The Autumn Harvest Uprising Memorial in Wenjia City

Besides the Canton Armed Uprising and the Nanchang Uprising, the Autumn Harvest Uprising 秋收起义 was one of the most famous rebellion launched by the CCP against the Guomindang Government. It began in 1927 and took place in the provinces Hunan and Jiangxi. Although it was a military disaster for the CCP and its leadership, “the Autumn Harvest Uprising deepened the party’s influence among the peasant masses and introduced the slogan of the rural revolution into the mentality of broad peasant masses” (Saich 1996: 347).

In fact, the main aim of Mao Zedong 毛泽东 (1893-1976), who led the uprising, was, to bring Changsha 长沙 under CCP control. From his military base near the city Liuyang 浏阳 he planned to conquer the city on 15 September 1927 (Hofheinz 1967: 71). Yet after an assault to take Changsha had failed on 19 September, Mao decided to abandon his plans and concluded to continue the uprising in rural areas.

He made this decision in the town Wenjia 文家市 near Liuyang, which is about 100 km away from Changsha. Nowadays there is a memorial hall at this location commemorating the Uprising. The Autumn Harvest Uprising Memorial in Wenjia City 浏阳市文家市镇秋收起义会师旧址纪念馆, formerly known as Liren School (里仁学校), was the place where Mao decided to end his campaign against Changsha. The exhibition hall, which was opened in 1974, shows the ambitions of Mao in the Autumn Harvest Uprising and the role of the small city Wenjia during this riot (see: Website Red Tourism). The hall itself has several thematic exhibitions, such as “Rising the new flag 高举新旗帜”, “Open up new roads 开辟新道路”, “Creating a new army 创建新军队” and “Suffering and Splendor brilliant 苦难辉煌.”

Picture 1: The Site of Joining Forces in Wenjia City of Autumn Harvest Uprising

The museum uses photographs and sound elements to present the historical content, so the visitor gets an authentic feeling of the Autumn Harvest Uprising and the decisions that Mao had to make during this combat. The memorial hall is one of the most popular historical sites since it was ranked under the top 10 memorial halls of China in 2017.

List of Pictures

Picture 1: The Site of Joining Forces in Wenjiashi of Autumn Harvest Uprising (source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Site_of_Joining_Forces_in_Wenjiashi_of_Autumn_Harvest_Uprising_008.jpg, author: Huangdan2060/CC0 [file is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication]).

Featured Image: 1967年秋收起义木刻图 (People’s Pictorial, No. 10, 1967) (source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:1967-10_1967%E5%B9%B4%E7%A7%8B%E6%94%B6%E8%B5%B7%E4%B9%89%E6%9C%A8%E5%88%BB%E5%9B%BE.jpg, author: 《人民画报》 / Public domain)

Bibliography

Hofheinz, Roy (1967): “The Autumn Harvest Insurrection”. In: The China Quarterly, No. 32 (1967), pp. 37-87.

Denton, Kirk A. (2014): Exhibiting the Past – Historical memory and the Politics of Museum in Postsocialist China. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

Saich, Tony (1996): The rise to power of the Chinese Communist Party. Armonk: An East Gate Book.


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