(Suggested writing time—40 minutes)
Percent of Section II score—33 and 1/3
Directions: The following question is based on the accompanying Documents 1-9. (The documents have been edited for the purpose of this exercise.) Write your answer on the lined pages of the Section II free-response booklet.
This question is designed to test your ability to work with and understand historical documents.
Write an essay that:
•Has a relevant thesis and supports that thesis with evidence from the documents.
•Uses all of the documents.
•Analyzes the documents by grouping them in as many appropriate ways as possible. Does not simply summarize the documents individually.
•Takes into account the sources of the documents and analyzes the authors’ points of view.
•Identifies and explains the need for at least one additional type of document.
You may refer to relevant historical information not mentioned in the documents.
1. Using the following documents, analyze the relationship between Chinese peasants and the Chinese Communist Party between circa 1925 and circa 1950. Identify one additional type of document and explain how it would help you assess the relationship between Chinese peasants and the Chinese Communist Party.
Historical background: Japan invaded China in 1937 and occupied large parts of it until Japan’s defeat in the Second World War in 1945. In 1949 the Chinese Communist Party established the People’s Republic of China.
Source: Mao Zedong, rising leader of the Chinese Communist Party, written report on the peasant movement in central China, 1927.
The present upsurge of the peasant movement is a colossal event. In a very short time, in China’s central, southern, and northern provinces, several hundred million peasants will rise like a mighty storm, like a hurricane, a force so swift and violent that no power, however great, will be able to hold it back. They will smash all the chains that bind them and rush forward along the road to liberation. They will sweep all the imperialists, warlords, corrupt officials, local tyrants, and evil landowners into their graves.
Source: Conversation between a teenaged peasant and his grandfather, from an area controlled by Chinese Communists, recounted by Edgar Snow, United States journalist,1936.
Grandfather, you call villagers joining the Poor People’s league, voting for Communists, having their sons join Communist armies or daughters enroll in schools crimes? These are patriotic acts! Did we have a free school before? Did we ever get news of the world before the Communists brought us radios? Who told us what the world was like? You say the cooperative has no cloth, but did we even have a cooperative before? How about your farm? Wasn’t there a big mortgage on it to landlord Wang? My sister starved to death three years ago, but haven’t we had plenty to eat since the Communists came? You say it’s bitter, but it isn’t bitter for us Young Communist Vanguards when we learn to use a rifle and fight traitors and Japan!
Source: Japanese Political Affairs Bureau for Occupied China, administrative office of the Japanese Army, report, 1941.
The Chinese Communist Red Army champions army-civilian integration and is continuously organizing local guerrilla units. As a consequence, it is extraordinarily difficult to separate the Communist bandits from the peasants in our efforts to destroy the Communists.
Source: Chinese Communist report on Japanese military actions in North China villages, 1942.
In Japanese attacks on our villages, they killed 97 civilians, wounded 382, kidnapped 3, and raped 216 women. Japanese soldiers stole farm animals (734 oxen, 694 mules, 6 donkeys, 45 horses, 734 hogs, 6 goats, 106 ducks, 13,817 chickens); thousands of chairs and tables, kitchen pots and rice bowls, and stone grinders; thousands of peasants’ quilts and piles of clothing; over 6,000 bushels of grain; tons of straw; and 430,000 yuan.
*yuan: Chinese currency
Source: Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, instructions to local party officials, 1942.
Recognize that peasants constitute the basic strength of the Anti-Japanese War. Accordingly it is the policy of the party to assist the peasant, reduce feudal exploitation by the landlords, support civil liberties, political rights, and economic rights of the peasants in order to improve their living conditions and enhance their enthusiasm for the Anti-Japanese War.
Source: William Hinton, United States–born member of a Chinese Communist land reform task force in northern China, 1948.
The arming of the people for resistance against Japan had placed the peasants in a position to challenge the landlords and money lenders in the countryside, and not even the tremendous prestige of the Chinese Communist Party or the critical situation of the country and the world could prevent this challenge from breaking out in one form or another. This increasingly explosive force transferred land from the landowners to the peasants. Now peasants demanded not only the correction of abuses but also repayment of overcharges and restoration of lands and property seized in default of debts. When grievances were totaled up, the charges almost always amounted to more than most landowning families could pay, and everything they owned was transferred from the landlords to the peasants for distribution.
Source: Marriage Law of the People’s Republic of China, 1950.
The feudal marriage system based on arbitrary and compulsory arrangements and the supremacy of man over woman, and in disregard of the interest of the children, is abolished.
The new democratic marriage system, which is based on the free choice of partners, on monogamy, on equal rights for both sexes, and on the protection of the lawful interests of women and children, is put into effect.
Source: Agrarian Reform Law of the People’s Republic of China, 1950.
Article 1. The landownership system of feudal exploitation by the landlord class shall be abolished and the system of peasant landownership shall be introduced in order to set free the rural productive forces, develop agricultural production, and thus pave the way for new China’s industrialization.
Article 2. The land, draft animals, farm implements, and surplus grain of the landlords and their surplus houses in the countryside shall be confiscated.
Source: Chinese peasants at a struggle meeting. In the center stands a peasant woman with her former landlord standing in front of her. Struggle meetings were organized by the Chinese Communist Party as part of the land reform process. Photo circa 1950.
SECTION II, Part B部分