Confucianism And Legalism Essay

733 Words3 Pages
While both philosophies of Confucianism and Legalism were both active government policies throughout the “Golden Age” in Chinese history, the two theories have central ideas vary in the beliefs of people. Both ideals while dealing with the governing of people go about how they do it differently. In order to keep order, the practice of Legalism believes that everyone is equal under the law and should be governed with laws, on the other hand, those practicing Confucianism believe that people are inherently good and by promoting a good nature, the people will follow and keep the order on their own.
According to the Confucian author, “If the people be led by laws, and uniformity sought to be given them by punishments they will try to avoid the punishment, but have no sense of shame. If they be led by virtue, and uniformity sought to be given to them by the rules of propriety, they will have the sense of shame, and moreover will become good” (The Analects). This excerpt provides an example of Confucian ideas on the nature of people and the ways to successfully govern them. In Confucianism it is believed that people tend to only follow laws because they have to. A Confucian master states following that those who are led and inspired by good virtue and acts
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While the two both deal with the order of a society they vary in how it is gone about. On the one end of the spectrum, Legalism focuses on the absolute power of law resulting from a negative view on the human nature; on the other end, Confucianism focuses on the upbringing of the moral state of individuals which results in a willing submission to the government. The two varying ideas have played a large part in the diverse Chinese history and culture that has led to the function of the Chinese government even
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