(1911-1989) by Lance Wilson, Cole Bachmeier, and Austen Tyryfter

"Hard work for a few years, happiness for a thousand." - Mao Zedong

After over 2,000 years of imperial rule in China, Dr. Sun Yat-sen overthrew the Manchu Dynasty in 1911. Yat-sen and the Natioanlist Party, or Guomindang, became the founders of the first Chinese Republic. Sun Yat-sen's philosophy was based on three principles of the people: Nationalism, Democracy, and People's Livelihood. After his death, Chiang Kai-Shek became the president of a new Republic of China in 1928 that was based out of Nanjing. However, under Kai-Shek's reign there was no democracy. Chiang Kai-Shek had effectively become the dicator of China. His philosophy was much different. He believed in combining Western ideas and technology with traditional Confucian values in what he called the New Life Movement. China was constantly at war during this time, and saw conflict between the warlords who remained after the Manchu Dynasty fell, the Communists, and the invading Japanese. The Chinese Communist Party had been formed in 1921 by Mao Zedong. Initially the Communists and the Nationalists set aside their differences to take control of China. However, once China was secured, the Nationalists turned on the Communists. Thousands of Communists were killed in the Shanghai Massacre of April 1927. The Nationalists gained ground early on in the fight against Communism, but in 1933 the Communist People's Liberation Army undertook the Long March, a 6,000 mile journey on foot from southeast China to the Communist base of Yan'an in the hills north of China. 100,000 set out, but only 7,000 survived the journey across mountains and rivers and the battles along the way.

Mao's Little Red Book
In 1945 war broke out between the Nationalists and the Communists. The Nationalists had a superior army, but the People's Liberation army used guerrilla warfare tactics to trouble the Nationalists. In 1949, the Communists won control of China. Chiang Kai-Shek fled to and became the President of Taiwan. On October 1, 1949, the People's Republic of China was established, with its capital at Beijing. Mao Zedong became the Chairman of the Communist Party and the leader of China. Mao was considered a very wise leader by the Chinese, and his thoughts and ideas were collected and published in the "Little Red Book". In 1958 Mao began a program called the Great Leap Forward to speed up economic growth. During this Mao intended to create a ideal classless society by combining collective farms into massive farm that contained 30,000 people. The program was a disaster, and 20 million died of starvation. In 1961, Mao ended the program and returned to the previous method of farming. A few years later, in 1966, Mao began a Cultural Revolution. The Red Guards were radical supporters of Mao who burned books, destroyed statues, and removed things associated with the past and the old culture. The main things they were trying to elimate were the four olds: old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits. This cultural revolution would last until Mao's death in 1976. Early during Mao's reign China would take control of Tibet, a Buddhist Kingdom controlled by the Dalai Lama. Tibet was captured by the Red Army and is now a Chinese province.
Image of 38Th Parallel

In 1945 Korea was divided in half along the 38th Parallel. In the south was the Republic of Korea with a democratic government. In the north was the People's Republic of Korea with a communist government. On June 25, 1950, the Korean War broke out when the North Korean troops invaded South Korea. The United Nations sent troops to the aid of South Korea, while China aided North Korea. The United States also aided South Korea to prevent the spread of communism as mentioned in the Truman Doctrine. The front line of the war fluctuated across the 38th Parallel throughout the war, and eventually settled near the same place when an armistice was signed in 1953. After Mao's death, Deng Xiaoping became the Premier of China. He created a policy of Four Modernizations, which focused on improving industry, agricluture, technology, and national defense. Towards the end of his reign, on June 4, 1989, a large group of students began protesting in Tiananmen Square. They demanded that the aging and corrupt leaders of the Communist Party resign and be replaced. Xiaoping, however, saw this as a call for democracy and an end to the Communist Party. He sent tanks and troops to end the protest.

Communist China Terms:

  • CCP- The Chinese Communist Party. The CCP was formed by a group of radicals that included some members of the staff and faculty from the Beijing University in 1921. The CCP was advised that they should join with the Nationalist Party.
  • Guerrilla Tactics- A form of war where forces use unexpected maneuvers like subterfuge and sabotage to wear down an enemy. It is doing what the enemy doesn’t want you to do. “When the enemy advances, we retreat! When the enemy halts and camps, we trouble them. . .”
  • PLA- The People’s Liberation Army. The PLA was created by Mao Zedong and it was a Communist Army. The PLA destroyed the Nationalist lines in
    the Long March. The PLA over through the Nationalist party to create a Communist Government.
  • Tutelage- Tutelage means training. In Chiang Kai-shek’s mind, he felt that there needed to be a period of political tutelage to prepare for one of the final stages of a new constitutional government.
  • New Life Movement- Chiang Kai-shek, with the help of his wife, set up his new life movement that was suppose to promote tradition Confucian social ethics like integrity, propriety, and righteousness.
  • Redistribution of Wealth- The shifting of the wealth of a civilization from a rich minority to a poor majority. Chiang Kai-shek was not for this
  • t01_19233951.jpg
    Image of Tiananmen Square
    redistribution of wealth because the people who supported him were urban middle class and land gentry.
  • Communes- Old collective farms that were approximately the size of a village that were combined to form larger ones. These communes contained
    more than thirty thousand people and these people lived and worked together.
  • Permanent Revolution- An atmosphere of constant revolutionary fervor. Mao thought that this could enable the Chinese to overcome the past and to obtain the final stage of communism. This meant to create a classless society.
  • Tiananmen Square- Student protesters led massive demonstrations in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in May 1989. These protesters called for an end of the corruption and they demanded the resignation of China leaders.
  • Per Capita- Per person. Per capita is used with income and it is normally used to determine the income of the average citizen. During the 1980s, the per capita income of farm doubled.

View Mao Zedong and over 3,000,000 other topics on Qwiki.

Famous Communist China People:

Mao Zedong

Jiang Qing
Deng Xiaoping

Dalai Lama

Harry Truman

Key Dates

1911: Sun Yat-sen overthrows the Manchu Dynasty and founds the first Chinese Republic.
April 1927: Chiang Kai-Shek, in an attempt to eliminate the Communist Party, kills thousands in the Shanghai Massacre.
1921: Mao Zedong founds the Chinese Communist Party.
1928: Following the death of Sun Yat-sen, Chiang Kai-Shek becomes the president of the Republic of China.
1933: The Long March, in which the Communists travelled 6,000 miles to northern China, begins.
October 1, 1949: The People's Republic of China is established, with its capital located a Beijing.
June 25, 1950: The Korean War, a conflict between the communist north and democratic south, begins.
July 27, 1953: An Armistice is signed between North Korea and South Korea, ending the fighting of the Korean War.
1958: Mao institutes the Great Leap Forward, which leads to the death of over 20 million people.
September 9, 1976: Mao dies at the age of 83; he is succeeded by Deng Xiaoping.


  1. Mao Zedong: Also known as Mao Tse-tung, he was the leader of the CCP in 1921. He created the People’s Liberation Army or the PLA. His army was the red army which stood for communist. His most famous quote came from the little red book; it was “Political Power grows out of the barrel of a gun”. From 1933-1935 he had the Long March which was the march that happened when the Communists fled from capture and execution. It was a 6,000mile journey with over 100,000 troops to try and survive it. They defeated 10 armies crossed 18 Mt. Ranges and 24 rivers only to have 7,000 troops survive the ordeal. In WWII Mao would invade china with the Japanese. He used guerrilla warfare, he saw peasants as the key to Communist revolution rather
    Communist China's Propaganda
    than urban workers. He had 3 rules that he used to win over these peasants. One do not take a needle or thread, two consider people as your family, three all you borrow you must return. In 1949 Mao and the communists won control of Mainland China. Mao becomes Chairman of the Communist Party from 1949 to 1976. From 1958 to 1961 Mao had The Great Leap Forward which was a plan to create an ideal communist society. This plan was to develop the industry and promote agriculture. He started Cooperatives or “Collective Farms” these were massive farms of 30,000 people which used human labor rather than technology. These plans of The Great Leap Forward were a disaster, 20million died of starvation due to the inability of the Cooperatives to generate enough food. In 1996 to 1976 Mao planned to have a Cultural Revolution which was a new forced march toward true Communism. In this revolution he tried to eliminate all of his opponents. Mao also had a hand in the Korean wars. He later dies in Sep. 9, 1976. His successor is Deng Xiaoping.
  2. Chiang Kai-Shek: He was the President of the Republic of China from 1928 to 1945. He invoked the death of Sun Yat-sen. He defeated the warlords who were regional military rulers in China. Even though it was called a republic it was really a dictatorship. He used Western ideas and traditional Confucian values in this republic. His “New Life Movement” was what he used for his social ethics. He was considered Banana Chinese cause critics called him Chinese on the outside and western on the inside. He was constantly at war with the Warlords, Communists, and Japanese. Later on he started the Shanghai Massacre in April 1927, this was where he had 1000’s of communists tortured and killed. He wanted to eliminate the Communists. His quote was “The Communists are a disease of the heart.” He later loses the war against the communists during WWII. He flees to Taiwan and become president of Taiwan.
  3. Henry Pu-Yei: He was the last Emperor of China his reign lasted from1906 to 1967. He was sent to the Forbidden City in Peking Beijing after the Chinese revolution of 1911. This was the home of the Chinese Emperors.
  4. Dr. Sun Yat-sen: He was the founder of modern China. He was the leader of the revolution against Manchu, and he founded the first Chinese Republic. He believed in three principles of the people nationalism, democracy, and the people’s livelihood. He also founded the Guomindang or the Nationalist Political Party.
  5. Deng Xiaoping: He became the leader after the death of Mao in 1976. He studied in France, where he joined the Chinese Communist Party. At the end of WWII, he became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. An opponent to Mao’s Cultural Revolution, he was labeled a “renegade, scab, and traitor” and sent to work in a tractor factory. In 1978 after the failure of the Cultural Revolution, Deng became the leader of China’s modernization and economic reform. He took a practical approach to change. Between 1982 and 1989, he was the chief leader of china.
  6. President Richard Nixon: In 1972 he made a historic visit to Red China. Later the United States and China opened up diplomatic relations in 1979. This ended 2 decades of hostility between the United States and China.
  7. President Henry Truman: He sent American troops to stop the spread of Communism. The UN forces crossed into North Korea Sep. 1950. He was also the president during the Battle of Choshin Reservoir which was a massive battle in Korea.
  8. Dalai Lama: He was the spiritual leader of Tibet. He is currently exiled from India and now lives in the United States of America. He was lobbying world leaders for Tibetan independence. He received the Nobel peace prize in 1989.
  9. Henry Kissinger: He was the United States Secretary of State in 1971. He supposedly made a secret trip to China in which he discussed American and Chinese Affairs. This was called Ping Pong Diplomacy.
  10. Madame Mao: She was Mao’s 4th wife; she tried to rise to power after her husband’s death and was a part of the Gang of four. She was later arrested and imprisoned; she was responsible for the deaths of 34,000 people.


This video briefly discusses the purposes of Mao Zedong's culturul revolution. The one on the right talks about Chiang Kai-Shek.


This map shows the advances by communist and United Nations' forces during the Korean War.



Henry Puyi This link brings you to a site that has all of the information you would need on Henry Puyi. It explains what he did how long he was emperor, where he lived etc. This site is very easy to navigate through and extremely helpfull.
Cultural Revolution This link talks about the cultural revolution in china. It has information on why Mao Zedong started this revolution. It tells about what it affected and how this revolution affected these area. It is a site full of information but a it is a little harder to find specific information on this subject.
Mao Zedong This site has all of the information on Mao Zedong that this wiki does not have. It has all of his nicknames and quotes, it talks about his schooling and even some of the classes he took. It is very in depth and a easy site to learn everything you could possibly want to know about Mao Zedong.
Communism Timeline This site brings you to a timeline that has all of the events that happened during the 50 years of communism in China. It is very detailed and has most of the information about communism in china.
Overview This site provides an overview of Communist China. It has all of the smaller details that this wiki doesn't have it also goes more into depth about different subjects. It is a little harder to find specific details but its all there.
Dalai Lama This link explains that Dalai Lama is a very religious man. He has created a five point peace plan in which he wished to transform Tibet into a peaceful zone and make is a safe and enjoyable place for all.
Korean War This link explains that the Korean War was fought between the Republic of Korea, which was supported by the United States, and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, who was supported by the Chinese.
Harry S. Truman This link explains that Harry Truman was the 33rd President of the United States. This explains that he sent American troops to stop the spread of Communism. He supported the UN forces crossing into North Korea.
Great Leap Forward This Great Leap Forward was an economic and social campaign of the CPC. The Great Leap ended up terrible, with millions and millions of people dead. This backfired and ended up with an economic falure.
Shanghai Massacre This link explained that the Shanhai Massacre happened on April 1927 and this was where Chiang Ki-shek tried to eliminate the Communist Party. He even said that "The Communists are a disease of the heart."