Sam’s Page on the Cultural Revolution

1. How was the Chinese Communist Party able to carry out the large scale upheaval of the Cultural Revolution?  Was it a popular uprising, or was it forced on people by the leaders?  Analyze the reason and ways in which the Chinese Communist government controlled the Chinese population, and evaluate their effectiveness.

The CCP was able to carry out the large scale upheaval of the Cultural Revolution through widespread propaganda and reeducation.  The spread of propaganda was largely carried out by the Red Guard, who would post revolutionary handbills and big character posters all over the city of Peking.  They also held rallies and made numerous speeches  in an attempt to incite the ideals of the Cultural Revolution in the Chinese people.  Besides posting propaganda and spreading their revolutionary ideas verbally, the Red Guard also changed the names of many schools and shops to political ones that were more fitting to the spirit of the revolution.  They even ordered the termination of all haircuts, clothing, and books that could be viewed as bourgeois.  Finally, the Red Guard reeducated thousands of people who were viewed as “class enemies” by relocating them to brutal work camps.  Many of these people had committed no crime except being members of the wrong social class.  Though this revolution was created by Mao and the other higher-ups, it would not have been nearly as successful without the Red Guard as well as other Chinese people.

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