The aim of this research is to examine the seemingly opposite Legalist outlook of the Qin dynasty against the philosophy of Confucianism, and determine the extent to which they have impacted the government and society of the People’s Republic of China today. It is common in Eastern cultures to blend two seemingly opposite ideas, which is partially how this mixture of Legalism and Confucianism works in the current government. The Qin dynasty employed the legalist governmental philosophy, which allowed one ruler to effectively control all of China. This set up the principle of a concentrated government over the vast Chinese land that has remained throughout the centuries. Aspects of the Qin Dynasty have become ingrained in the culture of China, as evident in their government structure and harsh punishment system, which will be further examined in this paper. Confucianism has impacted the societal makeup of the Chinese culture since the fifth century BCE. Many Chinese today identify themselves as “Confucian in public and Daoist in private.” This paper examines the effects of Confucianism more in depth on both the society and government in China today. The aim of the research is to examine how much Legalism and Confucianism have blended together to create China today.
Tompkins, Elyse, "Opposites Attract: The Fusion of Confucianism and the Qin Dynasty’s Legalism in the People’s Republic of China Today" (2011). Honors Theses. Paper 8.