What Was the Great Leap Forward?


Quick Answer

The Great Leap Forward refers to Chairman Mao's 1958 plan to modernize China's economy to rival that of the United States in 30 years. His key concerns for development were agriculture and industry.

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Full Answer

Mao's Great Leap Forward involved dividing China into a number of communes, each containing around 5,000 families. In each commune, all property was shared in order to eliminate self-interest.

Although Mao achieved some success toward his goal, in 1959 communes became largely untenable because of the political demands made of them. Mao was forced to resign, and by 1960, private ownership had returned, while communes were greatly reduced in size.

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