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Confucianism

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Confucianism was incredibly useful to East Asian rulers, as it provided an ideology that in many ways worked in their favor. Not only did it provide social stability, but it also created loyalty through education. The prevalence of these notions can be most clearly seen in China, Korea, and Japan. In China, a meritocracy was created, forever changing social restrictions and slowly dissolving the aristocracy. In Korea, although the aristocracy was still kept intact, a meritocracy within the upper, yangban¸class was formed. In Japan, although a meritocracy didn’t develop like that of China, the education system cemented loyalty among the upper classes. Confucian ideology became extremely popular throughout all three cultures and dominated the way all tiers of society functioned, beginning with the rulers at the top with concepts of educated officials and legitimacy of rule through the Mandate of Heaven.
The ideology was especially beneficial to rulers as it created an educated government where loyalty and goodness were of great importance. As Confucianism placed great stress on education, the value of education suddenly skyrocketed within East Asia. This was due to the belief that education was the “only true assurance of virtuous behavior.” Mencius, in fact, argued that people are born naturally good, but in order to maintain their virtuosity, they need education, therefore education becomes a reinstatement of goodness within a person. Not only that, but Confucianism also taught loyalty and obedience to be cardinal principles, along with filial piety and fraternity. However, loyalty and obedience were of key importance to rulers as they were necessary components to hold power. Furthermore, the Mandate of Heaven was also ...

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... send their children to the University. In Japan, education alone was the most beneficial Confucian value, as it taught both loyalty and obedience to the often violent culture of aristocrats.
In conclusion, both the value of education and the Mandate of Heaven were significantly beneficial to most East Asian rulers. Education provided social stability and loyalty, not to mention the obvious benefits of having an educated bureaucracy. The Mandate of Heaven, although not useful in Japan, proved to be of key value to both Chinese and Korean rulers as it validated their legitimacy to rule. Confucianism affected all tiers of society. It is arguably the most successful school of thought in the world as nations even today are profoundly influenced it. However, the most beneficial concepts to premodern East Asian rulers were the value of education and the Mandate of Heaven.
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