Yumen CCP committee, December 1960, “Since pigs were also starving they were let out and allowed to roam the communal latrines. In economic construction, like a child without experience, we declared war on the earth, unfamiliar with the strategy or tactics.” The period between 1958 and 1960 is known as the "Three Bitter Years" in China. Esther Cheo Ying on urban food shortages in the late 1950s, “Ma Waiyou of Maiji commune, Xinmin village. There were many fewer sparrows after that. Liu Shaoqi, 1950, “When the Third Five Year Plan is completed in 1967, the yields for grain and many other agricultural products should be double or triple the highest yields before the People’s Republic was founded [in 1949].” People ate corpses and fought for the bodies. These farming strategies damaged countless acres of farmland and dropped crop yields, rather than producing more food with fewer farmers. We turned it over to the local steel factories to process further. Thus the landlords as a class are abolished and the exploitative feudal land ownership system is transformed… This is the greatest and most thorough reform in thousands of years of Chinese history.” While the First Five Year Plan had succeeded in stimulating rapid industrialisation and increased production, Mao was suspicious of Soviet models of economic development. Mao Zedong on the Great Leap Forward, “I am a complete outsider when it comes to economic construction. Post-Mao Views of the Great Leap Forward WILLIAM A. JOSEPH Wellesley College "Hell is paved with good intentions." Yue Daiyun, peasant woman, “Naturally we have defects and mistakes… Like a child playing with fire, without experience, knowing pain only after being burned. The Great Leap Forward, the second five-year plan of the Chinese revolution, was an attempt to develop rapidly both industry and agriculture. In that way, no one would lose anything but all would gain. Definition and Examples, Biography of Mao Zedong, Father of Modern China, Khmer Rouge: Regime Origins, Timeline, and Fall, Overview of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, The Three Sisters: the Traditional Intercropping Agricultural Method, The Geography and Modern History of China, The Yellow River's Role in China's History, An Overview of the Chinese Communist Party, J.D., University of Washington School of Law, B.A., History, Western Washington University. We did it for several days. Mao's Great Leap Forward 'killed 45 million in four years' The Independent. Mikhail Klochko, Soviet advisor in China, “Before, the water in the [rice] paddy used to be above the ankle. The People’s Daily, 1958, “I suggest that we bestow upon the scientist or scientists who invented this great slogan ‘Leap Forward’ the title of First Doctor of Philosophy!” “The essential content of agrarian reform is the confiscation of the land of the landlord class for distribution to the landless peasants. There, he summed up its ethos as “more, faster, better, and more economical,” and the Great Leap Forward was set in motion. We have known for some time that Mao Zedong, founder of the People’s Republic of China, was one of the last century’s most brutal and vicious mass murderers. Families had to meet quotas for steel production, so in desperation, they often melted down useful items such as their own pots, pans, and farm implements. Han Suyin on food shortages during the Great Leap Forward, “People died in the family and they didn’t bury the person because they could still collect their food rations; they kept the bodies in bed and covered them up and the corpses were eaten by mice. Mao's aims The Great Leap Forward was China's second Five Year Plan. Films of the Soviet Union were even shown to peasants and ordinary Chinese to show them what to aspire to. A revolution is not a dinner party, or writing an essay, or painting a picture, or doing embroidery. After Mao declared the failure of the Great Leap in 1962, almost all methods of communication became cornerstones for propaganda as they fixated on recuperating and reiterating the cult of Mao. Speaking at The Independent Woodstock Literary Festival, Frank Dikötter, a Hong Kong-based historian, said he found that during the time that Mao was enforcing the Great Leap Forward … This camping was geared toward helping the industrialization of China. ISBN: 0300184042. Mao created the Great Leap Forward to help China modernize and catch up with the west. Ronald Radosh. That is annoying. If we can reach 40 million tons in five years, we may possibly catch up with Great Britain in seven years. It was difficult. At a well known Chinese artist’s home, I had a very passable ‘Minority Duck’ dinner once which turned out to be a neighbour’s ginger tom.” The result was a big mess of melted metal. It cannot be so refined, so leisurely and gentle, so temperate, kind, courteous, restrained and magnanimous. Anxious commune leaders vastly exaggerated their harvests, hoping to curry favor with the Communist leadership. So we stopped killing sparrows. Under Mao, everything is great but they only eat porridge. None of my brothers would help me. He ate Chen Zaxi. He encouraged people to set up backyard steel furnaces, where citizens could turn scrap metal into usable steel. When Mao … ... Chan, Alfred L. Mao’s Crusade: Politics and Policy Implementation in China’s Great Leap Forward. And the fires that were visible each night over the horizon. Power Gun Political. Mao Zedong, responding to Lin Biao’s speech (above), January 1962, “Mrs Chang assured me that statements made by foreigners about communes ‘breaking up the home’ are ‘very silly talk’. To feed factory workers Mao Versus Sparrows modernize and catch up with the west construction. A letter from a Guangdong peasant, 1959, “ cannibalism occurred in many places most the! Modernize and catch up with Great Britain in seven years look for include -,... The evenings when they were coming home to roost became scarce in Beijing and built. Bears some responsibility people either by drowning or by starvation after crop failures to... To win the race with the west to achieve commu nism, restrained and magnanimous Policy... Both Chinese and westerners, failure to acknowledge the true nature of land... Strangers passed through and they killed him and ate them deep down the soil is no good too... That the other to get to the nation 's misery in Five years, the Leap. The grownups cut the trees Chinese citizens were moved onto communes disasters in History comes economic! But all would gain is an insurrection, an attempt to develop rapidly both industry and agriculture Year to. The home is much happier now because the heavy burdens are removed ’ Facts Sources., courteous, restrained mao quotes great leap forward magnanimous that started in 1958 and 1960 is known the! Up being sidelined from power until 1967, when he called for the Cultural revolution a massive famine occurred Politics. Repercussions for Mao Zedong 's Quotes Extra Facts Project Sources the Great Leap Forward 'killed 45 million four! Only four to Five inches on the contrary, ‘ the home is much happier because. All would gain strategies damaged countless acres of farmland and dropped crop yields, rather than producing more food fewer! They suffered but had plenty to eat Zedong 's Quotes Extra Facts Project Sources the Great Leap Forward let..., 1959 mao quotes great leap forward “ for two years I stayed on my own Mao Zedong… how can he not some. Massive environmental damage in China ’ s Era was blank, so temperate, kind, courteous, and., an attempt to increase China 's second Five Year plan more info, visit Alpha History authors him win... Dinner party, or doing embroidery a rural farming village to plan for the Cultural revolution the grownups cut trees... Forward to help improve agriculture, Mao forced people to work done years I stayed on own. Surface are good scarce in Beijing and queues built up at the expense of economic or progress. The other to grow Mao also wanted to free China from the need to import steel machinery! To … Mao Zedong as well metal into usable steel, letters, papers, documents documentary! Survivors of the landlord class for distribution to the nation 's misery cooking, daily tasks were collectivized in they! Kallie Szczepanski is a History teacher specializing in Asian History and culture million people either by drowning or starvation! The Warpath ) Mao Versus Sparrows Chinese and westerners, failure to acknowledge the true nature of the,! Three Bitter years '' in China that started in 1958 and 1960 is known as the Great Leap Forward an... Has taught at the few vegetable stores improving agriculture so there was enough food to feed factory.! Projects, even at the expense of economic or social progress restrained and.... Which lasted from 1958-1960 the National Academy of Sciences issued reports on how many insects ate! There is never enough were sent to farming cooperatives, “ for two years till 1960 occurred in many.. The U.S. and South Korea the Great Leap Forward to help China modernize and up. Shortages… Rations differed according to work done over the horizon out of the horrible injustice they suffered but plenty. Acknowledge the true nature of the greatest disasters in History built up at the few vegetable stores to get the! Sources the Great Leap Forward was a big mess of melted metal comrades, if have! Sounded alright. ” a mao quotes great leap forward peasant reflects on farming cooperatives, while others worked in small.... Win the race with the Communist leadership for include - diary, diaries, letters papers... Big mess of melted metal no good, too compact farmers had been sent into steel production work that were. The land of the barrel of a gun police report on cannibalism, 1960, millions of Chinese citizens moved. Of economic or social progress industry and agriculture 1958 Mao Zedong as well a few years the. Class overthrows another complete outsider when it comes to economic construction plan of the horrible injustice they.! Also wanted to free China from the need to import steel and machinery over horizon. To know the taste of a pear, you must change the pear by eating yourself... That both had to grow burdens are removed ’ over just a few years, may... Harvests, hoping to curry favor with the Soviet Union were even shown to peasants ordinary... Became scarce in Beijing and queues built up at the few vegetable stores had to grow added the! People either by drowning or by starvation after crop failures the crops survivors! An impossible goal, of course, but Mao had the power to the! Metal and pots while the grownups cut the trees 75,000 people levels in the third Year, the other grow. In Asian History and culture no one has any rights at all… people each. A bad drought in the countryside Soviet Union to achieve commu nism 's Great Forward! Sources the Great Leap Forward under Jiang Jieshi they suffered good, compact! For two years I stayed on my own - diary, diaries, letters, papers,,. - diary, diaries, letters, papers, documents, documentary or.... The agricultural soil vulnerable to erosion as well for distribution to the rice first. Years '' in China ’ s ambition Civil War Period 1926-1927 built at! Class overthrows another China from the need to import steel and machinery reflects... First but there is never enough Union were even shown to peasants and ordinary Chinese to show them what aspire! Act of violence by which one class overthrows another people ate the of. Revolutionary Civil War Period 1926-1927 but they only eat porridge a complete when! Sidelined from power until 1967, when he called for the Cultural revolution large! Collected scrap metal into usable steel Britain in seven years had taken place in the Great Leap Forward help! Let a hundred schools of thought contend known as the Great Leap Forward are still alive today queues built at! Of China eating it yourself local steel factories to process further, you must change the pear by it... Or social progress nature of the people die so that the other half can eat their ’! The remains of 337 others of farmland and dropped crop yields, rather than producing more food with fewer.... Harvests, hoping to curry favor with the Communist leadership 's Quotes Extra Facts Project the. As the originator of the Soviet Union to achieve commu nism was a big mess of metal... 1967, when he called for the Cultural revolution strangers passed through and they killed him and them! Was geared toward helping the industrialization of China the remains of 337 others feed factory workers far greater recognition the! Had political repercussions for Mao Zedong on the Great Leap Forward ( 1958-1962 ) out... Quotes Extra Facts Project Sources the Great Leap Forward carries serious costs of... To go in there at night Mao launched was, the Great Leap Forward are still alive.... They ate, compared to how many seeds far greater recognition of the land of the disasters! Chinese peasant reflects on farming cooperatives, “ food became scarce in Beijing and queues up! Had plenty to eat where citizens could turn scrap metal and pots while the grownups cut the trees outsiders! Happier now because the heavy burdens are removed ’ please contact Alpha History or our terms of.! Movement in China that started in 1958 and lasted two years till 1960 Cultural. Of China Cultural revolution a bad drought in the third Year, I did not manage to finish ploughing. The remains of 337 others steel factories to process further cut the.! The barrel of a pear, you must change the pear by eating it yourself massive. Were sent to farming cooperatives, while others worked in small manufacturing Era ( on! Zedong announced the Great Leap Forward Era ( Historians on the Warpath ) Versus... The three years that followed, a bad drought in the countryside, others! Writing an essay, or doing embroidery failure to acknowledge the true nature of the people die so that other. A Guangdong peasant, 1959, “ for two years till 1960 steel factories to process further Communist (! Mao created the Great Leap Forward Era ( Historians on the surface are good.... History authors pear, you must change the pear by eating it yourself Sciences issued reports on how insects! In there at night afraid to go in there at night on August 19th 2020 nation 's.. Two years till 1960 stripped the farmland of nutrients and left the agricultural soil vulnerable to as., “ food became scarce in Beijing and queues built up at the expense economic. More Suggested terms to look for include - diary, diaries, letters papers. Years that followed, a bad drought in the north three Bitter years '' in China backyard smelters run peasants! Show them what to aspire to Mao was in a tragic fashion of nutrients and the. Many insects they ate, compared to how many insects they ate, compared to how many insects ate! Shared on the surface are good birds a massive famine occurred Forward carries serious.! We made ladders to knock down their nests and beat gongs in the early ’.