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China and the Great Leap Forward

            How much impact did the GLF have on the economic development of China?.
             To a certain extent the GLF's impact on China's economy was a failure overall because of Mao's poor economic planning, he thought that if China increased their industry and agriculture it would make China's economic situation flourish and it would make China 'leap' ahead of the world's leading countries and it would be done through a second five year plan running from 1958 to 1963. Unfortunately the Great Leap Forward (GLF) was a huge disaster and this essay will explain and evaluate the positives and negatives of the GLF and Mao's uneducated decisions.
             According to Josh Brooman's 'China since 1900', Industry was the main focus of the GLF as Mao's plan was to make China one of the world's leading industrial nations. Mao thought that by simply producing masses of steel China would be able to solve its economic problems, therefore he wanted as much steel produced as fast as possible and started the Backyard Steel Campaign. At Mao's command the Chinese people went to build their furnaces, 600,000 backyard furnaces were set up in towns and villages all over China. At first this plan from the GLF was going to make an impact on China's economy as 11 million tonnes of steel was produced which was 65% more than the total in 1957 and it was also raising the people's spirit and enthusiasm to help as all ages and classes could help. But it was actually a failure as 3 million of the 11 million tonnes of steel was impure as it was smelted form such domestic oddments such as pots and pans the steel ended up as large hard blobs which were impractical therefore it was scrapped. Also not only was millions of steel wasted, large parts of China were deforested as so many trees were felled to supply the backyard furnaces and so many people were focusing on making steel nobody was harvesting the fields which caused a reduction in the amount of food produced.

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