Essay on The Early Beginnings Of Communism

Essay on The Early Beginnings Of Communism

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In this lesson, we explore the early beginnings of communism in China. We begin in the 20th century and lead into the institution of China 's first communist government in 1949.
!!!Communism in China

Everything comes from something. Chickens for instance, hatch from eggs, while humans give live birth to their young. Unlike humans and animals, political movements are a bit more complicated - some arise out of deep-rooted social and economic forces, while others are reactions to momentous, but singular, events. In this lesson, we will explore the beginnings of communism in China in the early 20th century and up to the institution of the People 's Republic of China in 1949.

!!!Beginnings

For thousands of years prior to the 20th century, China had been ruled by successions of emperors called __dynasties__. The last dynasty, the Qing Dynasty, collapsed in 1912. Politics in China following the Qing collapse were chaotic. Though the military created the Republic of China soon after, its control extended little outside its capital, and most of the country was effectively controlled by local warlords.

In early 20th century China, the vast majority of the population consisted of poor farmers. The political chaos in China during this period made times even tougher on the Chinese. With the country in turmoil, some Chinese intellectuals looked to Russia - which also possessed a large population of poor farmers - and the Russian Revolution of 1917 as an example to follow.

In 1918, a librarian at Beijing University set up a Marxist study group, which future communist leader, __Mao Zedong__, joined a year later. Devoted to spreading Marxism in China and to setting up communist enclaves - or __soviets__ - in the Chinese countryside, many of t...


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The rise of communism in China was a gradual movement that later took advantage of unfortunate circumstances. The early communist movement in China was small, devoted to setting up soviets in the countryside and spreading communist ideology. When its alliance with the Kuomingtang broke down, it became top target for the Kuomingtang 's leader, Chiang Kai-Shek. Though Chiang was initially successful at suppressing Chinese communism, his inability to protect China from Japan cost him dearly. The communist party gained popularity during WWII at Chiang 's expense. Furthermore, nearly a decade of fighting both the Kuomingtang and the Japanese granted the communists valuable experience and superior military organization. In the fighting that followed the Japanese surrender, the communists were eventually victorious, instituting China 's first communist government in 1949.

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