Hosanna Lai - Timeline of 1966-1976 Effects

Timeline created by lai1102
In History
  • Setting the stage for the Cultural Revolution

    In 1965, Mao and his wife, Jiang Wing, set the stage for the Cultural Revolution by directing a literary critic, Yao Wenyuan, to publish a vitriolic critique of a play by Bejing's major. This is because they saw the play as a symbolic attack on Mao, and by doing so, it condemned the bourgeois, anti-party, and anti-socialist tendencies in popular art and culture. Through their effort, it allowed Mao to replace people in key government positions.
  • Unofficial beginning of the Cultural Revolution

    The Cultural Revolution unofficially began with a document issued by the politburo, "May 16 Circular". Mao also called on students, known as the Red Guards, to carry out an aggressive hunt for revisionists and a struggle against enemies of socialism, which caused students to criticize school authorities. This movement became widespread and in the summer of 1966, the Cultural Revolution became a national student movement, and schools were canceled as a result of the revolutionary activities.
  • First Daizibao

    Dazibaos are big character posters written against some of the university's professors and administrators, labeling them "black, anti-Party gangsters." It first started by a young teacher at Beijing University and it later became well known to students, where they produced and displayed these dazibaos to attack reactionary academics, and this aroused revolutionary activities.
  • Red Guards form at Beijing University

    The Red Guard's initial intention to eliminate intellectuals and Mao's enemies aroused revolutionary activities in large urban centers in Beijing, Shanghai, and Nanjing, where this revolution soon turned into national student movement. Some reasons as to why students join the Red Guards include wanting to participate in the excitement and momentum of the movement, seeking revenge against authority figures, avoiding marriages, and embracing the level of freedom they had at the time.
  • Mao writes a dazibao

    Mao wrote a dazibao stating "Bombard the headquarters.", which was directed to attack Liu Shaoqi. His actions gave authority to students who created dazibao at the time and it encouraged them to continue to criticize and purge CCP leaders.
  • Sixteen Points Directive

    The Eighth Central Committee of the CCP passes the Sixteen Points, where the document supports Mao's economic policies and the formation of the Red Guards as Mao's primary weapon to carry out a great revolution. The Sixteen points also state that targets of the revolution are capitalist-roaders in the Party leadership and they believe that with the publication of this decision, the Cultural Revolution would gain legitimacy and quickly expand.
  • EFFECTS: Sixteen Points Directive

    Event: Sixteen Points was the document that supported Mao's economic policies and the formation of the Red Guards, and this allowed the Cultural Revolution to expand and gain power.
    Short term: Chaos, deaths, imprisonment, torture, and humiliation were caused as a result of revolutionary activities.
    Long term: It severely damaged China's economy for the next 10 years and it caused citizens to doubt the legitimacy of their government.
  • First Red Guard rally in Beijing

    On this day, Mao went to Tiananmen Square in Beijing to greet the Red Guards as a way to give them his blessings to rebel and direct police and army to allow Red Guards to destroy the "Four Olds". The demonstrations became a crucial part of the Cultural Revolution because students held "Little Red Books" and chanted "Long Live Chairman Mao" as a way to support revisionism. Furthermore, the PLA supported theses students by feeding them, outfitting them in khaki uniforms, and providing free rides.
  • Chaos escalates

    Chaos elevated when Red Guards began to destroy and confiscate anything related to the "Four Olds", which also caused them to humiliate and purge those belonging to the "Seven Kinds of Black". While singing revolutionary songs and shouting slogans, they would also parade through streets searching for victims. Their violence also caused over 1700 deaths and an invasion of nearly 38000 homes. Nonetheless, People's Daily still published articles that praised Mao for revolutionary actions.
  • Campaign to promote Mao's cult of personality

    Lin Biao and Jiang Qing aggressively promoted Mao's cult of personality and made him a god-like figure by having pictures of Mao everywhere, including on items, in public places, as well as people's homes. There were also 350,000 copies of "Little Red Book" produced, and people studied it religiously until they were brainwashed by Mao's ideas and teachings.
  • Red Guards dismantled

    By mid-1968, the movement became disastrous, because the country suffered from losses of lives, economic production, and cultural heritage due to imprisonment and the deaths of thousands of Chinese. In order to restore order, Mao dismantled the Red Guards, so schools began to reopen and government offices and other bureaucratic agencies became under the control of the military. Slowly, the chaotic phase of the revolution ended.
  • "Down to the Countryside" Movement

    The "Down to the Countryside" movement was initiated by Mao and it was a movement where urban youths, like Red Guards, were sent to do manual labor in the rural areas, supervised by rural peasants. However, these "sent-down youths" soon suffered and many died of malnutrition, disease, or exhaustion. For those who survived, their lives and futures were "ruined" as a result of the lack of experience and formal education. This prevented any threat of those who are against the CCP.
  • EFFECTS: "Down to the Countryside" Movement

    Event: This was a time when "sent-down youths" were sent to do manual labor in the rural areas, supervised by rural peasants.
    Short term: As a result of physical labor, many suffered and died of malnutrition, disease, or exhaustion.
    Long term: For those who survived, not having the formal education they need affected their ability to work/ find a job in society, hence affected the economy and industrial growth within the country of China.
  • Ninth Congress of the CCP

    The Ninth Congress of the CCP was summoned, and party leaders who were left applauded the purging of the bourgeoisie, capitalists, revisionists, and counterrevolutionaries. Although Lin Biao was thought to be Mao's successor, Mao quickly declared an end to the Cultural Revolution at the meeting and tried to restore the sufferings caused by the movement. The party focused more on promoting Mao's works, the PLA restored order, and the revolutionary committee re-established leadership.
  • "The Lin Biao Affair"

    Mao became suspicious of Lin's agenda when Lin wanted to become vice president of the party badly. Soon, the government accused that Lin and some other supporters tried to assassinate Mao, and this ruined his reputation badly. When Lin flew to the Soviet Union with his family, their plane crashed in Mongolia. When people found out, they felt betrayed and they began to doubt the honesty of the Cultural Revolution.
  • "Criticize Lin Biao, Criticize Confucius" Campaign

    After Lin's death, when Wang Hongwen became vice-chairman, Jiang and Zhou began to vie for power, but Deng became vice-premier in 1973. Later, the "Criticize Lin Biao" campaign hosted by Jiang in 1972 expanded, which became "Criticize Lin Biao, Criticize Confucius" campaign, and it was an indirect criticism of Zhou.
  • Events leading to the end of the Cultural Revolution

    Soon after Zhou's death, Deng Xiaoping became the first vice-premier but was later replaced by Hua Guofeng. When Mao died in 1976, Hua became chairman of the CCP, where he arrested Jiang and her supporters ("Gang of Four"), and he ended the Cultural Revolution. The Cultural Revolution was known as the "ten lost years" or the "ten years of turmoil", and people blamed most of the mistakes of the movement on Lin and the "Gang of Four", leaving Mao blameless.
  • Tiananmen Incident

    On January 8, 1976, Zhou died from cancer, and this was a great loss for the citizens because he was a moderate leader and was highly respected by everyone. Many Chinese went to his memorial in Tiananmen Square on April 5, where they mourned and criticized Jiang and her allies. When Jiang tried to remove his memorial, a riot ensued, and it became the Tiananmen Incident.
  • EFFECTS: Tiananmen Incident

    Event: This event took place during the time of Zhou's memorial. Because people mourned and criticized Jiang and her allies, Jiang tried to remove his memorial and a riot occurred.
    Short term: Chaos aroused and around 40 Chinese were arrested, and this brought division and disorder within the country.
    Long term: Economic damage and the loss of trust in their government was caused as a result of this event.