Mao Zedong (1893-1976) was the communist leader of China from 1949 to 1976.
The son of a peasant farmer, Mao Tse-tung was born in the village of Shao Shan, Hunan province in China. At age 27, Mao attended the First Congress of the Chinese Communist Party in Shanghai, in July 1921. Two years later he was elected to the Central Committee of the party at the Third Congress.
The Long March
In 1931, the Chinese Communist Party, led by Mao, occupied the Jianxi province in China. Its name was the "Chinese Soviet Republic". In 1934, the pressure from the ruling capitalist-nationalist party Kuomintang finally became that strong that the Soviet Republic in Jiangxi had reported. The Communist troops retreated with heavy losses back to Yan'an in the province of Shaanxi (the retreat is called The Long March) - generalized simo Chiang Kai-shek let them actually get out of the trap in which a few years later would prove to be his greatest strategic mistake.
There were almost 100 000 men who left Jiangxi, and only around 20 000 who came to Yan'an. The entire march took over one year and the stretch that was covered was 6000 to 9600 kilometers, depending on the marching columns you choose to follow at any time.
Among the victims of the clashes with the Kuomintang or local warlords were probably several children by him and his then-wife He Zizhen. They had been left among the farmers, but after 1949 could no longer find traces of them. He Zizhen survived the march, but were physically very degraded. In 1937 she was sent to the Soviet Union to regain its health.
The Chinese Civil War
People's Republic of China
In 1949, after the Revolution and end of the Civil War, Mao founded the People's Republic of China, ruled by the Communist Party of China. Mao modernized the country under his rule, and he is very popular in China as a result of this.
The importance of Mao after his death
Mao Zedong is a very important person in modern political history. He's also among the most disputed persons.
Mao is a very popular man in China. Portraits are of him everywhere in China, and most of them support his work for a better China. Internationally, many Communist parties consider themselves as Maoists. Under his leadership, the life expetancy rose from 35 years to 70 years. The literacy rate also increased from 20% to 93%.
Mao will always be known as one of the giants of communistic literature, by his making of his "Little Red Book", a book containing quotes of Mao.