A Five Year Plan and a Hundred Flowers 1953-1957Key Terms
The First Five Year Plan
The First Five Year plan was made in 1953-1957, and it concentrated on heavy industry.
A Hundred FlowersProject
The Hundred Flowers project was developed by Mao Zedong in 1956, it let the people talk freely of him and then suddenly he arrested them all.
Mao Zedong
The leader of Communist China at the time.
Agrarian Reform Law 1950
A law that helped peasants by giving land to them.
Lower-stage cooperatives
The lower stage cooperatives were a group of people who merged their land for the benefit of "big income". These families were paid rents for their land.
Higher-stage coopertatives
The higher stage cooperatives were also a group of people who merged their land, but these groups were much bigger. They were not payed rent, they were only paid wages.

The First Five Year plan
This poster explains where and why factories were being built throughout China because of the Five year Plan.
This poster explains where and why factories were being built throughout China because of the Five year Plan.

A plan similar to the Russian Five Year Plan, was developed in China and known as the Five Year Plan. The plan focused on heavy industry such as steel, coal, and machinery. The production of China's light industry such as clothing and food processing was slowed since the plan focused only on heavy indsutry, so people lived with the low availability of consumer goods. Light industry is actually very important since it includes the daily needs of the population. The First Five Year Plan was used from 1953-1957 and was mainly adopted from the Soviet Union when Mao met Stalin in Moscow on December 1949. They formed the Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance in which Russia gave money and technical assistance to China to modernize her industry. Despite the fact that the plan was aimed on heavy industry, agriculture was also important so cooperative farms were formed. This idea is explained at the bottom of the page.

1953-1957 Five Year Plan Outcome
1957 Planned
1957 Actual
Pig iron
Chemical fertiliser
units in million tonnes
Map of the important industrial projects in PRC under the First Five Year Plan, 1956

Investment distribution of the First Five Year Plan, 1956
Investment distribution of the First Five Year Plan, 1956

Hundred Flowers Campaign

external image mao2.jpgexternal image free-speech.jpg
The hundred flowers campaign was launched on May of 1956. It was designed by Mao Zedong. This campaign was used to promote socialism and demote Mao's enemies. This campaign allowed everyone to have "free speech", and they were allowed to criticize whoever in any way they wanted. At first, the people criticized the corrupt government and other things, but as time passed by, Mao Zedong was personally criticized. This made him mad, and Mao Zedong suddenly arrested the people who criticized him. Mao Zedong didn't like it when people said nasty thing about him. Two authors, Clive James and Jung Chang said that Mao Zedong created this campaign to see who criticized him, and then punis them all. It was like setting up a trap for a mouse. He first put cheese on the mouse trap. The mice were the liberal speakers who criticized Mao Zedong. The cheese and the trap was the Hundred Flowers Campaign. The mouse got lured into eating the cheese. Then Mao Zedong closed the trap and the mouse was dead. The liberal speakers that criticized Mao Zedong were arrested. Li Zhisui, another author suggested that the campaign was used to attack his opposing enemies, but when criticism shifted towards him, he punished the participants of this campaign. The Hundred Flowers Campaign was the first campaign in the Republic of China to let people speak freely of the government and leaders, and this was printed in history.Cooperative Farms in China
Chinese propaganda of how the cooperative farms should look like
Chinese propaganda of how the cooperative farms should look like

It all started out when the Agrarian Refrom Law of 1950 was issued. It gave land to around 300 million peasants! About half of these peasants could farm their own land by themselves. However, the other half could not produce enough food needed for the Five Year Plan expectations. The Government feared that if they didn't change this, the peasants would become a selfish class that only farmed for self profit. So the government decided to trick the peasants in joining what they called the lower stage cooperatives. The lower stage cooperatives were when 30-50 people pooled their land to make one big farm, so that that production became more efficient.The profit gained from this was used to pay each family for land rental. The government also had what was called the high stage cooperative farms. This was exactly like the lower stage cooperative farm, but there were about 200-300 families involved. This was at the beggining. Later, the higher stage cooperative farms became around 10,000 to 20,000 households and the lower stage cooperatives consisted up to 4000-5000 families!!!! The higher stage cooperative farms were not good. The families were only payed for labor, and the equipment and land belonged to the cooperative, not them. By 1956, 95% of the peasants joined the higher stage cooperatives, and most of them were landless once again. Later on in 1959, this caused famine, and between 1959-1962 around 20-30 million people died.
Russia's 5 Key Terms
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin was the Russian leader and was in office from 3rd April 1922 - 5th March 1953. He was the First General Secretary and used his position to move up to be leader. He killed many millions, even more than Hitler and Mao Zedong.
Tsar Nicholas II
The Tsar was the last emperor of Russia and ruled from 1894 to 1917. He didn't care abut his peasants and later got assasinated by some Bolsheviks.
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin was born on 22nd April 1870 and died on 21st January 1924. Lenin was the leader of the Bolsheviks. He also lead the October Revolution.
The Great Purge
The Great Purge was a campaign held by Stalin in 1936-1938. The purge was used to kill Stalin's military commanders who were getting too powerful. The Purge was also used to kill demonstrators, which were caught by the secret police. At the end, the secret police leader was purged himself.
First Three Five year Plans
Campaigns developed to increase Russia's economy. The First three Five Year Plans ran from 1928-1941. The plans concentrated on making the economy better by producing more food and more agriculture. Collectivization was introduced.
China's 5 key terms
Mao Zedong
The leader of China that was in office from 1943-1976. He was born in 1893 and died in 1976. Mao Zedong made friends with Stalin, but he killed almost as many citizens as Stalin did.
Five year Plan 1953-1957
A campaign that Mao Zedong coppied from Russia to increase its economic growth. China got financial aid from Russia to develope.
Cooperative Farms
The cooperative farms came from the lawsuit that was released in 1950. It was called the Agrarian Refrom Law. It gave land to more than 300 million peasants. The government then persuaded the peasants to merge their farms to produce goods more efficiently.
Communism was an idea invented by Karl Marx. The idea of communism was to make everyone equal. No matter how hard you worked, the amount of food you received would be the same as a lazy person.
The Great Leap Forward
The Great Leap Forward was a campaign designed and used by Mao Zedong. it concentrated on heavy industry, because Mao Zedong wanted to catch up with the world powers. He used this plan to industrialize, causing famine because most of the workers were used in factories, and not enough in farms.

Challenge Questions

Compare and Contrast Stalin’s first-two Five year plan to Mao’s first Five year plan - Nicha

Stalin’s and Mao’s first five year plan had a lot of similarity. Mao formed a successful five year plan with the help of the Russian. The ideas of the five year plan in both countries were to develop heavy industries such as coal, steel, and machinery. Both plan were successful in term of economic and industrial development, however, Stalin did not make the five year plan success in term of social aspect because many people died because of starvation and execution, like the Kulaks. However, China did focus their five year plan on agriculture also but not the Russian. Most of the time, the Russian focus on industrializing the heavy industries, improve the factories, but they did not focus on agriculture like the Chinese. So basically, the first five year plan in both countries have a lot of similarity in terms of developing the industries, both plan were a success, but the Russian did not focus on agriculture and lower class peasants like the Chinese does.
To what extent were the cooperative farms in China a success compared to Russian cooperative farms?The cooperative farms in China were to a moderate extent success compared to Russian cooperative farms. They both failed. The cooperative farms in China started out as small groups called the smaller-stage cooperative farms. These farms were made up of 30-50 families who agreed to merge the farms to 1 big farm for the benefit of producing more products. The participants in smaller-stage cooperative farms were paid rent for the use of their land. There was also a higher-stage cooperative farm system. These farms were made up of 200-300 families. They were not paid rent for the use of their land, they were only paid for labor. The number of families in these farms grew so large that some farms even consisted up to 20,000 families. The cooperative farms were made to increase agriculture but failed, and famine was caused because all the food was sold to clear the debt China owed Russia. Russia also had cooperative farms, but they were called communes or collectivization. Collectivization in Russia failed just like in China. They did it to provide more production of food because they concentrated too much on heavy industry that the production of agriculture went down. Famine was caused and in bith China and Russua millions and millions of people died.

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Unit Two - The Rise of Communism
Pre-communist China and China under Communist rule