Mao was well aware of the human cost of these water conservancy campaigns. Banister, Coale, and Ashton et al. The statistical reporting system had been taken over by party cadre from statisticians in 1957, making political considerations more important than accuracy and resulting in a complete breakdown in the statistical reporting system. In , people died of starvation at the doors of grain warehouses. Each setting higher targets of production than the last, so their commune would seem the best. One of the main reasons why the Great Leap Forward can be deemed a failure is due to the millions of lives lost as a result of it; an estimated 30-40 million people died of starvation or diseases related to starvation.
Unsurprisingly, this generated much bitterness. Marshal Ye Jian Ying, in an important speech in 1979 talked of disasters caused by leftist errors in the Great Leap Forward. The problem was that this new, seeming abundance led to carelessness in the harvesting and consumption of food. When their glorious leader Chairman Mao died, some suspected he had been on the wrong track. He was popular with the people but he still had to resign from his position as Head of State though he remained in the powerful Party Chairman position. These indeed show large shortfalls in the size of cohorts of those born in famine years, compared to other years. This meant it was dependent on the expertise of the Russian scientists to advance, without them, the systems problems weren't solved.
Mao was later ruled as being 70% right, 30% wrong. Based on his fieldwork, Ralph A. Three years of awful natural disasters made things much worse. Shenfan: The Continuing Revolution in a Chinese Village. The years of the Great Leap Forward saw economic regression, with 1958 through 1962 being one of two periods between 1953 and 1976 in which shrank. Due to the lack of central planning by the Chinese government, millions of farm workers were diverted from producing grain to rather producing steel.
Coale's, Banister's, Ashton et al. Jasper Becker in his book on the Great Leap Forward, Hungry Ghosts, cites a great deal of evidence of mass starvation and cannibalism in China during the Great Leap Forward. Heavy industry grew a great deal in this period too. Grain exports were stopped, and imports from and helped to reduce the impact of the food shortages, at least in the coastal cities. However this figure was greatly exaggerated a 375 million tonnes from here Mao could say the great leap was the great succcess he had planned.
As they were serving local needs, they were not dependent on the development of an expensive nation-wide infrastructure of road and rail to transport the finished goods. In his famous 1965 book on China, A Curtain of Ignorance, Felix Greene says that he traveled through areas of China in 1960 where food rationing was very tight but he did not see mass starvation. Food shortages were also caused by a high requisition of grain by the state; between 1957 and 1960 the requisition increased by 84%, and as previously mentioned in Source A, this was catastrophic as the country did not have the grain to support such large requisitioning. In his review Becker seriously discusses the possibility that these papers might be forgeries. Just as in industry, inexperienced people were put in charge, and it, also, led to an inefficient use of resources and labor.
Public were often used to intimidate the peasants into obeying local cadres; they increased the of the famine in several ways, according to Thaxton. This can be compared with survivorship rates of babies born in years when no famine was alleged. Moderately productive land was left unplanted with the belief that concentrating manure and effort on the most fertile land would lead to large per-acre productivity gains. The Great Leap Forward reversed the downward trend in mortality that had occurred since 1950, though even during the Leap, mortality may not have reached pre-1949 levels. Mao could not realize that he made a mistake.
An Inquiry into the Fate of Chinese Socialism, 1978-1994, Hill and Way 1996. There was no such hegemonic power in the interwar years. The reality was that this nonsense resulted in less production of food under conditions of bare survival. Developments such as the establishment of the Taching oil field during the Great Leap Forward provided a great boost to the development of heavy industry. There had been many differences between Stalin and Mao.
To fuel the furnaces, the local environment was denuded of trees and wood taken from the doors and furniture of peasants' houses. The People's Republic, Part 1: The Emergence of Revolutionary China 1949—1965. The Great Leap Forward was supposed to be a five-year plan, but it was called off after just three tragic years. It managed to quadruple industrial production while western countries had a stagnant or declining industrial production. Famine along the mid-Yangzi was averted in 1956 through the timely allocation of food-aid, but in 1957 the Party's response was to increase the proportion of the harvest collected by the state to insure against further disasters. Ahmad ed Bangladesh Politics, Centre of Social Studies, Dacca University, 1979. At the end of the 1950s, it was clear that China was going to have to develop using its own resources and without being able to use a large amount of machinery and technological know-how imported from the Soviet Union.
Bureaucracy, Economy, and Leadership in China: The Institutional Origins of the Great Leap Forward. Because of the uncertainties involved in estimating famine deaths caused by the Great Leap Forward or any , it is difficult to compare the severity of different famines. Judith Banister was another worker at the U. What Mao is talking about here is the campaign to increase steel production, partly through the use of small-scale rural production. When all the trees had been stripped and there was no more clay, he learned that lumps of coal could appease the devil in his stomach, at least for a little while. The Chinese party did everything it could to promote the notion that the Great Leap Forward was a catastrophe caused by ultra-leftist policies. The peasants were supposed to melt down scrap metal to make useful items such as tools and utensils.