Cultural Revolution

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, commonly known as the Cultural Revolution (Chinese: 文化大革命; pinyin: Wénhuà Dàgémìng), was a social-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976. Set into motion by Mao Zedong, then Chairman of the Communist Party of China, its stated goal was to enforce communism in the country by removing capitalist, traditional and cultural elements from Chinese society, and to impose Maoist orthodoxy within the Party. The revolution marked the return of Mao Zedong to a position of power after the failed Great Leap Forward. The movement paralyzed China politically and significantly affected the country economically and socially.

The Revolution was launched in May 1966. Mao alleged that bourgeois elements were infiltrating the government and society at large, aiming to restore capitalism. He insisted that these "revisionists" be removed through violent class struggle. China's youth responded to Mao's appeal by forming Red Guard groups around the country. The movement spread into the military, urban workers, and the Communist Party leadership itself. It resulted in widespread factional struggles in all walks of life. In the top leadership, it led to a mass purge of senior officials who were accused of taking a "capitalist road", most notably Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping. During the same period Mao's personality cult grew to immense proportions.

Millions of people were persecuted in the violent factional struggles that ensued across the country, and suffered a wide range of abuses including public humiliation, arbitrary imprisonment, torture, sustained harassment, and seizure of property. A large segment of the population was forcibly displaced, most notably the transfer of urban youth to rural regions during the Down to the Countryside Movement. Historical relics and artifacts were destroyed. Cultural and religious sites were ransacked.

Mao officially declared the Cultural Revolution to have ended in 1969, but its active phase lasted until the death of the military leader Lin Biao in 1971. The political instability between 1971 and the arrest of the Gang of Four in 1976 is now also widely regarded as part of the Revolution. After Mao's death in 1976, reformers led by Deng Xiaoping gained prominence. Most of the Maoist reforms associated with the Cultural Revolution were abandoned by 1978. The Cultural Revolution has been treated officially as a negative phenomenon ever since.

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Chinese reunification
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Sichuan Earthquake
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 1st: Mao Zedong
 2nd: Deng Xiaoping
 3rd: Jiang Zemin
 4th: Hu Jintao

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Read more about Cultural Revolution:  Aftermath, Policy and Effect

Other articles related to "cultural revolution, revolution":

Late Chinese Empire - Modern China - People's Republic of China (1949–present)
... In 1966, Mao and his allies launched the Cultural Revolution, which would last until Mao's death a decade later ... The Cultural Revolution, motivated by power struggles within the Party and a fear of the Soviet Union, led to a major upheaval in Chinese society ... Four were arrested and blamed for the excesses of the Cultural Revolution, marking the end of a turbulent political era in China ...
Liang Heng
... life as a child, dealing with hardships of the Cultural Revolution, Party Bureaucracy, and poverty ... In 1983, Son of the Revolution, his account of his experiences growing up in communist China during the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution, was published ... Despite the family's hope to stay together, the Cultural Revolution will see them banished to distant corners of China ...
Leaf In A Bitter Wind - Background and Genre
... Leaf In A Bitter Wind is one of several memoirs of life during the Cultural Revolution written by Chinese citizens who managed to leave China for the West ... Other examples of personal Cultural Revolution memoirs include Nien Cheng, "Life and Death in Shanghai" (Grove, May 1987) ... ISBN 91020696 Heng Liang Judith Shapiro, Son of the Revolution (New York Knopf Distributed by Random House, 1983) ...
Cultural Revolution - Legacy - Academic Debate
... Various schools of thought have emerged surrounding the nature of the Cultural Revolution ... In this sense, the Cultural Revolution was actually a much more decentralized and varied movement that gradually lost cohesion, spawning itself into a large number ... With the Cultural Revolution Mao was simply "returning to form," once again taking on the role of a guerrilla leader fighting against an institutionalized Party bureaucracy ...
Political Abuses Of Psychiatry - China
... literature included even historical analyses going back to the days of the Cultural Revolution and concerned articles and reports on the number of people who were taken to mental hospitals ... in the 1950s and 1960s, and had grown extremely throughout the Cultural Revolution ... During the period of the Cultural Revolution, from 1966 to 1976, it achieved its apogee, then under the reign of Mao Zedong and the Gang of Four, which established a very repressive and harsh regime ...

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