The 'Down to the Countryside' movement
The 'Down to the Countryside

1968: The 'Down to the Countryside' Movement

In part to lessen the social disruption caused by the Red Guards, Mao sought to move the students from cities to the countryside. During this movement, which lasted for the next decade, young intellectuals living in cities were ordered to go to the countryside. The term 'intellectuals' was applied broadly to mean any student who had recently graduated from middle school. In the late 1970s, the students were finally allowed to return to their home cities.