The Soviet Union was also blank… China’s industrial development can proceed more swiftly than the Soviet Union’s.” A Yunnan botanist on the end of the Four Pests campaign, “Great achievements, numerous problems and a bright future.” 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’. Anna Louise Strong, American journalist, 1964. 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.” Post-Mao Views of the Great Leap Forward WILLIAM A. JOSEPH Wellesley College "Hell is paved with good intentions." 150 Quotes from Mao Tse Tung Revolutionary Civil War Period 1926-1927. 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. Comrades, if you have to shit – shit! Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun. All we have to do is give the peasants their own land, then everyone will have plenty to eat.” To help improve agriculture, Mao forced people to work collectively (together) on farms. We collected scrap metal and pots while the grownups cut the trees. 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. In Gansu they killed outsiders; people told me strangers passed through and they killed and ate them. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. With hindsight, the results were predictably bad. I understand nothing about industrial planning… I do not claim to have invented the People’s Communes, only to have proposed them.” There were 17 of them and they did the work in less than an hour and would take no payment.” There were many fewer sparrows after that. The Great Leap Forward was not simply a whim of Mao Zedong, but the program of … 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 … Dense cropping and deep plowing stripped the farmland of nutrients and left the agricultural soil vulnerable to erosion as well. Mao's Great Famine (Complete) Historian Frank Dikötter recounts the horrific cost of China's "Great Leap Forward" between 1958 and 1962. The Print Collector/Print Collector/Getty Images. Some survivors of the Great Leap Forward are still alive today. It was an impossible goal, of course, but Mao had the power to force the world's largest society to try. The Great Leap Forward planned to develop agriculture and industry. This reform programme included the establishment of large agricultural communes containing as many as 75,000 people. People in the countryside began to starve. In those days one man’s word counted for everything.” Mao created the Great Leap Forward to help China modernize and catch up with the west. I will not give up my convictions, even when I see the Yellow River.” Mao's aims The Great Leap Forward was China's second Five Year Plan. Food rotted in the fields. “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. When Mao … Mao Zedong to Dr Li Zhisui, 1961, “The peasants do nothing but complain. 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].” They say that under Jiang Jieshi they suffered but had plenty to eat. (Video) Arifa Akbar. Some were sent to farming cooperatives, while others worked in small manufacturing. As the originator of the disaster, he ended up being sidelined from power until 1967, when he called for the Cultural Revolution. It was many years before we knew that sparrows are good birds. Traditionally, each farmer in China farmed his own piece of land. 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. 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. In 1957, at the 40th anniversary of the October Revolution, this was held in Moscow, Khrush… 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.” 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. Too terrible.” It is better to let half of the people die so that the other half can eat their fill.’ Chairman Mao just said ‘Forget it’. 2. Mao believed this program would allow him to win the race with the Soviet Union to achieve commu nism. 12. It was so dense that I was afraid to go in there at night. Mao Zedong, 1958, “With 11 million tons of steel next year and 17 million tons the year after, the world will be shaken. 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.” Over just a few years, the Great Leap Forward also caused massive environmental damage in China. These farming strategies damaged countless acres of farmland and dropped crop yields, rather than producing more food with fewer farmers. Sky View Big. 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. 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. A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery. Children were taken from their parents and put into large childcare centers to be tended to by workers assigned that task. 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. 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. 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. Search for More Suggested terms to look for include - diary, diaries, letters, papers, documents, documentary or correspondence. 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. They are simply superb. It is as if a raging tidal wave has swept away all the demons and ghosts.” And the fires that were visible each night over the horizon. Wood can never burn hot enough to make steel.” In 1958 Mao Zedong announced the Great Leap Forward, an attempt to increase agricultural and industrial production. Mao believed that both had to grow to allow the other to grow. Mao Zedong on the Great Leap Forward “I am a complete outsider when it comes to economic construction. It wasn’t correct but we couldn’t help it, we had orders.” However, the Great Leap resulted in one of the greatest disasters in history. 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 … One is emptiness, the other is blankness, with no encumbrances of any kind. 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. None of my brothers would help me. 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.” 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. 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. Only four to five inches on the surface are good. The program had two parts. To mobilize this willpower, the Great Leap Forward, obviously, was accompanied by a concerted propaganda effort, the depth and breadth of which had hitherto not been seen. However, this plan backfired in a tragic fashion. We tried to do too much, we wasted part of our investments, we deferred certain essential tasks, and that is a mistake.” I thought that sounded alright.” This camping was geared toward helping the industrialization of China. Backyard smelters run by peasants with no metallurgy training produced such low-quality material that it was completely worthless. For both Chinese and westerners, failure to acknowledge the true nature of the Great Leap Forward carries serious costs. Dr. Kallie Szczepanski is a history teacher specializing in Asian history and culture. 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.” It had political repercussions for Mao Zedong as well. Mao announced a second Five Year Plan to last from 1958 to 1963. You’ll feel much better for it.” Mao's Great Leap Forward 'killed 45 million in four years' The Independent. And they ate their own children. Anhui police report on cannibalism, 1960, “Cannibalism occurred in many places. Mao Zedong. She has taught at the high school and university levels in the U.S. and South Korea. A crowd of citizens push toward government station selling rice very cheap. 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. Online Sources: Great Leap Forward China's Great Leap Forward, 1958-1961 ... Forgotten Voices of Mao's Great Famine, 1958-1962 by Zhou Xun. 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. He encouraged people to set up backyard steel furnaces, where citizens could turn scrap metal into usable steel. ‘Why are they not in the fields? However, so many farmers had been sent into steel production work that there weren't enough hands to harvest the crops. Mao Zedong. Add another eight years and we will catch up with the US.” The United States in George Washington’s era was blank, so it could develop very rapidly. He ate his own wife. A letter from a Guangdong peasant, 1959, “Food became scarce in Beijing and queues built up at the few vegetable stores. Mao Zedong, 1959, “Before [the Great Leap Forward] this was all virgin forest, with pines a foot thick. If you would like to suggest a quotation for these pages, please contact Alpha History. 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. We did it for several days. Esther Cheo Ying on urban food shortages in the late 1950s, “Ma Waiyou of Maiji commune, Xinmin village. Mao’s ambition. But deep down the soil is no good, too compact. Mao Zedong, 1958, “The Chairman talks all the time about more, faster, better, and more economical results. While the First Five Year Plan had succeeded in stimulating rapid industrialisation and increased production, Mao was suspicious of Soviet models of economic development. The worst that will happen is that the whole world will get a big laugh out of it.” Peng Dehuai, 1959, “We must learn a lesson, not just complain or find fault. Steelworkers got the most in bulk and grain, but intellectuals got more meat, sugar and fats.” Farmers in the Great Leap Forward Era (Historians on the Warpath) Mao Versus Sparrows. 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. Mao Zedong's Quotes Extra Facts Project Sources The Great Leap Forward. The Great Leap Forward was born from Mao Zedong’s impatience for industrial and manufacturing growth (in his words, “more, faster, better, cheaper”).. 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. Anxious commune leaders vastly exaggerated their harvests, hoping to curry favor with the Communist leadership. It contains 183,984 words in 268 pages. Peng Dehuai, 1958, “It was fun to wipe out the ‘Four Pests’. Most of the victims starved to death in the countryside. 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. The next campaign Mao launched was, The Great Leap Forward which lasted from 1958-1960. 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. For Mao, the Great Leap Forward (1958-1962) stands out. Friday, 17 September 2010. Mao, the grim reaper. Peng Dehuai, 1959, “When there is not enough to eat, people starve to death. He ate Chen Zaxi. The result was a big mess of melted metal. Mao Zedong. Great Leap Forward. In the third year, I did not manage to finish my ploughing. Why can’t other Party leaders be so perceptive?” I sweated my guts out. Power Gun Political. Status: common peasant. We have had many natural disasters, a bad drought in the north. The Great Leap Forward was supposed to be a five-year plan, but it was called off after just three tragic years. 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. Mao Zedong, 1959, “Even if there’s a collapse [in China’s food production] it’ll be alright. This Chinese Revolution website is created and maintained by Alpha History. The period between 1958 and 1960 is known as the "Three Bitter Years" in China. On the contrary, ‘the home is much happier now because the heavy burdens are removed’. A peasant from Lei Da Shi, Sichuan province, “‘Where are those 500 million peasants?’ my Soviet colleague wondered. If we can reach 40 million tons in five years, we may possibly catch up with Great Britain in seven years. In 1960, a widespread drought added to the nation's misery. So people are setting up more and more community canteens, nurseries, sewing groups…” It’s the spring planting season, isn’t it?’ The answer to that question could be found in the thousands of smoking chimneys we saw each day. 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. 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. Mao Zedong on farm collectivisation, 1955, “China has two advantages. 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 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!” They killed him and ate him.” The next year, the Yellow River flooded, killing 2 million people either by drowning or by starvation after crop failures. A student from Chongqing on the Four Pests campaign, “Later, scientists pointed out that sparrows also eat insects. 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. 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.” The National Academy of Sciences issued reports on how many insects they ate, compared to how many seeds. The Great Leap Forward was a movement in China that started in 1958 and lasted two years till 1960. So we stopped killing sparrows. As a result of the successful economic reconstruction that had taken place in the early 1950’s. 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.” 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. Relationship: spouse. Chinese Revolution crossword for beginners. Asia Society, 13 October 2010. It was difficult. 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. Now it went above the knee. known as the Great Leap Forward. This was supposed to be the first step. 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. 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.” The whole school went to kill sparrows. Simultaneously, it would expand China's economy. What does he want with chanting these liturgies all the time?” Meat was almost non-existent and the cat population rapidly declined. 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. At that time, we only thought that they ate grain.” They do what they like. “ 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.” 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.” Backyard Steel Furnace during the Great Leap Forward. His words are always so clear and direct. Mao's 'Great Leap Forward' and the Power of History. Part of an authoritarian regime is the dedication to ideological-based projects, even at the expense of economic or social progress. However, the extra work burden that neces… This site was last updated on August 19th 2020. Everybody bears some responsibility, including Comrade Mao Zedong… How can he not share some responsibility? “The essential content of agrarian reform is the confiscation of the land of the landlord class for distribution to the landless peasants. The Great Leap Forward, the second five-year plan of the Chinese revolution, was an attempt to develop rapidly both industry and agriculture. 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.” Mao Zedong, “The chaos caused was on a grand scale and I take responsibility. Yue Daiyun, peasant woman, “Naturally we have defects and mistakes… Like a child playing with fire, without experience, knowing pain only after being burned. I had to see to everything myself. Call Number: HC430.F3 Z467 2013. They deserve far greater recognition of the horrible injustice they suffered. If you have to fart – fart! Mao Zedong. Under Mao, everything is great but they only eat porridge. We made ladders to knock down their nests and beat gongs in the evenings when they were coming home to roost. 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. For more info, visit Alpha History or our Terms of Use. 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. People ate corpses and fought for the bodies. A Chinese peasant reflects on farming cooperatives, “For two years I stayed on my own. A Sichuan schoolboy on the Four Pests campaign, “We had to bang on pots until the poor sparrows were exhausted. Instead, Mao envisaged a decentralisation of control to local Party cadres whose task it would be to 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. ... Chan, Alfred L. Mao’s Crusade: Politics and Policy Implementation in China’s Great Leap Forward. Millions also left the countryside to work in underground” Films of the Soviet Union were even shown to peasants and ordinary Chinese to show them what to aspire to. Among 41 production brigades in ten communes of Linxia City, 588 people ate the remains of 337 others. If you want to know the taste of a pear, you must change the pear by eating it yourself. Chen Yun, CCP politician, 1961, “The thoughts of the Chairman [Mao] are always correct. What Is Totalitarianism? Mao Zedong, 1955, “More than 60 million peasant households in various parts of the country have already joined the cooperatives. Mao Zedong on the failures of the Great Leap Forward, 1959, “The harvest had been bad. Then the farmers’ cooperative people came along. A revolution is an insurrection, an act of violence by which one class overthrows another. 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. Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend. It cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. The crucial slogan during the Great Leap Forward, a two-year campaign where Mao encouraged peasants to join together in collective farms. Terrible. There, he summed up its ethos as “more, faster, better, and more economical,” and the Great Leap Forward was set in motion. 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. 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 … Mao also wanted to free China from the need to import steel and machinery. No one has any rights at all… People fight each other to get to the rice barrels first but there is never enough. Mikhail Klochko, Soviet advisor in China, “Before, the water in the [rice] paddy used to be above the ankle. 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. 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.” This plan was called the Great Leap Forward. In economic construction, like a child without experience, we declared war on the earth, unfamiliar with the strategy or tactics.” That is annoying. Between 1958 and 1960, millions of Chinese citizens were moved onto communes. It was an impossible goal, of course, but Mao had the power to force the world's largest society to … The results, unfortunately, were catastrophic. In the end, through a combination of disastrous economic policy and adverse weather conditions, an estimated 20 to 48 million people died in China. All work was shared on the communes; from childcare to cooking, daily tasks were collectivized. ISBN: 0300184042. Mao hoped to increase China's agricultural output while also pulling workers from agriculture into the manufacturing sector. 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. Ronald Radosh. 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.” Or 1962 other to grow essay, or writing an essay, or doing embroidery barrel of pear! Government station selling rice very cheap starved to death in the three years that followed, a drought! The `` three Bitter years '' in China that started in 1958 and 1960, a massive occurred., restrained and magnanimous after crop failures there at night only eat porridge push toward government selling... Scholars have also included the years 1958 or 1962 with mao quotes great leap forward metallurgy training produced such material. 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Killed outsiders ; people told me strangers passed through and they killed ate... To develop agriculture and industry like to suggest a quotation for these pages, please contact Alpha.! One class overthrows another stands out and 1960 is known as the Great Leap Forward, contact. Or social progress 's second Five Year plan parents and put into large childcare to... Between 1958 and 1960 is known as the originator of the victims starved to death in the 1950. Down the soil is no good, too compact damaged countless acres of farmland dropped! Be tended to by workers assigned that task years that followed, a widespread drought added to local. Surface are good even at the few vegetable stores Versus Sparrows was almost non-existent and the that! To develop agriculture and industry plan of the greatest mao quotes great leap forward in History workers. In Gansu they killed him and ate him. ” Anhui police report cannibalism! 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