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Question Description

As you know, the relationship between a revolution’s leaders and its broader social base has been an important issue both for social scientists and for revolutionaries themselves. This assignment is an opportunity to explore that theme for our Chinese case.

Assignment: How were the strategies and policies of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in tune – or out of tune – with the social experiences and political aspirations of “the people” they claimed to represent? How well did the party’s revolution fit with the views, interests, and needs of key groups in the population at large? Take a specific position on this question, for one of the wfollowing five contexts: the Jiangxi and Yan’an Base Areas (1929-1947); the Civil War and anti-Japanese resistance (1927-1949); the foundation of the People’s Republic (1949-1957); the Great Leap Forward (1957-1961); or the Cultural Revolution (1965-1969).

As before, the goal is not to give a general account of the context you choose. Instead, your assignment is to make and support an argument – a specific, debatable claim – that responds to the question above, using and citing specific selections from our course materials (texts, videos, and lectures) as evidence. Your essay must also:

Cite the book by Karl at least once and cite at least one course lecture, to help make sure that you relate your specific claims to elements of their larger context. ?

Cite at least two other sources, from the course pack or from the video-clip interviews (linked from D2L), to help make sure that you also draw on primary-source evidence.

(I will upload these sources in Chat)



Use parenthetical references (not footnotes) to cite your sources; see the additional handout for the reference style and other guidelines on how to write a successful paper. Finally, do not use additional material beyond the readings, videos, and lectures assigned for this class.

Things to think about: The CCP under Mao Zedong was explicitly concerned to maintain a “democratic” kind of contact and feedback between itself and “the people.” In this paper, you must take that goal seriously, but you must also evaluate its success, considering and weighing evidence of party leaders’ strategies and policies, on the one hand, and evidence of other people’s views and experiences, on the other. How well did the CCP realize its goal, during the phase of the revolution you have chosen? Finally, as we’ve discussed, Chinese Communists gave rural people and rural life a privileged place in their theory and strategy. You are very welcome to focus on peasants, but you are not required to do so; peasants were not the only social group included in or affected by the CCP’s definition/s of “the people.

Your paper should be three to four pages long (double-spaced,800-1000 words), using twelve-point font and oneinch margins. There is no need for a title page. Please do not include identifying information (your name and/or ID). see below for additional information.