The king during the Shang dynasty became rather peculiar or was wily enough to extend his realm of power. He first changed the father to son inheritance to include brothers and nephews. When he feared the power of the Zhou he needed a surefire way of maintaining his precedence.
He claimed that only gods could decide who should rule. this was The Mandate of Heaven. Of course, it did need a human or two to decide what the Mandate of Heaven was decreeing!
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The mandate of heaven doctrine was used by the Zhou to legitimize their overthrow of the Shang dynasty. The Zhou created the mandate of heaven. The idea of the mandate of heaven was that there could be only one legitimate ruler of China at the time, and that ruler had to be blessed by the gods. The mandate was used to justify their overthrown of the Shang. The Zhou believed that the Shang kings had lost their mandate by becoming immoral with excessive drinking and living a luxuriant life.
The god’s blessings were given to the new ruler of under the Zhou dynasty which ruled China for 800 years. If a ruler was overthrown it is interpreted that the ruler was unworthy. It was also a common believe that natural disasters were signs of heaven’s displeasure with the ruler.