The Revolution:

The Cultural Revolution, also known as the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, was a struggle for control of the Communist Party of China.  It was launched by Mao Zedong and it began in 1966, after the Four Clean-Ups Movement.  During the Cultural Revolution, Mao empowered his youth militia of Red Guards to overthrow his perceived enemies and seize control of the state by replacing local governments with revolutionary committees.  He killed many innocent people and anyone who stood in his way.   The Gang of Four also aided Mao with planning attacks and also made some plans of their own.  The revolution ended in 1969 with Mao signing a treaty; however, many believe the revolution to not have ended until Mao’s death and the arrest of the Gang of Four in 1976.

The Red Guards:

Mao thought of a solution to spreading the Cultural Revolution.  He began to support students and allow them to go all over China and extend the Cultural Revolution.  These students, later, became known as the “Red Guards.”  They were made to wear armbands in order to show their appreciation and support for Mao’s movements and ideas.  The Red Guard became very successful because of all the volunteering students who wanted to follow Mao.  This allowed the organization to spread throughout all of China.  The Red Guard grew to be a terrifying and destructive organization who harmed those who opposed Mao and his ideas for revolutionizing China.  Mao directed the students to destroy the “four olds.”  The “four olds” consisted of China’s old customs, old cultures, old habits, and old ideas.   Many temples, books, shrines, and other heritage sites were destroyed by the Red Guards in order to keep up with the destroying of the “four olds.” Some of the members of this terrifying organization did not agree with such destruction.  Therefore, they were tortured and purged for going against the rules of the Mao.  The lack of discipline shown in the Red Guards led to the decision to dismiss the student movement.  Even though not much is known about the revolution, there was an estimated 25 million people killed.