Marriage law was that arranged marriages and the marriages of children were made illegal. Furthermore, it also introduced divorce; during the first year more than a million married couples divorced. In addition, Mao had maternity benefits be Introduced. Even though he had Introduced all these positive laws, old attitudes to women persisted in the countryside and Muslim areas. However, the Marriage Law brought a big positive change to Chinese peoples lives. In 1956, Mao launched the Hundred Flowers Campaign. The campaign encouraged Chinese citizens to have freedom of speech. He allowed open criticism of the party, Its policies and Its leaders.
Moa thought that this campaign would help him become a better leader as he feared that the ICP was losing much of its early popularity, as the peasants disliked collectivists, intellectuals resented censorship, working conditions were hard and their were food shortages. Moreover. Another reason for launching this campaign was because he wanted to boost the economy, was concerned he was going to be denounced like Stalin and he feared that the party and the army were in danger of becoming “bureaucratic. ” There was a rush to respond and criticism Mao. Many people criticized the 5 Year plan and party officials were attacked as being corrupt.
The criticism was too much for Mao and he suddenly cracked down on his critics and launched the anti-relights campaign, which had a great change in China as a total between 300 thousand to 500 thousand people were persecuted or sent to labor camps. In 1958, Mao decided to launch a second flee- year plan, which became known as the Great Leap Forward. Mao planned to develop agriculture and light industry, as well as heavy Industry, using sheer manpower and will power. Mass mains reasons to launch the Great Leap Forward was because there was not enough food and he anted to overtake the economy of Britain within 15 years.
Posters, slogans and newspaper articles were used to encourage mass enthusiasm as well as long hours of work. Mao set up communes so al peasants could be controlled and would produce more. By the end of 1958, the whole of China was organized into communes set up small commune factories to make all kinds of industrial products. By 1957, 67% more steel was produced. However, despite the bumper production of 1958, within months things began to go wrong. The major result was that China experienced one of the worst famines ever seen; from 18 million to 50 million died.
This greatly changed Chinese lives as a lot of people resorted to desperate measure; women and children were sold, bandits multiplied and people ate grass or bark. In 1966, Mao summoned the young of China and told them they have the task of saving the revolution. This was mainly because he wanted to regain his political supremacy that he lost due to the failure of the Great Leap Forward. The support of the PAL was crucial but Mao decided to mobiles young people to promote his policies. The red guards began to attack anybody who represented authority, ‘capitalist’ or ‘bourgeois. This greatly changed the lives of the young as they began belling but the PAL were told to support them so nothing was done.