Legalism during the chaotic era

As such, the Tang eventually fell and civil war once more enveloped China.

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Smash their cliques, arrest their backers, shut the gate, deprive them of all hope of support, and the nation will be free of tigers. Yet despite all their differences, Legalism and Confucianism shared a common characteristic: they both endorsed the concept of the absolute monarchy.

As such, it was much less radical then its Qin counterpart.

Legalism practices

While, initially unable to destroy the Song Dynasty, the Mongols sought to legitimize their rule. Specifically, the Confucians in this year had consolidated enough power to dismiss several legalist scholars from being considered for office. Another difference was the use of censors who kept officials under surveillance. Yangism[ edit ] Yangism was a form of ethical egoism founded by Yang Zhu. As such, examinations for officials became prominent during the Han. This is an interesting irony as it ultimately shows that Confucian policies led to the same outcome, despite them surrounding the core principles of legalism. This included the use of law to regulate the people, the use of a centralized government, and the use of absolute rulers in the form of emperors. They, however, meant something very different.

Confucians believed that if men acted according to ritual propriety and if the sovereign possessed all four fundamental virtues, then society would be prosperous and harmonious. Third, the Song invested heavily in infrastructure, much like the Qin and Sui. Under Genghis Khan, the Mongols were largely nomadic and therefore had no central headquarters.

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Xunzi preached that man is not innately good; he asserted that goodness is attainable only through training one's desires and conduct. It should be stressed that only the Ru, or Confucians and the Mohists were actual organized schools of teachers and disciples during this period.

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He wrote: Select men who are worthy and good for government office, promote those who are kind and respectful, encourage filial piety and brotherly affection, look after orphans and widows and assist the poor, and then the common people will feel safe and at ease with their government.

Also one must consider that the United States has only seen the Qing Dynasty throughout its entire lifespan, which also testifies to the stability of the legalistic system. The final purpose of the Legalists was the establishment of a prosperous and powerful state under the leadership of a capable and authoritarian monarch.

Our Videos Confucianism could be expressed openly again during the Han Dynasty.

Legalism vs confucianism

In the philosophy developed by Confucius and his followers, the law played a secondary role in shaping human behaviour. Although all the dynasties used legalism in varying forms, one can see a distinct change most noticeably after the Han Dynasty. The difference between Confucianism and Legalism can perhaps be most clearly observed in their respective interpretation of filial piety. This shows that the Sui was heavily influenced by the Qin book burnings as they were later reviled in the Han Dynasty. Hence the sage holds to unity in stillness; he lets names define themselves and affairs reach their own settlement Han Feizi: Basic Writings , trans. The Sui, therefore, employed many of the same principles that the Qin used, as they believed that the same policies could end the chaos. Legalism and egalitarianism Because Legalism was a remedy to social chaos and the difficulty of administering a rapidly changing society, where the predominant concern was social stability and the stability of the ruler's position before the preservation of any social classes, the harshness of their laws were directed indiscriminately against every one, including the nobility. Yet despite all their differences, Legalism and Confucianism shared a common characteristic: they both endorsed the concept of the absolute monarchy. Xun wrote: These are the judgments of a king: no man of virtue shall be left unhonored; no man of ability shall be left unemployed; no man of merit shall be left unrewarded; no man of guilt shall be left unpunished. According to the Legalists, men are by nature unequal, since they differ in wealth, strength and status. A scholar serving as an official would usually follow Confucian teachings, but at leisure or in retirement might seek harmony with nature as a Taoist recluse.

One of Xu's students is quoted as having criticized the duke of Teng in a conversation with Mencius by saying: A worthy ruler feeds himself by ploughing side by side with the people, and rules while cooking his own meals.

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