Although one could easily isolate several specific variables that aided the parties rise, such as the failure of the GMD (Nationalist Party) or even The May 4th Movement, one must look at it more broadly to understand the bigger picture of the circumstances. When looking at this bigger picture, one can identify many key conditions under the political, social and economic aspects of the circumstances. Political may perhaps be the most abundant area of conditions for this particular analysis, as it contains the most aspects and conditions, and can be analyzed through a sort of timeline or chain of events.
For example, one of the aspects prior even to the rivalry between the CCP and the GMD was the weakness of the previous government. Two examples can be seen here, both when the government failed to address the poverty and situation of the peasants (the huge lower class) as well as when the “Imperial government in China… introduced a series of reforms…but they wielded too little political power” (IB Packet, 62).
This goes to show the downfall of the previous government, which then lead to the 1911 Revolution.
This revolution, also called the “Revolution of the Double Tenth,” was caused mainly by the scholar’s disappointment in the failed reforms, the “severe flooding and harvest failure in the south” (IB Packet, 62) and just general revolutionary conspiracy by the army. In 1912, this resulted in Dr. Sun Yatsen’s ruling of the newly created Republic of China. “On December 25, Dr. Sun was elected the provisional president of the Republic of China” (Leung, 52).
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The Warlord Era”, in turn, followed this, between 1916-1927. Yuan Shikai became president after Dr. Sun resigned, only to die 4 years later (1912-1916 was his rule), and “After Yuan died, the nation disintegrated into warlord groups and territories” (Leung, 59).
During this time period is when the May Fourth Movement emerged, where 5000 students “held a huge demonstration against the decision… to accept Japanese control of the former German concessions…” (Leung, 65).
This movement was a huge success in that gradually, people no longer bought Japanese goods, Cao Rulin resigned, and no Chinese representatives signed the Treaty of Versailles. According to Chinese today’s historians, the movement was a “turning point between the modern and contemporary history of their country” (Leung, 67).
Again during the Warlord Era was the “First United Front”, during which the GMD and the CCP fought together against the Japanese invader, only to see Chiang Kaishek (leader of GMD) “order a massacre of thousands of CCP members” (IB Packet, 64) in 1927.
Manchuria, being a Chinese region, was full of agricultural products, opportunities and even mineral/natural resources. Ergo, Japan wanted to capture it, and this conflict led to a larger scale war, and by the end, “The war with Japan had left China exhausted and weak” (Leung, 99).
Thus, this gave the possibility to the CCP (because they took more advantage of it) to rise and take power over the GMD. Thus, the social and economic aspects of China in the time period also had a rather large effect on China becoming ruled by a single party rule governed by Mao.
In conclusion, political, social and economic conditions in China were altogether very responsible for the rise of the CCP. From the civil war (political) to the runaway inflation (economic) and even to the bad relations between the GMD and scholars (social), all these aspects make up what was to become Mao Zedong’s rule. Failures, mainly from the part of the GMD, also helped the CCP rise, such as the non-acknowledgment of the peasantry or even the failure to wipe out the CCP during the White Terror.