Confucianism And The Imperial Period Of Chinese History Essay

1270 Words Oct 23rd, 2016 6 Pages
Confucianism played a significant role in shaping the political and social structure of the traditional Chinese society of the imperial period of Chinese history. It is not easy to define Confucianism because there are noticeable differences and sometimes contradictions among the phases of Confucianism. Rather than to say Confucianism arose unexpectedly, it arose in response to the status quo of society. At different periods of time, Confucianism established relative order, unified the minds of people, and revolutionized the way humans should think about themselves and the environment. The essay will be broken down into three parts: classical Confucianism, Imperial Confucianism, and Neo-Confucianism. First, it will describe the basic precepts of these schools, including the context in which each school arose and how each context was reflected in the content of each school’s teachings. Finally, it will describe how each school affected China politically and socially up to the 1800s.
The first phase of Confucianism, called classical Confucianism was founded by Confucius (551-479 B.C.). Confucius “was a man of no particular distinction in his own day who exerted a profound influence on the development of Chinese culture through his teachings.” Born from a small central state of Lu, Confucius traveled from state to state to find a ruler who would accept and put his teachings into practice. He preached about a utopia, “in which rulers and subjects, nobles and commoners, parents…

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