Monday, July 4, 2016

463. Confucian Virtue and the Founding of the United States

Today, we celebrate American Independence Day.  We think of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation. 

In celebrating the National Day, I feel that the Americans should thank Confucianism. Why so? Confucian moral philosophy had influenced the founders when unfolding the blueprint of this nation. 

        As the main designers of the new nation, the founders knew that it took more than a perfect plan of government to preserve liberty. They needed some moral principles accepted by the people to encourage them to obey laws voluntarily. They recognized that a free government should be supported by people who could act morally without compulsion, and would not willfully violate the rights of others. Benjamin Franklin firmly believed that "Laws without morals are in vain."Cultivating new virtues for the fledgling United States therefore became one of the most significant themes during this time of social and political transformation. With this notion in mind, the founders turned to Confucian moral philosophy. 

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