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China's Communist Revolution - A Glossary
Cultural Revolution
Cultural Revolution
The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution was a ten-year political campaign - a social experiment aimed at rekindling revolutionary fervour and purifying the party. Mao Zedong and his wife, Jiang Qing, directed popular anger against other members of the party leadership. While others were removed from office, Mao was named supreme commander of the nation and army. Ideological cleansing began with attacks by young Red Guards on so-called "intellectuals" to remove "bourgeois" influences. Millions were forced into manual labour, and tens of thousands were executed. The result was massive civil unrest, and the army was sent in to control student disorder. At the 1977 11th Party Congress, the Cultural Revolution was declared officially to have ended with the arrest of the Gang of Four.