There were 17 of them and they did the work in less than an hour and would take no payment.” In 1957, at the 40th anniversary of the October Revolution, this was held in Moscow, Khrush… In economic construction, like a child without experience, we declared war on the earth, unfamiliar with the strategy or tactics.” He encouraged people to set up backyard steel furnaces, where citizens could turn scrap metal into usable steel. I understand nothing about industrial planning… I do not claim to have invented the People’s Communes, only to have proposed them.” Chen Yun, CCP politician, 1961, “The thoughts of the Chairman [Mao] are always correct. She has taught at the high school and university levels in the U.S. and South Korea. However, so many farmers had been sent into steel production work that there weren't enough hands to harvest the crops. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.” There, he summed up its ethos as “more, faster, better, and more economical,” and the Great Leap Forward was set in motion. If you would like to suggest a quotation for these pages, please contact Alpha History. In Hongtai Commune alone there were 170 people who ate 125 corpses, as well as killing and eating five other people… In some cases, individuals barbarously consumed their own parents, children, spouses and siblings. In the third year, I did not manage to finish my ploughing. "Dare to … Unlike the first plan, however, the driving force in the effort to achieve production targets for agriculture and industry was not to be a centralised State bureaucracy. As the originator of the disaster, he ended up being sidelined from power until 1967, when he called for the Cultural Revolution. Films of the Soviet Union were even shown to peasants and ordinary Chinese to show them what to aspire to. It was an impossible goal, of course, but Mao had the power to force the world's largest society to … If you want to know the taste of a pear, you must change the pear by eating it yourself. Great Leap Forward, in Chinese history, the campaign undertaken by the Chinese communists between 1958 and early 1960 to organize its vast population, especially in large-scale rural communes, to meet China’s industrial and agricultural problems. Too terrible.” Liu Shaoqi, 1950, “Landlords in general will only be deprived of their land and abolished as a social class, but they will not be physically eliminated… Therefore it is a stipulation that after their lands have been confiscated, the landlords will still be given shares of land… That way they can make a living by their own labour, reform themselves through labour and become new men.” While the First Five Year Plan had succeeded in stimulating rapid industrialisation and increased production, Mao was suspicious of Soviet models of economic development. No one has any rights at all… People fight each other to get to the rice barrels first but there is never enough. Under Mao, everything is great but they only eat porridge. In order to prove that China had made the “great leap” to an industrialized, rich, communist society, Mao ordered the complete collectivization of farms, factories, and most of society. Children were taken from their parents and put into large childcare centers to be tended to by workers assigned that task. Friday, 17 September 2010. Mao Zedong, 1955, “More than 60 million peasant households in various parts of the country have already joined the cooperatives. The official death toll from the Great Leap Forward is "only" 14 million, but the majority of scholars agree that this is a substantial underestimate. Mao Zedong, 1956, “I had less land and worse land than other men but was told that after the grain tax was paid we would all share the harvest alike. Quotes displayed in real-time or delayed by at least 15 minutes. Traditionally, each farmer in China farmed his own piece of land. We made ladders to knock down their nests and beat gongs in the evenings when they were coming home to roost. This was also the era of massive irrigation projects — local, regional, and national in scope — that were to result in impressive gains in crop yields in subsequent years. They killed him and ate him.” Mao Zedong on the Great Leap Forward, “I am a complete outsider when it comes to economic construction. Mao Zedong. All we have to do is give the peasants their own land, then everyone will have plenty to eat.” I sweated my guts out. Mao Zedong, 1957, “Wage a bitter struggle for three years and transform the look of a greater part of the country… The industrial output of local industries should exceed local agricultural output in five to ten years.” Instead, Mao envisaged a decentralisation of control to local Party cadres whose task it would be to The program had two parts. If you have to fart – fart! Over just a few years, the Great Leap Forward also caused massive environmental damage in China. Simultaneously, it would expand China's economy. Anna Louise Strong, American journalist, 1964. The result was a big mess of melted metal. He criticised himself at the Shanghai Conference, admitting that he had been somewhat hotheaded… What is great about the Chairman is that he can figure out problems in time and make a quick adjustment.” Comrades, if you have to shit – shit! For more info, visit Alpha History or our Terms of Use. Mao Zedong’s campaign called the “Great Leap Forward” (1958–1961) (大跃进) aimed to transform China into a modern industrial nation and to prepare China for communism in the near future. To help improve agriculture, Mao forced people to work collectively (together) on farms. Chinese Revolution crossword for beginners. However, this plan backfired in a tragic fashion. It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.’ A Sichuan schoolboy on the Four Pests campaign, “We had to bang on pots until the poor sparrows were exhausted. Yue Daiyun, peasant woman, “Naturally we have defects and mistakes… Like a child playing with fire, without experience, knowing pain only after being burned. Speaking at The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival, Frank Dikötter, a Hong Kong-based historian, said he found that during the time that Mao was enforcing the Great Leap Forward … Formerly the young wife in poorer families would have to work in the field and rush home to get the meals on a very slow stove, then stay up half the night to grind the grain… The husband would grumble if the meal wasn’t ready at once when he came home from work… ‘Now all this grumbling is over’, said Mrs Chang.” “One of the many paradoxes of the Great Leap Forward was that everything was for sale, as bricks, clothes and fuel were bartered for food. Part of an authoritarian regime is the dedication to ideological-based projects, even at the expense of economic or social progress. Farmers in the Great Leap Forward Era (Historians on the Warpath) Mao Versus Sparrows. known as the Great Leap Forward. In the end, through a combination of disastrous economic policy and adverse weather conditions, an estimated 20 to 48 million people died in China. Steelworkers got the most in bulk and grain, but intellectuals got more meat, sugar and fats.” Esther Cheo Ying on urban food shortages in the late 1950s, “Ma Waiyou of Maiji commune, Xinmin village. The brush and branches we gathered were enough for all our firewood, we never had to cut the trees… I was only 10 or 11 during the Leap. Yumen CCP committee, December 1960, “Since pigs were also starving they were let out and allowed to roam the communal latrines. He dug up her body and cooked it… Yang Wenyi and Yuan Shuying of Houxiyan village, together with… eight people in total, dug up the body of a child, cooked and ate it… A person called Liu Chuan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. In Gansu they killed outsiders; people told me strangers passed through and they killed and ate them. The Great Chinese Famine (Chinese: 三年大饥荒, "three years of great famine") was a period between 1959 and 1961 in the history of the People's Republic of China (PRC) characterized by widespread famine. Anxious commune leaders vastly exaggerated their harvests, hoping to curry favor with the Communist leadership. Thus the landlords as a class are abolished and the exploitative feudal land ownership system is transformed… This is the greatest and most thorough reform in thousands of years of Chinese history.” We have had many natural disasters, a bad drought in the north. Bhupesh Bhandari. It wasn’t correct but we couldn’t help it, we had orders.” An unnamed peasant on the practice of ‘deep ploughing’, “All property has to be state-owned, all houses and furniture have been turned into government property. Mao, the grim reaper. The Soviet Union was also blank… China’s industrial development can proceed more swiftly than the Soviet Union’s.” Peng Dehuai, 1959, “We must learn a lesson, not just complain or find fault. Mao Zedong’s assessment of the nation, Lushan Conference, 1959, “The achievements of the Great Leap Forward are obvious… The overall value of industrial and agricultural production rose by 48.8 per cent in 1958… Such a rate of growth is unknown anywhere in the world. A letter from a Guangdong peasant, 1959, “Food became scarce in Beijing and queues built up at the few vegetable stores. Mao Zedong. Search for More Suggested terms to look for include - diary, diaries, letters, papers, documents, documentary or correspondence. And they ate their own children. This camping was geared toward helping the industrialization of China. Meat was almost non-existent and the cat population rapidly declined. For both Chinese and westerners, failure to acknowledge the true nature of the Great Leap Forward carries serious costs. It was many years before we knew that sparrows are good birds. All work was shared on the communes; from childcare to cooking, daily tasks were collectivized. The period between 1958 and 1960 is known as the "Three Bitter Years" in China. Mao Zedong to Dr Li Zhisui, 1961, “The peasants do nothing but complain. A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery; it cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. On the contrary, ‘the home is much happier now because the heavy burdens are removed’. Post-Mao Views of the Great Leap Forward WILLIAM A. JOSEPH Wellesley College "Hell is paved with good intentions." The Great Leap Forward was a push by Mao Zedong to change China from a predominantly agrarian (farming) society to a modern, industrial society—in just five years. The Great Leap Forward was born from Mao Zedong’s impatience for industrial and manufacturing growth (in his words, “more, faster, better, cheaper”).. Mao created the Great Leap Forward to help China modernize and catch up with the west. Mao Zedong, “The chaos caused was on a grand scale and I take responsibility. 2. Between 1958 and 1960, millions of Chinese citizens were moved onto communes. The worst that will happen is that the whole world will get a big laugh out of it.” Some scholars have also included the years 1958 or 1962. In 1960, a widespread drought added to the nation's misery. Status: common peasant. Everybody bears some responsibility, including Comrade Mao Zedong… How can he not share some responsibility? Backyard Steel Furnace during the Great Leap Forward. Li Lei, CCP cadre from Gansu province, writing in 1999, “Among 14 work units… 3,132 persons are suffering from oedema, which afflicts 25 per cent of the staff in the most seriously affected units… The illness has struck workers more than cadres, those employed in heavy physical labour more than light work, and those eating at communal kitchens more than those taking their meals at home.” I understand nothing about industrial planning… I do not claim to have invented the People’s Communes, only to have proposed them.” Mao Zedong “The chaos caused was on a grand scale and I take responsibility. The Great Leap Forward (Second Five Year Plan) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) was an economic and social campaign led by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) from 1958 to 1962. None of my brothers would help me. Mao Zedong, 1959, “Even if there’s a collapse [in China’s food production] it’ll be alright. A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery. Asia Society, 13 October 2010. Mao Zedong, 1958, “With 11 million tons of steel next year and 17 million tons the year after, the world will be shaken. Han Suyin on food shortages during the Great Leap Forward, “People died in the family and they didn’t bury the person because they could still collect their food rations; they kept the bodies in bed and covered them up and the corpses were eaten by mice. It cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. Backyard smelters run by peasants with no metallurgy training produced such low-quality material that it was completely worthless. The whole school went to kill sparrows. After Mao declared the failure of the Great Leap in 1962, almost all methods of communication became cornerstones for propaganda as they fixated on recuperating and reiterating the cult of Mao. This Chinese Revolution website is created and maintained by Alpha History. We collected scrap metal and pots while the grownups cut the trees. Mao's 'Great Leap Forward' and the Power of History. Wood can never burn hot enough to make steel.” 12. This was the period during which the communes were formed and some 600,000 “backyard,” small-scale steel furnaces were built to supply local needs all over the country. Food rotted in the fields. The Great Leap Forward planned to develop agriculture and industry. They are simply superb. Mao Zedong, responding to Lin Biao’s speech (above), January 1962, “Mrs Chang assured me that statements made by foreigners about communes ‘breaking up the home’ are ‘very silly talk’. The Great Leap Forward was a push by Mao Zedong to change China from a predominantly agrarian (farming) society to a modern, industrial society—in just five years. As a result of the successful economic reconstruction that had taken place in the early 1950’s. The Great Leap Forward, the second five-year plan of the Chinese revolution, was an attempt to develop rapidly both industry and agriculture. The Great Leap Forward, the period from 1958 to 1962 that saw the deaths of an estimated 45 million Chinese, lacks the heft of horror associated with Hitler's and Stalin's genocides. As a result of the exaggerations, party officials carried off most of the food to serve as the cities' share of the harvest, leaving the farmers with nothing to eat. Great Leap Forward. I will not give up my convictions, even when I see the Yellow River.” Mikhail Klochko, Soviet advisor in China, “Before, the water in the [rice] paddy used to be above the ankle. A student from Chongqing on the Four Pests campaign, “Later, scientists pointed out that sparrows also eat insects. There were many fewer sparrows after that. Part one involved improving agriculture so there was enough food to feed factory workers. People in the countryside began to starve. Mao Zedong on farm collectivisation, 1955, “China has two advantages. The results, unfortunately, were catastrophic. His words are always so clear and direct. But deep down the soil is no good, too compact. Why can’t other Party leaders be so perceptive?” “The essential content of agrarian reform is the confiscation of the land of the landlord class for distribution to the landless peasants. “ Mao's Great Famine is a gripping and masterful portrait of the brutal court of Mao, based on new research but also written with great narrative verve, that tells the gripping story of the manmade famine that killed 45 million people, from the dictator and his henchmen down to the villages of rural China.” He relied, however, on nonsensical Soviet farming ideas, such as planting crops very close together so that the stems could support one another and plowing up to six feet deep to encourage root growth. I remember a famous restaurant, the Lugaojian… their speciality was two salted sparrows on a stick… But after the Four Pests campaign, you couldn’t buy them any more.” It was an impossible goal, of course, but Mao had the power to force the world's largest society to try. They deserve far greater recognition of the horrible injustice they suffered. This plan was called the Great Leap Forward. People ate corpses and fought for the bodies. Peng Dehuai, 1958, “It was fun to wipe out the ‘Four Pests’. Improving public health by eliminating the "four pests"—rats, mosquitoes, spar rows, and flies—was one initiative of the Great Leap Forward, but the 150 Quotes from Mao Tse Tung Revolutionary Civil War Period 1926-1927. It had political repercussions for Mao Zedong as well. Mao Zedong. A peasant from Lei Da Shi, Sichuan province, “‘Where are those 500 million peasants?’ my Soviet colleague wondered. Mao's Great Famine (Complete) Historian Frank Dikötter recounts the horrific cost of China's "Great Leap Forward" between 1958 and 1962. A crowd of citizens push toward government station selling rice very cheap. However, the Great Leap resulted in one of the greatest disasters in history. Terrible. At that time, we only thought that they ate grain.” They say that under Jiang Jieshi they suffered but had plenty to eat. This page contains a collection of Chinese Revolution quotations about agrarian reform and the Great Leap Forward, made by prominent leaders, figures, observers and historians. Lin Biao, January 1962, “What a good speech vice-chairman Lin has made. Mao Zedong's Quotes Extra Facts Project Sources The Great Leap Forward. The Great Leap Forward was a movement in China that started in 1958 and lasted two years till 1960. And the fires that were visible each night over the horizon. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) lead by Mao Zedong or Mao Tse-Tung considered it was a time for the Great Leap Forward. Some ate corpses of people who had just died, others dug up bodies that had been dead for a week or even a month… A commune member named Bai Yinu ate a total of eight dead bodies, including his father, wife and daughter.” I had to see to everything myself. Mao announced a second Five Year Plan to last from 1958 to 1963. The backyard steel production plan resulted in entire forests being chopped down and burned to fuel the smelters, which left the land open to erosion. There were shortages… Rations differed according to work done. What Is Totalitarianism? What does he want with chanting these liturgies all the time?” ISBN: 0300184042. I thought that sounded alright.” Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. One is emptiness, the other is blankness, with no encumbrances of any kind. Mao's Great Leap Forward 'killed 45 million in four years' The Independent. Now it went above the knee. This reform programme included the establishment of large agricultural communes containing as many as 75,000 people. Families had to meet quotas for steel production, so in desperation, they often melted down useful items such as their own pots, pans, and farm implements. We turned it over to the local steel factories to process further. Mao Zedong. Anhui police report on cannibalism, 1960, “Cannibalism occurred in many places. But the temperature was too low. In the period between 1949 and 1958, a policy of collectivization, where farmers would work in collectives and share tools and draft animals, was gradually introduced and implemented. A Chinese peasant reflects on farming cooperatives, “For two years I stayed on my own. Among 41 production brigades in ten communes of Linxia City, 588 people ate the remains of 337 others. The peasants were carrying out the work of the [Communist] Party, working day and night at the mines and homemade blast furnaces… And we know the results: they did not obtain any more iron than before and there was much less bread and rice to go round.” A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another. The United States in George Washington’s era was blank, so it could develop very rapidly. So we stopped killing sparrows. The next campaign Mao launched was, The Great Leap Forward which lasted from 1958-1960. The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images. Mao believed that both had to grow to allow the other to grow. Most of the victims starved to death in the countryside. The Great Leap Forward was supposed to be a five-year plan, but it was called off after just three tragic years. Definition and Examples, Biography of Mao Zedong, Father of Modern China, Khmer Rouge: Regime Origins, Timeline, and Fall, Overview of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, The Three Sisters: the Traditional Intercropping Agricultural Method, The Geography and Modern History of China, The Yellow River's Role in China's History, An Overview of the Chinese Communist Party, J.D., University of Washington School of Law, B.A., History, Western Washington University. However, the extra work burden that neces… It is as if a raging tidal wave has swept away all the demons and ghosts.” The People’s Daily, 1958, “I suggest that we bestow upon the scientist or scientists who invented this great slogan ‘Leap Forward’ the title of First Doctor of Philosophy!” Mao also wanted to free China from the need to import steel and machinery. If we encounter any problems, any difficulty, it is because we have not followed the instructions of the Chairman closely enough, because we have ignored or circumscribed the Chairman’s advice.” A common slogan in the 1950s summed it up: “The Soviet Union’s today is our tomorrow.”At same time, however, one can detect within Mao’s policies and statements … As the commune members squatted there, swollen with malnutrition and constipated from the grim diet, the pigs would jostle them with their snouts, trying to get at the excrement before it had even fallen from their bodies.” This site was last updated on August 19th 2020. Ronald Radosh. Mao Zedong on the failures of the Great Leap Forward, 1959, “The harvest had been bad. Mao's aims The Great Leap Forward was China's second Five Year Plan. Chairman Mao Zedong launched the campaign to reconstruct the country from an agrarian economy into a communist society through the formation of people's communes.Mao decreed increased efforts to … (Video) Arifa Akbar. Some survivors of the Great Leap Forward are still alive today. Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend. Online Sources: Great Leap Forward China's Great Leap Forward, 1958-1961 ... Forgotten Voices of Mao's Great Famine, 1958-1962 by Zhou Xun. Dense cropping and deep plowing stripped the farmland of nutrients and left the agricultural soil vulnerable to erosion as well. Mao believed this program would allow him to win the race with the Soviet Union to achieve commu nism. With hindsight, the results were predictably bad. In those days one man’s word counted for everything.” Mao Zedong, 1958, “The Chairman talks all the time about more, faster, better, and more economical results. These quotations have been selected and compiled by Alpha History authors. Then the farmers’ cooperative people came along. It was so dense that I was afraid to go in there at night. For Mao, the Great Leap Forward (1958-1962) stands out. The first Five-Year Plan for the future of China was launched by Mao Zedong in 1953, in which the Soviet Union was held up as the model for development. Chairman Mao just said ‘Forget it’. We did it for several days. Sky View Big. The crucial slogan during the Great Leap Forward, a two-year campaign where Mao encouraged peasants to join together in collective farms. He ate his own wife. [But] there was too much haste. Liu Shaoqi, 1950, “When the Third Five Year Plan is completed in 1967, the yields for grain and many other agricultural products should be double or triple the highest yields before the People’s Republic was founded [in 1949].” He ate Chen Zaxi. These farming strategies damaged countless acres of farmland and dropped crop yields, rather than producing more food with fewer farmers. Power Gun Political. The first autumn of the Great Leap Forward, in 1958, came with a bumper crop in many areas, because the soil was not yet exhausted. At a well known Chinese artist’s home, I had a very passable ‘Minority Duck’ dinner once which turned out to be a neighbour’s ginger tom.” You’ll feel much better for it.” Yang Jisheng, Chinese writer, on the Great Famine of 1959-61, “Some people don’t give up their convictions until they see the Yellow River and have nowhere to retreat to. On p.134 of Mao’s Great Famine, Dikotter quotes Mao as saying during the Great Leap Forward ‘When there is not enough to eat, people starve to death. In that way, no one would lose anything but all would gain. Some were sent to farming cooperatives, while others worked in small manufacturing. So people are setting up more and more community canteens, nurseries, sewing groups…” In 1955, Mao was in a rural farming village to plan for the Great Leap Forward. ‘Why are they not in the fields? Mao’s ambition. It contains 183,984 words in 268 pages. A Yunnan botanist on the end of the Four Pests campaign, “Great achievements, numerous problems and a bright future.” Peasant farmer Li Hai Yuan on cooperative farming, “The People’s Commune represents a much higher degree of socialist development and collectivisation… Its massive scale of production requires more efficient organisation with great labour flexibility, as well as women’s’ production participation. Mao Zedong on the Great Leap Forward “I am a complete outsider when it comes to economic construction. Millions also left the countryside to work in underground” Put organizations on a military footing, put actions on a war footing, put life on a collective footing, 1958 In the three years that followed, a massive famine occurred. Relationship: spouse. Dr. Kallie Szczepanski is a history teacher specializing in Asian history and culture. If we can reach 40 million tons in five years, we may possibly catch up with Great Britain in seven years. Mao Zedong, 1959, “Before [the Great Leap Forward] this was all virgin forest, with pines a foot thick. The National Academy of Sciences issued reports on how many insects they ate, compared to how many seeds. Nature Flowers Thought. Mao hoped to increase China's agricultural output while also pulling workers from agriculture into the manufacturing sector. It was difficult. Add another eight years and we will catch up with the US.” James Boswell The Life of Samuel Johnson In the post-Mao reconstruction of the history of the People's Republic of China (PRC), two periods-the Great Leap Forward (1958-1960) and the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution They do what they like. The next year, the Yellow River flooded, killing 2 million people either by drowning or by starvation after crop failures. When Mao … Call Number: HC430.F3 Z467 2013. The Great Leap Forward was not simply a whim of Mao Zedong, but the program of … Peng Dehuai, 1959, “When there is not enough to eat, people starve to death. We have known for some time that Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic of China, was one of the last century’s most brutal and vicious mass murderers. By 1958, these agricultural collectives had become the norm, and private ownership of land was abolished, with all households being forced into the state-operated communes. 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Some scholars have also included the years 1958 or 1962 Chan, Alfred L. Mao ’ s ambition too.! Between 1958 and 1960, “ cannibalism occurred in many places vegetable stores a... Establishment of large agricultural communes containing as many as 75,000 people some were to! Horrible injustice they suffered but had plenty to eat commu nism enough food to feed workers!, Mao forced people to set up backyard steel furnaces, where citizens could turn scrap and... Set up backyard steel furnaces, where citizens could turn scrap metal and pots while the grownups cut trees., Alfred L. Mao ’ s ordinary Chinese to show them what to aspire.... Have been selected and compiled by Alpha History authors develop agriculture and industry to by workers that., 1960, “ food mao quotes great leap forward scarce in Beijing and queues built up at the expense of or. Know the taste of a pear, you must change the pear by eating it yourself China that started 1958. Only four to Five inches on the communes ; from childcare to cooking, daily tasks were collectivized diary! Aspire to Period between 1958 and 1960, “ for two years I stayed on my own more. Their fill. ’ Mao ’ s would gain develop agriculture and industry passed through they. Second Five Year plan have to shit – shit forced people to work collectively ( ). Any rights at all… people fight each other to get to the nation 's misery 1967 when. Revolution website is created and maintained by Alpha History or our terms of Use they suffered pages, contact!

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