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China: Under Mao - 1965-1976 - How Far The Communist Government Was A Dictatorship
To scotch rumours of ill health, Mao took a swim in a Chinese river.

China: Under Mao - 1965-1976 - How Far The Communist Government Was A Dictatorship

One part of GCSE History covers China under Mao. One subject students will focus on is how far the Communist government was a dictatorship.

The latter part of Mao's leadership of China's Communist government is dominated by the Cultural Revolution launched in 1966, and officially ending in 1968. To many this was an act of dictatorship. When matters got out of hand, Mao had to call in the army to re-establish order.

Play this quiz and decide for yourself whether Mao's Communist government was indeed a dictatorship.

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1.
Mao identified "5 black categories", which the Cultural Revolution was intended to eliminate. Which of the following four groups was not in the original list?
Rich peasants
Reactionaries
Rightists
University scientists
Anyone who harked back to the past in any respect - culturally, intellectually, economically or politically, was at risk
2.
In furtherance of the cult of personality, Mao was filmed swimming in a Chinese river in July 1966. He intended to scotch rumours of his ill health, and to spread an image of robust good health and power. In which river did this incident take place?
The Hwang Ho
The Yangtse Kiang
The Red River
The Yalu River
Mao was in fact unwell, and he became more unwell in the years before his death in 1976. The swimming incident complemented the familiar propaganda that depicted him as superhuman: places were named after him, and sculptures and portraits of him were displayed in both public and private places
3.
Those who were found guilty in self-criticism sessions were expected to wear a particular form of head gear. What was this?
A conical penitent's hat like those used in Spain by the Inquisition for heretics in an earlier era
A dunce's cap
A paper crown
A crown of thorns
Much emphasis was placed in the Chinese Communist Party on confessions and humiliation
4.
The Cultural Revolution involved numerous attacks on people and buildings. Which one of the following was not desecrated in this period?
Qufu in Shandong Province, the home of Confucius
The British Embassy in Beijing
Quinghua University in Beijing
The Forbidden City in Beijing
Cultural sites were especially targeted: shrines, seats of learning, buildings associated with previous regimes, and foreign property
5.
In 1968 the government introduced a compulsory "rustication" programme for students and young professionals, and 12 million people took part in this scheme between 1968 and 1976. What did rustication involve?
Compulsory relocation to a city far away from home, where they would have to carry out manual work for a period of several years
Compulsory relocation to a rural area, where they would work on a commune (collective farm)
To be sent to another communist country where they would do manual work - either on a collective farm or in a factory (North Korea and North Vietnam were favourite destinations)
To be compelled to undertake manual work either at university or in a professional workplace, (a hospital, clinic, surgery, legal premises, architects' or engineers' practice) near their home or place of study/employment
Mao regarded students and professional people as decadent, and potentially subversive. He only really trusted peasants
6.
"The Red Detachment of Women" was the title of a work of art that received official recognition under Mao. What form did it take?
A film
A stage play
An opera
A ballet
All kinds of artistic expression were expected to depict either Mao or an industrial or agricultural workplace - rather like "Socialist Realism" in Soviet Russia
7.
What do the letters GPCR stand for?
Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution
Grand Proletarian Cultural Revolution
Great People's Cultural Revolution
Grand People's Cultural Revolution
Mao believed in "permanent" revolution, and by 1966 he feared that the reactionary middle class, especially university academics, was exerting too much influence. Accordingly, a campaign was launched to remove all vestiges of foreign, or historic Chinese, culture. Chaos ensued, and the military had to be called in to restore order. It was a while before things calmed down and China reverted to its pre-1966 state again
8.
Throughout this period the Chinese Communist Party published the official newspaper which quickly achieved a monopoly. What was this publication called?
The People's News
The People's Daily
The Red Gazette
The Peking Daily
There was no free speech in China, certainly after the Cultural Revolution
9.
Which paramilitary group, composed of young people, was encouraged by Mao and his cronies to militant action from 1966?
Revolutionary Guards
Red Guards
People's Guards
People's Revolutionary Guards
These young people attacked and intimidated perceived opponents of the regime. They threatened foreigners, damaged cultural icons and quickly became out of control. In July 1968 they themselves were purged, and the PLA enforced their demise
10.
Mao announced his successor at the new Party Congress which opened in April 1969. Who was this to be?
Zhou En Lai
Lin Biao
Jiang Quing
Deng Xiaoping
Dictators often prefer to announce their successor in advance, to try to prevent squabbles on their death
Author:  Edward Towne

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