The Zhou Dynasty was one of the long lasting dynasty present within the history of china from 1046 to 256 BCE. Zhou dynasty was followed by the Shang dynasty that ruled for the total time period of 1600-1046 BCE. The Shang dynasty was finished once the army troops of the state of Qin was captured and overtaken by the city of Chengzhou in 256 BCE. The complete history of the Zhou dynasty was divided into two time periods namely Eastern Zhou (770-256 BCE) and western Zhou (1046-771 BCE), the dynasty was further moving towards the eastern part of the country as it was considered more safe for the dynasty to settle. The Zhou dynasty were ultimately responsible for creating and giving the idea of mandate of Heaven and also suggested that there could be only one sole ruler of china in a specific time period and the ruler will be provide with the blessing and approval from the god to be the ultimate ruler.
As china was ruled by the Shang Dynasty, in 1046 BCE, the Zhou who were settled in the western part of the country conquered the Shang dynasty, when the battle of Muye took place on between the Shang Dynasty and the Zhou dynasty. The battle took place to stop the expansion of the Shang dynasty, who were majorly supported and motivated by the Chinese population as the king of the Shang dynasty was not reliable and trust worthy. Di Xin was the ultimate king or leader of the Shang dynasty and had spent all the wealth on gambling and drinking, and therefore had completely ignored the growth and expansion of the state. The Zhou dynasty took benefit of the king’s negligence and formed an external alliance or group with other regional nobles and therefore established their novel dynasty.
Fenghao was the capital of the novel dynasty that was formed with the foreign alliance located in the western part of china. The people belonging to the Zhou dynasty were not intruders but were the general Chinese-people who had moved from the Longshan Neolithic culture. The most powerful and influential leader of the Zhou dynasty was Wen (1152-1056 BCE) and he was described as the living figure of wisdom and benevolence. He was initially the ruler of the Shang dynasty during the last few days of the Shang dynasty and later became the ruler of the Zhou dynasty. The Zhou dynasty had justified the drastic change of the Chinese dynasty or overthrowing the Shang Dynasty by appealing that the Shang dynasty had sacrificed the “Mandate of Heaven” through their bad ruling capabilities or misrule. In the Zhou dynasty, the Chinese population were diverted from the devotion of Shangdi to the favour of devotion of Tian and therefore they created “Mandate of Heaven”. According to the novel idea, only one sole ruler will be assigned to rule the country and will be considered as the “Son of heaven” by the approval and consent form the god.
If the king who is approved by the god fail to fulfil their role as a leader, they will lose the approval for being a king that will further result in the downfall of their dynasty and they will also lose the approval from the god. The natural calamities, famine and overthrow were considered as the sign of disapproval from the god that the ruler or the king had not successfully fulfilled their duties and had lost the mandate of Heaven. According to Mandate of Heaven it was not compulsory that the king or the ruler has to be mandatorily belong to noble birth, and should belong to any particular time period limitations. In its place, the rulers were likely to be respectable or good and capable enough to retain and follow the Mandate. In 1046 BCE, the Shang Dynasty was replaced and overthrown by the Zhou dynasty during the Battle of Muye, and Zhou Dynasty was recognized and established.
The Zhou dynasty appealed that their ruler was approved and acceptable by the Mandate of Heaven. Conversely, the Zhou dynasty also believed that the rivalry Shang dynasty had a bad ruler or king, who had converted dishonest due their extreme drinking habits, rich living, and brutality, and was therefore not following the ideology of being a good ruler, hence losing their ideology meant they lost their mandate. The leader of the Shang dynasty was removed by the Zhou dynasty as the war took place and they had justified from the activity and deed of the Shang ruler of not following the Mandate of Heaven and therefore overthrowing the Shang dynasty and established their novel dynasty. The result of the war made Zhou dynasty in power and their king as the ultimate ruler of China. The blessing of gods was showered and given to the novel ruler who belonged to the Zhou Dynasty instead of the old ruler of Shang dynasty, therefore, it was clear that the ruler belonging to the Zhou dynasty will rule and lead China for the subsequent 800 years.
Initially the Zhou dynasty was known as the Western Zhou period and during the era of the Zhou dynasty diverse number of novel innovation was made, the rulers chosen for ruling the world were legitimized in the mandate of heaven, novel irrigation forms were permitted to the population of china to expand their agriculture and a new feudal system was developed. The ruler of Shang dynasty was unable to rule the country and hence the population of china were satisfied by Zhou dynasty overthrowing the Shang dynasty and the justification given by the Zhou dynasty was also accepted by the Chinese population. The Zhou had ruled the country till 256 BCE and had later lost their power to the state of Qin that was captured by the Chengzhou. Hence, it was established that the rule of Zhou dynasty was beneficial and helpful for the Chinese population to lead their life successfully as compared to the ruler belonging to the Shang dynasty.
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