The history of china is divided into two Eras according to historians. These Eras are the Mao and post-Mao era. The Mao era lasted from the times when China became a republic in 1949 to the time that Deng Xionaping took over the leadership of the country in 1978. Over this period, the country experienced many developments socially, politically and economically. This era was characterized by a lot of challenges and achievements by the Mao leadership. Amongst the notable changes that took place in the country during the period are the rapid social revolutions not to mention the Korean War.
In the year 1949 the People’s Republic of China was established. Mao was the leader of the country by this time, and he was quick to initiate various political transformations. Amongst the most notable changes that Mao introduced in the country include the collectivization of agriculture, land reforms and the spreading of medical services. Mao’s main agenda was ending all the new forms of oppression and was very sensitive to the needs and interests of the oppressed. In the year 1958 he advocated for “self-reliance” an initiative that was a great leap forward on the campaign to develop the rural areas. These efforts radically transformed the country and helped it to rise economically and also socially. Many of the countries rural areas that for many years had remained undeveloped were able to access resources such as healthcare and other infrastructure developments (Von et al. 2013, p.851).
Over the 1960s, Mao kept on challenging the new developments that were perceived as domineering. In his quest to reform the country, Mao sought to divorce China from the Soviet Union. However, his domestic policy was on how his subordinates were handling the issue of development. He was keen to note that their approach to the development would eventually lead to inequalities both politically and socially. When some of his leaders such as Lie Deng opposed his developmental approach and his call to focus on the class struggle, Mao had to rethink his strategy. It was at this point that he initiated the great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. This move greatly elicited discomfort among the student and other people. The revolution proved to be one of the toughest times in the history of China and helped Mao to remove the people who were against his policies from the government. This led to great disorder in the country and forced Mao to call the military to calm and restore order in the year 1967.
A great achievement of Mao is when he forged an alliance with the city intellectuals, middle class and the merchants. The goal of this league was to make sure that they end alienation and restore production. This strategy was successful since it was able to make the state possess the heavy industries the banking industry and transportation, but the private industry were still allowed to thrive in the countryside and the towns. This policy seemed to greatly resemble the NEP period in the Soviet Union. The idea behind this policy was to conciliate most of the sectors so as to rebuild the country's economy. Though the policy achieved some milestone in the country, there were still challenges in the country that Mao had to deal with (Von et al. 2013, p.880).
His idea to take Lin Biao as his cultural ally seemed to have been misinformed since soon after he challenged him. The major conflicting issue was the opening to the USA as a way to challenge the Soviet Union. Lin was killed in a plane crash in the year 1971. Mao’s struggle was not over yet. But notably he maintained the fact that Cultural Revolution had done a great harm to the country, and he was ready to challenge it. He helped to rehabilitate the veterans that believed in Cultural Revolution. In one way, it appeared that the veterans had won the contest. Nevertheless, after the death of Mao the radicals seemed to have seen the sense in Mao's efforts and they renewed the quest to champion Mao's ideas. Before his death, he had chosen HuaGuofeng to carry his vision. Just after his death Hua arrested four of the people that were against Mao. These people were Jiang Qing, Zhang Chung Liao, Yao Wenyuan and Wang Hongwen. They were eventually dubbed as the gang. Ideally, Mao's dream was still living even after his death (Von et al. 2013, p. 901).
It is quite evident that a lot of uncertainties clouded Mao leadership in China. Nevertheless, there were many achievements that Mao was able to bring to the country. Despite the various challenges, he was able to develop the country and set it on a level playing ground. The developments in the country today can partly be attributed to his efforts.
Von, S. P., Desnoyers, C., & Stow, G. B. (2013).Patterns of world history combined volume brief edition" New York: Oxford University Press.