Chinese Revolution documents

This collection of Chinese Revolution documents contains primary sources from the Hundred Days’ Reforms in 1898 to the death of Mao Zedong in 1976. These Chinese Revolution documents have been selected and compiled by Alpha History authors. New documents are being added on a regular basis. If you would like to contribute or suggest a document, please contact Alpha History.

Qing dynasty China and foreign imperialism

An ancient account of the Mandate of Heaven (c.550 BC)
Extracts from the Analects of Confucius (c.200BC)
The Chinese emperor rejects trade overtures from George III (1793)
A Chinese official calls for an end to the opium trade (1839)
Kang Youwei urges reform on the Japanese model (1898)
A press summary of the Hundred Days reforms (1898)
A Chinese Christian recalls the Boxer Uprising (1900)
Wu Yung on the unfolding Boxer Uprising (1936)
A Chinese historical view of the Boxing Uprising (1976)
Pierre Lotti describes the siege of foreign legations (1900)
Extracts from the Boxer Protocol (1901)
Cixi and her ministers promise sweeping reforms (1901)
Zou Rong calls for an anti-Manchu revolution (1903)
Reinsch on the push for reform in China (1909)

The republican revolution

The abdication decree of the Qing emperor (1912)
The Articles of Favourable Treatment of the Qing Emperor (1914)
Treat of Versailles articles pertaining to China (1919)
The May Fourth manifesto of the students of Beijing (1919)
Sun Yixian’s Three Principles of the People (1923)
The Sun-Joffe agreement (January 1923)
Sun Yixian calls for unity and discipline in the Guomindang (January 1924)
Sun Yixian on the principle of nationalism (1924)
The Sun-Joffe Agreement (1923)
Jiang Jieshi: “Communists hiding in our party” (August 1927)
Jiang Jieshi on the need for his New Life Movement (1934)
The Guomindang’s plan for China’s political development (1936)
Jiang Jieshi on the Three Principles of the People (1943)
An American infographic on progress in nationalist China (1944)

Chinese communism

Mao Zedong on the peasant revolution in Hunan (1927)
The Jiangxi Soviet land reform edict (November 1931)
Mao Zedong: ‘Be concerned with the well being of the masses’ (1934)
Liu Shaoqi: How to be a good Communist (1939)
Mao Zedong on the ‘people’s democratic dictatorship’ (1940)
Mao Zedong’s Three Rules and Eight Points for Attention (1947)
Jung Chang on her mother’s involvement in the CCP (1986)

The struggle for China

A CCP account of the Luding Bridge crossing (1935)
Yang Chengwu recalls the Luding Bridge crossing (1935)
Mao Zedong on why the Long March was a victory (1935)
Edgar Snow on the Long March (1937)
Edgar Snow on the CCP’s ‘Robin Hood policies’ (1937)
Mao Zedong on the dangers of ‘liberalism’ (1937)
General Marshall on Guomindang-CCP relations (1947)
Barnett on the pubic mood in southern China (1948)
Hinton on the mistreatment of peasants in Long Bow (1966)
Jung Chang on the economy in Guomindang-ruled China (1986)
Jung Chang on how the CCP gained public support (1986)
Dean Acheson on the outcome of the Chinese Civil War (1949)
Chassin on why the CCP won the civil war (1952)

Building the People’s Republic

The political program of the new People’s Republic of China (September 1949)
Mao Zedong declares a new nation (October 1949)
The Agrarian Reform Law (June 1950)
The People’s Daily on the benefits of collectivised farming (March 1952)
The People’s Daily: “The industrialisation of China” (May 1953)
Mao Zedong on peasant cooperatives (July 1955)
China tests its first atomic weapon (October 1964)
Lin Biao attacks American imperialism (September 1965)
Pravda on the Sino-Soviet split (February 1967)

From Hundred Flowers to the Great Famine

Lu Dingyi on the Hundred Flowers movement (May 1956)
Letters submitted during the Hundred Flowers campaign (1956-57)
‘Long live the People’s Communes!’ (1959)
Letters complaining of hunger during the Great Leap Forward (1959)
Mao Zedong on responsibility for the failures of the Great Leap Forward (July 1959)
A Soviet scientist on the Four Pests campaign (1964)

The Cultural Revolution

The CCP’s May 16th circular (May 1966)
“Ignite the Cultural Revolution!” (May 1966)
A Red Guard rebels against her teacher (1966)
Mao’s 16 Points on the Cultural Revolution (August 1966)
A Chinese editorial on the Red Guards (August 1966)
The Red Guards are a ‘shock force’ (September 1966)
Battle song of the Red Guards (1967)
A teenage girl denounces her parents (1968)
A CIA report on the role of the Red Guards (November 1968)
China Pictorial: “The whole family is Red” (May 1969)
Mao Zedong and Lin Biao criticise Red Guards leaders
Lin Biao calls for restraint during the Cultural Revolution (1969)
Resistance to the ‘Down to the Countryside’ movement (1969)
A rusticant withdraws from college examinations to work in the countryside (1973)
Spring comes to the Commune (1973)
Feng Jicai on his sister’s mistreatment in a peasant commune (1981)

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