Regents Thematic Essay

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Throughout global history many structures of religions formed the basis of social, political, and economic factors of a community. What the members of a religion discovered within themselves, and their faiths, controlled the development of the region in which they lived. Two examples of this were the belief systems of Confucianism and the Greek pantheon of gods, which created the cultures of China and Greece. Confucianism, developed by the philosopher Confucius, during times of conflict in early B.C, soon became the dominating belief system in China. Confucianism was based on mutual relationships; husband to wife, father to son, leader to subjects. Social harmony could be achieved through respect for the elders, as well as respect and kindness for those people lower in social rank. This applied to the politics of China because it set the basis for the belief of obedience to the emperor, as long as the emperor treated his subjects kindly, and with respect. The idea of Filial Piety was humility towards one superior. Because of this, in China, leaders and elders were in the highest regard. Confucianism also highly valued education. This idea helped shape the Chinese bureaucracy. Civil Service Examinations were established to test government officials, making sure that they possessed a high level of intelligence and knowledge. The tests helped stabilize the dynastic control within China due to the fact that educated, and worthy people helped create new and better ways to form a smoothly run nation. Although the Ancient Greek civilization formed before and separately from China, the Greeks developed a belief system that influenced life, just as much as Confucianism. The major idea of the Greek religion was the belief in gods and goddesses that controlled every aspect of life. Divine beings they...
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