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Mandate of Heaven Essay

  • Submitted by: anonymous
  • on September 20, 2012
  • Category: History
  • Length: 694 words

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Below is an essay on "Mandate of Heaven" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

1. The Mandate of Heaven is inherited from virtuous king to virtuous son, but if at any time a descendant does not follow the example of his ancestors, he will lose the Mandate (“Human Record” P. 33, ll. 12 - P. 34, ll. 6). According to king Wu, Heaven granted authority and legitimacy to a ruler as long as he looked out for the welfare of his subjects, if he did not do this and he ignored the warning signs of flood, famine, invasion, or other disasters, Heaven could withdraw this “Mandate” and transfer it to another, more worthy ruler and family (“Earth and Its Peoples” P. 53, ll. 9-15). According to Yi Yin, if a ruler becomes addicted to the fashions of sorcerers, extravagance, or disorder the state will come to ruin (“Human Record” P. 34, ll. 34-38).
2. If a ruler loses his “Mandate”, great Heaven will send down calamities and employ a new agent who is in possession of its favoring appointment (“Human Record” P. 34, ll. 6-7). In most cases this means that Heaven will send in an army led by the new holder of the “Mandate” to overthrow the current ruler and take his place upon the throne.
3. Yi Yin would not like the fact that modern politicians often promise “innovative answers to the challenges of tomorrow.” Yi Yin thought that rulers should follow the examples of good past leaders and conform to the wisdom of the ancients (“Human Record” P. 34, ll. 5-6 & 23-24). Yi Yin would also dislike modern politicians attempts to appear youthful. In Yi Yin’s eyes the aged and virtuous were to be the idols of society and deeply respected. It was the elders company that a ruler should seek because they could provide wise advice. A ruler who attempted to appear youthful was attempting to appear inexperienced and uneducated. Yi Yin would not advise public policy be made based on the opinion polls of the common people but they would be a good indicator as to whether or not the king was displaying enough sagely prowess and gentleness to gain the hearts of the masses (“Human...

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