Sample History Essay on Confucius

Confucius

Confucius was born in the Chinese state of Lu in the year 551 BC (Kaizuka et al., 12). He based his philosophies on good morals that give inner peace to every individual. The Chinese people commonly referred to him as Master Kong (Kaizuka et al. 13). According to historical records and data in China, Confucius was born in an illicit marriage between an aged father and a very young mother who was still in her teens (Kaizuka et al. 12). Confucius was raised in paucity by the mother due to the death of his father when he was only three years old. The family of Confucius was linked to the social growing class of Shi (Hoobler et al. 22). People in this class had to use extra effort and hard work in climbing up the social ladder. At the tender age of 19 he to a girl called Qi Quan and they were blessed with three children (Kaizuka et al. 17). His relationship with his family was not cordial

He began his industrious career as a shepherd, clerk, and book-keeper (Hoobler et al. 27). According to history, Confucius was very dedicated to his work regardless of the benefits he got. He lost his mother at the age of 23 and that really hurt him and made him to go into depression for 3 years while he was mourning his mother (Hoobler et al. 30). At the age of 32, he began teaching a son to a minister in China the ancient customs of that land (Hoobler et al., 31). At the age of 33, Confucius headed to Lo-yang for purposes of studies (Yao et al. 42). While in Lo-yang, Confucius learned more about the ways of life of the Chou Empire. After completing those studies, he fled with the prince into the neighboring state as the Prince of Lu was threatened by fierce political rivals (Yao et al., 44). While in exile with the Prince, he mastered music as an art and was so attached to it to the point that he forgot the vital necessities like eating and even showering. After a while in exile, he returned to Lu to continue with his studies (Yao et al. 45).

Confucius was not personally and directly involved in politics until the age of fifty (Rainey et al. 56). His first appointment was as minister of Public works by the Duke Ding who was in charge of the State of Lu (Rainey et al. 57). He later became the minister of Crime but was forced out of that position due to his conflicting ideas with the Duke (Rainey et al. 57).He took his leave after being forced out of office and travelled with his followers to the neighboring States of Chen Chu, and Song (Rainey et al. 58). During his visit, Confucius sought favors to be appointed into the ministries in those States but was not successful in his quest. He later on returned to Lu where he focused all his efforts into teaching (Rainey et al. 58). Many government offers came his way for appointment but he rejected all of them in favor of teaching. Confucius died at the age of 72 in the year 479 BC (Rainey et al. 110).

Confucianism

Confucianism is a set of moral opinions that were obtained from the dynamic lessons of the great Confucius (Covell et al. 66). The set of ethical beliefs mainly dwell on the moral feats like good manners, treating everyone in a kind manner and good family relations. Humanism is the central feature of Confucianism, which mainly stress on the right morals to have and the roles that good leaders should undertake (Covell et al. 67). According to these ethical beliefs, rulers and teachers are the most vital models in the entire society. It stresses how good governance should be by virtues of moral example rather than brutal force (Covell et al. 70). The ethical beliefs stressed the importance of the traditional Chinese values to the moral empowerment of the people.

Influence of Confucianism in the past

Confucianism set of ethics led to the government using the humanitarian rule and virtuous governing. The teachings from the set of beliefs by Confucius held that leaders should lead by example for there to be good leadership (Hoobler et al. 114). This made the government reform its brutal way of ruling and turn to the humanitarian rule where the citizens felt that they were being treated well by the government. The use of brutal force by the government for people who broke the law was abolished and they were given fair trials and a good punishment that was just accorded to them.

Confucianism made the government to use the resources of the people thatwere collected in form of taxes moderately (Kaizuka et al. 97). The set of ethics advanced by Confucianism held that it was not morally good to impose heavy taxes on the citizens and using that money for personal gains. This made the government to change its ways of collecting taxes and expenditure. Taxes imposed on the citizens of China were now friendlier and the money was in turn used for the benefit of the whole public by the government. This made everyone happy and the government became more accountable to its expenditure.

The Chinese government was forced to setup schools to teach the Confucian philosophy (Yao et al. 82). This was done so that the local people could grasp what China valued. The government of China saw the set of beliefs that were advanced by Confucianism as very vital for the moral development of the people of China (Yao et al. 83). This influenced them to set those schools all over the country so that the culture and traditions of China could continue to flourish. The government of China at that time also set schools where people aspiring to be leaders could be taught about leadership. The people were taught leadership according to the values of the set of beliefs and how they should carry out themselves. The government was taking future precautions so that Confucianism could remain long after the crop of leaders who were the pioneers died.

The Chinese government compromised and let people captured from neighboring culture to be part of the Chinese culture (Hoobler et al. 94). Confucianism majorly is centered on humanitarian deeds; this made the government observe that it would not be morally good to seclude the people captured since they were all human beings. The government also encouraged the people to intermarry with the captured people to bring unity between the different people (Hoobler et al. 95). Initially the Chinese government was opposed to this idea but after Confucius came up with the set of ethics, it compromised on its stance (Hoobler et al., 96).

The set of ethics advanced by Confucianism made the people of China to develop love for each other regardless of the different social class in the society (Covell et al. 76). Initially, there was a big rift between people of different classes in China. They never saw eye to eye due to the big hatred that existed between them. Hatred came from the benefits enjoyed at the different social classes. After Confucius came up with his thoughts, the people changed their mentality and loved each other.

The people of China started treating each other with humanity and kindness after the teachings of Confucius (Covell et al. 78). The teachings stressed the importance of treating others the way you would like to be treated. People got sense of the teachings and morals of Confucianism and followed them. Confucianism made people morally responsible than they were before. People were no longer driven by who was watching them rather they were being driven by hat is morally right and wrong to do.

Confucianism History

Han dynasty

This was the first dynasty to embrace Confucianism in China (Covell et al. 45). Until the end of imperial China, Confucianism became the ideological basis of all the regimes that came after Han dynasty (Covell et al. 47). It was during this regime that the Analects came to be known. The first Han emperor Liu Bang did not think highly of Confucianism (Covell et al. 45). As his rule went by, a Confucian teacher called Lu Gu convinced the emperor for the need of this philosophy (Covell et al. 48). He promoted Confucianism later on into the Han dynasty and encouraged the masses to follow the philosophical ideas advanced by it. Confucianism was effectively brought into place during the long reign of emperor Wu, who ruled from 141 BC to 87 BC (Covell et al. 52). Wu was a great enthusiast of Confucianism to the extent that he ordered education and examination systems to incorporate the study of Confucian texts (Covell et al. 53). People who did not want to embrace Confucianism were greatly marginalized and with time, it was practically impossible to do anything in the Han dynasty without the Confucian education (Rainey et al. 36). The Confucian education was spread to East Asia during this period of Qin dynasty through its academies and many education institutes that offered to teach it (Rainey et al. 40).

 

 

Qin dynasty

Confucianism received minimal support during the Qin dynasty, which was from 221 BC to 206 BC (Kaizuka et al. 77). The emperor at that time, known as Qin Shi Huang was frustrated by the criticisms his rule got from the Confucian scholars and educators (Kaizuka et al. 78). They constantly compared this dynasty to others and regarded this one as a failure due to the oppressive ways of the government of Qin. The emperor suggested that all official histories to be burnt excluding the memoirs of Qin. Everyone was forced to surrender all the history they had so that they could be burned (Kaizuka et al. 79). This move was made to eradicate Confucianism during the dynasty due to the persistent criticisms the government faced from the philosophies. During this period, hundreds of Confucian scholars were buried alive and the freedom of speech of the citizens was suppressed (Kaizuka et al. 82).

Tang Dynasty

During this dynasty, Buddhism was growing in popularity at an alarming rate scaring the Confucian scholars and educationists (Yao et al. 112). In the year 845, the scholars started inquisition against Buddhism using the Imperial power (Yao et al. 114). Confucianism was promoted using the book of Mencius during this period. This dynasty marked a period of friction between Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism (Yao et al. 114). Confucianism was not as serious as it was during the Han dynasty during this tang dynasty.

Influence of Confucianism on modern society

Confucianism has a concept of harmony which holds that people should live in harmony with everything around them (Hoobler et al. 145).The Chinese government is using this harmony concept in ensuring the country is driven to Confucian harmony. China government ensured that its transition to the new free market system was driven by harmony and not greed like the Soviet Union, which led to the split of the Soviet Union (Hoobler et al. 147). Confucianism makes the government to treat the citizens with a lot of care.

Confucianism has promoted collective interests and community welfare (Hoobler et al., 150). The Chinese government is looking to bridge the gap between the people of China. The government is trying to develop the third and fourth tiers cities in China to bring financial and economic fairness among the people (Hoobler et al. 150). The government in the spirit of fairness and justice ensures that it treats and ensures that the judicial system in China is fair and just and that all people who break the law are dealt with in accordance to the law.

The concept of love, which is a core principle under Confucianism, has made the people of China to be very cordial among them and also other people outside China (Hoobler et al. 153). It is very hard to get Chinese people in bad arguments that will end up in fights and wars. This concept of love has made the people of China to strengthen their relationship with people outside china boosting trade relations and many other international relations with other countries. The concept has also made China to have reliable and credible security. The people are self-disciplined and avoid doing evils like stealing and other social evils that are not morally right.

 

 

Works Cited

Covell, Ralph. Confucius, the Buddha, and Christ: A History of the Gospel in Chinese. Vol. 11. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2004.

Hoobler, Dorothy, and Thomas Hoobler. Confucianism. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 2009. Print.

Kaizuka, Shigeki. Confucius: His Life and Thought. Mineola, N.Y: Dover Publications, 2002. Print.

Rainey, Lee D. Confucius & Confucianism: The Essentials. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. Internet resource.

Yao, Xinzhong. An Introduction to Confucianism. Cambridge [u.a.: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2005. Print.