What are the political changes in China in the last century.

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China has gone through many political changes which have led it to become one of the most powerful nations in the world today. In the twentieth century China experienced most of its political changes due to invasions, a world war, and multiple civil wars which lasted two decades. Once China’s civil war ended however, Chairman Mao Zedong established the People’s Republic of China (Kesselman, 2012, p635).

As a result China’s political and economic development suffered greatly until 1978 when China’s new leader (Deng Xiaoping) implemented new reforms. These new reforms eventually helped China to have the fastest and largest growing economy in the world. Therefore, as China’s political development progressed so did its economy. Today the state of China no longer dictates what they produce or how they produce it. Instead China is more of a capitalist country that relies on supply and demand (Cao, 2009, p9).

Brazil also has a long history of developing its government and its economy mostly between the years of 1945 and 1985. During this time Brazil experienced both a centralized and decentralized government. In addition, these experiences have either strengthened or weakened its ability to promote democracy, development, and social distribution (Kesselman, 2012, p397).

However, during the 1970’s Brazil would experience more up’s and down’s that would cause more damage to its political party system and its electoral institutions. Then, in the mid 1980’s Brazil began to have more of a democratic system put in place which in turn helped Brazil to improve its economy. Today Brazil is one of the newest and fastest growing industrialized county’s in the world thanks to its policies on the protection, production, and subsidies of its imports.

Generally, what best explains the differences in political or economic growth among developing states is the implementation of good institutions. Having good institutions in place allows developing countries to implement better laws and practices. This can then help to motivate people to work hard which can create an economically productive state. However, if there are no sufficient institutions in place then typically a developing state and its political system will either be a slow to progress or may even lead to collapse which can then threaten the states economy.

Recent article-http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/13/world/americas/scandals-in-brazil-prompt-fears-of-a-return-to-turmoil.html


1.Kesselman, Mark, Joel Krieger, and William A. Joseph. Introduction to Comparative Politics, 6e, 6th Edition. Cengage Learning, 2012. VitalBook file. http://online.vitalsource.com/#/books/9781305332591/pages/109003332 (accessed August 13, 2015).

2.CAO, FANGJUN. 2009. “Modernization Theory and China’s Road to Modernization.” Chinese Studies In History 43, no. 1: 7-16.Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed August 13, 2015).


The histories of Brazil and China are very different. Of course Brazil is located in South America and China is located in Asia and this is a main difference. The Asian cultures tend to trace back to imperialistic forms of government. Brazil is interesting because of the European influence (Portugal, prevalent in the official language spoken) and to this day is still has it. Another key difference between the two states is that Brazil was motivated by the American Revolution where it had no bearing on the development of China as a state since they were motivated by the Russian model. The most important difference between the two is that Brazil embraced democracy where China denied it and embraced communism.

Political development in China began in the 1920’s with communism ruling. Since then the state has maintained the political system, but changed names to the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). Kesselman suggests that the PRC, with Soviet help, benefited economically from applying socialist ideals. (Kesselman, Krieger and Joseph, 2013) All of that soon vanished with ups and down, but mostly downs until the late 20th century when a more free economy was introduced to China. It seems as though the economy of China will always flourish but even more so if communism does not get in the way.

The independent political development in Brazil was born out of the split from Portuguese rule in the early 19th century. Like I said earlier they took a keen interest in the American system and tried to duplicate that. However the rich landowners, military and elites prevented a true democracy from growing initially. Eventually, however an actual democracy took place and things are looking up for them. Oil exports can only help here. (Kesselman, Krieger and Joseph, 2013)

The answer of the question of whether or not political development occurred simultaneously with economic development is; for China political development meant organization and I believe that was the factor that started the economic development, however communism helped in the beginning with the economy but as time when by it hurt it. In the case of Brazil, the state had some organization by way of Portuguese rule, but they experienced better economic development alone but only when favoritism was out of the picture.

Kesselman, Mark, Joel Krieger, and William A Joseph. 2013. “Introduction to Comparative Politics.” 6th ed. Boston: Wadsworth


In the case of Brazil, the growing pains of political development occurred prior to any substantial economic growth or stability. It wasn’t until 1994 when “Fernando Henrique Cardoso…implemented the Real Plan, which created a new currency [and in response,] monthly inflation fell from 26 percent to 2.82 percent” (Kesselman et al. 2013, 394). Prior to Cardoso’s currency change, multiple “attempts to control inflation fell apart” and in the process more than “seven ‘stabilization’ plans [collapsed] between 1985 and 1994” (Kessleman et al. 2013, 400). These failures led to hyperinflation of the currency at the time which is defined as a ”600 percent or more annual inflation” of goods and products (Kesselman et al. 2013, 400).

Likewise, China also developed itself significantly in the political arena before reaching for the major league economic stage; but this is blatantly obvious given China’s more than 2000 year history. The China that we know today had its beginning at the end of World War 2 which was a massive half-time show to the ongoing Chinese civil war. “The communists [, led by Mao Zedong] won a decisive victory over the…Nationalists” and founded the People’s Republic of China (Kesselman et al. 2013, 627). And in the years from 1949 to 1976, the year that Mao died, economic growth was stagnant, as is typical of most communist agendas. But once Deng Xiaoping became the leader of China, his implementation of a market economy birthed the great economic power we know today. Because of these changes, “China’s [GDP] per capita grew at an average rate of [above] 9 percent per year from 1990 to 2009” which is even made more perfectly aware by stating the the US growth rate during the same period was 1.5 percent (Kesselman et al. 2013, 636).

Not all nations develop in the same manner. Much the same as humans do not grow to adulthood by the same path or growth rate. Rarely, if ever, does a nation develop from its birth in perfect harmony in all aspects. In developing nations, we see economic growth somewhat outpacing political leadership and its ability to reign in environmental and social damage. Others like China and Brazil laid the foundation for national leadership before embarking on a solid economic agenda. “There is more than one way to skin a cat” is a saying in the Southern United States, and that idiom holds true in this particular case.

Kesselman, Mark, Joel Krieger, and William A. Joseph. 2013. Introduction to Comparative Politics. Boston, MA: Wadsworth.

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