Shang Dynasty

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The lasted approximately between 1600 BCE and 1046 BCE. Itis believed to have emanated from a revolutionary leader against XiaChina. The reign was defined by four key aspects that istechnological advancements, society, religion, and location. Itoccurred along the He River Valley. Subsequently, the flooding riversresulted in irrigation and agricultural technologies. Furthermore,the river caused the government and community to strengthen. Thewalled cities formed a profligate upper class and rulers.Modernization was supported by religion, including bones as well asworshipping of ancestors. These aspects became significant in Shangculture. The dynasty was also well advanced regarding craftsmanshipof jade, bone, ceramic, and bronze. It was also shaped by the HuangHe River that brought religion, technology, as well as intellectualprogress in the cities. As such, this paper will look to discuss theShang dynasty, indicating why they were successful and the notion ofthe mandate of heaven.

Aselucidated above, the success of the dynasty was mainly due to theavailable resources. River Huang, He led to agricultural advancementsthat propelled modernization. Religion was also boosted as the regionwas rich in craftsmanship. The availability of all these resourceseased progress making the dynasty one of the most successful inChina’s history. The realm was also known for its bronze. In fact,during the 1920s and 30s, numerous artifacts were unearthed from theremaining city. The metal was primarily related toroyalty hence, Shang kings were placed in bronze tombs. The tombshad numerous bronze objects typifying upper class. The few remainshave enabled historians and archeologists to comprehend more aboutthe Shang culture. The region was known for its highly skilledworkforce in stone, wood, bronze, shells, bone, and jade. Theirsuccess was also down to their decision to settle permanently on thefarms instead of moving around like nomads (Walløe, 2012).

Itwas under the Zhou realm that China moved from worshipping Shangdi(Celestial Lord) to the Tian (heaven) thereby creating the Mandateof Heaven. This idea implied that there could only be one genuineruler of China at any given time who rules as the “Son of Heaven.”The king would reign through the gods’ approval. When a governorwas irresponsible, the gods would stimulate their downfall. Famine,natural disasters, and overthrow implied that the leader did notpossess the Mandate of Heaven. All these were signs of lack of favorfrom the gods (Walløe, 2012).

TheMandate of Heaven was founded on four rudimentary values that is theright to be a leader was granted by Heaven, only one Heaven existedhence, only one leader could rule at any given time, the virtues ofthe leader defined whether one could rule, and the right to be aleader is not restricted to only one dynasty. The principles gave theruler religious significance as well as prestige. The leader also hasthe supreme power and could gain it quickly if he had the Mandate ofHeaven. Furthermore, the leader’s powers were constantly checked byvirtue (Walløe, 2012).

Itwas widely used in China to keep the leaders in check and offersupport to the emperor’s rule. The Mandate of Heaven was utilizedby scholars and philosophers in China to curtail the misuse of powerby the leader. As such, it gave the people the right to rebel if theleadership did not meet the required standards underlined by theMandate of Heaven (Walløe, 2012).

Inconclusion, the is regarded as one of the mostsuccessful realms in the history of China. It had plenty of resourcesand intelligent individuals who championed its success. Ancient Chinawas also popular regarding the Mandate of Heaven, where only Sons ofHeaven could rule. When famine, floods among other natural disasterscompounded the realm, the leader was forcefully overthrown. This isbecause they believed the leader had lost the Mandate of Heaven.


Walløe, A. N. (2012). The Mandate of Heaven: Why is the Chinese Communist Party Still in Control of China. 1-69.