As Wang Yuankang mentions in his book, Harmony and War, “Although the emperor…… held the ultimate decision power, as historian Charled O. Hucker observes, ‘the civil service dominated government to an unprecedented degree.’” There was a tight relationship between the civil service and the military force. At one point, the civil service was strong and powerful enough to control the military in Ming. The officials of the civil service were selected by civil service examinations system based on Confucianism. Emperor Hongwu recognized the value and great influence of Confucianism in Ming governance, “in 1369, he ordered the establishment of Confucian schools in every prefecture and country.” Also, “in 1381, the Ming court engaged in mass production of Confucian classics (the Four Books and the Five Classics) and distributed them to every county school in the country to be used for preparation for the civil service exams.” The civil service examinations took place triennially, and all of the questions were from the Confucian classics, The Four Books, The Five Classics, and Chinese
The Han rulers used a system of choosing government officials on the basis of merit by introducing a primitive examination and recommendation system. By the first century B.C. the government employed more than 130,000 bureaucrats, or one for every 400 to 500 people in the empire. Although the examinations were theoretically open to all Chinese except merchants, the bureaucrats were drawn largely from the property-owner class, because affluence was needed to obtain the education to pass the examination. Consequently, the division of Chinese society transformed into a separation between landowner-bureaucrats and peasants. This system for officials influenced Chinese civilization for 2000 years. Students were expected to learn the teachings of Confucius, as well as Chinese history and law. By creating a group of well-trained
Two influential and focal points in ancient Chinese history, the Qin and Han dynasties together spanned from the 2nd century BCE to the 3rd century CE, both of which utilised comparable philosophies in order to establish control and continuity in a centralised empire. With the Qin dynasty adopting Legalism and the Han dynasty using a combination of Confucianism and Legalism, the two dynasties’ bureaucratic governing systems, while similar in nature, achieved varying levels of success.
First, the Han Dynasty was more important to the development of China because it created the idea of a Civil Service Exam. The Han Dynasty readopted the idea of having families rulers after the Qin Dynasty strayed from the tradition; however, they kept the idea of bureaucrats from the Qin Dynasty. They used appointed government officials to oversee the day-to-day work of their government. This lead them to implement the Civil Service Exam. The exam was meant to help chose the bureaucrats for the government. It was a test centered around the ideas of Confucius and how to apply them to everyday life. By making this a normal part of Chinese society, the Han Dynasty was able to extend government official job opportunities to people of all social classes. In addition, because the exam gave these opportunities to all people, all people put more emphasis on
In ancient China, many different rulers tried to unify and rule the country using a variety of methods – Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism to name a few. Each philosophy had its own set of rules of how people should act both in public and privately. The overall goal of each philosophy was to set a standard of acceptable living that would ensure harmony and success for the society. However, each was different and thus had different results. The best way for the people of China to succeed in a harmonious, respectable society occurred when both Confucianism and Legalism were combined.
3. Evidence – (China) These people were elite members of society. To become involved in politics or to be any leader, a person had to take a test of intelligence, based off Confucian teachings and beliefs. (India) In society, Brahmins (priests) were held in the highest regard. Whatever caste a person was born into, that is where the person stayed, and that’s what determined the person’s importance.
The Han Dynasty controlled their empire through Confucianism. One of the emperor’s, Han Wudi, established an Imperial University. Confucianism was the official course of study. If you wanted to become part of the government you had to have “graduated” from the University. Any person from an social
Much like the social acts, men had much more power and freedom over everyone in society, especially women. For example, because women were forced to stay home at all times, they could not get a proper education (Kathy). This evidently lead to low literacy rates among females; and thus inhibiting them from many opportunities, such as becoming a government official. Consequently, due to a lack of education and low literacy rates, women could not take the civil service exam; even if they had the chance to take the test, they would not be capable of passing. The civil service exam was a “competitive examination” used to select members for government jobs in order to instill stability in the empire ("Chinese civil service"). Because women of Chinese society were not given the right to have an education or take any exams, having a job outside the home was nearly impossible. All in all, because women were prohibited from receiving an education they could not have an active role in governmental or political affairs. Thus adding to the Chinese beliefs that women must be dependent on and inferior to
The Han Dynasty was ruled from both emperors as a centralized bureaucracy that focused on administration and imperial expansion. This aided the Han Dynasty to expand and thereby prosper to be one of the greatest ruling empires of all time. India also share some of these values as during the Mauryan Dynasty, Chandragupta Maurya ruled a centralised and unified government. He ran a bureaucratic administrative system which enabled them to implement policies throughout the state, much like the Han.
F: The class that came to dominate Chinese government was the scholar-gentry class of land owning honorable elites. They gained power by being educated and gaining government positions because the public service exams were very challenging and only the rich had time to study. The poor never had time to study, so they would usually never pass because it was a hard
Furthermore, the Marxist revolutionary government of Communist China dealt with Confucianism negatively. “In the early 20th century, both before and after the fall of the Qing dynasty, Confucianism was harshly criticized by the New Culture Movement. (Adler 6)” The assumption of this movement was that “virtually everything about China’s traditional culture was holding it back from becoming a modern nation-state.” In fact, Confucianism was high on the list of culprits in this “blanket rejection” of traditional China. “The New Culture Movement criticized Confucianism for its age and gender-based hierarchies, which had become quite rigid during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Communist thinkers also joined this anti-Confucian trend, so by the time of the Communist victory in 1949 Confucianism in mainland China seemed virtually dead. (Adler 7)” “After the Communists took power their anti-Confucian rhetoric only increased. In addition to their professed opposition to social hierarchies, they viewed Confucianism as a feudal ideology. (Adler 8)”
China has been in a state of revolution and reform since the Sino-Japanese war of 1895. As a result of Japan’s victory over Russia in 1905, China’s constitutional reform movement gathered momentum. This forced the Manchu government by public opinion to make gestures of preparation for a constitutional government, an act to which reformers in exile responded enthusiastically by establishing a Political Participation Society (Cheng-wen-she) (1, pg.84).
The origins of tea are rooted in China (Food Timeline). According to legend, the beneficial properties of tea were first discovered by the Emperor Shen Nung in the year 2737 B.C. He drank only boiled water for hygienic purposes, and one day while he drank a breeze rustled the branches of a tree and a few leaves fell into his cup. Creating the first cup of tea. It is challenging to know whether or not the emperor was real or just a part of the spiritual and cultural development of ancient China. China was not unified as an empire until the third century, so it is unlikely emperors existed back then. One thing that is known is that tea was popular in China thousands of years ago. The first written reference of tea is in the third century B.C. A famous surgeon recommended the beverage to patients to increase concentration and alertness. Tea was first written as “tu” in ancient texts. This caused a good deal of confusion because the same Chinese character was used for both tea and Chinese sow thistles. Between 206 B.C. and A.D. 220 a Han Dynasty emperor ruled that when referring to tea, the characters should be pronounced as “cha”. From here on, tracing tea’s history became easier because tea acquired its own individual character (Food Timeline).
The chapter also extends on to Confucius learning among the populace and its usage by the government, Confucian learning and its relevance to China’s modernization program, and connections between Confucian teachings and democracy. Essentially, the author’s purpose for chapter 1 is to establish an understanding on the importance of Confucian learning undergoing transformations and adapted to modern times.