Causes and Effects of Chinese Civil War
China is one of the great nations that have gone through a lot of revolutions. By the half of the 20th century, politics had dominated the nation and everything was chaotic. The revolution of 1911 led to the fall of the Manchu dynasty and the new state could not prevent China from exploitation by the foreign nations. Conflicts between the Chinese nationalist and communists over power led to the famous Chinese Civil War.
This struggle for power and control over china took place from 1927 to 1937 and commenced again in 1946 to 1949 when the Sino-Japanese was culminated and the civil war and major impact on China. In the event of a civil war, there are many factors that may have led to the start of the war. These factors may be long-term or short-term but all have horrendous impacts on the affected countries or individuals. In the case of the Chinese Civil War, there are several factors that instigated the conflict, and they include;
- Socio-economic factors- The vast majorities of the people in China were peasants and had to work harder on ways to eradicate poverty. Taxes imposed on the peasants were used to support the Manchu imperial court. Population increased rapidly on daily basis, but there was no enough to feed these large families. Many lost their lands, there were no jobs as machines replaced human labor and most cities were languishing in poverty.
- Political weakness and foreign power influence- The inability of the China central government to protect its people and humiliation from prompted the war. The Britain had defeated the Chinese in the Opium wars and the great empire was divided due to the influence of Americans, Europeans and Japanese. China had been forced to sign many treaties that made it easy for the imperialist to control trade the only source of revenues. Missionaries were also interest in the country and flooded to spread Christianity. Due to increased corruption and inflation, the Manchu dynast was weak to defend and take care of its people.
- Overthrowing of the Manchu empire- The defeat of the Manchu dynasty during the Double Tenth revolution also caused the Chinese civil war. A new republic was formed in 1911. With no real democracy and most of the imperial officer maintaining their positions, an all Chinese revolution was imminent.
- Mao Zedong influence- Mao had great influence on the Chinese and as the leader for the communists he came up with great strategies such as use of guerrilla, the long march, to rule the Nationalists into communists’ zones and propaganda. Many peasants joined his troops making it clear that they were set for a winning battle.
- Support from communist allies- China’s transition to communism build relationships with other nations. After Russia followed the suit, other opportunistic nations feared a revolution from the rest of Asia in case of similar transition. China received financial support and weaponry industries were constructed to aid in mass production of artillery.
The Mao dominance in the war and victory led to globalization of the cold war which spread for Europe to Asia and it was not easy for the superpowers to control Asian countries anymore. The war also inspired revolts in Malaya, Indonesia, Thailand and Indochina. It also led to the Korean war of 1950 to 1953. A treaty between china and USSR was also signed, but the relations worsened later. Mao victory also terrified the USA as many in the USA never believed of Chinese could emerge victories.
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1. The causes of the Chinese Civil War
This extract is from Michael Lynch’s book, China from Empire to People’s Republic 1900 – 1949: The Chinese civil war part one
This extract is from Mao by Michael Lynch: The formation of the United Front
The readings below come from Causes, Practices and Effects of Wars by Keely Rogers and Jo Thomas: Long term and short term causes
Impact of the Japanese
ATL skills: Thinking Skills
1. Using your knowledge of the period of Chinese History from 1911 – 1927 answer the question “What caused the Chinese Civil War” in pairs by using the Thinking Routine: generate – sort – connect – elaborate
2. Switch your visible thinking with another pair and give them some specific feedback on their ideas. Use a different colour sticky note to give your feedback.
3. Read the following pdf about the causes of the Chinese Civil War. Use the Thinking Routine: Connect – Extend – Challenge to help you to understand it.
The Causes of the Chinese Civil War
ATL Skills: Communication
Complete the Essay scaffold to address the title: Examine the causes of the First Chinese Civil War in 1927.
2. The Course of the First Chinese Civil War (the end of the first United Front 1927 – the start of the second United Front 1937)
Read the following section from the textbook: The Course of the Chinese Civil War – Jiangxi Soviet and Long March
The Jiangsi Soviet 1927 – 1934 also known as The First Red State in China:
Michael Lynch The Jiangxi Soviet
Invasion of Manchuria by Japanese 1931
- Japanese established Manchukuo with Pu Yi as leader
- 1937 Japanese left Manchuria and attacked Beijing (start of 15 year war)
The Long March 1934 – 35
The Long March – Encyclopaedia Britannica
Michael Lynch The Long March
- Important for Mao’s rise to power
- Rebuilding of CCP after attacks by GMD
- Part of future party ‘mythology’
- Important turning point in the Civil War
Rise to Power of Mao – Authoritarian and Single Party State Leaders
The Long March – Causes, Practices and Effects of War
The Yanan Soviet 1935
Mistakes made by Chiang Kai Shek
- Failed to implement Sun Yat-sen’s Three Prinicples
- Failed to deal with the Japanese
- Poor treatment of the peasants
Leadership, ideology and policies of the GMD and CCP 1911 – 1937
1. work in pairs take one large sheet of paper divide it into two with a timeline in centre and CCP events on one side, GMD on other and common events in the middle
2. make a timeline to show the leadership changes and the key events of the time period including both united fronts summarize the ideology, summarize the policies for both Ideology and policies give specific examples.
3. The Second United Front 1937 – 1945
Michael Lynch The Xian Incident 1936
4. The Fifteen Year War between Japan and China 1931 – 1945
What was the impact of Japanese aggression on the domestic struggle for power?
15 Year War Manchuria Lynch
15 Year War Origins Lynch
15 Year War Sino – Japanese Lynch
15 Year War WW2 Lynch
5. The Second Chinese Civil War 1946 – 49
The Chinese Civil War resumed after the surrender of the Japanese. Make a table to show the key events in each of the three phases of the civil war and how they impacted the war.
|Date||Key Events||Impact on the civil war|
Civil War 1946 -9
The extract below are taken from Causes, Practices and Effects of Wars by Keely Rogers and Jo Thomas
The causes and events of the Chinese Civil War 1946 – 49
The reasons for the Nationalist defeat
The reasons for the Communist victory
This wikipedia site has a very good summary of the Chinese civil war:
The reading below is from the book Mao, The Unknown Story by Jung Chang:
The Russians in Manchuria and support for the CCP
The document below is from China: from Empire to People’s Republic 1900 – 1949 by Michael Lynch
6. Why did the CCP win the Chinese Civil War in 1949?
Causes, Practices and Effects of War – Why did the CCP win the Chinese Civil War in 1949?
Why did the CCP win the CCW in 1949? Lynch
7. How significant was foreign intervention in the Chinese Civil War?
Look at the role of these three foreign powers during the CCW 1927 – 1949 by completing the table below:
|Examples of assistance (weapon, money etc)||Examples of how the foreign assistance specifically impacted the CCW||Examples of how the foreign assistance lengthened the war or changed the outcome.||Analysis of significance|