Chinese Schools of Thought

by Tristen Nguyen


Confucianism was started by a philosopher named Confucius. He taught the government to lead by example, and the only way to get into government was through exams. Confucius believed in five relationships: Father to Son, Elder brother to Younger brother, Husband to Wife, Ruler to Subject, and Friend to Friend. After his death, his teachings were put into The Analects. The Han Dynasty practiced Confucianism.
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A philosopher named Laozi created Daoism. Daoism teaches that the best government is one that governs the least. I believe that Laozi sounds like "lazy," so that is how I remember Daoism. Laozi told people to live a simple life and live in harmony with nature. People who were a part of Daoism practiced alchemy and magic. Ying and Yang symbolize the balance of opposing forces, such as woman and man. "The Way of Virtue" was written for Daoism.
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Hanfeizi, a man who believed human nature is evil, constructed Legalism. He believed that greed is the cause of conflict, and that man needs to be controlled through strict laws. If people were to break those laws, or criticize Legalism, they would recieve a very harsh punishment. During Legalism, the Great Wall of China was built. The citizens were forced to work on the wall, and if they died in the process, they would be buried inside the wall. The Qin dynasty practiced Legalism.
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Buddhism originated in India by Siddartha Gautama. In 100 AD, Emperor Asoka sent missionaries to spread Buddhism throughout China. The Silk Road, which is a trade route, played a big part in the diffusion of Buddhism. Buildings used to worship Buddhism were called pagodas. This religion teaches that good choices and speaking lead to Nirvana, or union with the world. The Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path are a part of Buddhism.
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