Obviously, Taoism's greatest influence has been in China. It has encouraged vegetarianism and exercise. But it has played a major role in the views on morality and behavior in China. Its texts codified the views for those. Also, their medicine practices are used all over China. Taoism's influence is found in everything from calligraphy and politics to medicine and poetry, as it is China's only indigenous religion. Chinese traditional medicine has been developed under the influence Taoist philosophy and this association of Taoist religion with medicine has been regarded as its major attraction to the people.
But what about other places? It may not seem like it, but Taoism has had a major influence on much of North America. The Star wars movies had a ground base of Taoism, and so did the movie Kung Fu Panda. Those are just two examples. Taoist influence is found all over our media in ways we would have never guessed.
Taoist architecture has affected how people live their lives all over the world. It has affected many different religions. Taoist architecture specifies special places to pray, places to sacrifice, places to worship, and places to relax. The environments where the architecture was being built soon became sacred.
Taoism Influence on History
Buddhism and Confucianism were once the main religions of China. Taoism disagreed with many of their beliefs and philosophies. For example, Buddhists thought that life was suffering, Taoism thought otherwise. They believed that life is generally happy but should be lived with balance and virtue. The two religions butted heads, they vied to become the official religion of the Imperial Court. During the Cultural Revolution, (the war in which the Chinese communist party tried to enforce communism upon everyone, and attempted to destroy cultural things, among many others), many Taoist temples were destroyed. But, by following economic reforms many have been restored and the number of Taoists have grown.