Changing Ideologies in China 1949-1989

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To what extent were changing ideologies the most significant force for change in China, 1949-1989 Between the years 1949 and 1989, China underwent numerous significant social and political changes. The beginning of this 40-year era was occupied with the ‘liberation’ of China, as the Peoples’ Republic of China was established; however the notorious Tiananmen Square Massacre marked the end of this era. The vast majority of both minor and major social, economic and political changes occurring between these years can be attributed to changing ideologies. Thus, changing ideologies were the crucial but not sole catalyst for change in contemporary China, 1949-1989 by building the foundations for political and social change, therefore being the most significant force for change to a major extent. The various political, social and economic reforms introduced by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) under Mao’s leadership, factionalism within the CCP itself and the changed ideologies of Deng Xiaoping were external factors crucial for the changes which occurred in China during this era. However, it is apparent that each one of these factors were either the result of or the stimulant of changing ideologies within ‘the people’ and/or the governing body. Numerous political, social and economic reforms introduced and strictly enforced by the CCP both positively and negatively affected the nation of China and its people, changing their ideologies which in turn caused further reform and change. The Great Leap Forward, launched in 1958 aimed to rapidly transform the nation from an agrarian society to a modern communist country through industrialization and collectivization. However, the policy failed and so support for the CCP’s Marxist policies were greatly reduced and thus, ideologies of both the CCP and ‘the people’ were changed. As a result, right-wing-style policies were
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