Confucianism, also known as Ruism, is a system of philosophical and "ethical-sociopolitical teachings" sometimes described as a religion. Confucianism developed during the Spring and Autumn Period from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius (551–479 BCE), who considered himself a retransmitter of Zhou values. Its metaphysical and cosmological elements developed in the Han Dynasty following the replacement of its contemporary, the more Taoistic Huang-Lao, as the official ideology. More privately, Chinese emperors would still make use of the historical Realpolitik of the Chinese, termed Legalism. The disintegration of the Han in the second century CE opened the way for the soteriological doctrines of Buddhism and Taoism to dominate intellectual life at that time.
A Confucian revival began during the Tang dynasty of 618-907. In the late Tang, Confucianism developed in response to Buddhism and Taoism and was reformulated as Neo-Confucianism. This reinvigorated form was adopted as the basis of the imperial exams and the core philosophy of the scholar official class in the Song dynasty (960-1297). The abolition of the examination system in 1905 marked the end of official Confucianism. The New Culture intellectuals of the early twentieth century blamed Confucianism for China's weaknesses. They searched for new doctrines to replace Confucian teachings; some of these new ideologies include the "Three Principles of the People" with the establishment of the Repu . . . more