Mandate of Heaven The Zhou Dynasty

Made by Sam Yeager and Christian Meyer

What is it?

By definition, mandate of heaven means a political theory of ancient China in which those in power were given the right to rule from a divine source. It was in the Five Dynasties period (960s-970s).

What Happened?

As it originally started out, The Shang Dynasty, which had many major accomplishments, including the point in which 31 Kings ruled over an extended period of 17 generations. And during that period, the people of the Shang Dynasty were able to enjoy a period of peace and tranquility in which citizens could make a good living. But as time went on, the rulers abuse led to unrest and instability. The corruption in this dynasty created the conditions necessary for a new ruling house to rise. It became the Zhou dynasty. Rebellion against the Shang was led by Zhou Wu. They were told to be the new ruler because of the will of heaven. They believed that the Shang ruling house had become morally corrupt, and that the Shang leaders' loss of virtue entitled their own house to take over. The overthrowal of the Shang Dynasty, they said, was in accord with the mandate given by Heaven.