Han Fei and His Legalist Philosophy

Han Fei was a legalist philosopher and essayist in the 3rd century during the Warring States Period. His legalist thought had provided important theoretical support for the rule of the later Qin dynasty, China’s first centralized state.

Han Fei was a prince of the royal family of the State of Han. He stuttered and could not present his ideas in court, which was a serious impediment. But he overcame this by developing one of the most brilliant writing styles in ancient China. Continue reading Han Fei and His Legalist Philosophy

Han Fei and His Legalist Philosophy

Han Fei was a legalist philosopher and essayist in the 3rd century during the Warring States Period. His legalist thought had provided important theoretical support for the rule of the later Qin dynasty, China’s first centralized state.

Han Fei was a prince of the royal family of the State of Han. He stuttered and could not present his ideas in court, which was a serious impediment. But he overcame this by developing one of the most brilliant writing styles in ancient China.

Han Fei saw the gradual, but constant, decline of the state of Han and tried on several occasions to persuade the king to change policies to develop the agriculture and strengthen military force. But the king proved incapable of following his advice. In despair, Han Fei put down his political thinking in essays, hoping in vain that these essays would awaken the King.
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Qin Dynasty

Having witnessed more than 2,000 years of slave society, the history of China welcomed the birth of the first consolidated, centralized, feudal empire. This dynasty was the Qin (in 221 B.C), whose significance would be recognized in the later ages.

In the States and Warring period (from 475 BC to 222 B.C), namely the end of the slave society, many small states battled with each other. Seven strong states survived, which were called the “Seven Powers”, namely, Qin, Qi, Chu, Wei, Yan, Han, and Zhao. Qin, situated in the northwestern region, carried out earlier reformations of agriculture and military affairs and flourished quickly. In the year of 247 B.C, Yinzheng was enthroned, who at the time was only 13 years old. Later, at the age of 22, Yinzheng was in control. He began to make efforts to swallow up the other six powers and consolidate China. He recruited talents, such as Zhengguo who was the spy from Zheng, whom Zhengguo Dyke was named after. This helped to turn the 40 thousand hectares of saline-alkali soil into fertile farmland. This would supply enough to influence consolidation. In less than 10 years, Yin annihilated the remaining six powers and succeeded to make out a new vast empire. As a result, the Qin Empire was established and Yin has been called the “The first Emperor”. Continue reading Qin Dynasty