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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 People's 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 practical implementation of the economic campaign was twofold: a mass steel manufacturing movement and the formation of the people's communes. Mania swept the country as the population feverishly worked to achieve unrealistic production quotas.This resulted in a misplaced use of labour and a widespread waste of resources, and was also partially responsible for famine in 1960 and 1961.

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