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Static Wikipedia: Italiano -Inglese (ridotta) - Francese - Spagnolo - Tedesco - Portoghese
 
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Mao Zedong

From Wikipedia, a free encyclopedia written in simple English for easy reading.

Mao Zedong
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Mao Zedong

Mao Zedong was a Chinese Communist leader. He had the leader job in China from 1945 to 1976. He was a dictator. This means he controlled the country of China by himself and was above everyone else when he makes a decision. Some people think Mao was bad, and some people think Mao was good. Most have called him bad, because millions of Chinese deaths were his fault and because he was bad at running the government and because he was impatient waiting for things he wanted. Chinese Communists (people in Mao's group) and some others called good him saying he is a revolutionary hero.

Mao was born on December 26, 1893 in Hunan providence, China. He grew up in a farming family. He became a Communist while working as a librarian (someone who works in a library). Throughout the 1920's, his power increased in the Communist Party of China, and by 1933, he was its leader. This kind of "party" is a group of people who think the same way about politics or their country. During the 1920's, the group began to fight with Chiang Kai-shek and his group, the Kuomintang. This fight was called the Chinese Civil War Some people say Chiang Kai-shek wanted China to be a democracy (where people choose their leader), but other say they only wanted to keep power. The Communists wanted to make the country a socialist one-party state (a country where only one political party is allowed).

The Nationalists (Chiang Kai-shek's group) had more fighters in 1935. They beat the Communists (Mao's group) and made them move away. This move was called the Long March. Mao escaped from the Nationalists with other Communists to a part of China called Yenan. By this time, in 1935, he was the reason for more than 500,000 deaths.

When Japan invaded China in 1937, Mao and Chiang stopped fighting. After the United States entered World War 2, they attacked each other again. Some say the Communists started it, other say the Nationalists started it.

The United States defeated Japan in 1945 and this made the Japan Army leave China. The Chinese Civil War was happening some during World War 2, but after the war it became very violent. Chiang and the Nationalists had friends in the cities and among the middle class. Mao and the Communists had many friends in the farm places and the countryside. In those days in China there were more farmers than city people, so Mao had more friends than Chiang. By 1949, Mao had chased the Nationalists to an island called Taiwan. Then, he told the people that China would be Communist, with him as leader.

Mao had many plans for how China could move forward very fast and catch up with countries like the United Kingdom. He had some good ideas called the First Five Year Plan. After that, his second ideas were called the Second Five Year Plan. The Second Five Year plan had many bad ideas. Farms did not make much food because of bad farming ideas, and cities did not make many things like clothes and machines. The farms were not making much food, so many people died from being hungry. More than 30,000,000 people died this way because of the Second Year Plan.

Mao wanted to change everything about China. He wanted to change the way Chinese people think about China, and even change the way they remember history. He made people change things very fast, even if they did not want to change. These changes were called The "Cultural Revolution". Mao did not like if someone talked about his ideas a bad way. Many smart people in Chinese cities did not like Mao's ideas because of the food problems. There was also no freedom to do many different things when the Communists were running the country. To keep people from talking bad and making groups of friends who did not like Mao together, he made all of China's best and brightest people quit their jobs, and go into the farms. China become poorer, and weaker as a result.

About the same time Mao became the leader in China, Nikita Khrushchev became the leader in the Soviet Union (USSR is another way to say "Soviet Union"). Krushchev and Mao were both Communists. Both were also dictators. Before Mao and Krushchev, China and Russia liked each other. Stalin was the leader in the USSR before Krushchev. Mao liked Stalin and respected his way to lead. Krushchev did not like Stalin, and called him a criminal dictator. So Mao did not like Krushchev, and Krushchev did not like Mao. So China and the Soviet Union did not like each other too. When the Soviet Union did not like China, many other countries also did not like China. So China had only a few friends like Albania, North Korea, Democratic Kampuchea, and Pakistan. This change of friends was called the Sino-Soviet Split. ("Sino" is another way to say "Chinese" in this case.)

Mao died in 1976.

Some Chinese mainlanders still believe Mao Zedong as a great leader, but they also know that he did many bad things when he was old. According to Deng Xiaoping, Mao was "seven parts right and three parts wrong", and his "contributions are primary and his mistakes secondary." Some people think Mao made China lose its best friend, the Soviet Union, in the Sino-Soviet Split. But Mao thought when Khrushchev called Stalin a criminal in 1956 that he was also calling Mao a criminal. The Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution are the two most big bad ideas Mao had. Most historians (people who study history for their job) think that about 70,000,000 people died because of Mao's bad ideas. That is the biggest number of people to ever die during peace time. Some people do not like Mao because he did not support family planning. This caused too many babies to be born to mothers who did not plan for the baby. This caused too many people in too small a place, and the leaders of China after Mao had to make a new rule about having babies called one child policy.

He also made a few changes to the Chinese language. He changed the Wade Giles system of Romanization to Pinyin, which is different. For this reason, Nanking is now called Nanjing on modern maps. Taiwan still uses Wade Giles, so its capital is called Taipei instead of the pinyin Taibei. He also simplified the Chinese characters, making them easier to read and write so that more people would be able to read.

[edit] Sources

  1. [1] Washington State University.