Chinese Revolution (1949)
   HOME

TheInfoList



The Chinese Communist Revolution, known in mainland China as the War of Liberation, was the conflict, led by the
Chinese Communist Party ) , anthem = "The Internationale" , seats1_title = National People's Congress (13th National People's Congress, 13th) , seats1 = , seats2_title = Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, NPC Standing ...
(CCP) and
Chairman The chairperson (also chair, chairman, or chairwoman) is the presiding officer of an organized group such as a board, committee, or deliberative assembly. The person holding the office, who is typically elected or appointed by members of the gro ...
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong pronounced ; also Romanization of Chinese, romanised traditionally as Mao Tse-tung. (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the Proclamation of the P ...

Mao Zedong
, that resulted in the
proclamation A proclamation (Lat. ''proclamare'', to make public by announcement) is an official declaration issued by a person of authority to make certain announcements known. Proclamations are currently used within the governing framework of some nations ...
of the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population of more than 1.4 billion ...

People's Republic of China
, on 1 October 1949. The revolution began in 1946 after the
Second Sino-Japanese War The Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–1945) was a military conflict that was primarily waged between the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. The war made up the Chinese theater of the wider Pacific War, Paci ...
(1937–45) and was the second part of the
Chinese Civil War The Chinese Civil War was a civil war in China fought between the Kuomintang (KMT)-led Nationalist government, government of the Republic of China (1912–1949), Republic of China (ROC) and forces of the Communist Party of China (CPC) lastin ...
(1945–49).


Historical background

Historians disagree about the long and short-term factors behind the 1949 Revolution. Historians in mainland China trace the origins of the 1949 Revolution to sharp inequalities in society and imperialist aggression. They charge that high rates of rent,
usury ''Stultifera Navis'' ( ''Ship of Fools''), 1494; woodcut Woodcut is a relief printing technique in printmaking. An artist carves an image into the surface of a block of wood Wood is a porous and fibrous structural tissue found in the P ...
and taxes concentrated wealth into the hands of a minority of village chiefs and landlords. One Western historian quotes the statistic that "Ten percent of the agricultural population of China possessed as much as two-thirds of the land". These historians also argue that
imperialist Imperialism is a policy or ideology of extending the rule over peoples and other countries, for extending political and economic access, power and control, often through employing hard power, especially military force, but also soft power In p ...
pressure by the
Western powers The Western world, also known as the West 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass. It is the opposite direction from east, and is the direction in whic ...
and the
Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperial Seal of Japan.svg , alt_coat = Golden circle subdiv ...

Japan
ese and "
Century of Humiliation upA political cartoon depicting Britain), Wilhelm II, German Emperor">Kaiser Wilhelm II (German Empire, Germany), Nicholas II of Russia, Tsar Nicholas II (Russian Empire, Russia), Marianne (French Third Republic, France) and a samurai (Empire of ...
" starting with the
Opium Wars The Opium Wars were two wars waged between the Qing dynasty and Western powers in the mid-19th century. The First Opium War, fought in 1839–1842 between the Qing and Great Britain, was triggered by the dynasty's campaign against the Briti ...
and including
unequal treaties Unequal treaty is the name given by the Chinese to a series of treaties signed between the Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last History of China#Imperial China, imperial Dynasties in Chinese history, dyn ...
and the
Boxer Rebellion The Boxer Rebellion, Boxer Uprising or Yihetuan Movement, was an armed and violent xenophobic, Persecution of Christians#China, anti-Christian, and anti-imperialist insurrection in China between 1899 and 1901, towards the end of the Qing dyna ...

Boxer Rebellion
led to a rise in
nationalism Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation should be congruent with the State (polity), state. As a movement, nationalism tends to promote the interests of a particular nation (as in a in-group and out-group, group of peop ...
, class consciousness and
leftism Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equality, prioritizing it for all people. ...
. After internal unrest and foreign pressure weakened the Qing state, a revolt among newly modernized army officers led to the
Xinhai Revolution The 1911 Revolution, also known as the Chinese Revolution or the Xinhai Revolution, ended China's last imperial dynasty, the Manchu-led Qing dynasty The Qing dynasty, officially the Great Qing (), was the last Dynasties in Chinese hi ...
, which ended 2,000 years of imperial rule and established the
Republic of China Taiwan, officially the Republic of China (ROC), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and No ...
.Li, Xiaobing. [2007] (2007). ''A History of the Modern Chinese Army''. University Press of Kentucky. , . pp. 13, 26–27. Following the end of World War I and the Russian Revolution in Russia, Chinese radical intellectuals founded the CCP and Sun Yat-sen founded the Chinese Nationalist Party. The French historian Lucien Bianco, however, is among those who question whether imperialism and "feudalism" explain the revolution. He points out that the CCP did not have great success until the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japanese invasion of China after 1937. Before the war, the peasantry was not ready for revolution; economic reasons were not enough to mobilize them. More important was nationalism: "It was the war that brought the Chinese peasantry and China to revolution; at the very least, it considerably accelerated the rise of the CCP to power." The communist revolutionary movement had a doctrine, long-term objectives, and a clear political strategy that allowed it to adjust to changes in the situation. He adds that the most important aspect of the Chinese Communist movement is that it was armed.


Founding of the Chinese Communist Party

The CCP was founded in 1921, during the May Fourth Movement, which
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong pronounced ; also Romanization of Chinese, romanised traditionally as Mao Tse-tung. (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the Proclamation of the P ...

Mao Zedong
referred to as the birth of communism in China. This anti-Japanese patriotic movement motivated both established intellectuals and students, and made the Nationalist Party, which was already in existence, and the newly formed CCP into first allies, then rivals. After a period of slow growth and the First United Front with the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party), the alliance broke down and the Communists fell victim in 1927 to Shanghai massacre, a purge carried out by the Kuomintang under the leadership of Chiang Kai-shek. After 1927, the Communists retreated to the countryside and built up local bases, such as the Jiangxi Soviet, which it held until Nationalist pressure forced the Long March. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japanese invasion and occupation, the Communists built more secret bases in the Japanese occupied zones and relied on them as headquarters.


Chinese Civil War, 1945–1949

The Nationalists had an advantage in both troops and weapons, controlled a much larger territory and population, and enjoyed broad international support. The Communists were well established in the north and northwest. The best-trained Nationalist troops had been killed in early battles against the better equipped Imperial Japanese Army, Japanese Army and in Burma, while the Communists had suffered less severe losses. The Soviet Union, though distrustful, provided aid to the Communists, and the United States assisted the Nationalists with hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of military supplies, as well as airlifting Nationalist troops from central China to Manchuria, an area Chiang Kai-shek saw as strategically vital to retake. Chiang determined to confront the PLA in Manchuria and committed his troops in one decisive battle, the Battle of Liaohsi, in the autumn of 1948. The strength of Nationalist troops in July 1946 was 4.3 million, of which 2.3 million were well-trained and ready for country-wide mobile combat. However, the battle resulted in a decisive Communist victory and the Nationalists were never able to recover from it.


Result

On October 1, 1949,
Chairman The chairperson (also chair, chairman, or chairwoman) is the presiding officer of an organized group such as a board, committee, or deliberative assembly. The person holding the office, who is typically elected or appointed by members of the gro ...
Mao Zedong Mao Zedong pronounced ; also Romanization of Chinese, romanised traditionally as Mao Tse-tung. (December 26, 1893 – September 9, 1976), also known as Chairman Mao, was a Chinese communist revolutionary who was the Proclamation of the P ...

Mao Zedong
officially proclaimed the founding of the
People's Republic of China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia. It is the world's List of countries and dependencies by population, most populous country, with a Population of China, population of more than 1.4 billion ...

People's Republic of China
at Tiananmen Square. Chiang Kai-shek, 600,000 Nationalist troops and about two million Nationalist-sympathizer refugees retreated to the island of Taiwan. After that, resistance to the Communists on the mainland was substantial but scattered, such as in the far south. An attempt to take the Nationalist-controlled island of Kinmen was thwarted in the Battle of Guningtou, Battle of Kuningtou. In December 1949 Chiang proclaimed Taipei, Taiwan the temporary capital of the Republic, and continued to assert his government as the sole legitimate authority of all China, while the PRC government continued to call for the unification of all China. The last direct fighting between Nationalist and Communist forces ended with the Communist capture of Hainan Island in April 1950, though shelling and guerrilla raids continued for several years. In June 1950, the outbreak of the Korean War led the American government to place the United States Seventh Fleet in the Taiwan Strait to prevent either side from attacking the other.


See also

* Aftermath of World War II * Long March * John F. Melby * Cultural Revolution


Notes


References


Citations


Sources

*
Chapter 1, pages 1-26Archive
. -- hosted at CÉRIUM (Centre d’études et de recherches internationales) at the Université de Montréal * Wolfgang Franke, Franke, Wolfgang, ''A Century of Chinese Revolution, 1851–1949'' (Basil Blackwell, Oxford, 1970). {{authority control 20th-century revolutions Chinese Civil War Revolutions in China Communist revolutions Maoism in China