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China In Revolution: Battle for Survival, 1911-1936


Battle For Survival: 1911 - 1936

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China In Revolution: Battle for Survival, 1911-1936
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Program Description

The film describes the rise to power of the two charismatic leaders who would dominate China’s long and bloody revolution - Chiang Kai-shek and Mao Ze-dong. Chiang, a protege of Nationalist Party leader Sun Yat-sen, first achieved national prominence when he embarked on the Northern Expedition, a military campaign that united the country. Chiang established a Nationalist government in Nanking and bolstered his prestige with modernization programs that won him support in the cities of China.

Unlike Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Ze-dong believed that the key to revolution lay in the countryside, where most of China’s people lived. In the 1930s, Mao moved to Jiangxi Province and set up a Communist base, or “soviet,” to test his theories. The Communists’ activities unleashed a violent class struggle in the countryside, and Chiang retaliated with a series of military campaigns in Jiangxi which eventually defeated the Communists.

In October 1934, nearly 87,000 Communists, including Mao Ze-dong, were forced out of Jiangxi on a grueling retreat that became known to the world as the Long March. On this 6,000-mile journey, the Communists lost over 90% of their supporters and were left with only about 5,000 people.



Asset Type

Broadcast program

Media Type


Global Affairs
Chicago: “China In Revolution: Battle for Survival, 1911-1936,” 08/24/1989, WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed January 21, 2019, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_C89319B629D34DEE8AB519AF10DF6D6A.
MLA: “China In Revolution: Battle for Survival, 1911-1936.” 08/24/1989. WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. January 21, 2019. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_C89319B629D34DEE8AB519AF10DF6D6A>.
APA: China In Revolution: Battle for Survival, 1911-1936. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_C89319B629D34DEE8AB519AF10DF6D6A
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