The Great Leap Forward (大跃进)

The ‘Great Leap Forward’ occured at the start of 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. While the first five-year plan certainly succeeded in forging economic growth, the subsequent great leap was overambitious, triggering one f the greatest famines in human history. The plan was abandoned in 1961.


Lauren Walden