The Spread of Communism After 1900

Unit 8: c. 1900-Present

Main Ideas:

  • Internal tension & Japanese aggression allowed Chinese communists to gain support of the Chinese population & seize power, controlling the economy with strict measures

  • Many postcolonial states in Africa, Asia, and Latin America had movement to redistribute land & other resources, often advocating communism or socialism

Chinese Communism

Internal Turmoil Allowed the Chinese Communist Party to Take Over 

Key Ideas:

  • Internal turmoil + Japanese Aggression → Allowed Chinese Communist Party to appeal to the Chinese Population → Chinese Communist Party took over in 1949 after winning the Chinese Civil War (1927-49)

    • China had lots of economic problems in early 1900s → Many peasants hated the current Qing Dynasty government

    • Chinese communist party promised economic equality to all → Very appealing for the Chinese population

    • Chinese Civil War (1927-49) between Guomindang (nationalists) vs CCP (communists) → CCP (Chinese Communist Party) won

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  • Chinese Communist Party implemented strict measures to boost the national economy

    • The Great Leap Forward was an economic plan meant to transform China into a communist economy (by implementing collectivization of agriculture)

      • This failed, causing a famine that killed tens of millions of people​

Other Communist Movements

Many People Wanted Land Redistribution, Often Advocating Communism/Socialism 

Key Ideas:

  • Many postcolonial states in Africa, Asia, and Latin America had movements to redistribute land & other resources, often advocating communism or socialism

    • Many people were influenced by the spread of Marxist communism from USSR or China and wanted more economic power

      • Most of these people were poor peasants who had little economic power, which is why communism's promise of economic equality appealed to them​

    • Vietnam and Korea both had communist movements

    • K. R. Gouri Amma was a Marxist communist leader of the Indian state of Kerala, and she implemented land reform policies

    • White Revolution was a program in Iran, launched in 1963, and did many socialist reforms, such as land reform​​​​