STUDIES OF CHANGE: The Chinese Cultural Revolution.
The Cultural Revolution in China was the result of years of discontent among China's people at their outdated government and society, but what were the efficacious, particular motives and conditions for cultural revolutionary Mao Tse-Tung to bring about such major reforms?.
China; Asia's leading economic power and its most populous country, is a highly diverse and complex country with an equally diverse and complex history. The struggle to lead China has caused the country to undergo mass socio-economic changes on more than one occasion, from the fall of imperialism in 1911 to the rise of the Nationalists and Communists. Although Chinese leaders may have had different methods and motives for establishing new political and economic systems, they all sought to shake off the hold European powers had on their ancient civilisation. At the foreground of this struggle during the twentieth century, was revolutionary Mao Tse-Tung who, from the 1920's to the 1970's sought to transform China. .
In order to fully comprehend how Mao came to be so powerful, the driving forces and motives which drove Mao need to be analysed. Jerome Ch'en, notable Chinese historian and professor and director of Asia Pacific Studies at the York University in Toronto, identifies that "Mao was born during a time of great social and cultural change," in which Chinese scholars, government officials, and the people, were pushing for a "modernization of old reforms," (Chen, J. 1970). China's imperial rulers however, seemed unwilling to face new challenges, and this created ideal conditions for a revolution, which finally came in 1911 (McManus, A. 1998). Mao, now seventeen, witnessed the widespread discontent with the dynastic system and although he did not take part in the fighting (Chen, J. 1970), became an avid supporter of the rebellion and its prominent leader, Dr.