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Week 13 Reading Yang Chapter 1 Notes

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Topic 13: "Chapter 1: The path to disaster" (Yang,1996)

"Chapter 1: The path to disaster" (Yang,1996) From Land Reform to Collectivization

During 1949-57, adopted Stalinist development model o i.e. focus on heavy industry, and the rural sector should provide the savings for industrial investment and raw materials for light industry The Chinese leadership invested only minimally in agriculture During First Five-Year Plan (1953-57) o Rural sector:
 Produced > 50% of income
 Employed > 80% of labour force
 But received < 8% of the total state investment o Industry:
 Received > 52% of the total state investment Land reform = The confiscation and redistribution of landlord-held land and other property o Destroyed the old elite o Built up credibility and support in the rest of rural society o Peasants were encouraged to form mutual aid teams, which pooled labour, but retained ownership of land and other productive assets o Peasants had the dream of "building up a family fortune" (fa jia zhi fu) Land reform of 1950-52 coincided with spurts of agricultural growth and significant improvement in standard of living of average peasant o Major agricultural indicators had reached or exceeded the best levels of the mid-1930's By end of 1957, over 97% of all peasant households had been organized into agricultural producers' cooperatives (APCs) o Peasants in the larger APCs received no dividend
 Received only labour payment

Collectivization and Agricultural Performance

Collectivization campaigns over the 1953-57 period failed to energize agricultural growth Growth rates slowed dramatically beginning in 1953, when collectivization began nationwide o Because of rapid population growth, per-capita grain output was even lower
 Grew at 1.13% annually

Winter 1952-53: Small "Rash Advance", Many Ripples

Autumn 1952 - "Lavish official praise for Soviet collective agriculture" Localities view with each other to hastily organize more mutual aid groups and bigger APCs Peasants viewed collective property as 'communization' In many places, farm work, as well as side-line businesses, was neglected, because peasants, especially idle ones had little incentive to work Mao wrote directives calling for "scaling down the targets of collectivization, o Emphasized the need for agricultural policy to suit the special characteristics of the peasant economy, o Made spring planting the top priority o "Any assignment or method of work that hinders the production of the peasants must be avoided" The directives led to a moderation of the pace of collectivization Output of both grain and cotton per mu (land productivity) declined in 1953

November 1953-January 1955: "Market Restriction and Collectivization"

By fall 1953 there was a grain crisis o Result of unsatisfactory summer harvest and rapidly growing urban consumption Vice-Premier Chen Yun decided to implement a state system for the procurement (through compulsory deliveries at state-set prices) o Rationing of grain beginning in November

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