Final Writing Assignment
In this writing assignment you will analyze and evaluate the impact of the Cultural Revolution. By all accounts, thousands of people suffered during the Cultural Revolution or from its aftereffects. Eventually, even the Chinese Communist Party scathingly denounced the Cultural Revolution in 1981. According to the official Communist Party assessment, “Resolution on Certain Questions in the History of our Party since the Founding of the People’s Republic of China,” (Adopted by the Sixth Plenary Session of the Eleventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China on June 27, 1981) ,“The “cultural revolution”, which lasted from May 1966 to October 1976, was responsible for the most severe setback and the heaviest losses suffered by the’ Party, the state and the people since the founding of the People’s Republic.” According to the assessment, “History has shown that the “cultural revolution” initiated by a leader laboring under a misapprehension and capitalized on by counter-revolutionary cliques, led to domestic turmoil and brought catastrophe to the Party, the state and the whole people.”
For the final paper please address the following issues: First, based on your reading of Mao’s Last Revolution, by Roderick Macfarquhar and Michael Schoenhals, and additional insights gleaned from class lectures on Harvey, how would you assess the costs and benefits of the Cultural Revolution? Second, do you agree or disagree with the official CCP evaluation of the Cultural Revolution and the CCP’s assignment of blame for the “catastrophe”? Finally, addressing the ultimate impact of the Cultural Revolution, do you agree with MacFarquhar and Schoenhals that: “In the wake of the Cultural Revolution, popular liberation finally did begin to flourish. The humiliation of party cadres high and low destroyed the authority of the CCP in the eyes of the Chinese People, who took to heart the Maoist message of daring to think, speak, and act.” (p. 459). Ultimately, can anything positive be said of the Cultural Revolution?
Your paper should be 6-8 pages long. Be sure to address each part of the prompt.
Please submit your paper as an e-mail attachment in Microsoft word format. NO PDFS.
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