The history of the People's Republic of China revolves around three events interrelated by an implacable logic: the Great Leap Forward, the Cultural Revolution, and the succession of Mao Zedong. Of these events, the last two are today the better known, but their primary cause lies in the Great Leap Forward. Because it failed to draw the whole Chinese people into a "victorious war on nature", Mao was forced, starting in 1966, to break his opponents and impose his undivided rule on the masses, thus making their final disaffection inevitable. The Great Leap Forward thus constitutes both the first serious setback to communism in China and the starting point of a series of political upheavals.