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Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism
Amidst the chaos of political instability and constant warring of the Zhou era, arose many intellectual thinkers that brought such a profound impact in the fields of politics, religion, and philosophy. Even to this day, their influence can be seen on the many matters of China. Confucianism became the paramount school of thinking and later significant philosophies such as Daoism and Legalism gained immense recognition as well. Each party had their own proposals for creating an idealistic political society where the many problems they faced in their everyday lives could be eliminated. All three approaches were very distinct but at the same time, they contained similarities as well. In my reasoning, I find that Confucianism and Daoism could be paralled in many ways to find several common grounds. On the other hand, Legalism goes on to take a more unique approach which was much different from the previous two.
Confucius was born in 551 B.C.E, to a poor family of the lower nobility. Throughout his life, he relentlessly tried to gain an office with a prominent ruler of the time who was willing to adopt his various concepts. Unfortunately, Confucius died in 479B.C.E., before such a change ever took place. However, he succeeded in winning over a handful of devote followers who continued his legacy and Confucianism later went on to become one of the most influential thought systems of Chinese history. Of his followers, Mencius and Xunzi became one of the most renown. Since Confucius did not succeed in completing a manual of his views, these followers had to derive their own interpretations of the system, which now formulate, the Analects. The Analects portray an idealized gentleman, and his various duties in terms of the society, family and rituals. Confucius explains about the way (Dao) which he believed, that if the people accepted its terms and were willing to abide, they would succeed in creating a utopian society.
By the beginning of the Common Era, another philosophy emerges and gains wide acceptance among the commoners. Daoism, just like the predecessor and also as the name implies, puts emphasis on the way that a certain individual is to abide to. Even though the two systems had different concepts about the way, the common denominator of both schools was to achieve total harmony in society. Confucianism focuses mainly on social order while Daoism puts its central; focus on being one with the nature.
If an individual can practice five things anywhere in the world, he is a man of humanity...reverence, generosity, truthfulness, diligence and kindness (Ebrey 19). Confucius gentleman has to possess these fine qualities to achieve success. On the other side of the token, Daoism emphasized the need for similar entities. Laozi explains: For minds, the depth is good. In social relations, human-heartedness is good. In speaking, the trustworthiness is good. In government order is good (Ebrey 28). Both systems, through through different approaches, promote peace and goodwill among the family, society and with neighboring states.
Both Confucianism and Daoism accept the presence of a supernatural entity but do not provide a clear explanation on it. Both thought systems consider it mostly as a mystery that the human mind cannot fully comprehend or alter. Confucius put great importance in conducting numerous rituals for various occasions. He found it to be an essential part for the well being of society. He said, when superiors love ritual, the people are easy to direct (Ebrey 22). Xunzi provides a more elaborate explanation. He said Ritual conduct is the perfection of decorum...Sages comprehend it, gentleman comfortably carries them out, officials preserves them and the common people consider them custom (Ebrey 25). The same sense of mystery or vagueness can be sensed in Daoism. Laozi said, The way that can be discussed is not the constant way...nameless is the source of Heaven and earth...Their identity can be called a mystery (Ebrey 27).
Both Confucianism and Daoism disfavored a harsh government. Confucius urged to lead the people with virtue and rituals as opposed to government policies and punishment. He believed that the ruler should gain respect through his deeds rather that achieving it through his status and authority. Likewise, Daoism disliked the emphasis of status being displayed in ... more
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The Great Wall of China
To the northwest and north of Beijing, a huge, serrated wall zigzags it's way to the east and west along the undulating mountains. This is the Great Wall, which is said to be visible from the moon. This massive wall has not only been one of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World, but it has also been inspiration for many artists, and writers. The building of the Great Wall is one of the biggest tragedy?s, but through this tragedy arose triumph with the wall, being so much to so many people. The Great Wall of China is much more than a wall, and was built for many reasons that are hidden to most.
Construction of the Great Wall started in the 7th century B.C. The wall states that under the Zhou Dynasty in the northern parts of the country each built their own walls for defense purposes. After the state of Qin unified China in 221 B.C., it joined the walls to hold off the invaders from the Xiongnu tribes in the north and extended them to more than 10,000 li or 5,000 kilometers. This is the origin of the name of the "10,000-li Great Wall". (Karls, Robert 10,000-li Great Wall)
To understand everything about the Great Wall it is necessary to know the many components of the wall, and their purposes. The Great Wall was renovated
from time to time after the Qin Dynasty. A major renovation started with the founding of the Ming Dynasty in 1368, and took 200 years to complete. The wall
we see today is almost exactly the result of this effort. With a total length of over 6,000 kilometers, it extends to the jiayu Pass in Gansu Province in the west and to the mouth of the Yalu River in Liaoning Province in the east. What lies north of Beijing is but a small section of it. (Karls)
The Badaling section of the Great Wall snaking along the mountains northwest of Beijing was built at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty in the 14th century. Being 7.8 meters high and 5.8 meters wide at the top on the average, it has battle forts at important points, including the corners. (Karls)
Located 10 kilometers south of the Badaling section of the Great Wall and built in an 18.5-kilometre-long valley, the pass has always been an important gateway northwest of Beijing. The name is believed to have its origin in the workers and slaves conscripted to build the Great Wall in ancient times. Cloud Terrace, built in 1345, was originally the base of a pagoda over looking the main road of the town of the pass. The arched gate of the terrace and the walls inside the arch are decorated with carvings. Of elephants, lions, birds, flower and heavenly kings as well as charms in six languages-Sanskrit, Tibetan, Phats pa (Mongolian), Uygur, West Xia and Han. (Karls)
The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall, 70 kilometers northeast of Beijing, is linked to the Gubeikou section on the east and the Badaling section on the
west. The Mutianyu section of the Great Wall is crenellated for watching and shooting at the invading enemy. Some of the battle forts on the wall are as close
as 50 meters apart. It is one of the best sections of the Great Wall. (Karls)
Located in Miyun County northeast of Beijing, the Jinshanling division of the Great Wall, like the Simatai division, belongs to the Gubeikou section of the colossal defence barrier. The battlements in the Jinshanling division of the Great Wall are built along the ridge of a mountain, where the soldiers can resist the invading enemy by taking advantage of the high terrain. (Karls)
Located to the east of Jinshanling, the Simatai division of the Great Wall is 3,000 meters long and has 35 battle forts. The wall rises and falls with the precipitous mountain ridge, while the battle forts are located high up the hills.
From the Beakon Tower alarm was raised by means of smoke signals, at night by fire. Smoke was produced by burning a mixture of wolf dung, sulfur and saltpeter. Shots were fired at the same time. Thus an alarm could be relayed ... more
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C: The Magyars
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H: Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism
Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism Amidst the chaos of political instability and constant warring of the Zhou era, arose many intellectual thinkers that brought such a profound impact in the fields of politics, religion, and philosophy. Even to this day, their influence can be seen on the many matters of China. Confucianism became the paramount school of thinking and later significant philosophies such as Daoism and Legalism gained immense recognition as well. Each party had their own proposals ...
I: Great Wall
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