This is the most important concept to master in order to understand the dynasties of China. The Chou Dynasty augmented this concept to help justify their ousting of the Shang Dynasty.
The Mandate of Heaven is based on four principles:
- The right to rule is granted by Heaven.
- There is only one Heaven therefore there can be only one ruler.
- The right to rule is based on the virtue of the ruler.
- The right to rule is not limited to one dynasty.
What are the positive and negatives sides to the Mandate of Heaven for a dynasty?
- It gives the ruler prestige and religious importance.
- It gives the ruler supreme power.
- It allows a new ruler to gain power quickly because everyone believes he has the 'Mandate of Heaven'.
- The rulers power must be kept in check by virtue.
- It justifies rebellion as long as the rebellion is successful.
For more information, visit the following website: Mandate of Heaven