Sample Essay

CCP had managed to create a strong base in Wugong thanks to its continued resistance to the Japanese in the 40s, its measures to curb famine by taxing the rich, and converting the village into a prime example of success with organized cooperation amongst the peasants. As the curbs were placed on intra-village activities, concentration was had on the activities and incomes within the village. Wugong rose as a status symbol with its rise in per capita income and rural prosperity.

Cultural group events were held within the village for people to meet and function even better as a unit. This was where they chose most of their brides as well. Up until the 80s Wugong thrived with cotton and wheat production becoming much more prosperous than the neighboring regions (Friedman, Pickowicz and Selden).

The socialist movement was led by Mao Zedong. During the collectivization, the rural villagers were restricted to trading within the natural village and were prohibited from engaging in inter-village commerce. Strict adherence to the rules was required by Mao Zedong as he advocated some drastic land reforms in favor of the poor/peasant population. He lodged the Great Leap Forward campaign in 1958 which, together with his other reforms geared towards collectivization created unprecedented levels of famine. The ferocity and self-belief of his campaigns could be judged by the fact that anti Maoist sentiments were rendered immediately punishable under his rule.

The collectivization, however, brought with it many hindrances. It created a pattern and market restrictions that kept the villagers from seeking women from places too far away from their own. Prior to the 1950s, the people of Raoyang County relied on other markets for their business as well as cultural developments but this was actively advocated against by Mao Zedong.

However, there was a fear within the villagers for a lack of inheritance and the continuation of the family as a result of collectivization (Li). The socialists created a new relationship between the family and the state and effectively put the latter in charge throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s. Wugong by this time had become the prime example of communist success with its relatively greater levels of prosperity. But in all this rush for prosperity and social integration, the socialists created shortages of food and further famine. The Great Leap Forward of Mao Zedong in 1958 proved a failure as it resulted in millions of deaths throughout China accredited to the famine resulting from them. The reeducation process started by Mao Zedong was flawed since it actively shunned those who were against Maoist principles and rendered severe punishments to them. Everyday life became even more difficult with the Cultural Revolution in 1966 which deployed the Red Guards to keep the ordinary citizen in check. Any non revolutionary action was immediately curbed with physical force. It brought education and public transport to a stand-still and politics became the epicenter of daily Chinese life up until the death of Mao Zedong in 1976. From here on out China saw a host of economic reforms and conflicts in the name of power but grew steadily both economically and socially.

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