Modern History Draft
Dictators from Hitler to Stalin have impacted on today’s society largely from their first benevolent tactics to their horrific massacres in order to stay in power. Mao Zedong was a leader that advanced China’s economy, provided women with rights and giving ordinary people power however this seemed to dissipate after his failure in the Great Leap Forward
and altered his tactics to become dictatorial and stay in power. Mao Zedong to a large extent presented himself with benevolent ideologies when he was rising in power and was welcomed by the Chinese people because of his compassionate beliefs. However, during his reign his tactics dramatically changed to a more dictatorial ideal in order for him to stay in power.
Mao Zedong’s rise to power was greatly influenced by the mistreatment of peasants that motivated him to become interested in communism and build a better country. A primary source stated by Mao Zedong “during my student days in Henan, the city was overrun… brutal punishments inflicted on peasants such as gorging out eyes…and branding with red-hot irons” (Michael Lynch, 2008). The source suggests his ideology was generally benevolent and his first intentions were to assist other people. However, a source greatly contradicts his benevolent attitude, “all his experiences as a young revolutionary convinced him that unless he was prepared to use unyielding methods he could achieve little.” Although these factors did initially influence him to become a communist leader. The real rise to power came during the civil war when the CPC took over from GMD as they seemed to be more intent on defeating the communist enemies than resisting the Japanese invaders. A secondary sources states “CPC agents were able to organise resistance against Japanese… they won peasant support and the control of large sections of the countryside, the CPC not only won respect of the peasantry and workers but of other classes of China”(Michael G.Kowl, 1994) which also corroborates with the following source, “The GMD was crumbling within, while the CPC had built a solid and wide base support”. (Allan Todd, 2011) Mao Zedong’s benevolent ideals were clear during his rise to power.
The benevolent Mao Zedong envisioned future for China that supported the “the worker-peasant alliance as it was a key factor and this needed to be embedded in the economic base itself”. The idea of utilising the peasant class to the economic revolution is also highlighted in Mao’s own speech that “As long as we keep to our style of plain living and hard struggle, we stand united as we persist in the people's democratic dictatorship…we shall be able to win speedy victory on the economic front.”(MDP, 2004) His need for the peasant class intended that his belief in that the main force of the Chinese revolution was the peasants as be understood that the peasant class rebellion as an act of class consciousness and envisioned that the class would enable the cultural revolution....