Chinese Schools of Thought

By: Ivana Gonzalez


The goal of Confucianism was to show princes and dukes how to govern, the ruler had to do what he wanted his people to do. Confucianism taught filial piety, which means to respect your elders. Confucious, the creator of confucianism, believed human nature was good not evil. Confucianism stated the five most important relationships which are; father to son, elder brother to younger brother, husband to wife, ruler to subject, and friend to friend. All of Confucious' beliefs were put into a book called The Analects. Confucianism was mainly used in the Han dynasty, but in the Qin dynasty it was rejected.


Hanfeizi, the creator of Legalism, believed the nature of all mankind was evil and goodness had to be acquired. Legalism was used in the Qin dynasty. They had strict laws and harsh punishments, if laws weren't followed. Hanfeizi forced people to work on government projects and punished them if they did not complete their duties, for example he forced his people to work on the Great Wall of China and if they died or did not complete all of their work he would bury them alive in the wall.

Taoism (Daoism)

Taoism was created by the philospher Laozi or "Old Master". TAO means "the way". Laozi believed that the best government was one who governed the least. They believed that to attain happiness you had to practice alchemy and magic, you had to live a simple life, and you had to live in harmony with nature.

Buddhism in China

Buddhism was spread in China by missionaries that came from India. It was under the reign of Emperor Asoka.