Glossary: Great Leap Forward

A drive to increase industrial and agricultural production following the suspension of Soviet aid and the desire to catch up with the advanced nations of the world. The campaign was conceived by Mao Zedong in late 1957, adopted by the National Peoples Congress (q.v.)in 1958; it continued through 1960. Emphasis was placed on accelerated collectivization of agriculture, national self-sufficiency, and labor-intensive methods. The campaign resulted in widespread waste of resources and was partially responsible for famine in 1960 and 1961.

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