In Chinese history, legalism (Chinese: 法家; pinyin Fǎjiā) was one of the four most important philosophical schools of the Spring and Autumn periods and the Warring States period (towards the end of the Zhou dynasty from the sixth century BC to about the third century BC). It is in fact more of a pragmatic political philosophy with maxims such as “As times have changed, paths have changed” as an essential principle, than jurisprudence. In this context, “legalism” here may have the meaning of “political philosophy that defends the rule of law” and thus differ from the Western meaning of the word. Hanfeizi believed that a ruler should govern his subjects through the following trinity: Nowadays, [the ruler] relies on many officials and many officials; To monitor them, he set up assistants and superiors. Assistants are installed and supervisors are set up to prohibit [staff] from making [personal] gains; But assistants and superiors also aspire to profit, so how can they forbid each other? (Shang jun shu 24:133; Lord Shang Book 24.2) Legalism was the idea of the central government of the Qin Dynasty, culminating in the unification of China under the “First Emperor” (Qin Shi Huang). He is the master in the 2002 film Hero and several other films. Most Chinese philosophers and political thinkers had very negative views about legalism and blamed it for what would now be considered a totalitarian society. Many Chinese scholars believe it was a backlash against legalism that gave Chinese imperial policy its personalist and moralistic flavor instead of emphasizing the rule of law. However, this view of the Qin may be biased, as most Chinese historical documents were written by Confucian scholars who were persecuted among the Qin. Han Fei saw Xing-Ming as an essential part of autocracy and said, “In the way of accepting unity, names are of primary importance. When the names are put in order, things are settled; If they go wrong, things are not corrected.  He points out that this system, originally developed by Shen Buhai, allowed for the development of uniformity of language, functions could be strictly defined to prevent conflict and corruption, and that objective rules (Fa) could be established that were impervious to dissenting interpretations judged solely on their effectiveness.
 By reducing the options to one, the discussion of “the right way to govern” could be eliminated. Whatever the situation (Shih) brings, this is the right Dao. : 367, 370–372 The most influential and famous believer and practitioner of legalism was Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor in China`s history to defeat other kingdoms and unite the Middle Kingdom of China, founded the Qin Dynasty (221 BC – 207 BC) and ordered the construction of the Great Wall and the terracotta warriors. Li Shanchang (1314-1390), founding prime minister of the Ming dynasty, studied Chinese legalism. Li is said to have been the closest comrade of the Hongwu Emperor during the war and made the greatest contribution to his final victory and thus to the founding of the Ming Dynasty.  The emperor trusted him deeply, Hongwu consulted Li on institutional matters.  Li planned the organization of the “six ministries” and participated in the drafting of a new law code. He established salt and tea monopolies based on yuan institutions, eliminated corruption, restored currency, opened iron foundries, and introduced taxes on fish. It is said that the incomes were sufficient, but the people were not oppressed.  Most of his other activities appear to have supported the Hongwu Emperor`s firm control over his regime.
Primarily responsible for detecting disloyalty and factionalism among military officers, he used a system of reward and punishment reminiscent of the Han Feizi, and perhaps had some sort of secret police at his service. Sometimes he was responsible for all civil and military officials in Nanjing.   Talent cannot be demonstrated without power.  Shen Dao said, “The flying dragon rides on the clouds, and the rising serpent wanders in the fog. But when the clouds dissipate and the mists dissipate, the dragon and the serpent become like the earthworm and the great winged black ant, because they have lost what they ride.  Leadership is not a function of ability or merit, but is given through a process, such as the gift of a leader to a group.  “The ruler of a state is enthroned for the sake of the state; The state is not founded for the prince.