The Mandate of Heaven and it's relation to history and nature. "I've seen people howling from hunger and tearing their hair out when they had the strength. After a flood eight years ago, I saw human flesh sold in a market. I've gone into villages where whole families committed suicide..." (Bosse 227), the sallow-faced little man Chen and Hong met at the town of Gaoyou says. This is an example of disruption in the mandate of heaven and how big of an impact it can take of those who live in Ming Dynasty China. The mandate of heaven applied to all of those who lived in Ming Dynasty China, playing an absolutely important role in how the government ran. If the mandate was troubled, the gods would respond with natural disasters, such as the locust and flood famines, or peasant rebellions. In the Ming Dynasty, the mandate of heaven was one the most vital things to keep established because the mandate solidifies the government system by being supported by the gods, however the mandate also weakens the system by opening a gateway for peasant rebellions and natural disasters. The mandate of heaven plays an important role in the Ming Dynasty and contributes greatly towards natural disasters and peasant uprisings. The mandate strengthens the governmental system although it also weakens the system. "The ruler held a celestial license to rule as long as he ruled well, but if, through indifference or corruption, he failed to honor the covenant, someone would come along and overthrow him in the name of the people" (Bosse 282). This quote is telling us that the mandate, who is supported by the gods, will reward the ruler "If no effort had been made to do wrong, wrong was not done to nature, nor was celestial harmony was disturbed." (283). However, if the ruler failed to respect the promise, there would be a rebellion in the future. For example, when Hong goes to get a message for the White Lotus, a rebellion society against the government, "...he was there, nearly close...
Cited: Bentley, Jerry H., Herbert F. Ziegler, and Heather Streets-Salter. Traditions & encounters: A brief global history. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Bosse, Malcolm J. The examination. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1994.
Yonglin, Jiang. "Ming Dynasty." Encyclopedia of Modern Asia. Ed. Karen Christensen and David Levinson. Vol. 4. New York: Charles Scribner 's Sons, 2002. 151-154. World History in Context. Web. 28 Feb. 2014.
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