Divine Right Monarchies

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  • Topic: Mandate of Heaven, Monarchy, Divine right of kings
  • Pages : 2 (813 words )
  • Download(s) : 218
  • Published : May 13, 2006
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Through out World History, many similarities and differences arise. For example, many of the early civilizations had continuities, such as social and state organization, as well as agriculture. Another example is the differences in civil life based on environmental conditions. However, when thinking of these continuities and changes, one of the most prominent set of subjects is the Chinese Mandate of Heaven and the European Divine Right Monarchies. The Chinese Mandate of Heaven and the Divine Right Monarchies are similar in that they both revolve around a government led by a divine ruler, but differed in that the Chinese Mandate of Heaven was held as a standard of behavior, as well.

When comparing Divine Right Monarchies and the Chinese Mandate of Heaven, there are many similarities. First of all, both types of rule were used to overthrow the old means, ushering in a new, more religion-based and powerful rule, as well as a justification for the usurpation. In Ancient China, when the Shang Dynasty was overthrown, a new system of government was needed. In an effort to assure the peoples of China that he was the right ruler for them, Ji Chang decreed that he was declared by Heaven as the ruler of the lands, and a "Son of Heaven" (http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/GLOSSARY/TIENMING.HTM). He then set up a regime consisting of emperor worship, a concept which lasted for many dynasties. In Europe, the concept of the Divine Right of Kings originated, again as justification for rule, in the Absolutist monarchies of portions of Europe, specifically Eastern Europe, as opposed to the Constitutional monarchies used in Western Europe (http://www.thenagain.info/WebChron/Glossary/AbsMonarch.html). This idea originated in the French ruler, Henry VI, and was expanded upon and implemented by Cardinal Richelieu, who sought "to make the royal power supreme in France and France supreme in Europe"(Sullivan 422). In doing so, they created a tightly centralized government, with...
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