10 Interesting Legalism Facts

Monday, June 9th 2014. | Culture

Legalism facts give the information about the philosophy practiced by the Warring States period. The main point of this philosophy is its emphasis on the strict obedience of the legal system.  The people at that time did not consider anything about the nature and purpose of life. Here are the surprising facts about legalism for you.

Legalism Facts 1: Han Fei

Han Fei is famous as the contributor and proponent of legalism philosophy. Based on his opinion, there are three tools that the ruler should have during the legalist era. Those are Fa, Shu and Shi.

Legalism Facts 2:Fa

Fa means law. This subject means that the ruler should consider that all people are equal before the law.  The public should know the law codes clearly. Therefore, it should be written. The people who disobey the law should be punished.

Legalism Facts

Legalism Facts

Legalism Facts 3: a weak ruler

By having the legalism philosophy in the country, the weak ruler will be strong and powerful if the law is enforced successful within the life of the society. The citizens will be afraid to disobey the law.

Legalism Facts 4: ‘Shu’

‘Shu’ is the Chinese word which means method. In the legalism, the ruler should know the tactics, strategies or secret to control the state so that it will never be taken by other people.

Legalism Figure

Legalism Figure

Legalism Facts 5: ‘Shi’

‘Shi’ means ‘legitimacy’. It talks about the position of the ruler before. The power is not held by the ruler.

Legalism Facts 6: legalism and Confucian

Some people believe the legalism and Confucianism can be seen as a mix in the government. There are many legalist ideas influenced with the mainstreams of Confucian ideas. Check Confucianism facts in detail.

Legalism in China

Legalism in China

Legalism Facts 7: imperial China

Imperial China is depicted by Qin Hui as the government with the legalist inside, but Confucian outside. The harsh and strict legalist was sugarcoated by the Confucian values.

Legalism Facts 8: revival of Legalism

The revival of Legalism occurred in Sui Dynasty. The ruler had the effort to reunify China at that time. The punishment had been decreased by the Tang government even though legalism was a part of the system.

Legalism Pic

Legalism Pic

Legalism Facts 9: Xun Zi

Xun Zi is considered as one of the prominent Confucian thinkers who spread the legalist ideas. His two disciples, Hand Fei and Li Si were legalist.

Legalism Facts 10: Warring States Period

Warring States Period was depicted with chaotic condition where the warlords tries to posses the land and make their own kingdom. Therefore, legalism was considered as the best way to solve the chaotic life.



There are three persons during the Warring States Period who made sure that the legalism philosophy was maintained by the government. Those were Shang Yang, Han Feizi and Li Si. Are you interested reading facts about Legalism?

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