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Unit 8

8.4 Spread of Communism After 1900

3 min readjune 24, 2020

Katie Moore


AP World History 🌍

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Chinese Revolution🇨🇳

The Chinese Revolution of 1900 destroyed the age-old dynasty system. Out of it emerged a republic, led by Sun Yat-Sen. However, this republic soon collapsed due to warlord conflicts.
Nationalists took power next and established their government-- the Kuomintang. Their progressive policies were widely supported in cities (where the policies benefited them), so the elites were for them, but not many.
This anger towards the Kuomintang is best shown in the May Fourth Movement, where students protested the Treaty of Versailles that ended WWI. This widespread movement started to lead to political change and thus the development of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 
https://chineseposters.net/images/e15-575.jpg

Art from the May Fourth Movement Courtesy of Chinese Posters

The CCP soon gained grassroots support and slowly started pushing the Kuomintang out of cities. But the CCP’s real growth would begin with the  Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931.
With this invasion, the Kuomintang was split between defending China from the CCP and from the Japanese-- and they chose the CCP to focus on. However, the CCP started to fight the Japanese with the People’s Liberation Army, earning widespread public support. They also started to promote more education, better status for women, and peasant rebellion. All of this helped them gain support from commoners, and in 1949, the Chinese Communist Revolution ended and the CCP established the People’s Republic of China.

Communism’s Spread in Other Areas

Vietnam

During WWII, Vietnam was occupied by Japan, and when the war ended, North Vietnam took this as an opportunity to turn communist and invade South Vietnam. See above for more details about the Vietnam War. 

Ethiopia🇪🇹

In 1987, Mengistu Haile Mariam converted this nation into a communist regime. However, the famine that resulted as well as the killings of his political opponents eventually led to his ousting in 1991. 

Land reform in Kerala and other states in India

The Indian state of Kerala elected a government in who legitimized peasants’ right to cultivate the land, as well as setting a limit on the amount of land one can own. Other states in India enacted similar reforms, such as abolishing the British Zamindari system (feudal landholding) and ending the position of intermediary tax collectors. 

Iran🇮🇷

The White Revolution (1963) was a set of aggressive modernization reforms, such as forcing big landholders to redistribute land, increasing federal funding for internal improvements, and encouraging industrial growth and education. 

Reform in Latin America🌎

In Latin America, there was a general trend of peasants taking over dispossessed states to cultivate, as well as a trend towards modernization. Some specific examples include Brazil, which added taxes on large land tracts, and Chile, which encouraged peasant farming on large plantations. 

Review Game

Put the following events of Chinese History in chronological order:
  • CCP gains power and influence, largely for attacking the Japanese
  • Republic collapses due to warlord conflicts
  • Establishment of the People’s Republic of China
  • May Fourth Movement; ideas of communism began to expand
  • Nationalists take power and establish the Kuomintang
  • Chinese Revolution puts into place a republic led by Sun Yat-sen
  • Chinese Communist Revolution
  • Japanese invasion of Manchuria

Answers

  • Chinese Revolution puts into place a republic led by Sun Yat-sen
  • Republic collapses due to warlord conflicts
  • Nationalists take power and establish the Kuomintang
  • Japanese invasion of Manchuria
  • May Fourth Movement; ideas of communism began to expand
  • CCP gains power and influence, largely for attacking the Japanese
  • Chinese Communist Revolution
  • Establishment of the People’s Republic of China

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