Skip to main content

Great Leap Forward

Great Leap Forward, 1957–60, Chinese economic plan aimed at revitalizing all sectors of the economy. Initiated by Mao Zedong, the plan emphasized decentralized, labor-intensive industrialization, typified by the construction of thousands of backyard steel furnaces in place of large steel mills. Wildly unrealistic planning, poorly planned communization of agriculture, and a poor harvest in 1959 caused mass starvation. Mao was forced to turn government administration over to Liu Shaoqi and Deng Xiaoping.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Great Leap Forward." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Mar. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Great Leap Forward." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/great-leap-forward

"Great Leap Forward." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved March 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/great-leap-forward

Great Leap Forward

Great Leap Forward Five-year economic plan begun by Mao Zedong in China in 1958. It aimed to double industrial production and boost agricultural output in record time. The plan mobilized tens of millions of workers to smelt steel in primitive pig-iron furnaces, but most of the steel was poor quality and useless. Collective farms merged into communes, but a succession of poor harvests dashed progress. After four years, the government admitted the failure of the plan.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Great Leap Forward." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 21 Mar. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Great Leap Forward." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (March 21, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/great-leap-forward

"Great Leap Forward." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved March 21, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/great-leap-forward