Land Policy and Collectivisation (Mao's beliefs regarding land policy …
Land Policy and Collectivisation
Mao's beliefs regarding land policy
He believed that the famines in the USSR were because Stalin had forced agricultural collectivisation too fast.
believed that forcing people to live in close proximity, with no privacy would bring the creation of true communism.
believed that modern industry was needed to enable this to happen.
To modernise industry he knew that food supplies needed to increase, not to improve the lives of the peasants, but to feed the growing urban population.
wanted China to be a socialist superpower.
June 1950 - Agrarian Reform Law
AIM – destroy the ‘gentry landlord’ class
Property would be seized, many would be executed and the land would be divided amongst the peasants.
In the North
Land reform had begun before 1949 and only 10-15% of farmers rented their land. Exploitation by cruel greedy landlords was simply not a reality.
In areas occupied by communists, the peasants already owned some land.
In the South
Landownership and agricultural production was organised by clans with a wide range of members from different classes and often organised on family basis.
The communist language of class conflict and feudal exploitation had little meaning.
The landowners were more influential.
Attacks on landlords
sent out to the countryside to work on land reform. Landlords were subjected to ‘struggle meetings’.
The gentry landlord class had been destroyed, with an estimated 1 – 2 million landlords executed.
1950 – 52 agricultural production boomed, increasing at a rate of 15% pa
43% of land had been redistributed to 60% of the population.
88% of households had taken part
work teams ensured villagers measured out new plots precisely to ensure fair redistribution.
Mutual Aid Teams
December 1951 the CCP decided to introduce cooperative ownership of the land, but on a more gradual approach than in the USSR.
In MAT's, peasants pooled their resources; tools ploughs, labour, animals.
Richer peasants were excluded.
MAT’s were enthusiastically accepted because in part they mirrored already common practice in many villages.
They were also of particular benefit to the poorest peasants.
By 1952 an estimated 40% of all peasant household belonged to MAT
APC’s – Agricultural Producer Co-operatives
1953 voluntary APC’s were introduced. They were 3 – 5 MAT’s merged together (approximately 30 – 50 households).
They gave poorer peasants the chance to gain access to wealthier neighbours land.
Communist leaders were worried that MAT’s still allowed the continued existence of capitalist ideas, like the buying and selling of land, hiring of labour
Lane was reorganised into a single unit and the peasants were compensated using a points system according to the value of land labour and tools they had contributed.
APC – Success/ Failure?
The peasants largely did not want to share their newly acquired land.
By June 1955, only 14% of peasants had joined the new units. This was 6.9 million peasant households out of a possible 110 million.
Rich peasants were resistant to joining APC’s, particularly where local cadres undervalued property when deciding points allocation.
Many slaughtered their animals rather than hand them over.
1953 and 54 production had risen by only 2%.