To What Extent Did China Change for the Better in the Years 49-57?

1981 Words Aug 28th, 2013 8 Pages
In 1949, Mao Zedong declared the People’s Republic of China after the communists won the civil war against the nationalists, promising a fresh start, however China was a broken country following the Japanese and Civil Wars, which meant the new government inherited severe problems, the worst of which include hyperinflation, complete lack of industry, heavy food shortages, which was exacerbated by steep population increases. During the first eight years of power, Mao’s regime tackled the economy remarkably, stemming inflation and introducing the first 5-year plan. Furthermore political control began to take form – although the methods of control were debatably unethical – and social initiatives were taken to improve, among other things, …show more content…
The plan focused on heavy industry and was in itself a huge success, reaching remarkable growth in production levels, even accounting for exaggeration of figures that is expected in the results-based pressure of a planned economy. Entire industries were created, focusing on transport and industry, during the 5-year plan, and created many jobs for the population shift to urban areas. One definitive indicator of progress is the control of the hyperinflation that had crashed China’s economy; within 2 years the government had stemmed the 1000% inflation rate to a manageable 15% by cutting public expenditure, raising taxes and introducing a new stable currency (yuan/renminbi). Gray emphasises the importance of the restoration of normal trade relations in the stability of China’s economy, especially in combination with the stemming of inflation. Finally a careful phased plan to collectivisation was worked out, however it was fast tracked by Mao following the 1955 conference and his ‘High Tides’ volumes, which highlighted specific successes of full collectivisation and implied it’s viability in widespread China. Therefore these measures, particularly the achievements with inflation and the targets met through the five-year plan show that the Chinese economy changed for the better between 49-57.

Social change was also important, with many aspects of Chinese society improving with the PRC and it’s reform policies, such as class inequalities, women’s rights,

Related Documents