The Communist State
By: Thanakorn (Tito) Chaichankul

Mao Zedong December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976 (aged 82 )

Mao Zedong
A Han Chinese revolutionary, political theorist and communist leader. He led the People's Republic of China (PRC)from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976.
A form of socialism that abolishes private ownership.
Common Programme
An outline of the Communist Party's aims and intentions for the future.
One who is opposed to change; One who is very conservative; Opposed to change; urging a return to a previous state.
PLA troops
PLA stands for People's Liberation Army.

The rise of Communism in China is largely due to a man named Mao Zedong. He was poorly educated as a child but highly intelligent. Zedong left home and had become a member of the Nationalist Army as the Revolution began around 1911. He was soon introduced to and became powerfully influenced by the philosophies of Marxism.

The Intentions of the Communists

Two days before the communist proclaimed the People's Republic of China, the Communist Party held a conference to decide their future policy. On 29 September 1949 the conference drew up a Common Programme outlining the Party's aims and intentions in the future.

The Common Programmed explained that the new government of China would be a 'People's Democratic Dictatorship.' This meant that the government would be democracy to most people. Any body who opposed to the Communist would be classed as a reactionary.

1949 - The Common Programme

The Common Programme is a lists explaining the aims and intentions of the communist party. The People's Republic of China strives for independence, democracy, peace, unity, prosperity, and the strength of China. The country must transform from an agricultural into an industrial country. The people shall have freedom of thought, speech, and religious belief. Women shall enjoy the equal rights as men. The People's Republic of China shall suppress all counter-revolutionary activities. The People's Republic shall unite with all peace loving and freedom loving countries and people throughout the word.

Problems facing the Communists

  • Agricultural output had decreased drastically because peasants spent 3 years fighting in the civil war
  • Dams, irrigation systems, canals and roads were damaged
  • Food shortage
  • Chaos in transport, telecommunications and energy systems
  • High inflation
  • Unemployment
  • Local governments were slow and inefficient because they were used to corruption under Chiang Kaishek
  • Threat that Chiang might return with his troops
  • Holding China together

Reorganization of Government

The first action of the Communist after taking power was to reorganize the government of China. The began by grouping China's eighteen provinces into six regions. In each region they set up a series of councils to run each subdivision of the regions, from provinces down to countries, cities, district, and towns.
The party members had to obey every rules and give total obedience to the Party leaders.
  • PLA troops now used in reconstruction of railway lines, bridges, and ports.

PLA troops

1949 - New Flag

The new flag of China in 1949: The large star stands for the Common Programme of the party. The four smaller starts represent the workers, peasants, the lower middle calss and the patriotic capitalists.


Many Changes

Since China became a communist state there were many changes.

April 1950-51 – Marriage Law
Ended arranged marriages, marriage of children, the killing of unwanted children and bigamy.
Minimum age set at 20 for men and 18 for women.
Husbands and wives now jointly owned family property.

1951 – People’s Bank
Replace all private banks.
Control of financial transactions as well as the issue of money.
Got rid of inflation by mid 1950s.

1951 - Farmers
Farmers had to sell 15 – 20 % of their grain to the government at a low fixed price.
Effort to overcome food shortage.
There was an agricultural tax on their produce.

1905-1951 : Public Enemies
Party held mass rallies.
Most were people who collaborated with the Japanese or those who fought in the Guomindang.
Around a million ‘enemies’ executed.

Compare and Contrast Question

Compare and contrast Mao Zedong's and Joseph Stalin's policies

During the rise of Communism one of the most difficult tasks that a leader had to face was to have the citizens of the country to agree with and support the idea of communism. This would not be an easy task because never does an entire country believe the same thing. But all believing the same thing and working together is one of the main idea of communism itself. Two countries tried to morph their society to fit the standards of Marxist communism, everyone working together for the same common goal with no personal gain desired. Mao Tse Tung in China and Josef Stalin in Russia were two leaders who tried to change their society very quickly to fit communism but one did better than the other.

Josef Stalin’s collectivization began in 1929. Although it was a bloody time for peasant with up to 10 million deaths, Stalin found that he could eliminate the more wealthy kulaks and move all other peasants to collectives. Collectives were massive farms that were controlled by the government . These farms took the land, livestock and farm tools from the peasants driven out by the Red army. This cost the country many lives and much money but Stalin believe it was a necessary to accomplish his industrial dream. The peasants on these collective farms were eventually put to work building and working in new industrial factories. In 11 years Russia’s industrial production went up by 400%.This rapid switch to industrialization did have some bad effects on the people of Russia. Prices on common good rose to be much higher than afforded and food was even rationed at one point because of how little was being produced from collectivization. Stalin ended his Five-Year Plan with the closing out of any political opposition to himself within or outside the Soviet party. He did this by striking fear into any who would think of opposing him through secret police forces and strict punishments.

Mao Tse Tung also planned to turn his country into a communist state for the good of the people and the country. In 1966 Mao’s Communist Cultural Revolution began. Like Stalin, Mao Tse Tung had a Red army called Red Guards, they stormed the cities taking anyone who was though to possibly oppose communism in the future, burning their possessions and either killing them or moving them out to labor farms controlled by cadres. The cadres were supposed to be elected by the people but were usually just appointed by some party leader to keep the order. This “New Society” as the communists called it was for the people. But the people did not want it. Treatment in the new communist society was harsh; people were beaten worse than animals. Children had to work day and night to keep enough rice or other products to give to the government and to feed themselves. There was much corruption in communist China amongst all of the leaders; landlords would compete for the best output even at the death or starvation of their own people. The villages were constantly in a struggle to stay alive.

From the information above it should be quite easy to tell who was more successful in changing their society. Stalin’s collectivization wasn't successful, but the First Five Year Plan was a success. Stalin towards the end of his reign, and after his Five year plan had Russia working like clockwork not a single person in Russia dared oppose him up until his death as leader. That shows a great deal of control over a very large number of people. Mao Tse Tung was not so lucky himself, throughout his communist reign the members of society held onto their traditional values as the only thing that they had. Many Chinese still prayed to certain Buddhist gods and held onto Confucian ideals. The slaves in China’s villages did not change for reasons of force and fear as did the industrial workers of Russia. The Chinese slaves did not fear the communists and do their will but rather hated them and did their work only to survive in hope of a better time. It is much better to have fearful workers than angry slaves, as we know from event like the French Revolution.

Josef Stalin struck fear into the hearts of the Russian people and showing them that communism was a better option. While Mao Tse Tung struggled with his competing landlords and restless villagers. There is no one, single reason why Josef Stalin was more successful than Mao Tse Tung in his communist movement but it is clear that he had a much better handle on controlling the masses by changing their traditions and ideas.

Bloom's Questions:

  1. Knowledge: What would happen if China didn't became a communist state?
  2. Comprehension: What is the main idea of communism?
  3. Application: Why is Mao Zedong significant to the changes of China?
  4. Analysis: How does Mao Zedong similar to Stalin?
  5. Evaluation: What do you think about the communism in China?
  6. Synthesis: What might happen if China didn't became a communist state?

Extent Questions:

1. To what extent did Stalin make the USSR a great economic power?

Stalin to a moderate extent increased the USSR's economic power. Firstly he had to increase the amount of food that Russia produced; he not only needed to feed the Russian people, but to export food to earn much-needed foreign currency. The millions of tiny peasant farms created by Lenin were too small and poor to be efficient. Therefore, in 1927, Stalin announced that he was going to collectivize farming – he was going to gather all the tiny farms in each village into one big kolkhoz (collective) which would be able to introduce machinery and new ideas.
The idea of collectivization was ignored, so in 1929 Stalin announced that collectivisation would be unavoidable. Many peasants – particularly the rich kulaks – were furious at giving their land a stock away to the collective. Many burned their barns and killed their animals, so the immediate cause of collectivization was a huge drop in production, and famine. Stalin backed off for a year, but in 1931 he started collectivization again. There was more resistance and another famine (5 million people died in the Ukraine) but Stalin forced through his scheme by declaring war on the kulaks, who were killed or sent to labour camps. By 1934 all 7 million kulaks had been ‘eliminated’ By 1939, 99% of the farms had been collectivized, but grain production was only just beginning to rise above 1914 levels, and there were still only half as many sheep and cattle as in 1928.

Secondly, Stalin introduced a series of 5-year Plans to try to improve industry. The state planning department (GOSPLAN) drew up targets for production of basic industrial items such as electricity, coal, oil and steel, and local factories were told to increase production. Foreign experts were called in, and workers were bombarded with propaganda – they were urged to become ‘Stakhanovites’ (named after a coal worker who cut an amazing 102 tons of coal in one shift). Crèches were set up so that women could join the workforce, and for the big engineering projects (such as hydro-electric dams) slave labour from the gulag was used. But other enthusiastic Communist ‘pioneers’ volunteered to go and found new industrial towns in places like Siberia.

Production increased – 1927-1937 electricity by 700%, coal by 250% and oil by 400%. But the plans concentrated on heavy industry, and people had to do without consumer goods. Often increased production was achieved by ignoring safety (100,000 men died building the Belomor Canal), wages fell and life in the labour camps was terrible
Stalin's Five years plan did work out, it increase the heavy industries' production, but the idea of collectivization didn't work out. Seven millions kulaks had been eliminated the grain production had increase by a tinny level, but there were still only half as many sheep and cattle as in 1928.

Keyterms from China and Russia:

Mao Zedong
A Han Chinese revolutionary, political theorist and communist leader. He led the People's Republic of China (PRC)from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976.
A form of socialism that abolishes private ownership.
Common Programme
An outline of the Communist Party's aims and intentions for the future.
One who is opposed to change; One who is very conservative; Opposed to change; urging a return to a previous state.
PLA troops
PLA stands for People's Liberation Army.
A fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.
The New Tide
The New Tide was led by a group of teachers at Beijing University, its aim was to get rid of the old fashion ideas and to introduce the modern idea of freedom, equal rights, and scientific progress.
Sun Yatsen
He was a Chinese revolutionary and political leader.
Chiang Kai Shek
He was a political and military leader of 20th century China.
A political party of the Republic of China whose guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People.

1.Nationalism-Overthrow the Qing dynasty.
2.Democracy-Create a republic government.
3.People's Livelihood-Peasants are allow to own lands.


Stalin was the leader of the USSR during WWII (1924-1953).
The Great Purge
The Great Purge was a series of campaigns of political repression and persecution in the Soviet Union orchestrated by Joseph Stalin in 1936-1938.
A propaganda is a information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution or nation.
The NKVD was the public and secret police organization of the Soviet Union that directly executed the rule of power of the Soviets, including political repression, during the era of Stalin.
The act, or process of setting something up, or establishing something.
The chief executive and political committee of the Communist Party.


Russia and the USSR

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Unit Two- The Rise of Communism