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Mao Yichang, the word Shunsheng, Hao Liangbi, from Xiangtan, Hunan, was born in the 9th year of Tongzhi in the Qing Dynasty (1870). The picture shows Mao Zedong with his father Mao Shunsheng (second from left), his cousin Mao Fusheng (third from left), and his younger brother Mao Zetan (first from left) in Changsha in November 1919.

When Mao Shunsheng was 10 years old, his father Mao Yichen married a three-year-old daughter-in-law Wen Suqin from Tangjiawei, the fourth capital of Xiangxiang, for him, and officially married five years later. Two more years later, Mao Shunsheng, who was only 17 years old, took over the”big power” in charge of the family business.

It is not so much”power”, it is better to say that Mao Shunsheng has taken over a heavy burden of life:

1. Operation managementShangwuchang those five half-huts, two chai hills, and 15 acres of fields;

2. Cooking grandfather, father, mother, wife, and his 5 people Food, clothing, housing and transportation;

3. Repay the debt of several hundred taels of silver owed by buying a field and buying a house.

In the following 33 years, Mao Shunsheng changed his position three times. His entrepreneurial trilogy began in farming mulberry, was born in abandoning agriculture to join the army, and finally became rich in business and farming, and embarked on the road to family business.

Abandoning farmers to join the army

The stage of farming mulberry began after he took over the”print” of his parents to the period around the birth of Mao Zedong.

This young farmer, in the closed Shaoshanchong, with the exception of his father-in-law’s home, Tang Jiaxu, his footprints did not extend outward. . He is desperately farming, chopping wood, working hard, and going back and forth year after year.

However, five or six years have passed, and despite his early morning greedy and conscientious work, his family situation has not improved at all. What’s more, there are things that don’t go well-Mao’s two baby boys died in the infancy in succession, and Mao Zedong was already the third baby boy.

In those depressing and hopeless days, Mao Shunsheng struggled to change his family situation. At that time, many people of the same age defected to Zeng Guofan’s Hunan Army. Of course, many people are not trying to”fight long hair” or”snap up children”, most of them want to get a job or a half-time job or earn some money. Mao Shunsheng was fascinated by his eyes, and after careful consideration, he decided to join the Hunan Army.

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Mao Shunsheng

Mao Shunsheng Details such as the time of enlistment and discharge, the number of the army, the salary and the amount of cash brought back, etc., are now impossible to test. However, based on relevant historical data, some inferences can be drawn:Mao Shunsheng was affirmed to be a soldier, forced by life, hoping to get promoted, rather than”repaying” the emperor’s grace to serve for the Qing emperor; for at least two years, he failed to earn one Half-time official; he joined the army in small and medium-sized cities such as Xiangtan and Changsha where the commodity economy was developed at the beginning, and then spent most of the time in the Jiangsu and Zhejiang areas where China’s commodity economy was most prosperous. , Becoming neither believer in God nor in evil.

And what is certain is that he got a special reward-the idea of ​​commodity economy was born.

One-handed farming, the other-handed business

After returning home, Mao Shunsheng changed his old rice and straw”single-to-one” business style and replaced it with single-handed farming , Do business with one hand.

The current situation in front of Mao Shunsheng has also changed. The import of foreign capitalism and the dumping of”foreign goods” have led to an increase in demand for raw materials, meat, and grain and oil. Farmers after the bankruptcy of cottage industries in exchange for the necessary The means of living and production are forced to sell some agricultural products.

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“Jinxiangtan” past grand occasion

China’s agricultural products are gradually moving towards commercialization, firstly manifested in the increase in”commercial grains”. There are many”grain and oil trading centers” formed throughout the country. Hunan’s”Changsha Grain and Oil Trading Center” is one of them. Xiangtan, which is located on the north-south traffic artery, has naturally become a distribution center for foreign commodities and grain raw materials.

This kind of commercialization has also quietly blown into Shaoshanchong, a remote rural area. At the time when Mao Shunsheng was there, there were more than 10 shops such as”rice shop”,”meat”, and”Nanza”. Mao Shunsheng’s”Mao Yishuntang” was just one of the famous ones.

Expanded reproduction

Mao Shunsheng started his business with rice. In the few years after leaving the army, there were 5 people in my family, 15 acres of land, and about 60 dans of grain harvested annually. In addition to the 35 dans of self-feeding, there were still more than 20 dans of surplus. This surplus is Mao Shunsheng’s original capital for business.

In the front right of the backyard of Comrade Mao Zedong’s former residence, there is a room on display with primitive rice processing tools such as stone mortars, mills, faders, and windmills. At the beginning of”opening”, the commodity rice was processed by Mao Shunsheng and his wife and children here, and it is often retailed locally. Later, he bought some millet from Shaoshan and Xiangxiang, hired people to process it, and hired workers to transport it to Yintian, Xiangtan, Changsha and other places for sale, and profit from it.

In addition to the rice business, Mao Shunsheng also deals in pigs and cattle. The pig business also started by selling one or two pigs raised at home. Then, from small to large, from self-raising and selling to buying and selling, buying both piglets and hogs. Pigs are often sent to the”Changqinghe” of Yintian Temple, 30 miles away from Shaoshan.

Different from the pig business, Mao Shunsheng adopts the method of”consensual, mutually beneficial and risk-sharing” in his cattle business. Mao Shunsheng bought back the cows and then”contracted” them to feed them. The raiser gets the cattle power and cow dung, and the main household gets the calf, then sells the calf or feeds it and sells it after it grows up. If the cow dies, the two families share the economic loss equally.

In addition, Mao Shunsheng also issued”Mao Yishuntang” paper tickets to promote the smooth flow of capital and strengthen business contacts. He has established close business relationships with dozens of stores including”Changyuan River” in Guan Gongqiao,”Li Fusheng” in Yongyi Pavilion, and”Changqing He” in Yintian Temple.

Business is in full swing, but Mao Shunsheng did not ignore farming. Regarding this scene of life, Mao Zedong later talked to Snow,”I just learned a few words, and my father asked me to start accounting for my family, and he wanted me to learn abacus. Since my father insisted, I was in the evening. Remember the account. He is a strict supervisor, and he can’t see me idle; if there is no account to keep, he will ask me to do farm work. He is irritable and often beats me and two younger brothers. He does not give us a dollar. He gave us the worst food. On the fifteenth of every month, he gave special kindness to the employees and gave them eggs to eat, but never meat. For me, he does not give eggs or meat.”

It can be seen that in the case of both business and agriculture, with many things and few people, Mao Shunsheng took the lead to work with his wife and children, and his family did it with hiring zero and long-term workers. Both agriculture and business are not wrong. His thoughts of”farming, promoting business, commerce leading agriculture, diligence and thrift” and”strict relatives and lenient others” had a profound influence on Mao Zedong.

Mao Shunsheng’s 13 and a half farmhouses

From a farmer to a soldier, to a shrewd businessman, after 33 years of hard work, he took over at 17 Mao Shunsheng of”family rights” finally broke away from the hard life of a poor peasant and ushered in prosperity.

To achieve these achievements, there is one person mentioned-Mao Zemin, the second son of Mao Shunsheng. Mao Zemin was born in April 1896, 3 years younger than Mao Zedong. When he started to be sensible, it was at the stage when his father turned to farming and business. Mao Zemin became a family labor force at the age of 14. To take care of his family, he dropped out of school, farming, feeding cattle, milling rice, chopping wood, and harvesting tung oil. He carried a burden of more than 100 kilograms to deliver rice.

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Mao Zemin participated in the revolution in 1921 and soon joined the Communist Party of China . In February 1925, he followed his brother Mao Zedong to Xiangtan and Xiangxiang to start the peasant movement. In September of the same year, he entered the Guangzhou Peasant Movement Training Institute. Afterwards, he moved to Shanghai, Wuhan, Tianjin and other places to engage in secret party work

In 1913, after getting married, Mao Zemin and his wife took over the burden of farming and housekeeping. He not only takes care of his parents, but also provides for his brother and younger brother to study in Changsha. He hires workers only when the farming is busy. Mao Zemin’s hard work for many years without complaints and regrets has saved his father who is doing business abroad a lot of worries. It can be said that the wealth of the house is the result of his joint efforts with his father.

In Mao Shunsheng’s later years, he actually had 20 acres of land, and the annual grain harvest was around 4000 kilograms. The five members of the family consumed more than 1,700 kilograms of grain a year, and the remaining grain was more than 2,000 kilograms, plus business profits and rental interest. Jin, etc., with a capital of at least 3,000 yuan, is considered quite wealthy in the local area.

At this time, the expenditures of Mao Shunsheng’s family are roughly as follows:

1. Pay for the consumption of a family of five;

2. Pay for part-time, monthly and long-term labor Salary;

3. Repay all debts, including those owed by his father and borrowed by Mao Shunsheng a few years ago,”no old debts nor new accounts”;

4. Purchase Farmland, bought 7 acres of farmland from Mao Jusheng in 1904. When the amount of land increased to a certain amount, he would not buy land anymore, but instead pledge or lease money to others and earn interest from it;

5. Paying Mao Zedong’s tuition, this is probably his only An”intellectual investment”;

6. Housing repair costs;

7. Public welfare services, etc.

From this, we can see Mao Shunsheng’s”expanded reproduction” and”public welfare” thoughts in a certain sense. This kind of thinking appeared in a rural peasant in the early 20th century, and it is really commendable. When it comes to Mao Shunsheng’s”achievement in his family business”, an important sign is the 13 semi-farmhouses he built in Shaoshan Chong Shangwuchang.

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The former residence of Comrade Mao Zedong-Shangwuchang

There were originally 5 half-huts.”Half-room” refers to the main house, shared by the two houses and half of each. In 1887, when the Dechen and Yichen brothers separated their families, Yichen was assigned to play. When Mao Shunsheng,”the strong man in Shaoshan” took over, he rebuilt according to the housing layout of his father-in-law’s Tang Jiawei. After decades of adding bricks and tiles, he successively built nine tiled houses, including farmhouses, huts, cattle sheds, and firewood houses.

However, there were unforeseen circumstances. Just as Mao Shunsheng was walking up the steps to get rich, natural and man-made disasters followed one after another:the house caught fire in 1916, he was robbed by defeated soldiers in 1917, his wife died in 1919, and Mao Shunsheng died in 1920. Just half a hundred before going to sleep prematurely.

After the death of Mao Shunsheng, Mao Zemin left Shaoshan to participate in the revolution under the encouragement of his brother Mao Zedong. Starting in 1921, this peasant family was transformed into a revolutionary family. And what is the fate of this farmhouse that has witnessed the bleak management of an ordinary farmhouse in old China? It has been said that in 1929, Mao Zedong’s former residence was confiscated by the Kuomintang government. Before heading to Changsha, Mao Zemin gave the real estate to others in accordance with Mao Zedong’s opinion. In the 1950s, the land reform team also divided Mao Zedong’s family into classes. Arguments such as”on” were widely spread for a while.

There are different opinions on Mao Zedong’s family economy and composition. From January 2013 to August 2016, Gao Jucun, the former deputy director of the Shaoshan Administration Bureau and an expert on Mao Zedong Thought presided over a special survey and research. A meticulous and rigorous textual research:

1. Has Mao Zedong’s house ever been confiscated by the Kuomintang?

The investigation confirmed that Mao Zedong’s family property consisted of 20 acres of paddy fields (22 acres in the past), 13 half-tile houses, chaishan and vegetable soil, which were not given away. In the spring of 1921, because Mao Zemin was eager to work with Mao Zedong in Changsha and did not have time to deal with real estate, he entrusted it to the Wen family’s grandmother’s house and Mao Zhengong’s ancestors. After their research, they decided not to deal with it, and Mao Zhen Gong’s shrine was taken care of, and people were sent to set up accounts and books for specific management, but they did not tell Mao Zemin.

Nowadays, the former residence of Chairman Mao, which had been propagated for more than 60 years, was”confiscated by the Kuomintang reactionary government in 1929″ and”recovered by the people’s government after liberation in August 1949″ has been deleted. In recent years, the former residence has received more than 7 million tourists every year.

2. Is Mao Zedong a rich peasant?

Although Mao Zedong’s family had a certain amount of property, but due to the long-term inability to make ends meet, by 1948, not only the food and clothing of his family became a problem, but he was also heavily indebted and insolvent. During the land reform in Shaoshan, it was said that Mao Renqiu, the party branch secretary of Shaoshan Township, wrote to Mao Zedong, and he replied that he proposed”division as rich peasants” and other three items.

The survey conducted by Gao Jucun and others confirmed that in the three years before the land reform, Mao Zedong’s family owed too much rent and foreign debts, not only had no rent to collect, but also the amount of debt was huge, and there was no division element. The economic foundation of the family. The people in the neighborhood were very aware of this, so no one proposed to assign Mao Zedong’s family status and there was no dispute. In accordance with relevant laws and actual conditions, the land reform team ultimately failed to classify Mao Zedong’s family.

Mao Zedong did not write a reply, but sent Mao Anqing back to Shaoshan. At the end of December 1950, Mao Zedong received a letter from Shaoshan asking”how many people participated in the division of land”. Mao Zedong sent Mao Anqing back to his hometown to convey a message:”First, the family does not participate in the division of land, and the family property is handled by the government; second, the family class composition, Seek truth from facts, what it is; 3. The people’s government does not follow selfish laws and act according to policies, and the people will support the government.” This corrects the wrong record of the time when Mao Anqing first returned to Shaoshan (Records of the Shaoshan Bureau) It was the summer of 1962, and the Shaoshan City Chronicles were the winter of 1951), effectively refuting the erroneous claims that existed for decades, such as”controversies,””writing reply theory,” and”rich peasant theory,” and restored the true colors of history.


1 Gao Jucun waits. Mao Zedong’s hometown of Tujia Quest M. Beijing:Xiyuan Publishing House, 2009.09.

2 Gao Jucun, Su Xiaobo, Liu Shengsheng, Hu Xiaolin, Tan Yi. Historical textual research on the division of Mao Zedong’s family composition during the land reform J. Party Literature, 2013(06):111-117.

3 Peng Jingang.”Mao Zedong and The new achievement of”Shaoshan” research——Interview with Gao Jucun, former deputy director of Shaoshan Administration Bureau of Hunan Province J. Bookstore, 2019, (No. 9).

Picture source:Shaoshan Net, XinHunan Net

This article was published with the authorization of Gao Jucun teacher and completed with guidance

Responsible editor:Xiaolin

Web editor:Song Ying


Producer:Fang Danmin