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Autumn Harvest Uprising / Agrarian Revolutionary War - 1927-1937

The Agrarian Revolutionary War was the decade long (1927-1937) confrontation between the Chinese Communist Party led Chinese Workers' and Peasants' Red Army and the Chinese people against Chiang Kai-shek's ruling Kuomintang Party, toward the abolition of the feudal land system, and the founding of the workers' and peasants' democratic republic. The civil war during the ten-year Soviet period, generally known as the Second Revolutionary Civil War or the Agrarian Revolutionary War, refers to the revolutionary war waged from 1927 to 1937, in which the Chinese Communist Party led the Chinese people in an armed struggle against the Kuomintang reactionaries in order to launch an agrarian revolution and build and safeguard the workers' and peasants' Soviet democratic political power.

Mao Zedong , who had become a Marxist at the time of the emergence of the May Fourth Movement (he was working as a librarian at Beijing University), had boundless faith in the revolutionary potential of the peasantry. He advocated that revolution in China focus on them rather than on the urban proletariat, as prescribed by orthodox Marxist-Leninist theoreticians. During the Agrarian Revolutionary War period, with Mao Zedong as representative, Chinese communists came from the countryside; successfully surrounded the cities; and seized power through armed struggle. Mao Zedong demonstrated a new, theoretical road for the Chinese revolution, stressing "indoctrination and the integration of Marxism into the actual conditions of China."Mao Zedong Thought was officially formed.

Making revolution in a large Eastern semi-colonial, semi-feudal country was bound to meet with many special, complicated problems which cannot be solved by reciting the general principles of Marxism-Leninism or by copying foreign experience in every detail. The erroneous tendency of making Marxism a dogma and deifying Comintern resolutions and the experience of the Soviet Union prevailed in the international communist movement. In the Chinese Communist Party, mainly in the late 1920s and early 1930s, this tendency pushed the Chinese revolution to the brink of total failure. It was in the course of combating this tendency and making a profound summary of China's historical experience in this respect that Mao Zedong Thought took shape and developed.

A new policy was instituted calling on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to foment armed insurrections in both urban and rural areas in preparation for an expected rising tide of revolution. Unsuccessful attempts were made by Communists to take cities such as Nanchang , Changsha, Shantou, and Guangzhou, and an armed rural insurrection, known as the Autumn Harvest Uprising, was staged by peasants in Hunan Province. The insurrection was led by Mao Zedong ( 1893-1976), who would later become chairman of the CCP and head of state of the People's Republic of China. Mao was of peasant origins and was one of the founders of the CCP.

Despite the failure of the Autumn Harvest Uprising of 1927, Mao continued to work among the peasants of Hunan Province. Without waiting for the sanction of the CCP center, then in Shanghai, he began establishing peasant-based soviets (Communist-run local governments) along the border between Hunan and Jiangxi provinces. In collaboration with military commander Zhu De ( 1886-1976), Mao turned the local peasants into a politicized guerrilla force. By the winter of 1927-28, the combined "peasants' and workers'" army had some 10,000 troops. Mao's prestige rose steadily after the failure of the Comintern-directed urban insurrections.

In PROBLEMS OF STRATEGY IN CHINA'S REVOLUTIONARY WAR, Mao Tse-tung wrote in December 1936 that "The Agrarian Revolutionary War, lasting from 1927 to the present, has been waged under new conditions. The enemy in this war is not imperialism alone but also the alliance of the big bourgeoisie and the big landlords. And the national bourgeoisie has become a tail to the big bourgeoisie. This revolutionary war is led by the Communist Party alone, which has established absolute leadership over it. This absolute leadership is the most important condition enabling the revolutionary war to be carried through firmly to the end. Without it, it is inconceivable that the revolutionary war could have been carried on with such perseverance.

"Besides the errors of the Right opportunism of Chen Tu-hsiu and the "Left" opportunism of Li Li-san, the Chinese Communist Party has committed two other errors in the course of the revolutionary war. The first error was the "Left" opportunism of 1931-34 which resulted in serious losses in the Agrarian Revolutionary War so that, instead of our defeating the enemy's fifth campaign of "encirclement and suppression", we lost our base areas and the Red Army was weakened. This error was corrected at the enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee at Tsunyi in January 1935. The second was the Right opportunism of Chang Kuo-tao in 1935-36 which grew to such an extent that it undermined the discipline of the Party and of the Red Army and caused serious losses to part of the Red Army's main forces. But this error was also finally rectified, thanks to the correct leadership of the Central Committee and the political consciousness of Party members, commanders and fighters in the Red Army."

With the development of the agrarian revolutionary war and the red army's growth, military expenditure for all the base areas increased sharply. Then it didn't work just rely on blowing landlords and distributing fields, which carried out in the beginning period, to solve financial income.Starting with economic condition,feasibility of tax system and safeguarding source of taxation, Wanxi revolutionary base, led by Central revolutionary base and E-yu-wan Base, made a series of efforts on how to transfer the main channel of finance income to tax work.

From the latter part of the Agrarian Revolutionary War (post-Zunyi Conference), to the War of Resistance against Japan, Chinese communists, represented by Mao Zedong, summed up the experience of the Chinese revolution and war; and critically analyzed the mistakes of dogma. In particular, they revealed the basic theories, route and principles of a new democratic revolution; and explained the Party's polices and strategies during democratic revolution. Mao Zedong Thought started to mature.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 03:26:48 ZULU