Confucianism is a philosophy that was developed by Confucius (551-479 B.C.). The central idea of Confucius’ teachings was that man should follow the laws of nature, or li (principles), in order to live in harmony with himself and others. In addition, Confucius believed that people should be taught self-discipline through studying ethics and learning music and poetry.
Confucius also believed that individuals should be taught how to live in harmony with others so that they can work together for the common good. He emphasized strong family ties as well as loyalty to one’s superiors within an organization or government office.
In Chinese history, there have been many periods when Confucianism has dominated Chinese culture; however, it was never banned outright by any government because it played an important role in shaping Chinese society.
Confucianism influenced the development of many other philosophies throughout Chinese history as well as Western thought. Today, it remains important in shaping academic study within China but has little influence over politics or everyday life in most parts of the country.
The impact of Confucianism can be seen clearly in many areas including politics, education, family life, in the social structure of China’s past and present societies.
Confucianism influenced China’s government administration system by promoting meritocracy: the idea that competent persons should be promoted based on their skills rather than birthright or wealth.