Communists Take Power in China

Explain how the Communists took control of China

Under leader, Mao Zedong, the Communists had a stronghold in northwestern China. By 1945, Communists controlled much of northern china because they won the peasant’s loyalty. While north China was becoming a Communist region, southwestern China under Jiang Jieshi, was protected from the Japanese by rugged mountain ranges. The United States sent many supplies and money to help fight the Japanese. After Japan surrendered, the Nationalists and Communists resumed their fighting. Mao Zing’s victory in this battle fueled U.S. anti-Communist feelings. China had split into two nations – one was the island of Taiwan, or Nationalist China and the mainland, Republic of China.
For decades China had been in turmoil, engaged in civil war or fighting with Japan. When the Communists took power, they aimed to strengthen its 550 million people and its nation. Mao was determined to reshape China’s economy based on Marxist socialism. Under the Agrarian Reform law of 1950, Mao seized the holdings of the farmlands. His forces killed more than a million landlords who resisted. He then divided them among all the peasants. In 1958 Mao proclaimed the “Great Leap Forward”, larger collective farms, or communes. Although it aimed for success, this plan became a giant step backward. Mao was determined to make things right due to that China’s new economic policies weakened the Communist goal of social equality. Thus, he developed the Red Guard, they led the Cultural Revolution.
World War II in China
When Sun Yat Sen declared the Republic of China on October 10, 1911, China embarked on 40 years of internal struggle and civil war. Warlords quickly took over sections of the country and ruled them as individual fiefdoms. Fifteen years later, in 1926, Chiang Kai Shek took control of the Kuomintang Party (as it was known in the West,) and the Army. He began a campaign to overthrow them. He was allied with the Communist Chinese until the conquest of Shanghai. By October 1928, the Communists and the Kuomintang were engaged in open warfare. From 1930 to 1934 the Kuomintang tried repeatedly to encircle Mao Zedong and his communists, driving them 6,000 miles to the Yenan Province.

Seeing China embroiled in internal strife, Japan decided to advance on Manchuria in 1931. They easily conquered the province, installed Chinese Emperor Pu-Yi and renamed it Manchukuo. Chiang was caught between the communists and the Japanese, and focused on defeating his Chinese political rivals. In 1936 he was subjected to an abortive coup, which the Communists extricated him from in exchange for promises to fight the Japanese. Mao Zedong was getting money and supplies from the Soviet Union in response to the anti-comitern pact.
-Kenny R. Gomez

The Communists were very amiable towards the poor peasants, with their efforts to promote literacy and improve food production. The Nationalists on the other hand, were making no effort to please the people. Even though the Nationalists’ army out numbered the Communists’ Red army, in a ratio of 3:1, not to mention the extremely generous donations the United States had provided, the Communist party in the end prevailed over the Nationalists. Thousands of Nationalists fled to the Communist side. The leaders retreated to the island of Taiwan where they endeavored to keep the Nationalistic spirit alive.

After the Nationalist defeat, the Communists, lead by Mao Zedong, quickly began to restore China and make it a powerful nation. To do this they rapidly took control of the vast Chinese population of 550 million people. 4.5 million Communist members, 1% of the population, made up the Communist party and the national government. Mao immediately initiated reforms to make China’s economy based on Marxist socialism by seizing the land of wealthy landowners and giving the land to the people. The people were to live together in collective farms where they shared all benefits and lifestyles. Mao gradually began seizing private companies and nationalizing them. He launched a 5-year plan, very similar to that of Stalin’s, in which coal, cement, steel, and electricity production dramatically increased. After such great success with his first plan he initiated the “Great Leap Forward” in which he united the collective farms into even larger ones called communes. They were as big as large towns, sometimes supporting over 25,000 people sprawled over 15,000 acres of land. People did almost everything together and no matter how hard one worked they were still paid equally. The peasants lacked the incentive to want to work harder since it was the state that benefitted from their labor. And on that note, the “Great Leap Forward” took a nose-dive south.
-Genesis A. Landestoy

Communist Control Over China

When the Communists took over China, they moved rapidly and with a main goal— restore China as a powerful nation. Mao Zedong quickly, like the Soviet Union, created to parties, which he was the head of, the Communist party and the national party. He wanted to base China's economy on Marxist socialism. He had 10% of the rural population control 70% of the farmland. He also seized and killed landlords and divided the lands amongst the peasants. Also, private companies were nationalized. Mao had launched a 5 year plan to increase the production of industry and increased the output of coal, cement, steel, and electricity as well. China's economy was thriving.

Mao didn't stop here though. To expand the Five-Year Plan, Mao created "The Great Leap Forward", where he needed communes, larger collective farms. Here, the peasants were to work, eat, sleep, and raise their children together, and they would not even get paid. Soon, the peasants were becoming tired of working for basically nothing and had no incentives to work. This proved "The Great Leap Forward" to be a great step back, causing a famine, even, due to crop failure and killing over 20 million people.

-Betsy R.

Beginnings of the Rise

The rise of Communism in China is largely due to a man named Mao Zedong. He was poorly educated as a child but highly intelligent. Zedong left home and had become a member of the Nationalist Army as the Revolution began around 1911. He was soon introduced to and became powerfully influenced by the philosophies of Marxism.

After the "Boxer Rebellion" of 1900, (ridding China of all foreigners, massacring all missionaries and Christian converts), China's citizens went through starvation, extreme poverty, and grief due to the loss of many innocent lives. This set the stage for the acceptance of men like Zedong and the Communistic philosophies of Karl Marx. After being under the rule of warlords around 1916, many Chinese began joining revolutionary groups and political parties in hopes of changing their country. During and after the Great Revolution (1914—1918), China saw several movements which strongly fostered a path into Communism.

- Lily Sanchez

Well since China was taken control over a group of Communists began to tighten their hold. The Chinese communists set up two parallel organization, the communist party and the national government. The red guards led a major uprising known as the Cultural Revolution. Its goal was to establish a society of peasants and workers in which all were equal. Chaos threatened farm production and close down factories. Civil war seemed possible. Nobody supported the civil war so the Army was ordered to put down the Red Guards. Chinese communist party founder and premier since 1949, began to restore order. Communist seemed to be the only option for advances so they went with it.

-Jonathan Vargas

Rise of Communism

On July 1, 1921, the Chinese Communist party (CCP) was established. Led by Chinese intellectuals and Russian advisers, the CCP initially embraced Russia's model of communism and relied on the organization of urban industrial laborers. By 1927, CCP membership had grown from fewer than 500 in 1923 to over 57,000. This increase was achieved in large part because the CCP had joined with another political party, the Kuomintang (KMT). KMT leader Chiang Kai-shek and KMT troops eventually became fearful of CCP control of the state, and in July 1927, the KMT purged communists from its ranks. CCP membership plummeted, and the party was forced to search for new ways to gain power.

Read more: Communism - China

Erialbania Lopez

Communist vs. Nationalist

When the Japanese invaded China in 1937 a bitter civil war erupted between the Nationalist and the Communist. Under the rule of Mao Zedong the communist became stronger in northwester China. The communist mobilized peasants to form a guerrilla to fight against the Japanese in the northeast. Thanks to the efforts of the communist to promote literacy and to improve the production of the food, the communist won over the peasants, who were the biggest group in China. And by 1945 the communist already controlled the major part of northern China.

-Luis Restituyo

by ely

For decades, China had been in turmoil , engaged in civil war or fighting wih Japan. So, when the communists took power , they moved rapidly to strengthen their rule over China's 550 million people. They also aimed to restore China as a powerful nation. Like the Soviets, the Chinese Communists set up two parallel organizations, the Communist party and the national government. Mao headed both until 1959. Mao was determined to reshape China's economy based on Marxist socialism. Under the Agrarian Law, Mao seized the holdings of these landlords. After his forces killed more than a million of landlords, he divided the land among the peasants. Later, to further Moa's socialist principles, the government forced peasants to join collective farms. Mao's changes also transformed industry and business. Gradually, private companies were nationalized, or brouh under government ownership. In 1953, Mao launched a five-year plan that set high production goals for industry. By 1957, China's outpu of coal, cement, steel, and electricity had increased dramatically.

China Breaks Up

During World War II, we find China in Civil War. We find two groups, the nationalists and the communists, which were fighting to see which way of governing was going to be forced to the people. The problem was that before they could get on with it, the Japanese decided to attack and conquer China. These two groups had no other choice than to get together this one time to fight against the Japanese. After this minor setback was over, they began to fight once again. We find Jiang Jieshi with the nationalists and Mao Zedong with the Communists. The Communists were on advantage since they had the peasants in their side. Tip: If you ever want to take over a country, the best weapon is the manipulation of the people. If they are in your side, no one can stop you. Well, so where was I, oh yes, so at the same time, the Nationalists were fighting with the Japanese. In reality they just had some minor battles against the Japanese. They knew they had to save strength for the battle to come. The civil war lasted from 1946-1949. Nationalists were at the upper hand at first, since they had more men. What led to their downfall was the fact that they had no popular support (as stated before, stick to the people and you will prosper). In 1949, after the Red Forces (aka the Communists) gained control, the Nationalists fled the country. The United States was outraged by this, and even worst when the Chinese and the Soviets signed a treaty of friendship. The United States gave support to Jiang Jieshi, who founded the People’s Republic of China or as we all know it today, Taiwan.

-Gaby H. (:

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License