outline - chapter 35


Chapter 35 Outline – War and Revolution in China and Vietnam

VI. The Present Era (1914 – Present)


War and Revolution in China and Vietnam


The Struggle for China a.

When Qing (Manchu) Dynasty fell (1912), there was a long struggle for power in China

Initially, regional warlords dominated Chinese politics (Yuan Shikai was most powerful), tried to create a new dynasty

Second group with power were politicians in coastal cities who were supported by wealthy

 merchants and bankers

Third group were university students and professors

Fourth group were secret societies – wanted new dynasty, but with Chinese, not foreign ruler

The political situation was complicated by foreign intervention in China, especially the Japanese, who dominated China from 1890s until end of WW2 (1945)

The May Fourth Movement and the Rise of the Marxist Alternative


Sun Yat-sen

= Head of Revolutionary Alliance, political group that had opposed the Qing in 1911

He claimed the right to establish a government, but lacked the power to form one

Although Sun Yat-sen was elected president in 1911, the warlords continued to dominate China

In 1912, Sun Yat-sen resigned the presidency in favor of the leading warlord, Yuan Shikai

But Yuan Shikai trying to become dictatorial emperor, so Sun Yat-sen called for second revolution

Yuan Shikai's plans to establish new dynasty interrupted by Japanese intervention in China

In 1915 Japan tried to make China a protectrate (Twenty-One Demands) which Yuan ignored

Yuan unpopular because didn’t stand up to Japan, and was overthrown

Japan seized much of northern China with the assent of the European powers

On May 4, 1919, massive demonstrations by students and nationalist politicians occurred in b.


Chinese cities protesting the betrayal of China's by European allies (China part of WW1 Entente)

The May Fourth movement

= Protests in hopes of China abandoning Confucianism in favor of

Western ideals and to creating a liberal democracy

Until warlords could be neutralized, the ideals of the May Fourth movement could not be realized

It became clear that a democratic government would lack the military clout to enact liberal reforms, and many in China thought that a more radical approach, communism, was the answer

The Russian Revolution seemed to serve as a model for possible reform in China

Li Dazhao

= college teacher, led movement to apply Marxism to China

Socialist Youth Corps

(1920) = Marxist group established to recruit urban working classes to the

 revolutionary movement

In 1921, leaders of Marxist movement met in Shanghai and formed the Communist party of China

The Seizure of Power by the Guomindang, or Nationalist Party c.

In 1919, Sun Yat-sen attempted to revitalize the reform movement by creating the Nationalist Party of

China (



The Nationalists began to militarize in order to drive out the warlords

Sun Yat-sen enunciated a broad program of reform

Nationalists got support from commercial groups in coastal cities as well as some warlords and


 criminal groups, such as the Green Gang of Shanghai

Sun Yat-sen also formed an alliance with the Communist party in 1924

Since West did not support Nationalist Party, Sun got assistance from neighboring Soviet Union

Chiang Kai-shek

= Became Nationalist Party military leader and close associate of Sun Yat-sen

Nationalist Party did little to help the peasants in the rural areas, which made up large majority of

Chinese people (rural conditions awful – poverty, famine, homelessness, disease)

The failure to address the problems of the peasants was a severe drawback for the Nationalists

Mao and the Peasant Option

Mao Zedong came from a peasant background, but soon joined the revolutionary and nationalist movement in China




Mao was heavily influenced by the Marxist thinkers in Beijing and began to see the peasants as

 the key to a successful revolution

Because the concept of a peasant revolution didn’t fit classic Marxist revolution (supposed to be


 urban workers), Mao remained in the background of Communist leadership in the 1920s

Mao’s rise in the Communist party would come later, after split b/t Nationalists and Communists

After Sun Yat-sen's death in 1925, Chiang Kai-shek expanded territory controlled by the Nationalists

By late 1920s, he captured Beijing and controlled enough of China to be regarded as the most powerful leader

Chiang ruthlessly eliminated his political rivals, especially the Communists

In 1927, Chiang's army and criminal supporters liquidated all Communists in the city of Shanghai

When the purges spread to other cities, civil war broke out between the Nationalists and the

Communists in China that would last until 1949

Reaction Versus Revolution and the Communist Victory

Nationalists supported by businessmen, merchants, most intellectuals, rural landlords, and the military

Chiang also renewed appeals to the West for support against the Communists

Ironically, the Nationalists continued to receive support from the Soviet Union

When Chiang smashed the urban workers groups, Mao's plan to base the revolution on the peasantry gained greater credibility as he moved to countryside and helped peasants

In late 1920s, Mao centered Communist movement in Hunan province, where he established soviets

By 1934, repeated Nationalist campaigns successfully drove the Communists from Hunan

Long March

(1934-1935) = Mao and 90,000 Communists fled to northwest China’s Shaanxi province, where the Communists remained until the mid-1940s (only 20,000 survived the march)


Mao's ability to survive made him the recognized leader of the Communist party

Chiang’s Nationalists were about to defeat the Communists in Shaanxi in 1937 when the Japanese invaded China

Chiang’s Nationalists and Mao’s Communists formed alliance to fight against Japan

Nationalists in coastal cities lost badly in conventional battles to Japanese, but Communists, using guerrilla warfare, were more successful and gained control of much of northern China

When the war ended, the Nationalists were restricted to the northern Chinese cities

By 1945, when World War II ended, the Communists held a clear advantage

In 1949, the remnants of Nationalist Party were driven to the island of Taiwan

People’s Republic of China

(1949) = Name for China, now under Mao and the Communists

Mao focused on social and economic reform for peasantry, which won many to his party

Mao’s China and Beyond

The Chinese Communists had the advantage of establishing control over a unified nation from which foreign invaders had been expelled

The party enjoyed strong political and military organization

People's Liberation Army

= Communist China’s military, which continued to administer much of the country after 1949, although the military accepted the Communist party's leadership a.

Following victory over the Nationalists, Communists moved to restore China's dominance in East Asia

As Communist China's power grew, a split developed with the Soviet Union

China showed its strength by defeating India in brief border war and exploding a nuclear device

Planning for Economic Growth and Social Justice b.

Between 1950 and 1952, the landlord class in China was eliminated

The government seized land of landowners and redistributed to the peasants

As in Russia, the goal of Communists was industrialization, and Five-year plans began in 1953

To achieve development, the party became urban- based, undertook central economic planning,

 and turned away from the peasants

Mao found this direction unacceptable and forced the party to change directions in the mid-1950s

Mao disliked bureaucratic elites and intellectuals, and instead identified the peasants

Mass Line

= In 1955, Mao made farms collectives, so peasants owning own land was short-lived

The Great Leap Backward

Following outspoken criticism of the Communist regime in 1957, Mao roughly repressed dissidents


Great Leap Forward

(1958) = Industrialization was to be based in rural communes rather than urban factories

The immediate consequences of collectivization and the Great Leap Forward were disastrous for development in China - famine and falling production caused hardship

Economic regression was further complicated by massive population growth

Initially resistant to the idea of birth control, the Communist government limited families to one child in the 1980s

By 1960, Mao's failures cost him his position of leadership of the nation


= Headed by

Zhou Enlai

, this group came to power trying to fix China’s economy c.

by restoring some forms of capitalism (restored central planning and private landholding)

“Women Hold Up Half of the Heavens” d.

Mao's social program included improvements in the social and economic status of women

The failure of the Nationalists to support women's rights led many women to embrace the


The Communist party, in contrast, used women as teachers, laborers, and even soldiers

Some women rose to positions of influence within the party

Communist victory brought full legal equality to Chinese women and entry into the work force

As was often the case in other nations, women were still expected to fulfill traditional roles as wives and mothers within their households

Males continued to dominate the upper reaches of the party structure

Mao's wife temporarily enjoyed exceptional political influence, but her position depended on her relationship to her husband

Mao’s Last Campaign and the Fall of the Gang of Four


Mao continued to oppose the pragmatists and to develop a base of mass support

Cultural Revolution

(1965) = Mao organized mass student demonstrations against pragmatists


 ruling China; bureaucrats and elites were killed or punished

Bureaucrats were deprived of their positions and sent to the country to work off their "crimes."

As chaos spread, the army leaders forced the lower echelons back into line

The pragmatists launched political counter strokes to regain control of the government

Gang of Four

= Group led by Mao’s wife, Jiang Qing, that tried to sustain the Cultural Revolution until Mao's death in 1976

The military and the pragmatists, acting together, arrested the Gang of Four

Following their victory, the pragmatists opened China to greater Western influence and considerable capitalization

Of all the revolutionary regimes, the Chinese have been most successful at redistributing wealth

 and supplying social services to the peasantry

The Chinese have raised standards of living, although relative poverty is still common

China's industrial and agrarian sectors have been more productive than democratic India.

Colonialism and Revolution in Vietnam

Vietnam's experience with Western colonialism had much in common with China

Like the Chinese, exposure to imperialism caused the Vietnamese to abandon Confucian elements of their culture

Catholic missionaries first stimulated French interest in Vietnam

Tayson Rebellion

(1770s) = Peasant rebellion that toppled the 2 dynasties ruling Vietnam, the

Nguyen in the south and the Trinh in the north

The French missionary leader in Vietnam, the Bishop of Adran, backed the one surviving prince of the Nguyen dynasty,

Nguyen Anh

By 1802, Nguyen Anh's armies, supported by the French, defeated the Tayson, and Anh was proclaimed the Gia Long emperor of a united Vietnam

The French achieved great influence in the new court since they helped the Nguyen regain power

Gia Long and his successor,

Minh Mang

, emphasized the Confucian tradition of government in




Under Minh Mang, the Vietnamese government began to persecute Catholics

The French chose to intervene militarily to protect Vietnamese Catholics

They exploited divisions in Vietnam in order to conquer most of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos

By the 1890s, the French had reduced the Nguyen to the status of puppet rulers

French exploitation devastated the peasantry of northern Vietnam

Many peasants chose to migrate to the Mekong delta region in the south and became virtual serfs on the French plantations a.

Vietnamese Nationalism: Bourgeois Dead Ends and Communist Survival

Despite sporadic guerrilla attempts to support the Nguyen, the failure of the dynasty to free itself of

French influence discredited the Confucian regime

In the early years of the twentieth century, French colonialism produced a Western- educated middle class in Vietnam

Within this group, a nationalist party first emerged

By the 1920s, attempts at peaceful protests had failed, leaving only a revolutionary option

Vietnamese Nationalist Party

= Group of mostly middle class Vietnamese that proposed violent b.

overthrow of the French administration were organized in the Vietnamese Nationalist party, but a series of failed revolutions and French repression virtually destroyed the party


Communist Party of Vietnam

= After Vietnamese Nationalist Party failed to overthrow the French, the Communists Party became the leader of the revolutionary movement

In late 1920s, the leader of the Communists was Nguyen Ai Quoc, later known as

Ho Chi Minh

The party shifted from dependence on urban workers to a peasant-led revolution in the 1930s

The French crushed most of the Communist Party, leaving only an underground organization

When the French were weakened by the advance of the Japanese in 1941, the Communists were prepared to reemerge as a revolutionary force

The War of Liberation Against the French c.

The Communist nationalist movement, the Viet Minh, operated primarily in northern Vietnam

As the Japanese were defeated, the Viet Minh were well placed to step into the political vacuum

They immediately carried out social and economic reforms within the regions they controlled

Under General Vo Nguyen Giap, Viet Minh forces conducted a successful guerrilla campaign against Japanese-held portions of Vietnam


Viet Minh

= Vietnamese nationalist group, led by communists, by 1945, the Viet Minh controlled the northern capital of Hanoi and proclaimed an independent Vietnam

After WW2, the French attempted to restore their hold over southern Vietnam

A war between the Viet Minh and the French lasted from 1946-1954

Dien Bien Phu

(1954) = Battle in which Vietnamese defeated French, led to an international conference at Geneva conceded the Viet Minh control of the northern portions of the country

The conference declared that an election would determine the political fate of the south

The War of Liberation Against the United States


No elections were ever held

The U.S., who had supported the French, now wanted to halt the advance of communism in Asia

Ngo Dinh Diem

= Vietnamese nationalist leader who was supported by U.S., created a new government in southern Vietnam

A Catholic and long allied with the United States, Diem enjoyed little support in Vietnam

Viet Cong = Communists in south Vietnam who resisted Diem; Diem tried to crush them while the northern Vietnamese government attempted to ship men and arms to them

As the war expanded, both the United States and northern Vietnam expanded their support

When it was clear that Diem was failing, the U.S. approved a military coup in the south d.

The U.S. continued to escalate support in men and material for the southern government, but were unable to crush the Communists

As the government in the south began to fall apart, the U.S. withdrew from the war in 1975

The Communists reunited Vietnam for the first time in more than a century

After Victory: The Struggle to Rebuild Vietnam


Diplomatic isolation imposed by the United States and border clashes with China made it difficult for the Communist government to make much headway in the post-war program of development

The heads of the party in Vietnam expended much effort in eliminating enemies and attempted to maintain a strongly centralized economic system, which resulted in a lack of progress

In the 1980s, the government began to liberalize the economy and to permit investment from the

West and industrialized nations of Asia

Vietnamese relations with the United States have recently improved