Combination of Confucianism and Legalism as the basis of Сhina’s socio-economic development

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Research Fellow, Institute of Oriental Studies RAS; Associate Professor, Department of Language Training, Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation
Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences
Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Affiliation: Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow
Journal nameAsia and Africa Today
EditionIssue 9

This article analyses the interaction and combination of the fundamental doctrines of Chinese civilization – Confucianism and Legalism. Their role and importance in the process of China’s economic and social development are studied.

The appearance of different philosophical teachings during the Spring and Autumn (722-481 BC) and Warring States (V c. - 221 BC) periods has given the ground for further growth and prosperity of Chinese Civilization. During these times there has been a process of formation of private ownership on land, the development of private crafts, trade, and the growth of cities. The inhabitants of the Middle Kingdom were gradually moving away from family and patronymic ties, becoming more and more independent. The State, trying to strengthen its power, turned to the wise philosophers who were expected to help with the introduction of new policies and rules.

Confucianism inclined that the society is governed by the complex of rituals and traditions and submits to the will of Heaven. Whilst in the legalist concept, the law is the basis of the State and is used as a main instrument of governance, rituals and traditions do not have great power. If from the very beginning of their existence doctrines were opposed to each other, then during the Han dynasty (206-220 BC) there has been developed a synthesis of Confucianism and Legalism.

This synthesis organically combines the Confucianist structuring of the society and Legalist approach to its regulation and management. Authors have developed a diagram of the hierarchy of relations in the Chinese society, taking into account both Confucian and Legalistic principles of government. The article concludes by emphasizing the role of both doctrines in the maintaining of China’s socio-political and economic stability.

KeywordsConfucianism, Legalism, China’s socio-economic development
Publication date28.09.2020
Number of characters12822
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