Ask Mr. Donn
What is the Mandate of Heaven?
In ancient China, a king (or emperor) justified his right to rule by stating the gods had appointed him ruler. This appointment was called the "Mandate of Heaven". If the emperor was really bad, the gods could take away the "Mandate of Heaven" and give it to a different family. No one knows if the nobles and warlords actually believed in the Mandate of Heaven, but it stopped a lot of wars. Once a new family gained power, all the nobles in the old dynasty agreed to stop fighting, because the new family had received the Mandate of Heaven and had the right to rule. This was part of the dynastic cycle. Mandate of Heaven