Mandate of Heaven

The Chinese gavernment revolved around the Mandate of Heaven, which lasted until the early years of the twentieth century.When the government and the environment were in good conndition, it was believed that the present dynasty was favored by god.If the government and environment were doing poorly, it meant that god was not pleased with the present emperor, and he was showing his unapproval by creating disasters such as flooding, droughts, and peasant riots.With these signs, the nobles would overthrow the dynasty causing this rage.
The dynastic cycle, as historians call it today, consisted of six basic steps that included the rise and fall of a dynasty.First, the new dynasty would gain power, hurridly restore peace in China, and then step foward to claim the Mandate of Heaven.Next, they would continue to maintain wealth and good citizens, and the citizens would believe that they did have the Mandate of Heaven.In due time, however, the dynasty would weaken, forcing the emporer to raise the taxes.Soon after that, be it coincidence or not, the land would encounter a serious flood, drought, or peasant uprising.The people of China would realize that the present dynasty no longer had the Mandate of Heaven, and they would plan a rebellion.Finally, they would overthrow the dynasty, and sometimes kill the emporer and his family.Following this horrific event, a new family of nobles would come forth claiming the Mandate of Heaven.
An example of the dynastic cycle is seen in from the Qin Dynasty, to the Han Dynasty, to the Six Dynasties.The Han Dynasty rose after the rebellions of the Qin.Then Wu Ti, who was emporer at the time, brought new economic policies, built canals, established graineries for surplus grain, increased taxes on merchants, and created government monopolies on salt, copper coins, iron, and liquor.Everything was going well, but good things don’t last forever, as you will soon see.


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