The Memorial Hall of the Old Residence of Mao Zedong and the Old Site of the Central Peasant Training Institute at Wuchang District

During the years of the First United Front (1923-1927) the Communist Party (CCP) and the Guomindang (GMD) cooperated to fight against warlords in northern China, who threatened the domestic stability of the young Republic of China 中华民国 (1912-1949). An important aim of this cooperation was the mobilization of the working class for the national revolution under the leadership of the GMD (Schmidt-Glintzer 2008: 196). 

As part of the United Front the CCP established Peasant Movement Training Institutes to train the growing number of rural cadres who should lead the revolutionary struggle of the peasants.

In 1926, the “Central Peasant Movement Workshop hosted by Mao Zedong 毛泽东同志主办的中央农民运动讲习所旧址” was founded in the city of Guangzhou 广州市, Guangdong Province 广东省. One year later Mao Zedong 毛泽东 (1893-1976) went to the city of Wuchang 武昌市, Hubei Province 湖北省 to found another workshop. 

The Historical Site of the Central Peasant Movement Training Institute 中央农民讲习所旧址 in today’s Wuchang District (part of the prefecture-level city of Wuhan) commemorates the time between March and June 1927, during which Mao trained over 800 young farmers in Wuchang. Similar to the training institute in Guangzhou, the trainees not only attended courses dealing with the theoretical topics of agriculture like “Rural Education 农民教育“ or „Rural Problems 农民问题“. In addition, they took courses in Marxist-Leninist Thought and military training (Ye 1979: 5).

After the collapse of the First United Front in July 1927, the training institute was closed due to the increasing tensions between the CCP and its nationalist opponent. 

In 1958, premier minister Zhou Enlai 周恩来 (1898-1976), who was concerned with the restoration of the site, donated an inscription of his calligraphy “The Historical Site of the Central Peasant Movement Training Institute founded by Comrade Mao Zedong 毛泽东同志主办的中央农民运动讲习所旧址” (Ye 1979:6). According to the website “Renmin Wang”, the memorial was renovated and officially opened to the public in 1963. Since then visitors can see the original rooms used in the training institute, such as the big classroom, the students’ dormitory, and the office of the Standing Comittee. 

Due to his leading position in the implementation of the workshop, it is not surprising that Mao’s residence was located nearby, at Dufudi 都府堤 street, No. 14. Like the Historical Site of the Central Peasant Movement Training Institute, Mao’s former residence, where he lived and prepared the lectures for his courses, is also open to the public (Renmin Wang). 

Similar to the site in Guangzhou, the training institute in Wuchang intends to present how the education of the rural masses was carried out as part of the revolution, a particularly important policy of the CCP during the 1920s and 1930s. 

Bibliography: 

Peng Jingyi 彭婧怡 and Zhao Gang 赵纲 (10.05.2021): “Mao Zedong tongzhi zhuban de zhongyang nongmin yundong jiangxi suo jiuzhi jianye 毛泽东同志主办的中央农民运动讲习所旧址简介 (A brief introduction to the Historical Site of the Central Peasant Movement Training Institute hosted by Comrade Mao Zedong)”. In: Renmin Wang http://v.people.cn/n1/2021/0510/c437381-32099082.html (latest access: 20.12.2021). 

Schmidt-Glintzer, Helwig (2008): Kleine Geschichte Chinas. München: C.H. Beck. 

Ye Duchu 叶笃初 (1979): Zhongyang nongmin yundong Jiangxi suo 中央农民运动讲习所 (The Central Peasant Movement Training Institute). Shanghai 上海: Shanghai renmin chubanshe. 

Zhang Juan 张隽 and Rong Xianming 荣先明 (26.04.2021): “Jiandang bainian. Wuchang gushi: Mao Zedong he Yang Kaihui de zuihou tuanju di 建党百年·武昌故事:毛泽东和杨开慧的最后团聚地 (Celebrating the Centennial of  the party. The tale of Wuchang: The last reunion place of Mao Zedong and Yang Kaihui)” In: Renmin Wang http://hb.people.com.cn/n2/2021/0426/c194063-34695856.html (last access: 20.12.2021). 

Huang, Philip C.C. (1975): “Mao Tse-Tung and the Middle Peasants, 1925-1928”. In: Modern China 1.3: Pp. 271-296.

List of Pictures:

Featured Image “中央农民运动讲习所旧址纪念馆(现为武汉市革命博物馆),前身是第一次国共合作时期毛泽东倡议创办的一所培养全国农民运动干部的学校,于1963年建成开放,时任总理周恩来题写了馆名。2001年第5批全国重点文物保护单位之一。” (source: https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E4%B8%AD%E5%A4%AE%E5%86%9C%E6%B0%91%E8%BF%90%E5%8A%A8%E8%AE%B2%E4%B9%A0%E6%89%80%E6%97%A7%E5%9D%80%E7%BA%AA%E5%BF%B5%E9%A6%86#/media/File:%E4%B8%AD%E5%A4%AE%E5%86%9C%E6%B0%91%E8%BF%90%E5%8A%A8%E8%AE%B2%E4%B9%A0%E6%89%80%E6%97%A7%E5%9D%80%E7%BA%AA%E5%BF%B5%E9%A6%86.jpg , author: kiraclyne).


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