Born on December 26, 1893 Mao Tse-tung was the founding father of the People's Republic of China. He governed as head of the Communist Party of China from 1949 until his death on September 9, 1976. His policies and politics are known as Maoism.
Mao was the son of a well-to-do farmer in Shaoshan, Hunan China, but he was swayed by the Xinhai Revolution of 1911. He attended school in Peking and was an active member of the Communist Party. He help form the Red Army and led the Jiangxi Soviet's radical politics. China underwent civil war and in 1949 Mao's armies overcame the Nationalists who left mainland China for the island of Taiwan.
In 1957 Mao launched his Great Leap Forward where he rapidly transformed China from an agrarian economy to an industrial one. This campaign in addition to natural disasters led to the Great Chinese Famine. In 1966 Mao instigated the Cultural Revolution to get rid of counter-revolutionary elements. This lasted 10 years and was marked by violent class struggles, destruction of cultural artifacts and an increase of Mao's personality cult.
In 1972 Mao welcomed President Richard Nixon to Beijing which was a beginning of opening China to trade. Although internationally controversial Mao is one of the most noted leaders in modern world chronicles. He is held in high regard in the PRC and supporters hail him as a great leader. He build China into the world power it is today. Mao promoted the status of women, improved education and health care and provided housing. During this time China grew from around 500 to 900 million. Maoists claim that Chairman Mao was a visionary, poet and statesman. Critics view him as a dictator who used human rights abuses to advance his cause. He contributed to the death of 70 million people through forced labor, starvation, and executions.
In 1966 Mao's Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung was published and became known as the Little Red Book. Party member were "encouraged" to carry copies with them and quote from the book as they saw fit. Mao's image was soon on every street corner, home, and in offices and shops. His quotations were emphasized and music and public gatherings were heard to state, Long Live chairman Mao for ten thousand years".
Mao Zedong married times and he had a total of 10 children.
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