Who is Chairman Mao?
Mao Zedong is a famous historical figure in China who had a huge political and cultural influence on the country. Born in 1893, Mao’s young life lead him to politics and ultimately Marxism.
By 1949, after many military victories, Mao had reached great political status . He had successfully overtaken his US Supported adversary Chiang Kai-shek and established “The People’s Republic of China.” He took over the media and boosted the public support of the Party. At first he was open to suggestions on ways to run the government, but this soon changed and those that showed opposition were persecuted.
In 1958, Chairman Mao took over the private farms and food providers and moved much of the farm labor into industrial work in an effort to boost the country’s industrial standing. Unfortunately, this “great leap forward” did not work out and millions of Chinese peasants died in a massive famine.
In 1966 Mao began the Cultural Revolution which sought to secure the rule of Mao by giving more power to the army and pull the country out of the past and into the future. The army went about and destroyed all sorts of cultural heritage while severely punishing anyone who spoke against the Party. This included intellectuals, many of whom were imprisoned. The Cultural Revolution was ended in 1969.
Chairman Mao died in 1976.
His rule is controversial. While many say that he improved the social and economic strength of China, it is clear that many mistakes were made and tens of millions of Chinese died because of his actions. Even still, his body is buried in a mausoleum in the center of the Great Square. It is shown every day at dawn and dusk and many Chinese still idolize him as the founder of modern China.