Compare Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism in a short summary.

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Confucianism, Daoism, and Legalism all emerged in China during the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.), a time of feudalism when today's China existed as seven different states that were often in conflict with each other. Of the three philosophies, Confucianism and Legalism were both heavily tied into leadership and government and differed vastly in what they considered effective leadership.

Confucianism was based on a moral responsibility to filial piety and a respect for one's elders, rules, and traditions. It upheld the belief that to rule well, one had to set a positive examples for one's subjects or inferiors. This meant being kind, fair, and merciful. According to Confucianism, people are generally good, and being good and wise will beget goodness and wisdom. This philosophy was also very much concerned with education and learning, believing that in order to be a good leader, one had to be a well-rounded thinker.

Legalism, on the other hand, was a harsh philosophy, believing that...

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