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Ancient China

             Mao Zedong rose from peasantry to become one of China's most historically significant political leader. While working in the Peking University library under Li Dazhao, Mao became a member of the CCP. His political ideology was formed in the 1930's when he rose to party leadership. Mao believed that China's Marxist revolution would be victorious for the peasant class. Mao's political platform included rousing the nation's masses to create a united front including the peasantry, the urban petty bourgeoisie, and national bourgeoisie. Mao also intended to embrace alliances with the Soviet Union in order to help China prosper. In 1935, he initiated the Long March, a journey of 6,000 miles led by the Communist powers fleeing from the oppressive political campaign of Chiang Kai-shek. Approximately one-tenth of the original 80,000 participants who left the Jiangxi Soviet region lived to construct a novel Communist base at Yan'an in the province of Shaanxi. With the establishment of a Communist regime in China in 1949, Mao and his comrades assumed nominal control over a people whose attitudes and conduct had been determined by codes of behavior dating back thousands of years. Mao's ambition was to destroy this ancient system of governing and to transfer loyalties to the nation. In doing so, he aimed to release the energies of the masses and channel their efforts into the construction of China. During the years 1958 to 1961, Mao's leadership drastically faltered. An attempt to significantly increase economic productivity in China, Mao advocated mass organization and stirred the revolutionary enthusiasm amongst the Chinese people. However, despite such admirable intentions represented by the Great Leap Forward, Mao's agenda had massive negative repercussions of economic disaster and widespread famine. Reports regarding the collectivization of peasants policy did not accurately reflect the detramental effects of the Great Leap Forward.

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