by his being a man of the people, and peasant upbringing helped associate himself with the majority of the population who were also peasants and the last thing his ideology of Land Reforms and such that were geared into helping peasant are factors of Mao Zedong`s rise to power.
His methods as giving the peasants what they wanted, fighting Japanese, brilliant war tactics, great propaganda campaign as Long March and the good use of conditions as the GMD corrupted and uncontrolled government with its problems and un-fulfilled promises contributed to Mao`s popularity.