The last few years of the Zhou Dynasty, know as the Period of Warring States, were chaotic. There was a lot of confusion and turmoil in China. People began thinking of ideas that would produce social and political stability and would hopefully lead to the Unification of China. Intellectuals came up with three very effective approaches that would all together help in the unification of China and they are known as, Confucianism, Daoism and Legalism.
Confucianism was an ethical system that was used as the foundation for the Chinese government and social order. The Confusion idea of government was that education was the key to a good bureaucracy. Confucius believed that instead of rulers being born into an official position, they should be selected based on basis of merit and personal morality. He also believed that rulers should be kind to their people and that the people should be respectful and law-abiding in return. The Han Dynasty took on this way of government when it established authority in 200 B.C.E. They sent what they called, “Men of Promise,” from each province to the capital to be chosen for official positions. This is one of the things that led to the unification of China.
Daoism also helped in doing this as well. Somewhat like Confucianism, instead of urging harmony, Daoism tried to seek it. The idea of this is that natural order is more important than social order and humans should live simply and in harmony with nature. Daoists wanted government to be as simple as possible and for the communities to be self-sufficient. Most people in China followed the Confusionist government but yet still followed a Daoist private life.
The last system that was created was legalism. Very opposite of Confucianism and Daoism, legalists encouraged harsh rule. They thought that a powerful government would be the key to restoring order. They thought that they should use the law to end civil disorder by offering rewards for people who obeyed and for giving very...
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