Thesis: The rise of the Chinese Communist Party came about due to a series of events, both interal and external, that resulted in increased support and loyalty to the party.

  • May 4th Movement (Long term: Imperialism and Nationalism)

    Considered by many to be the most important intellectual period China had undergone in the twentieth century, the May 4th Movement both united people fom all parts of China as well as helped stop the encroachment of foreign imperialism and influences. Mao Zedong, who would become the leader of the CCP, was deeply influenced by the movement, and the ideals of the party later reflected this influence, making the movement have a long term impression on communism.
  • Launch of the Chinese Communist Party (Long term: Politics and Economics)

    In July of 1921, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was formed by only thirteen men with Chen Duxiu as their leader, with aims of "unifying the nation, addressing the exploitation of rural Chinese by landlords, eradicating foreign imperialism in China, and preparing the way for a socialist revolution" (China Since 1644). These values spread across China in the following years as the sole beginning of communism, and sparked all consequent events.
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    First United Front (Short term: Nationalism)

    The Guomindang and the CCP agreed to come together against the Japanese invasion of their northern regions. Many prominent communist leaders such as Chen Duxiu and Mao Zedong held important positions within the Guomindang during this time, furthering the communist involvement in the government. Moreover, the Guomindang and the CCP were not only able to protect their country more effectively but also to pave the way towards the unification of China, an end goal of both parties.
  • Report on the Peasant Movement in Hunan (Long term: Politics and Economics)

    Mao Zedong published a report regarding the peasant movement in Hunan in 1927 explaining how and why the peasants should overcome the oppressive hierarchy of the four authorities--"political, clan, religious and male"--because "It is the peasants who made the idols with thir own hands, and when the time comes they will cast the idols aside with their own hands" (Mao). This long term idea was the basis for the increase of peasant involvement in the CCP, and was later realized with the Red Army.
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    Jiangxi Soviet (Short term: Politics and Economics)

    Albeit simply starting as a hideout for small group of Mao's followers, this base became the Jiangxi Soviet, an independent country with over 3 million people and its own army currency, and government (China Since 1644). Although the soviet did not last, it expanded the belief and surety in communism and provided an effective military base for the Red Army for years.
  • Second National Congress of the Soviet (Short term: Imperialism)

    In this congress, communist leader Mao addressed the party with the words, "In the great fight against imperialism and for land reform, many comrades have gloriously sacrificed themselves. Their sacrifices demonstrate the invincibe courage of the proletariat and lay the foundations for the Chinese Soviet Republic" (Drain the Pond). He explains that the people fighting then in the Red Army were making a lasting impact on China's future, the abolishment of imperialism, and the rise of communism.
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    The Long March (Short term)

    The Long March marked not only an expansive distance across China by the communists but also demonstrated their utter devotion to communism. It provided an escape from the Guomindang's Fifth Encirclement as well, an offensive that could have otherwise finished them.
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    Nanjing Massacre (Long term: Nationalism)

    The Nanjing Massacre was the epitome of aggression between Japan and China and led to an increase in communist support. After having the capital razed by the Japan, people were desperate to end the conflict, and uniting against Japan was a foremost goal of the CCP. Therefore, people--especially peasants--flocked towards the party for protection and a way to defend themselves against foreign power.