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Mao Zedong Notes

History Notes > Origins and Developments of Authoritarian and Single party states Notes

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History:

The

top

2

%

2013

Origins

and

Developments

of


Authoritarian

and

Single

party

states

China

:

Mao

Zedong


By

Tara

Subba


ORIGINS


th

19

century:

*

China

fallen

behind

the

West

in

the

development

of

technology

(particularly

in

weapons).

*

Foreign

companies

were

building

railways,

factories,

mines

and

ports

to

exploit

China's

natural

resources.

1920s

*

Desire

for

a

strong

and

united

China,

free

of

foreign

interference.

*

Choice

between

2

political

parties:

The

Guomindang

(GMD)


Backed

by:

wealthy

businessman,

landlords,

and

the

creation

of

a

new

National

Revolutionary

Army

(NRA).

3 principles:

*

Nationalism

*

Democracy

*

People's

livelihood

The

Communist

party

of

China

(CPC)


Heavily

influenced

by

Russian

advisers

(Comintern)


Tension


1927--1937:

Nationalist

government

(Chiang

Kai--Shek)

aimed

to

eradicate

the

Communist

Party

--

impose

a

dictatorship


1937:

*

The

long

March

=

Communists

confined

largely

to

the

area

around

Yan'an.

*

Japanese

invasion

=

Cessation

of

hostilities

between

Nationalists

and

the

Communists.


However

Chiang

unwilling

to

accept

the

Communists

as

partners

in

the

struggle

against

the

Japanese.


Conditions

that

produced

autocratic

and

single

party

states


Entry

of

USA

and

Britain

into

the

Second

World

War

in

the

Far

East


Japanese

navy

launched

attack

on

the

American

fleet

at

Pearl

Harbor

(Hawaii)


British

bases

in

Singapore

and

Hong

Kong

were

attacked

and

captured


Events

*

America

supplied

Chiang's

armies

with

weapons

and

ammunition

*

American

built

airbases

in

China

to

launch

bombing

raids

on

Japan

*

1944:

Japanese

started

the

Ichigo

offensive

aimed

to

capture

American

bases


Consequences

*

Chiang's

government

in

Chongqing

still

recognized

by

foreign

powers

as

the

legitimate

government

of

China.

*

Civil

War:

Beginning

of

a

struggle

for

control

over

China

--

Communists

vs.

Nationalists


The

Civil

War

(1946--49)

:

A

Communist

victory


During

1945--46,

nationalist

forces

drove

the

Communists

out

of

their

base

areas.

From

a

military

perspective,

the


Nationalists

had

the

best

chance

of

winning

the

Civil

War.

However,

there

were

political

and

military

factors

that


strengthened

the

communists'

position.


Focus

on:

*

Strengths

and

weaknesses

of

the

Guomindang

(GMD)

*

The

political

and

military

strengths

of

the

Communist

party

*

The

impact

on

the

people

of

communist

discipline

and

land

reforms

*

Reasons

for

communist

victory

and

the

role

of

Mao

Zedong

Strengths

and

weaknesses

of

the

Guomindang

(GMD)

Strengths

of

the

Guomindang


Military

* Army

larger

and

better


equipped

than

communist


forces

at

the

beginning

of

the


civil

war

* Air

force

to

provide

troops

on


the

ground

with

aerial

support


(strategists

believed

this

to

be


crucial

in

modern

warfare)

* Although

unsuccessful

against


Japan,

troops

gained

fighting


experience

for

conventional


battles

that

communists


lacked.

Weaknesses

of

the

Guomindang

* Nationalist

troops

poorly

trained

* Low

on

morale

* Lacked

discipline

* When

taking

over

areas

formerly

controlled

by


Communists,

nationalist

troops

gained

a

reputation

for


brutality

and

ill

discipline

among

local

populations

who


were

terrorized

into

submission.

* Heavy

losses

against

Japan

severely

weakened


nationalist

armies


Results

of

Ichigo

offensive:

* Nationalist

weakness

exposed


Chines

forces

gave

up

position

without

a

fight

* Morale

was

low


Troops

unpaid,

unfed

and

unfit

and

lacked

basic


training

and

equipment

* Corrupt

officers


Stole

money

intended

for

pay

and

supplies.

Chiang

did


not

act

decisively

to

remove

incompetent

officials


1941:

Chiang

launched

attack

vs.

Communist

forces

(South)

Military

setback

for

Communists

but

gained

politically

* Portrayed

Chiang

focused

on

dividing

the

national

* Communists

were

presented

as

the

true

Chinese


patriots

focused

on

challenging

the

Japanese.

Territorial


control

* More

than

Communists;


controlled

China's

largest


cities,

most

of

the

railway


networks

and

main

waterways

* 'Control'

not

complete;

Warlords

not

defeated

by

the


Guomindang

and

remained

in

control

over

their

own


areas

whilst

the

Nationalists

were

in

charge

of

the


central

government.

* Lack

of

effective

control

=

weakened

Nationalist

ability


to

mobilize

the

whole

nation

in

support

of

their


struggle.

Foreign


support

* GMD

government

recognized


by

foreign

powers

as

the


legitimate

government

of


China.

* America

supplied

military


equipment

and

airlifted


nationalist

troops

in

1945

so


they

could

be

in

a

position

to


accept

the

Japanese

surrender.

Support

of


the


population

* GMD's

3

principles:


Nationalism,

democracy

and


people's

livelihood

--

attracted


widespread

support

for

the


party

in

the

1920s--30s

among


the

middle

classes.

* Dependence

on

foreign

support

undermined

the

GMD


and

Chiang's

claim

to

be

the

true

defender

of

national


interest.

* Allies

grew

critical

of

Chiang's

government

and


personal

failings

-

Joseph

Stilwell

(American

general


who

was

sent

to

China

during

WWII

to

liaise

with

the


Nationalists)

"

Chiang

same

as

ever:

a

grasping,

bigoted


and

ungrateful

little

rattlesnake"

* Did

not

deliver

its

3

promises;

support

ebbed

away

* Failed

to

defend

national

interest;

created

a

dictatorial


regime;

done

little

to

improve

the

livelihood

of

people

* GMD

as

a

party

stood

aloof

from

soviet

-

did

not

try

to


build

mass

support.

* Instead,

regime

depended

on

financial

backing

of


wealthy

businessmen,

landlords

and

on

the


ruthlessness

of

the

secret

police.

* Common

practices

to

maintain

Chiang's

one--party


state:

assassinations

of

political

opponents,

torture

and


execution

of

suspected

communists

without

trial.

Regime:


Corruption


and


inefficiency

* Corruption

and

inefficiency:

Local

officers

abused

their


powers

-

enriched

themselves

by

taking

bribes

and


extorting

money

(tax)

from

local

people

a?

government


forced

to

borrow

heavily;

permanently

in

debt.

* Regime

was

weak

and

divided

by

factional

rivalry:


Chiang

could

not

delegate

power

to

his

subordinates.


He

tried

to

control

what

his

commanders

on

the


battlefields

were

doing

even

though

Emergence

of

the

CPC:

Support


Strengths

of

the

Communist

Party

(CPC)

/

Reasons

for

Victory

*

PLA

strategies

o Military

factors


o Broadening

the

base

for

communist

support

*

Nationalist

weakness

o Military

errors


o Economic

mismanagement

*

CPC

focused

on

support

among

the

poorest

peasants

believed

to

be

the

most

revolutionary.


Strategy

focused

on

2

elements:


o

Discipline

o

Land

reforms

*

Support

form

the

peasants


Crucial

to

the

success

of

any

political

party

in

an

overwhelmingly

rural

society

*

Role

of

foreign

powers


o

American

support

for

the

Nationalists

o

Soviet

assistance

to

the

Communists

o

Indirect

American

help

to

the

Communists

*

Mao's

leadership


o

Cult

of

Personality

o

Flexibility

to

gain

support

from

different

power

bases

PLA

strategies:

Military

factors


Experience

*

In

the

war

against

the

Japanese,

Communists

troops

gained

valuable

experience

for

fighting


conventional

battles

against

numerically

superior

forces.

Guerilla

warfare

*

Effective

against

Japan.

*

Was

to

be

equally

successful

against

the

Nationalists

in

Manchuria,

an

area

geographically

suited

for

this


method

of

warfare

due

to

hilly

terrain

and

large

forested

areas.

*

Fought

a

campaign

of

surprise

attacks

against

the

enemy's

weakest

pints

-

'wear

and

tear'

tactic

to


eliminate

nationalist

forces

one

by

one,

thereby

gradually

reducing

their

numerical

advantage.

*

Dominated

rural

areas

and

struck

vital

communications

routes

e.g.

railway

lines

whilst

GMD

forces

were


isolated

in

their

city

strongholds.


Military

leadership


1954:

Mao's

military

commander,

Lin

Biao,

successfully

transformed

the

PLA

into

a

conventional

army.


PLA

increased

strength

a?

a

formidable

fighting

force

by:

*

Absorbing

much

of

the

army

of

the

Manchukuo

puppet

government

in

Manchuria.

*

New

recruits

from

peasant

supporters.

*

Nationalist

units

that

surrendered

in

the

latter

stages

of

the

civil

war.

*

Intensive

training

in

the

use

of

weapons

captured

form

the

enemy.

*

Political

indoctrination

of

the

troops

at

large

rallies.

*

Lin

Biao's

offensive

strategy

a?

victory

in

Manchurian

and

later

in

northern,

central

and

finally

southern


China.


PLA

strategies:

Broadening

the

base

of

communist

support

*

Heavily

peasant--based

*

During

the

course

of

struggle

against

the

Japanese

and

the

Nationalists,

the

party

broadened

the

base

of


its

supporters

Look

at

'Military

leadership'

above

.

Latter

stages

of

the

war:

*

CPC

had

limited

support

in

large

cities

*

Communists

infiltrated

trade

unions

in

large

industrial

cities

(Shanghai)

-

used

to

undermine

GMD

by


organizing

strikes.

*

Adept

at

attracting

support

through

a

variety

of

means

to

spread

communist

propaganda:


o

*

Officials

effective

in

preventing

crime,

controlling

the

distribution

of

scare

food

supplies

and

introducing


a

fair

system

of

taxation.

*

Efforts

praised

by

both

foreign

and

Chinese

observers.

Newspapers

/

films/radios

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