How successful were Mao’s economic policies?
One of the major reasons for why the GMD lost the civil war was because of their economic mismanagement, which then left the same problems for Moa and his government to deal with. So it is worth pointing out that it was not Mao who started the economic mess, but whether he helped to clear it up is what I hope to find out. The problems he faced included the hyper inflation, mass poverty across the country and a large debt owed to the west. Mao’s aims for his economic policies were to overtake Britain, in terms of industrial power, within 15 years. One of his first policies was to tackle the out of control inflation rate, by introducing a new currency (renminbi) and raised the taxes for the rich. This proved very successful as it cut interest rates form over 1000% per annum to just 15%. However, this didn’t increase the income of families, which is why his next idea, to get people to seize the land from their landlords and encouraged them to humiliate the landlords in front of the whole community. As a result 750,000 landlords were killed and the land was redistributed among the peasants. This could also be seen as a success as it the poor land of their own, which meant they would hopefully see a better return for their efforts and showed Mao wanted to help the peasants directly. Whether it increased production is unknown as people only made enough for themselves. Mao then encouraged families to group their land together as Agricultural Producers Cooperatives (APC’s) where a few neighbouring farm owning families would join their land together and share equipment, but land was still privately own by the individuals. It was beneficial to those who took up the opportunity as it increased efficiency and therefore output. Mao’s first major economic policy was the First Five Year Plan which aimed to again increase efficiency by attacking tax dodgers and fraudsters. Once again it was modelled on previous Soviet policies. Mao...
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