dà yī tǒng 大一统
This concept places importance on the unity of national ideology and law. It was put forward by Dong Zhongshu (179-104 BC) as an underlying theme of The Spring and Autumn Annals. In his view, the state needs a uniform legal system, but to achieve such unity, different schools of thought must be unified first. Without a unified ideology, people will not know which one to follow. Dong believed that Confucianism should be the one and only governing ideology for a nation. In his opinion, the unity of law and ideology should be an enduring principle.
The notion of “great unity” which underlies The Spring and Autumn Annals is the constant norm applicable equally to past and present. Nowadays, teachers have different doctrines and people have different opinions. Scholars have different theories and do not have a shared philosophy. That is why the ruler is unable to enforce uniform standards. When there are frequent changes to laws and decrees, the subjects do not know by what they should abide. In my humble opinion, everything that does not belong to the six arts and Confucianism should be banned and not be allowed to develop. Prohibiting unorthodox doctrines: this is the way to unify the rules of government, bring clarity to laws and regulations and make people know what they should follow. (The History of the Han Dynasty)