Confucianism Dbq

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Classical China was composed of several major schools of philosophy that generally associated with life on earth rather than spiritual values. These philosophies emphasized a good life on earth and focused on the virtues of obedience to the state rather than speculations about God and heaven. Confucius, or King Fuzi, preached Confucianism, which was a system of ethics stressing virtue and reverence throughout society. Additionally, during the Qin and Han dynasties, an alternate system of political thought arose called Legalism. This philosophical belief was centered around the notion that human nature was naturally evil and required restraint and discipline. Finally, Daoism emerged in the latter portion of the Zhou dynasty and it truly …show more content…
Veneration and loyalty towards family members was a crucial component of the philosophy as well. Essentially, leaders were expected to set a good example, which would inspire moral righteousness throughout society. According to Document 1, “Filial piety and brotherly respect are the root of humanity.” This quote exhibits the importance of reverence and loyalty towards elders and brothers within Confucianism. The ideal ruler according to Confucianism should show respect towards his peers and should also be revered by citizens living in the society. If there is mutual veneration and respect between a ruler and citizens, society is able to operate in a cohesive manner. Furthermore, leaders should set a good example by leading with virtue. This moral righteousness trickles down from the ruler to the citizens creating a domino effect. As stated in Document 2, “The character of a ruler is like wind and that of the people is like grass. In whatever direction the wind blows, the grass always bends.” Ultimately, the citizens will model the ruler’s behavior and he will no longer have to issue commands. Consequently, punishments would not be necessary as citizens would follow the example set by the ruler. Finally, Document 3 discusses social order and states that if preventative measures …show more content…
This ideology stated that human nature was evil and required restraint and discipline. Legalists were pragmatic and believed in an authoritarian state ruled by force. According to legalists, leaders should refrain from choosing unqualified citizens to take part in the government. Document 4 states that, “The reason for the ruler to look for wise and well­informed men is that the intelligence of the people is not such as to be respected or relied upon.” This shows that the ruler must make wise choices when choosing officials as unqualified officials can cause chaos. Legalists believed in significant restraints on people, especially when electing officials in the hopes of creating order. Additionally, rulers were expected to be selfless as enforcing laws promotes equality and creates order within society. According to Document 5, “Should the lord of men discard law and practice selfishness, high and low would have no distinction.” Essentially, without the use of laws, people would act selfish as if they were part of a higher class. The law not only disciplines people, but it also makes then selfless. It is a common denominator within society that unifies differing social

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