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    I'm revising for my History exam at the moment - I'm doing Unit 1 which is about Mao's China.

    I'm really stuck on what I would say for this past paper essay:

    'How far was the government of China in the years 1949-62 based on a personal dictatorship exercised by Mao Zedong?'

    Any ideas? Thanks a lot! Ben x
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    I dont do AS History, so this is just a guess.

    Focus on deconstructing the question. If you are struggling, just BS all about what the government of china did in 1949-62. Should be some marks there... For practise, get your hands on as many essay questions like that as you can, and using your notes, make an essay plan which is heavily detailed. V Good practise for most essay-based subjects.
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    I am doing AS Level history aswell. However, im not sure i can help with exactly what to write but my history teacher said to do a basic structure, so in your case youd write your introduction, then the main bit which would maybe consist of:
    - evidence to say it was a personal dictatorship
    - other factors which say it wasnt e.g. social, economical, political - but do these in seperate paragraphs.
    I hope this helps..x
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    (Original post by alymaria13)
    I am doing AS Level history aswell. However, im not sure i can help with exactly what to write but my history teacher said to do a basic structure, so in your case youd write your introduction, then the main bit which would maybe consist of:
    - evidence to say it was a personal dictatorship
    - other factors which say it wasnt e.g. social, economical, political - but do these in seperate paragraphs.
    I hope this helps..x
    This is useless.

    The question the OP poses is difficult - the best way to tackle it is to consider the various ways in which Communist rule operated 1949-62 and to what extent each factor shows that it was based on a personal dictatorship by Chairman Mao. You would never (hopefully) choose this essay in an exam.

    1. introduction

    2. military control & PLA (reunification campaigns, Korean War) - extent to which Mao exercised personal dictatorship (Maoist ideology - self-sufficient & unified China necessary for utopian communist china?) however.... wasn't totally a personalised dictatorship; after all, the Chinese people to a degree supported the measures through as shown through struggle meetings and criticisms involved in the Resist America & Aid Korea campaigns; however, this was ultimately due to propaganda that showed the PLA & Mao to be excellent etc. therefore ultimately rests on the basis of personal dictatorship overall.

    3. structure of CPC: 1949- 6 regions; 4 positions: chairman, party secretary, political commissar & military commander - establish tight rule (13 regions 1953-); Mao sat in 5 man standing commitee, Politburo and central committee and exercised total control in hierarchical pyramid of power that entrusted cadres at a local level to exercise control over danwei (work units) that controlled allocation of grain, oil etc. and the ability to marry, work etc. ; therefore based on hierarchical structure, personal dictatorship imperative. The purging of Gao Gang & Rao Shushi in 1953 indicated Mao's control. (however evaluation is possible through considerations that some power was distributed throughout the hierarchy etc.)

    4. early policies and land reform: consolidated rule through new currency to bring down inflation, took assets from foreigners bla bla bla. land reform showed that mao was beginning to exercise control in agriculture; destruction of landowner class & mutual aid teams 1949-; an inability for private farming from 1953- Agricultural Producers Cooperatives (APCs) meant there was more control in countryside, especially due to 1st Five Year Plan in this period (1953-7) that meant there were government procurement quotas to pursue Maoist economic ideology that forced poorer peasants in countryside to give up food. People's Communes 1958- and backyard furnaces much the same idea during GLF. could be argued early policies were moderate and hence not based on personal dictatorship, e.g. allowing other parties, however this was only to consolidate rule at the beginning and soon waned.

    5. Economic control - Hundred Flowers Campaign & Great Leap Forward
    etc. etc.

    to be honest it's a horrible question but this is the way to do it ; weigh up and evaluate each factor and compare them to each other then come to some kind of agreement as to the degree to which it was based on a personal dictatorship.
 
 
 
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