The Great Leap Forward (大跃进)

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The Great Leap Forward (大跃进)


The ‘Great Leap Forward’ is a term used to denote Mao’s Second Five Year Plan which was anticipated to run from 1958-1963. The main impetus behind the Great Leap was to ‘catch-up’ with the industrialised economies of the West and transform China into a collectivised society based on socialist principles. The Great Leap equally emerged from Mao’s Anti-Rightist campaign as a re-assertion of his authority in the wake of the Hundred Flowers Movement which allowed criticism of the regime. Whilst the first five-year plan certainly succeeded in forging economic growth, the subsequent great leap was overambitious, triggering the greatest famine in human history. The plan was abandoned in 1961.


Lauren Walden


University of Leicester