History paper 1 - Christopher Hestir Dr Yulian Wu...

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Christopher Hestir Dr. Yulian Wu Confucianism vs. Legalism In the early ages of Chinese history, neighboring states were constantly at war with each other, this was known as the Warring States Period . Each state had one main goal and that was to be the most powerful state in all the lands . During this period, many philosophers traveled throughout the lands in an attempt to spread their beliefs and ideas, in hope that someone would adopt these teachings and spread them to others in search of a sense of morality . Each philosopher believed that everyone should follow their way of teaching because it is the best way and will lead to a prosperous life . Many notable philosophers lived during this time period but the most important ones founded the basis for ideas that will be carried on for centuries to come, Confucianism and Legalism . Confucianism was founded by a scholar referred to as Confucius of the State of Lu . Legalism was co-founded by three main contributors by the names of Shang Yang, born in Wei, Li Si, born in Cai, and Hanfeizi, born in Han . Although many philosophers had the same goals, to spread their teachings, what they taught their followers would greatly vary. Confucian and Legalist philosophers’ views on how the government related to human nature and society differed, as well as the role of the state in a proper government . Confucius was the founder of Confucianism, a system of philosophical teachings brought about in 5 th century BCE . He voyaged across China, going from state to state, trying to find a ruler who would listen to and adopt his ideas . Confucius believed that every male should strive to be “the gentleman” and that every gentleman follows “the Way” . “The Way” refers to the 1
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principles of Confucianism one must follow to become the gentleman .
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