OCR GCSE History: China 1950–1981

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A1:1 China 1950–1981

This depth study focuses on the relationship between the Chinese people and the Communist government of China from 1950–1981. Learners will need to be familiar with the key issues specified in the introduction to the non-British depth studies on page 14 of the specification. These issues will be assessed.

Establishing Communism in China 1950–1965

  • Early purges against opposition in the 1950s in the cities, countryside and regions;
  • Intentions and impact of the Hundred Flowers campaign;
  • Communist social policies under Mao and how these differed from Chinese traditionalism;
  • Policies towards women, young people and education;
  • Agricultural policies, including early land reform, collectivisation and its impact;
  • Industrial policy, including the First Five Year Plan;
  • The Great Leap Forward, its effect across Chinese society and reasons for failure;
  • Dazhai Commune as a case study of Mao’s economic policies.

China during the Cultural Revolution 1966–1976

  • Reasons for the Cultural Revolution;
  • Impact of the Cultural Revolution on the people, including intellectuals and students;
  • The role of the Red Guards;
  • Impact of Communism in Tibet;
  • The nature of Communist propaganda and its impact, including Mao’s personality cult;
  • Dazhai community as a case study of Chinese repression, social and economic policy.

Communism in China after the death of Mao 1976–1981

  • Attitudes to opposition and its repression after 1976, including the Gang of Four and the ‘democracy wall’;
  • Changes in economic policy under Deng and its impact, including the Four Modernisations;
  • The nature of Communist propaganda and its impact;
  • Social changes under Deng and its impact, including the role of women, changes in education and the One Child policy.

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