Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

An Example of How the Communists Took the Land from the Monied in the 50’s

Posted by w_thames_the_d on April 30, 2011

In the early 50’s as the communists took over China, they had the problem of redistributing the land from the wealthy to the poor. The problem was that due to generations of held wealth, the affluent did not give up their land very easily, and the poor were hesitant to battle them openly. After several failed attempts at removing the land from the grip of the wealthy, the chicoms finally succeeded. Here is an excerpt from the Cambride History of China from 1949-65 on how the communists took away the land and distributed it.

“….through such devices as “speak bitterness” meetings and mass trials. These methods subjected the landlords to public humiliation, and the trials also resulted in the execution of members of this class on a significant scale, perhaps a million to 2 million individuals.24 Moreover, under the new guideline of “not correcting excesses prematurely,” the aroused masses frequently engaged in unchecked outbreaks of violence and brutality against landlords which resulted in additional deaths. While reports of peaceful land reform persisted throughout the movement, it appears that continued efforts to draw class lines
and generate antagonism had a considerable cumulative effect.”

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