By Elijah Rogers

The Zhou dynasty lasted from 1122-256 B.C. the Dynasty started when they defeated the Shang. The Zhou changed the system of worship to a system of worship that worshiped heaven. The Zhou was meant to rule because god said that they deserved to rule and when the king got dethroned that meant that god thinks that the kings not doing the right thing so god picks a different king. When god picks a new king that means that the king has to do what is expected of him so he doesn’t get demoted. So if the new king does do his job he will be striped from his job by god and others.
This meant important things for the king. God made this person a king and the king is supposed to follow through with what God wants him to do or he will be demoted. There was no time limit on how long someone can be king.
The Zhou used the Mandate to justify taking over the Shang Dynasty. The Zhou told the Shang that if the Shang king hadn’t misused his power he wouldn’t have had his Mandate taken away. This is also important to the empire because it means anybody can become king. You don’t have to be part of the royal family as long as God decides you can rule.
The Zhou invented the Mandate of Heaven to have a king who used his power fairly and take over the Shang Dynasty. What the Mandate meant for the ruler was that he got to be king for as many years as he wants until God demotes him. God demoted you if the people managed to overthrow you. If the people couldn’t overthrow you then God wanted to keep you as king. What the Mandate meant for the Zhou Dynasty was that it gave them a reason to overthrow the Shang king.