The Mandate of Heaven • The right to rule is granted by Heaven. • It is based on the virtue of the ruler i.e. while they rule justly, fairly, & wisely. • The right to rule is not limited to one dynasty. • Justifies rebellion as long as the rebellion is successful.
Dynastic Cycle The New Dynasty Claims the Mandate of Heaven Restores peace & order Appoints loyal officials Redistributes land to peasants Builds & repairs infrastructure Problems Floods, famine, earthquakes Invasions, peasant revolts Armed bandits The Aging Dynasty Neglects duties Ignores corruption Imposes heavy taxes to pay for luxuries Allows infrastructure to decay The Old Dynasty loses the Mandate of Heaven
Ruling Families • Shang Dynasty 1766-1046 BC • Zhou Dynasty 1122-256 BC • Qin Dynasty 221-206 BC • Han Dynasty 206 BC-220 AD • Tang Dynasty 618-907 AD • Song Dynasty 969-1279 AD • Yuan Dynasty 1279-1368 AD • Ming Dynasty 1368-1644 AD
The Shang Dynasty The first ruling family in China 1766-1046BC
Religion • Believed nature was controlled by gods & spirits. • King & priests made daily offerings to the gods. • King could call on his ancestors to help influence the gods. • This leads to the practice of ancestor worship.
Achievements • Writing system- 1 of 4 independently developed • pictogram system with 60,000 characters • Bronze- weapons, armor, & ceremonial vessels • Yoke, harness, spoked wheel, horse drawn chariots • Decimal system, first money systems
Downfall • The last Shang kings known as cruel & corrupt tyrants • Built luxurious palaces & led a life of decadence • The Zhou overthrew the last Shang king • Mandate of Heaven created to explain the takeover