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HISTORY
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What contributions did Confucius make to the cultural development of China?

Confucius lived during the Warring States period from 551 to 479 BCE. This was a time in which China was disordered and did not have a central leader. His belief (that the key to a successful society was to have relationships founded on honesty and respect) had a huge impact after his death, particularly during the Han dynasty, on the unification and legitimisation of Chinese government by emphasising meritocracy as well as respect for those in positions of power. A core example of this is the shift from a nepotistic way of appointing officials to the results-oriented system based on the civil service exam. Confucianism also highlighted the importance of humaneness and education, as well as the necessity of moral, intellectual and spiritual growth. His teachings were collected in The Analects by his followers.

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Nicoleen Wong
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