Early Imperialistic China

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Difficulty lies in pinning major influences of China’s history to one single era or dynasty; broader strokes seem necessary, with investigation into the early Imperial Period a clearer picture can be painted of how this impressive nation stood the test of time. Early Imperialistic religion and philosophy has maintained an influential role not only spiritually, but also helping to structure governing principles of the dynasties within this period; Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism have aided the people of China to navigate in and out of civil turbulence. Early political progress carried longstanding ideas such as deifying emperors and rigorous examinations for positions within the state; the evolution of a strong, tiered government and the development of Confucian practices as an influential basis of rule within society portrays the cycles of unity within the Chinese. Confucianism, regarded in its ability to structure the Chinese system of government, is centered in humanism, or the belief that human beings are teachable, capable of improvement through a strict upkeep of ethics and the enhancement of virtue. This prominent system of philosophy and ethics was developed by Kong Qiu during the Springs and Autumns periods, enduring thirteen years of traveling through the separate states carrying a message of reform to monarchs, hoping to alter the state of political and social unrest of the time. Master Kong came to the understanding that he must become a transmitter of ideas rather than a reformer and devoted himself to teaching; it would take until the Han dynasty for the Chinese to adopt his notions into governing principles (Shaunghnessy 78), however, these practices would remain evident in society and government for the Chinese for centuries to come. Towards the collapse of the Han Dynasty, the emergence Dao, meaning “way” or “path” established new practices and

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