The Cultural Revolution
The cultural revolution is a key moment in Chinese history and was directly from the failure of Mao’s the Great Leap Forward. After the disaster of the Great Leap Forward cause a fissure of the communist party. New key leaders came out of the Great Leap with Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi. Mao was losing power and he needed to do something to gain back his power. Deng Xiaoping and Liu Shaoqi expressed different ideology from Mao. He uses the Cultural Revolution to rise he to an iconic symbol and attack anyone that opposed his ideas, experts, and Chinese culture itself. He did this by reaching out to young people though the Socialist Education Campaign and Mao’s Little Red Book. Mao reconstructed the system that he has built and remade with Mao on top and calling for revolution. In August 1966, the youth of China formed the Red Guards composed of mostly students. At this time, Mao commanded to “destroy the old” and announced that Lin Biao will be his successor. This was start of the bloodshed were China. Many of China intellectuals were targeted by the Red Guards and China’s society broke down to anarchy. Many people died and many other were tortured and the estimates are in 400,000 were killed. The second phase marked by large number of people migrating from the city to the countryside. In 1971 Lin Biao attempted to assassinate Mao while he was traveling by train. This came about because of the growing relationship between the United States and China. What marked the end for the Cultural Revolution was Mao’s death on September 9, 1981.
This is a picture of many of China’s youth gathering to show their support of Mao
And here is a nice video that gives a crash course of China 1911 to the end of the culture revolution. Skip to the 8:09 for events leading to and the end of the culture revolution