How Far Were Mao’s Agricultural Policies Responsible For The Scale Of The Great Famine In China, 1958 65?

1338 words - 6 pages

How far were Mao’s agricultural policies responsible for the scale of the great famine in China, 1958-65?

Mao introduced collectivisation in 1956, two years before the beginning of the great famine. It lasted between the years of 1958 and 1961, where millions of peasants and industrial worker died due to a severe lack of food. Most historians argue that the scale of the famine was due to the agricultural reforms introduced by Mao in the Great Leap Forward, but Mao blamed other factors.
Collectivisation involved the peasants joining together to farm collectively rather than individually. They then had to share the food produced with the rest of the community, as opposed to just their ...view middle of the document...

China was heavily influenced by the work of the Soviet Union, especially Lysenko’s ideas as Mao aspired for China to be similar to them, meaning he assumed the policies they followed must work. However, the plants couldn’t grow in these conditions, causing huge famine and lack of food. The introduction of the theory was Mao’s fault, as he shouldn’t have believed such a ridiculous theory, let alone adopted the policies. Separately, Lysenkoism and Collectivisation were disastrous, but when put together the results would be dangerous, and be the main cause of the massive scale of the famine. Both policies were introduced by Mao, suggesting that the policies he introduced were responsible for the scale of the famine. The peasants were obliged to follow collectivisation, despite the dislike felt towards it, due to the fear of being purged if they didn’t. If the families had been allowed to farm in the traditional way, they wouldn’t have followed Lysenko’s ideas, and the crops would have survived and the famine would have been avoided, suggesting that Mao’s policies were responsible for the scale.
However, the failure of Lysenkoism wasn’t entirely Mao’s fault; although he shouldn’t have followed the inevitable failings of the policy, China was heavily influenced by Soviet scientists, such as Lysenko. They were influenced into believing that his theories were right and he could do no wrong. This propaganda would have led Mao to believe the policies would benefit the county. The peasants were also influenced into believing that Mao could do no wrong, so many believed that the new policies would save them, rather than send them further into famine.
Although collectivisation and Lysenkoism formed the basis of the famine, there were other factors that contributed to the entire scale. Mao refused to face the facts, and was determined to stay in power. When presented with a report on the genocide in Tibet, Mao dismissed it as a ‘collection of lies and distortions’ as it criticised the PRC. He was informed of the extent of the deaths and the extent of which people were dying due to his new policies; around 15 million peasants died; he was adamant that his policies were not to blame, and it was other external factors causing the scale of the famine. He blamed bad weather, uninformed local officers and greedy peasants. He had the chance to accept he was wrong and rectify failed aspects of the agricultural reforms but he was sure so he was right that he continued to let people die rather than accept he was wrong. This was in fitting with previous campaigns as he fired anyone who apposed him, for example Peng Dehuai. This was not a policy of agricultural reform, instead Mao’s ignorance and pride contributing to the millions of deaths.
A factor that was entirely out...

Other Essays Like How Far Were Mao’s Agricultural Policies Responsible for the Scale of the Great Famine in China, 1958-65?

How Far Was the Russo-Japanese War Responsible for the Outbreak of the 1905 Revolution?

1794 words - 8 pages Russia. This therefore caused the Russo-Japanese War to be partly responsible for the outbreak of the 1905 Revolution. Huge military defeats were caused by the Russo-Japanese War, which highlighted the weakness of the military and caused national humiliation, thus contributing to the outbreak of the 1905 Revolution. An example of such a defeat was in January 1905 when the army had to surrender their Port Arthur naval base in Northern China, which

How Far Were the Actions of the African Americans the Main Reason for the Advancement of the Civil Rights in the Period 1865-1980?

4828 words - 20 pages How far were the actions of the African Americans the main reason for the advancement of the Civil Rights in the period 1865-1980? “Power concedes nothing without demand, it never has and it never will”[1]. Said by Fredrick Douglass in 1857, an escaped slave who had bearded the brunt of the slave years. He had come to the realisation that African Americans had a fountain of “power”; however that power that they possessed would never

How Far Do You Agree That William Duke of Normandy’s Military Skills Were the Main Reason for His Success in Securing the English Throne in 1066?

909 words - 4 pages William of Normandy’s father died whilst he was only young leaving William as the Duke of Normandy at the age of 7. This meant William started training in warfare very young, quickly gathering experience and knowledge of how to plan a battle and then what tactics were best for different scenarios. This experienced that was gained at such a young age meant that William had many years of experience in warfare which helped him prepare for the

How Far Was Lord Liverpool Responsible for the Discontent Between 1815-1820?

840 words - 4 pages How far was Lord Liverpool directly responsible for the discontent between 1815-1820? (24 marks) Lord Liverpool can be seen as responsible for discontent firstly due to class legislation. When the Corn Laws were introduced, it guaranteed protection for wheat prices from foreign imports of grain, this was purely favoured for the large agricultural landowners.This legislation was soon hated by the industrial classes living in Britain's fast

The Great Potato Famine

1682 words - 7 pages from the potatoes. No one had any food to eat. The potatoes were black inside with molds through out it that came from the fungus from something in nature. The weather that brought the blight also was one of the causes because they could not control how the weather was bringing the fungus. Ireland was under the British government and did not help Ireland when they needed Britain. The aftermath of the Great Famine was not only a huge drop in

How Far Was the Leadership of Martin Luther King Responsible for the Gains Made by the Civil Rights Movement Between the Years 1955 and 1968?

897 words - 4 pages How far was the leadership of Martin Luther King responsible for the gains made by the civil rights movement between the years 1955 and 1968? The leadership of Martin Luther King was heavily influential between 1955 and 1968 and his success was almost entirely down to his methods of peaceful protest, especially in the South. His philosophy of non-violent direct action helped him to project the movement across the whole of America with help

How Far Do You Agree That the Most Important Cause of the Revolution in February 1917 Was the Great War

1334 words - 6 pages AS History How far do you agree that the most important cause of the revolution in February 1917 was the Great War? The February revolution which occurred in 1917 was the result of several causes, one of which being World War 1; in my opinion, it was the most important trigger. The Great War was the cause of Russia becoming financially dependent on Britain and France, decreasing the prestige the Tsar once held. Russia was unable to sustain its

To What Extend Were the Us Anti-War Movements Responsible for Communist Victory in the Second Indochina War?

852 words - 4 pages The American anti-war movement which opposed the Second Indochina War during the 1960’s up to the late 1970’s were responsible for the communist victory to a great extent. This was due to a number of reasons including the division of US citizens at the beginning of the war, the secrecy of the US government towards the US public, the media coverage of the war and most importantly the length of the war. These all led to a gradual rise in anti-war

The history of the Aztec Indians and how they succeded in being as great as they were

704 words - 3 pages unfortunate and were forced togo to the swamp lands. In the swamp lands there was onlyone piece of land to farm on and it was totally surroundedby more marshes . The Aztec families some how convertedthese disadvantages to a might empire known as they AztecEmpire. People say the empire was partially formed by adeeply believed legend. As the the legend went it said thatAztec people would create a empire on in a swampy placewhere they would see an eagle

The Great Wall of China

3041 words - 13 pages ! Let’s see, how do I compose a delicate response to an indelicate comment, however clever? This is not appropriate for these lessons, period. NOTE: This lesson (#15) is missing its Main Assignment: Write a 1-2 page dialogue in which speakers debate whether Confucian ideas would support American democracy. Lesson 16 1 The Japanese had a “sphere” of influence in china. The

The Great Wall Of China

1215 words - 5 pages emperors, Han Wu-Di, crushed the Xiongnu friction once and for all. To maintain the peace, and safety in China, Han Wu-Di, began China's second great campaign of Wall building. Emperor Han Wu-Di gathered engineers to restore the crumbling Qin Wall and extended it 300 miles more across the Gobi desert, in Central Asia. With Central Asia under Han control, safe caravan routes known as silk roads, were established. This opened the doorway of China

Related Papers

How Far Were Divisions Among Its Opponents Responsible For The Survival Of The Tsarist Rule In The Years 1881 1905?

957 words - 4 pages The division among its opponents were both responsible and not responsible for the survival of the Tsarist rule in the years 1881 to 1905. Each party had played its part in the survival, both good and bad, whether they agreed in the aims fort supporting the Tsar or opposing against the Tsar. One of the parties to play a part in the survival were the Liberals, their aims being they wanted more power in the parliament and also wanting more

To What Extent Were Colonial Pressures Primarily Responsible For British Withdrawal From West Africa In The Years (1957 65)?

1328 words - 6 pages To what extent were colonial pressures primarily responsible for British withdrawal from West Africa in the years (1957-65)? Colonial pressure was a significant reason accounting for British withdrawal but other factors including a domestic attitudinal and cold war dynamics also played a role; however economic considerations were the likely primary cause for British withdrawal from West Africa. If anything, it was the Suez Canal crisis of 1956

How Far Do You Agree That The Actions Of The Ussr Were Primarily Responsible For The Division Of Germany In 1949?

609 words - 3 pages How far do you agree that the actions of the USSR were primarily responsible for the division of Germany in 1949? Actions of the USSR contributing towards division Stalin’s determination to create a buffer zone and attitude towards Germany * Stalin wanted to protect the USSR from future conflicts with Germany * Stalin had gained influence in many eastern European countries as the Russian armies advanced for Germany. * Stalin’s

How Far Do You Agree That Hitler's Policies Were A Success For German People During The 1930s?

886 words - 4 pages I agree to a large extent that Hitler's policies were a success for German people during the 1930s. Hitler's economic and education policies were a success but his anti-Jewish policy/policy of using violence and intimidation was a failure.Hitler's economic four-year plan in 1936 emphasized rearmament and the production of local substitutes for raw materials. Hitler's first step was to ban all trade unions as they were a possible source of