The Little Red Book written by one of China’s most influential characters of the 20th century, Mao Zedong. His folly known as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution caused a tragic period for the Chinese people and the nation itself. As a child, Mao Zedong had a dream to become a leader of his own country, China. Although he was born into a poor family, it did not prevent him from accomplishing his dreams. Without his existence, there would not be a People’s Republic of China. We cannot, of course, alter the fact that he has caused the nation and its people to suffer greatly. The scar from this tragedy will begin to heal over time, but the fact that he dedicated his whole life for his country and the changes he has made to the People’s Republic of China will remain in the hearts and souls of every Chinese people.
Mao Zedong was born in Hunan province on December 26, 1883 in a peasant family. In 1919, students, and intellectuals called for China’s modernization. Mao published articles criticizing the traditional value of Confucianism. Professors at that time refused to acknowledge his presence because he was poor and had no status. Because of the Marxian Socialism and the May 4th Movement of students at Peking University, Mao has been turned into a pro-revolutionary. His early experience with China’s bourgeois intellectuals had left him with a residue of destruction toward the purveyors of “book learning.” He later joined the Chinese Communist Party. After 7 years of controlling China, the KMT (Kuomintang) and the CCP (Chinese Communist Party), the 2 main parties in China began a civil war. The CCP won because it had a good army and great support from the citizens and forced KMT’s leader Chiang Kai-Shek to flee to Taiwan. Mao founded The People’s Republic of China in Beijing on October 10, 1949. He created the Cultural Revolution, an idea that he designed himself. The purpose is to destroy the pro-Communist China. During the climax of his life, his health started to deteriorate. Mao Zedong was pronounced dead at his home in 1976 due to Parkinson’s disease.
Mao Zedong was named one of China’s most important people. His greatest achievement included the unification of China through destruction of Nationalist power, creation of a unified people’s republic, and he was the first ever person to gain total control of China. He removed the control of Russians. In addition, he stressed the importance of land redistribution for the benefits of the rural peasantry and his theories have strongly influenced and encouraged the non-industrialized third world countries to develop as well. After the Hundred Flower Movements in 1956, Mao motivated the intellectuals to make constructive criticisms to the CCP, which unfortunately revealed deep hostility to the party’s leadership. During the height of his political power as the leader of the People’s Republic of China, he reconstructed the nation by opening the doors of China and welcoming heavy industries and large commercial companies.
The impact of Chairman Mao was greatly felt throughout the nation in both a positive and negative way. He decided to root out traitors and corruption by launching three different campaigns. However, they were not very successful. Moreover, he discovered the great power of the peasants; thus, Mao advocated the rapid formations of agricultural communes. Hoping to transform China’s economy and overtake the west in industries and agricultural production, he insisted the people to engage in zealous physical labour. Sadly, the plan failed. Without his existence; however, the development of the nation would be much slower.
Many challenged Mao’s leadership skills because of its many controversies that arose during that time. Was he really listening to the people or just himself? Although many of the citizens at that time disagreed with his plan, he continued with “The Great Leap Forward.” Mao before his death was seen as a terrible member of government, but after his death, he was re-evaluated by his successor Deng Xiao Ping. He was praised for his contribution in the resistance against Japan and founded The People’s Republic of China. Many Chinese vilify Mao for his brutality but also admired for his power and his role as one of the most influential historic figure of the 20th century. Even today, many still challenge his actions including the “Great Leap Forward” and “The Cultural Revolution” for causing many Chinese to suffer and die.
After this in-depth research of Mao Zedong, I have learned that even if you were born into a poor and low status family, you can still be a great success. Money is not everything. Mao’s hard work and determination has made him soar in the political world. He has inspired me to continue to work harder and achieve my life-long goals.
Mao Zedong was surely an impressive and unique character in the history of China. His changes in his early life had a great impact on the nation. Due to his experienced in politics, his focus shifted in his later life causing an extreme tragedy. Well, was he a hero or villain? Decide for yourself!