Legalism

Ancient Chinese Belief

Legalism is the Chinese belief that people were bad by nature and needed to be controlled.

The founders of Legalism were Li Si and Han Feizi. Legalism was founded between 770- 221 BC.

Legalism is a political philosophy with no religious concerns. It only dealt with government and social control. The Qin dynasty had legalism. They appointed officials instead of nobles to run China.

People who believed in legalism disagreed with the moral teaching of confucianism and Daoism. Linguists had strict laws to keep people in line and harsh punishments to fit crimes, in this way people would not disobey the laws. Unity and efficiency were also important to leagualists. Luagualists whanted to expand the empire, therefore, they urged the state to always be prepared for war.