Sample Term Paper
After the peasants had seen the suffering and disarray that the nationalist government’s antics caused during the Japanese occupation in the 40s, the rural districts were ready for a change. The war with the Japanese finally came to an end with them surrendering in 1945, but the traces of their wrath were spread far and beyond rural North China. Between 1943 and 1945, Raoyang and the rest of Heibei saw the worst cases of natural disaster that the country had seen in recent times. On top of that, the Japanese forces were bent upon using the little that was harvested for their own homeland and creating further shortages within rural China.
Scarcity of food resources caused the peasants immense grievances over anything else. According to estimates, “101 of 329 households sold their lands and tools to survive” (Li). The shortage was so severe that people had to resort to selling whatever they had that could help them survive, even if it were their own children. The famine itself was not responsible for the rebellion however. Experts suggest that the root cause of all uprisings have to do with the depreciation of the social fabric of the state, which together with famine causes the people enough agony for them to get up and take a stand. The degree of desperation altered the psychology of the locals so adversely that people had to sell their own daughters to stay alive, sell themselves in prearranged prostitution, steal from others and betray. In such a state, morals disappear and give way to unadulterated obscenity. It would not matter if the person being stolen from is poorer or worse off as long as it satisfied the one stealing. Such was the situation of rural China in the late 30s and 40s.
The foresight of the communist few enabled them to procure the wealth of the rich in order to feed the poor beginning in 1938. This practice began in Wugong, a village in Raoyang County. The wealthy were taxed in order to literally save the lives of those with nothing. When the Japanese finally left in 1945, it began of a wave of socialist reform. The landlords were urged to forgo their property and leave. Those who posed threats to this regime change were uprooted and expelled from the land and forced to leave their property behind. The process involved the scheme of “double reduction, lowering rents and interest rates alike” (Li). Thus, the land was reallocated from the rich to the poor and desperately poor alike, so that now they had enough to grow on and sustain. Peasants were understandably relieved since now they had a way of living their lives without fear of uncertainties of food and sustenance. By March 1946, the process of reallocation of land was complete and rural North China was given a means to survive. The Communists were welcome to take over and in 1949 they did, forming the People’s Republic of China.
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