Great Leap Forward
The Great Leap Forward (simplified Chinese: 大跃进; traditional Chinese: 大躍進; pinyin: Dà yuè jìn) of the People's Republic of China (PRC) was an economic and social campaign of the Communist Party of China (CPC), reflected in planning decisions from 1958 to 1961, which aimed to use China's vast population to rapidly transform the country from an agrarian economy into a modern communist society through the process of rapid industrialization and collectivization. Mao Zedong led the campaign based on the Theory of Productive Forces, and intensified it after being informed of the impending disaster from grain shortages.
Chief changes in the lives of rural Chinese included the introduction of a mandatory process of agricultural collectivization, which was introduced incrementally. Private farming was prohibited, and those engaged in it were labeled as counter revolutionaries and persecuted. Restrictions on rural people were enforced through public struggle sessions, and social pressure, although people also experienced forced labor. Rural industrialization, officially a priority of the campaign, saw "its development … aborted by the mistakes of the Great Leap Forward."
The Great Leap ended in catastrophe, resulting in tens of millions of excess deaths. Estimates of the death toll range from 18 million to 45 million, with estimates by demographic specialists ranging from 18 million to 32.5 million. Historian Frank Dikötter asserts that "coercion, terror, and systematic violence were the very foundation of the Great Leap Forward" and it "motivated one of the most deadly mass killings of human history."
The years of the Great Leap Forward in fact saw economic regression, with 1958 through 1961 being the only years between 1953 and 1983 in which China's economy saw negative growth. Political economist Dwight Perkins argues, "enormous amounts of investment produced only modest increases in production or none at all. … In short, the Great Leap was a very expensive disaster."
In subsequent conferences in 1960 and 1962, the negative effects of the Great Leap Forward were studied by the CPC, and Mao was criticized in the party conferences. Moderate Party members like Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping rose to power, and Mao was marginalized within the party, leading him to initiate the Cultural Revolution in 1966.
Other articles related to "great leap forward, great leap, leap":
... he broke with the Soviet model and announced a new economic program, the "Great Leap Forward", in 1958, aimed at rapidly raising industrial and agricultural production ... From 1960 to 1961, the combination of poor planning during the Great Leap Forward, political movements incited by the government, as well as unusual weather patterns and natural disasters resulted ... Peng was horrified at the wreckage of the Great Leap Forward ...
... approach that relied on spontaneous heroic efforts by the entire population to produce a dramatic "great leap" in production for all sectors of the economy at once ... reorganization of agriculture was regarded as the key to the endeavor to leap suddenly to a higher stage of productivity ... rural labor and further improvements in agricultural efficiency were to be accomplished by a "leap" to the final stage of agricultural collectivization—the formation of people's communes ...
... During the Great Leap Forward campaign of 1958 to 1961, China's leaders attempted to accelerate collectivization and dramatically increase the pace of ... surpass that of the United Kingdom within only 15 years from the start of the "leap." The Great Leap Forward is now widely seen, both within and outside China, as a major economic disaster ... Years of Natural Disasters (although this name is now rarely used in China), and the Great Leap Famine, as the Chinese people suffered from extreme shortages of food ...
... Mao's Great Leap Forward policy came under open criticism at the Lushan party conference ... National Defense Peng Dehuai, who, initially troubled by the potentially adverse effect of the Great Leap Forward on the modernization of the armed forces, also admonished ... comrades who had criticized Mao in the aftermath of the Great Leap Forward ...
Famous quotes containing the word leap:
“O thou day o th world,
Chain mine armed neck, leap thou, attire and all,
Through proof of harness to my heart, and there
Ride on the pants triumphing!”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)