How China Should Be Governed Essay

How China Should Be Governed Essay

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“The new policies set out to once again foster a more proactive state… to ameliorate problems and to foster positive goals, foster positive goods for the people” (Packet 40). During eleventh century China, two political thinkers both studied Confucianism, but derived different perspectives on how Song China should be governed. Wang Anshi believed that there should be a strong central government, which involved itself in the issues of its society. He wanted to reform the existing government and implement systems to help the peasant people. On the contrary, Sima Gaung wanted a limited central government with local systems to tend to the society because the local rulers would be well-acquainted with the local issues. Based on the state of the Southern Song Dynasty in the 1000s, Wang Anshi’s reformist and centralized government would be most effective during that time period. Although Sima Guang makes a valid point about the personalization of local government, Wang Anshi’s idea of a centralized government is superior because it addressed China’s need for a larger entity to encompass all of China’s regions as one.
Wang Anshi became the chief minister of Song China in the mid-1000s, after climbing the political ladder and studying the works of Confucius throughout his lifetime. During his time as chief minister, he wanted to make many reforms to the government in order to solve many of China’s issues at the time. In order to do this, he wanted to make education more accessible to men of all classes, loan farmers with small amounts of money so that they did not become dependent on the help of the wealthy landowners, and enforce a graduated tax. The government would also put in place a leveling system in which the government bought “the...


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In order to maintain and improve the Song China Dynasty, reform and a centralized government outlined by Wang Anshi would fit best. Both Wang Anshi and Sima Guang spent their lives’ studying Confucianism during the 1100s, and each derived his own idea of what the Song dynasty should consist of. Anshi’s ideas of a strong centralized government and constant reform to improve China drastically differed from Sima’s desire for a minimal central government and conservatism. Because of the lack of centralization and modernization in Song China, the philosophies of Wang Anshi would best fit the Song Dynasty during the eleventh-century. Although Sima Guang makes a valid point about the personalization of local government, Wang Anshi’s idea of a centralized government is superior because it addressed China’s need for a larger entity to encompass all of China’s regions as one.

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