What are the causes and results of the Chinese Revolution of 1949?



The Chinese Communist revolution is a very important episode in the history of the world in the twentieth century.

The Revolution of 1949 was shaped by interplay of variety of causes and left an abiding mark on the history of the world.

The Chinese revolution was the result of prevalent socio-economic and political conditions in China. Chinese economy was dominated by agriculture. Crafts were there but they were practiced with primitive and outdated techniques. Heavy revenue burdens were imposed on the Chinese peasants who groaned under the burden.

The social milieu of China was equally responsible for ushering in1 the revolution of 1949. The Chinese society was hierarchical and the upper classes and mandariers enjoyed higher standard of living. The common formulae were no bitter than newer of wood and drawers of water.

China moreover presented the picture of political disorganization. The warlords controlled a longer part of the country and the nationalist government which was established. The revolution of 1911 was confined to canton and surroundings. Moreover, the foreign powers had divided China into spheres of influence wreaking havoc on Chinese sovereignty. Also, China in wars with Japan in 1895 and with Russia had lost much of its territories.

Then, there was the dissatisfaction caused in China at its demands being slighted and overlooked by the Great powers to appease the Japanese. The Western powers shut their eyes to genuine demands of China and cared only to advance their own interests at the expense of those of Chinese people.

The Kuomintang government was established by Sunyat Sen in 1922. He wanted to build a modern, unified and prosperous China and forged cooperative alliance with the Communist party for the purpose.

But after the death of Sunyat Sen, when Chiang Kai Sheik took control, inefficiency and corruption cropped up in the KMT government. They had to offer little by way of reform and spent much time looking after the interests of industrialists, bankers, landowners and made no effective attempts to organize mass support.

Moreover, under the KMT government, there was little improvement in factory conditions. The condition of workers was pitiable and practices as child labour were widely prevalent. Chiang himself was not prepared to offend his industrial supporters by asking them to pay to the workers their rightful wages.

Further, there was no improvement in the peasant poverty which got compounded on account of series of droughts and bad harvests in the 1930s. This caused widespread famines in rural areas, and the KMT government failed to come up with a land policy favouring the peasants.

Further, the KMT did not put effective resistance against the Japanese. When full scale war broke out with the Japanese, the KMT forces were quickly defeated and the Chiang's army lost most of eastern China to the Japanese.

While the KMT was fast losing support, the communists gained strength. There were many reasons why people got attracted to the communist. Firstly, the communists tried to win popular support by their restrained land policy which varied according to the needs of particular areas.

On the other hand, the KMT administration was inefficient and corrupt, much of its American aid finding its way into the locket of officials. Its policy of paying for the wars by printing extra money resulted in galloping inflation which caused hardship for masses. Its armies were poorly paid and were allowed to loot the countryside.

The communists also resorted to propagating their ideas and not only won people to their ideas and not only won people to their side but also enlisted
support of Chiang's army. Moreover, the communists organized effective guerilla campaigns against the Japanese. They also freed many areas from the control of the warlords.

Finally, the communist leader Mao Zedong, Zhon Enlai was shrewd enough to take advantage of KMT weaknesses and was completely dedicated. The communist generals Lin Biao, Chu Teh and Ch-en Yi had prepared their armies carefully and were more competent tactically than their KMT counterparts.

The victory of the communist revolution of 1945 had several important consequences. Firstly, China was freed from the political disorganization and foreign control as a strong centralized government under communist party of China was set up by Mao Zedong and Zhon Enlai. The Chinese territories under the control of the warlords were set free and incorporated into Chinese republic.

The Revolution of 1949 moreover, put China on course of economic reorganization. The Chinese Communist Party tried to put back the economy on track. First land reform was introduced and new technologies made available to farmers to raise production. Later on communist were organized. Initially, Chinese communists took Russian help in taking China on course of modem industrialization and five year plans were adopted to develop China industrially.

The communist1 revolution also led to the adoption of a new constitution by China in 1954 which gave the ultimate control over the government to the communist party.

The Chinese communist revolution of 1949 inspired the communists elsewhere and added to the strength of the newly independent nations. On the other hand, the Revolution led the United States of America to tighten the noose on the communist bloc to help prevent the spread of communism.