Out with the old
In the 1950s, Mao had many plans for how China could move forward in technologyvery fast and catch up with countries like the United Kingdom and United States. Mao was responsible for the First Five Year Plan and also, The Second Five Year Plan. The Second Five Year Plan had some ideas that did not work the way that Mao had wanted them to. Farms could not produce, or make, much food because of bad farming plans, and cities did not make many things like clothes and machines. Because of the lack of food, many people died of starvation.
In the 1960s, Mao wanted to change everything about China, such as the way Chinese people thought about China, and the way they remembered history. Because of this, he forced people to change things very fast, even if they did not want to. These changes were called The "Cultural Revolution". Mao and his supporters, the Red Guards, did not like it if someone talked about his ideas a bad way, but many people in Chinese cities did not like Mao's ideas because of the food problems. There was also no freedom to do many different things when the Red Guards were running the country. To keep people from saying bad things about Mao and trying to rid of him, Mao told all of China's best and brightest people to quit their jobs, and go into the farms. China become poorer and weaker because of this.
About the same time Mao became the leader in China, Nikita Khrushchev became the leader in the Soviet Union. Before this,Joseph Stalin was the leader in the Soviet Union, and Mao liked Stalin and respected his way to lead, and China and Russia were allies with each other. Khrushchev thought Stalin was a criminal dictator, and led the country very differently. Mao and Krushchev did not like each other, so the Soviet Union was no longer allies with China. China now had only a few allies likeAlbania, North Korea, Democratic Kampuchea, and Pakistan. This change of friends was called the Sino-Soviet Split. "Sino" is another way to say "Chinese" in this case.
During the 1970s, Mao became more friendly with the United States. In 1972, American president Richard Nixon visited China and met Mao. Mao died in 1976, and the "Cultural Revolution" ended that year. Mao's supporters were jailed, and Deng Xiaoping, who followed Mao, changed Mao's policies so that Chinese people could have more private ownership.