When Mao Died In 1976 His Only Legacy Was The Political And Economic Devastation Of China. Argue For Or Against This Proposition

1722 words - 7 pages

When Mao died in 1976 his only legacy was the political and economic devastation of China. Argue for or against this proposition.

Chairman Mao Zedong was a Chinese revolutionary, guerrilla warefare strategist, poet, political theorist and leader of the Chinese Revolution. In office for thirty-three years from 1943 to 1976, Mao is best known as the architect and founding father of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Mao’s legacy remains to this day a controversial issue, with some historians claiming him to be a dictator comparable to Hitler and Stalin, with a death toll tat surpassed them both (Wilson, 1980 p108). For many, his Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution are held ...view middle of the document...

The tactic proved successful, eventually forcing Japanese withdrawal (Devillers, 1969 p32). Mao then succeeded in defeating the Nationalist forces by exiling them to Taiwan (Devillers, 1969 p32). About thirty percent of tillable land in China lay in the hands of a small minority of feudal landlords. Mao established the New Liberated Areas Land Law as well. This law stripped landowners of their holdings and redistributed them to the peasants, breaking China away from thousands of years of traditional feudal land ownership and rallying the peasants to his cause (Patnaik, 1998).
Mao Zedong’s military genius also played a crucial role in the establishment of the Communist Party in China. Winning the war provided the opportunity to employ the next phases of his strategy to complete the national transformation. He accomplished this feat through creative tactics and original ideas about war. In fact, Colonel Francis F. Fuller states in an article about Mao’s military strategy, “Without Mao Zedong, there would have been no Communist conquest of China.” (Fuller in Lawson, 1983 p57).
Chairman Mao’s most successful and definitive tactic, the use of guerrilla forces, kept the Communists in the game during the Long March and eventually allowed them to rise up and defeat the Nationalist army (Goldston 1967, p211). Mao then continued to improve upon his military writings concerning guerrilla warfare, making them better and more effective (Devillers, 1969 p72). Eventually, Mao’s guerrilla tactics became so impressive that the Nationalist forces asked him to train their armies while the two sides were still allied against the Japanese. (Goldston, 1967 p154). During the Long March, Mao began streamlining his operations to provide maximum combat effectiveness and efficiency (Lawson, 1983 p56). His efforts paid off for Communists by keeping them undetected and maintaining their protection in the later stages of the conflict with Nationalist forces. Commanding each of his men to tie a white towel around his neck so they could easily see each other at night, he divided the single file marching column and instructed them to zigzag across the land, meeting at designated locations. (Lawson, 1983 p56). These precautions served to confuse Nationalist reconnaissance for the duration of the march. Mao’s shrewd military decisions eventually enabled and the Red Army to eventually win the overall civil war and gain ultimate control of China’s future, assuring the success of Communism in the mainland (Lawson, 1983 p.56).
Besides being a key figure of Marxism and a great strategist and theoretician of the proletarian revolution in China, Mao was an important educator of the proletariat. With his extensive writings on education, he ‘paved the way to a specifically Chinese form of socialist education, known as the “educational doctrine of Mao Zedong”’ (Qingjun, 2001 p.94).
Before his rise to power in the period of 1919-27, Mao began a series of educational innovations. In...

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