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Cultural Revolution

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The Cultural Revolution was the greatest educational incident chronicled in the last hundred years and it took place from 1966 to 1976. Mao Zedong was the leader of the Cultural Revolution and he wanted to bring about the Cultural Revolution by setting goals to form a more affective bureaucracy. The Cultural Revolution was a time when Red Guards fought against a democratic society and the guards attacked an aspect called the "4 olds." The "4 olds" were old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits.

Furthermore, many aspects of life were forbidden or simply done away with during the Cultural Revolution. Shopkeepers were not allowed to sell clothes that resembled western style clothes and hairstylists could not give western style hairdos or haircuts. Civilians were not allowed to drink strong drinks, smoke or chew tobacco, use perfumes, colognes, or beauty appliances. The sale of stamps, collectibles, and even flowers was forbidden. Many objects were also condemned during the Cultural Revolution. Every piece of literature that did not follow and agree with Mao Zedong's teachings was burnt. Traveling in cabs, in citizen's private cars, and on trains was even condemned because it symbolized a life of upper class citizens. In bookstores, the writings and teachings of Mao Zedong replaced novels, poems, and great works of prose. In galleries, portraits and pictures of Mao Zedong replaced paintings and landscapes. Aside from aspects of life being forbidden, ridiculous requirements were made. An example of this was that on traffic lights, the "green" meant "stop" and the "red" meant "go."

The Cultural Revolution also affected citizens. The students attending universities were the first citizens to be affected by the revolution. The students question methods of teaching and learning, and the students wanted the school to be more accepting to the society by making peasants and workers feel welcome. Foreign affairs with other countries were also practically impossible during the Cultural Revolution because of the actions of the Red Guards. The Red Guards took over China's Foreign Relation's Ministry, and conquered the former Soviet Union Embassy. Furthermore, these young students invaded and set fire to the British Embassy. The Red Guards beat up and abused members of the diplomatic corps, and the Red Guards tore western style apparel off female personnel.

Moreover, the students were the first members of the Red Guards. The Red Guards were revolutionists who fought against the 4 olds. The Red Guards were pupils from China's colleges and universities who were denied the ability to succeed academically. Their "supreme commander" was Mao Zedong, and Maoists called the Red Guards "little revolutionary generals". The Red Guards went into citizens' houses and threw out upper class and western style objects. The guards beat civilians up and shaved their heads. The Red Guards were not able to destroy museums and historic structures, because the buildings were blocked with guards to make sure art works would not be ruined. The Red Guards killed hundreds and perhaps thousands of artists, teachers, authorities, party rulers, and often their parents. During the Cultural Revolution some of the most honorable Chinese citizens were murdered or the citizens would commit suicide.



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