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The Long March Assignment

The Long March was a huge military withdrawal made by the CCP to escape the GMD’s Fifth Extermination Campaign from the Jianxi Soviet in 1934. However as the quote suggests it was not an isolated event. The Long March was a result of long and short-term factors each with different social, political and military purposes. It was a 30 year procedure that lead resulted in the occurrence of the long march. A long-term factor was giving emperor Pu-Yi his tile in China 1908, followed by the death of empress Dowager Cixi, as well as Pu-Yi being two years old.

This was surely, the start of the end for the Chinese Empire. Therefore, the unstable Dynasty of the Manchus was a key factor in motivating the Long March. The traditional values proved unpopular and encouraged the population of China to support political parties such as the GMD. In 1911, rebellions parted the Chinese further from the Manchus and the huge political and social pressure forced Chung to abdicate on Pu-Yi’s behalf. This encouraged the population to support political parties, such as the CCP and GMD led by Mao Zedong and Chiang Kai-Shek , which resulted in the Long March of 1934.

Therefore China’s new status as a republic created a power struggle as both groups tried to promote their different ideas for China. This important long-term factor would eventually build up with the Long March in 1934. As a result of these different political views, both parties appealed to different groups of people. The GMD appealed to the educated and the Landowners, as they were a part of a higher class in society compared to the majority, the poor peasants who were under the influence of Zedong that came from a similar background.

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This led to continuing friction between the two parties. The GMD wanted a democratic future for China, whereas the CCP planned to give the lands back to the poor peasants. It soon became clear that neither could work side by side as they had planned to do in order to destroy the War Lords. This resulted in a conflict and the GMD turned against the CCP. Source B describes ‘we were being surrounded choked, a million men against us’. The Source tells us how determined the Nationalists were to get rid of the Communists under their Fifth Extermination campaign.

At this point it became clear that the Red Army had to make a choice of what the following step would be. They could have could have stayed and fought, or they could have surrendered to the GMD. Both options would have been dangerous, as there was a danger of being killed. This left only two other options. The first was to break out into the surrounding towns but these contained mainly middle class and would have not made enough support, which formed one of the main long terms aims of the Long March. This is when Zedong decided to break out into the base of peasant support in the countryside.

However, the GMD used a ‘Blockhouse’, which restricted the CCP as it completely isolated the Jianxi Soviet. The movement out of the base was successful, but cost many of the men their lives. This movement out of the bases was the catalyst, which started the Long March. In conclusion, I believe that it was the different political views of the two parties that caused the long march, just as the source suggests. The break out of the CCP was just a trigger that lead to a confrontation with the GMD just as the source illustrates.

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