Confucianism daoism and legalism

Ancient china religon


Daoism also promoted a peaceful society. The word Dao means "path" and is often translated as "the Way." Daoism began with the ideas of Laozi . Laozi is believed to have lived during the same time as Confucius.


A third philosophy stressed the importance of a system of laws. This philosophy became known as legalism , or the "School of Law."

A thinker named Hanfeizi introduced the ideas of legalism during the 200s b.c. Unlike Confucius or Laozi, Hanfeizi believed that humans are naturally evil. Strict laws and harsh punishments were necessary to force people to do their duty.

Many aristocrats supported legalism because it emphasized force. Legalism did not require rulers to consider the needs or wishes of their people. Its ideas led to cruel punishments for even the smallest crimes.


Confucianism was based on the teachings of a man named Confucius . Born about 550 b.c. to a farming family, Confucius lived when rival kings fought each other for power. Confucius criticized the misrule of these kings. He urged the people to follow the beliefs of their ancestors. If people would do that, Confucius believed, it would bring peace and harmony to China.