China's Ideologies

Ideologies of China


Brought into existence by Chinese philosopher Kong Fuzi who is more commonly know as Confucius. Confucius believed that good government depended of good officials, men of jen, or humanity, benevolence, virtue and culture. He believed that a moral order pervaded the universe. Confucius believed in the essential goodness and educability of each individual, and believed that the virtues of the past could be regained. He believed in a centrality of junzi , the moral leader who had the vision to move the society toward peace and virtue. A junzi wasn't born but made. Family structure was very important to Confucianism.


Legalism is a philosophy of government characterized by strict laws and strict enforcement. Rewards were offered to those who observed laws and swift punishment for those who did not. It was prominent during the warring states period.

Legalists believed political institutions should model the realities of human behavior and that humans are inherently selfish and short-sighted.



Also known as Taoism, Daoism was a philosophy of spontaneity in the face of nature and the cosmos. It was often used by public men in their private lives, especially after retirement. Daoism advocates a high regard for nature. It rejects the emphasis on sophisticated learning that was key point to Confucianism. Those who follow Daoism believed in a natural order or path, They taught that the government should leave the people alone.

Confucianism and Legalism

Philosophies adopted by the Chinese government. Both also believed that men needed structure in their lives in order to do good. Both called called for governmental hierarchy and adherence to tradition.

Legalism and Daoism

They were both philosophies of ancient China.

Daoism and Confucianism

Both are less strict than Legalism. Daoism and Confucianism were often practiced by the same person. Daoism in their public lives and Confucianism in their public lives. Education was important in Confucianism but frowned upon in Daoism.

Comparing China and Rome

Both had

  • a large empire
  • a government
  • people
  • philosophies for ruling
  • class divisions
  • various rebellions
  • at some point a bureaucracy

Comparing China to the U.S.

Both had/have

  • a period of expansion
  • government
  • conflicting ideologies
  • class divisions