Jed Gerlach, Wesley Aschinger
9/28/09
Mr. Hinze

Chinese Civil War (1927-1991)

The Kuomintang
[[#_ftn1|[1]](1) (KMT) lost the Chinese Civil War for several reasons. There was little support from citizens, and the corrupted government did not have the proper leadership to manage such a large rebellion. The KMT was trying to unify China, defend Japanese invasions and keep the Communists from sparking a revolution. Despite America’s support towards the KMT through the Lend Lease Act[[#_ftn2|[2]](2), the Communist Party of China defeated the Kuomintang.

The Kuomintang did not have a large support base in China. The party wasted money on tasks such as bribing generals and officers. The Chinese populace disagreed with the use of capital and believed that it should have been used more progressively to aid the poor. Additionally, there was a large wealth gap between the upper and lower classes. The majority of China was comprised of physical laborers with low income at the time, showing that the money should have been spent otherwise.

The Kuomintang’s leaders had corrupt policies and ran the war unorganized. Chiang Kai-Shek[[#_ftn3|[3]](3) led the Kuomintang into defeat through terrible military decisions, such as when he “move[d] his army into Manchuria, thus overextending his supply lines” and “outlawed reform movements and consequently convinced many liberals to support the Communists” (World History, Chiang Kai-Shek). During the 1930’s, Japan invaded China. Chiang Kai-Shek ignorantly overlooked the Japanese invasion and concentrated efforts on eliminating all forms of communism[[#_ftn4|[4]](4). The communists took advantage Kai-Shek’s mistake and gained popular support by providing forces to cease the escalating Japanese invasion. At one point Chiang Kai-Shek was captured by Zhang Xueliang’s [[#_ftn5|[5]](5) militia. However Chiang was released because he had agreed to help the communist party defeat the Japanese, but failed to keep his word. Three years later in 1937, Kai-Shek was forced to make a temporary alliance with the Communists in order to save China from Japan, who controlled nearly half of China by this time. Chiang concentrated all of his efforts on fighting Communism instead of focusing on the Japanese invasion, which put his country in jeopardy, thus making him a corrupt leader.

The Kuomintang unified China, extinguished communism, and defended China from the Japanese invasion. When Chiang Kai-Shek gained leadership of the Kuomintang, the party was a mess, “Yuan [[#_ftn6|6]](6) had died, and his government had disintegrated, ushering in a chaotic period in which warlords exerted power in various territories” (World History, Chiang Kai-Shek). One of Chiang’s primary goals was to unify China by cooperating with all of the warlords, and therefore increasing his power in China. During this time, Japan was invading deep into Chinese territory. In addition, Mao Zedong and the Communist Party were rising up and trying to take political control in China. China had proven to be too unstable for the Kuomintang to maintain leadership against the Communist Party.


In the end, Mao Zedong and the Communist Party won the Chinese Civil-War against the Kai-Shek for multiple reasons. The KMT had failed “because of poor leadership, the lack of popular support, and the corruption of the Nationalist party” (World History, Chinese Communist China). Chiang Kai-Shek was a substandard leader who could not keep China under control resulting in the rise of Mao Zedong.


[[#_ftnref1|[1]]1 the dominant political party of China from 1928 to 1949, founded chiefly by Sun Yat-sen in 1912 and led from 1925 to 1975 by Chiang Kai-shek; the dominant party of the Republic of China (Taiwan) since 1949.
[[#_ftnref2|[2]]2 the matériel and services supplied by the U.S. to its allies during World War II under an act of Congress (Lend-Lease Act) passed in 1941: such aid was to be repaid in kind after the war.
[[#_ftnref3|[3]]3 Chinese army officer and political leader: president of the Republic of China 1950–75.
[[#_ftnref4|[4]]4 a system of social organization in which all economic and social activity is controlled by a totalitarian state dominated by a single and self-perpetuating political party.
[[#_ftnref5|[5]]5 effective ruler of Manchuria and much of North China.
[[#_ftnref6|6]] 6 The first President of the Republic of China.