In February 1967 many remaining top party leaders called for a halt to the Cultural Revolution, but Mao and his more radical partisans prevailed, and the movement escalated yet again.Indeed, by the summer of 1967, disorder was widespread; large armed clashes between factions of Red Guards were occurring throughout urban China.
He especially feared urban social stratification in a society as traditionally elitist as China.
Mao thus ultimately adopted four goals for the Cultural Revolution: to replace his designated successors with leaders more faithful to his current thinking; to rectify the Chinese Communist Party; to provide China’s youths with a revolutionary experience; and to achieve some specific policy changes so as to make the educational, health care, and cultural systems less elitist.
But there were precursors in the months and years before that. 9, 1976, and the subsequent arrest of the Gang of Four, a radical faction of four political leaders including Mao’s wife, Jiang Qing, in October.
Although the Cultural Revolution lasted a decade, much of the most extreme violence occurred in the first few years.
Mao saw the play as attacking him and supporting Peng Dehuai, the defense minister, who was dismissed for pointing out the failures of the Great Leap Forward.
China’s relations with the Soviet Union had grown increasingly tense, and Mao was worried about what the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin in 1956 and Khrushchev’s removal from office in 1964 meant for himself as China’s leader.The resulting anarchy, terror, and paralysis completely disrupted the urban economy.Industrial production for 1968 dipped 12 percent below that of 1966. In January 1967 the movement began to produce the actual overthrow of provincial party committees and the first attempts to construct new political bodies to replace them.He initially pursued these goals through a massive mobilization of the country’s urban youths.They were organized into groups called the Zhou Enlai played an essential role in keeping the country running, even during periods of extraordinary chaos.More than 16 million young people were sent to the countryside, including Xi Jinping, China’s current president.Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.Students who answered Mao’s call for continuing revolution, Red Guards formed large groups that targeted political enemies for abuse and public humiliation. Under a campaign to wipe out the “Four Olds” — ideas, customs, culture, habits — they carried out widespread destruction of historical sites and cultural relics.As the Red Guards grew more extreme, the People’s Liberation Army was sent in to control them.During the early 1960s, tensions with the Soviet Union convinced Mao that the Russian Revolution had gone astray, which in turn made him fear that China would follow the same path.Programs carried out by his colleagues to bring China out of the economic depression caused by the Great Leap Forward made Mao doubt their revolutionary commitment and also resent his own diminished role.