Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The purpose of this study is an examination of the policies which were important in Mao Tse-tung’s rise to power in China and those policies which have been instrumental in keeping him in power. Documentary and secondary sources were consulted with secondary sources used only where insufficient documentary evidence existed or when they made a significant contribution to the subject. The study was confined primarily to the four volumes of the English translation of the Selected Works of Hao Tse-tung and the three publications of the American Consulate General at Hong Kong entitled, Survey of the China Mainland Press, Current Background and Extracts from China Mainland Magazines. The formation and foundation of Mao's political concepts consisted of his early education and contact with Communist ideologies, his theory of practice and the development of his materialist-dialectic philosophy. Mao's use of the peasants in the Communist movement in China and his class analysis of the rural areas were part of the basis for his agrarian program. Major policies aiding his program were land reform, collectivization and the commune system. Examination of labor's role in the Chinese Communist movement and the division of the classes of labor show Mao's concept that labor must lead the revolution in China. His policies, such as the use of communes and the Trade Union Law, give examples of his efforts to bring labor to the front in the revolutionary movement. Mao is apparently trying to transform the broad masses of the peasantry into an industrial proletariat in support of his belief that this will make the Communist movement more stable. Mao Tse-tung has made extensive use of the military forces both in resisting the Japanese and in overthrowing the Kuomintang and Chiang Kai-shek. The communes are designed along military lines to give him more authority in all areas. This would imply that Mao is depending extensively upon the military forces for his control of China. The early economic policies of Mao and the Chinese Communists were to proceed with all economic construction possible as well as essential and to concentrate on the agricultural and industrial programs in the formation of a sound economy. By the use of the commune system Mao hopes to build a strong economic basis for Communist China. Mao is attempting to control the education and culture of the Chinese people as closely as possible. His program is aimed at the young people with the New Democratic Youth League and the commune boarding schools designed to obtain the support of the youth. He also maintains that all art and literature should be adapted to fit the needs of the revolutionary movement. In the formation of the Chinese Communist government Mao maintains that two stages, new democracy and socialism are necessary to achieve Communism. More recent developments indicates Mao's belief that China is in the latter part of the socialist stage and ready to advance into an early phase of the true Communistic state. His program of consolidation of the masses and the elimination of feudalism is important to the achievement of his goals. The commune system and the Chinese Communists' international relations are also important in the political organization of Mao's government. He reserves the right to interpret Communism to fit the needs of China, or, more correctly, to satisfy his own desires.


Committee Chair

Date of Award

Summer 1959

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1959 Oliver Wendell Isom


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