Mao's C Ultural Revolution Essay

2846 words - 12 pages

Modern History Research EssayQuestion: To what extent did Mao's Cultural Revolution impact the people of China during the period of 1966-1968?Mao's Cultural Revolution impacted the people of China during the period of 1966-1968 to a great extent as China was brought to near anarchy. This was essentially due to the creation of the Red Guards from the youth of China. They brought detrimental chaos to the country, through schools, colleges and on the streets. The Cultural Revolution also known as The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution lasted from 1966 to 1976, but its most intense stage was the from 1966 to 1968. This was because the Red Guards started with a sudden and passionate out burst ...view middle of the document...

"Red Guards were formidable forces in Mao's Crusade, in the second half of 1966 and early 1967" stated Parris Chang, who received a PhD from Columbia University and is currently a professor of Political Science at Pennsylvania State University, and is also the author of numerous articles, journals and contributor to several books (Chang, 1973, pg.17). The consequences that followed in 1966 and 1967 were, "public terror in the hands of teenage gangs called Red Guards" states Timothy Cheek a professor and director of Chinese centre for research, who has also acquired a Ph.D in History and East Asian Languages, Harvard University, an M.A. (History), The University of Virginia, and a B.A. Asian Studies, Honours, Australian National University plus multiple publications in various areas (Cheek 2002, pg.27)."Red guards played a decisive role in the Cultural Revolution, without the red guards the Cultural Revolution certainly would not have been so intensive" stated Bullard (Bullard, 1985, pg 45). The Red Guards power skyrocketed as Mao openly stated his support for them and their actions. As well as his avocation for violence, which led to the first two years of the revolution, unleashing violence upon the people and country. They made sure they left no part of China untouched. They were to rid the country of the 'four olds', old customs, cultures, old habits and old ideas and spread the teachings of Mao. Anyone one who was against Mao teachings or criticized him was punished, this showed the Red Guards violent side. This was because "Red Guards in China were encouraged to criticize those who Mao deemed untrustworthy with regards to the direction he wanted china to take," stated Trueman (Trueman, 2000). Some were even humiliated publicly by being dragged through the streets of China and forced to wear dunce caps. The Red Guards charged through the streets invading hairdressers and commanding them to cease any peculiar haircuts for clients and telling girls with long braids to chop them and wear only a bob. Other Red Guards raided shops and ordered them to stop selling unnecessary items such as cosmetics while restaurants were forced to simplify their menus, this caused sales to plummet in China. The Red Guards burned millions of books while destroying numerous cultural treasures such as temples, museum and libraries. Religion was another main target of Red Guards, all Buddhist signs or images were covered with signs attacking religion. Chen, J. and Buell, H. agree and both state that "Red Guards clambered up street signs and columns to change the street names to be more revolutionary like "Anti- Imperialism Avenue" (Buell, 1967 pg.74 and Chen, 1975 pg.227) this caused significant confusion among the people of China. "The Red Guard demonstrations became more and more violent as time passed, soon blood was spilled in major Chinese cities" (Buell, 1967 pg.76). People began being tortured, homes were charged into and raided of anything suspect or believed...

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