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Education and Empowerment: Resources

Resources to support the Year 9 study of Mao's Last Dancer

China: General Information

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The Little Red Book and the Red Guards

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Communism in China

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Mao Zedong

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Madam Mao

The Cultural Revolution

Cultural Revolution was a political movement in China that began in 1966. Mao Zedong, head of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, launched the movement (seeMao Zedong). He called it the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. Mao’s aim was topurge (rid) his party, the government, and the military of people he suspected were not totally committed to his political ideals. Mao also sought to eliminate much that was traditional or old in Chinese culture, and create in its place a new revolutionary culture. (see World Book for more information using the search box at the top of this guide)

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Mao's Last Dancer

Civil War

Chiang Kai-shek

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The Great Leap Forward

Great Leap Forward was an economic and social development campaign launched by the Chinese Communist Party in the late 1950’s. The program, which began in 1958, sought to transform China's vast agrarian (agricultural) economy into an industrialized Communist society. The Great Leap Forward radically restructured China's agricultural production. Traditionally, farming families had lived in small villages and owned the land on which they lived. During the Great Leap Forward, the government collectivizedChina's agriculture—that is, they organized the peasants into groups who owned and farmed land cooperatively. All property, including land, tools, animals, and workshops, were commonly shared. (see World Book for more information using the search box at the top of this guide)

A man-made disaster shook China in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In a campaign he called the Great Leap Forward, Chairman Mao Zedong herded the countryside into giant collective farms in 1958, believing that they would catapult his country into a Utopia of plenty for all. Everything was collectivized: Villagers were robbed of their work, homes, land, belongings, and livelihood. The experiment ended in the greatest catastrophe the country had ever known; at least 45 million people died of starvation over four years.