Texas Southern University Mandate of Heaven Analysis Answer ONE of the questions below.
1. Read the following passage:
For the past several years there have been no good harvests, and our people have suffered the calamities of flood, drought, and pestilence. We are deeply grieved by this, but being ignorant and unenlightened, we have been unable to discover where the blame lies. We have considered whether our administration has been guilty of some error or our actions of some fault. Have we failed to follow the Way of Heaven or to obtain the benefits of Earth? Have we caused disharmony in human affairs or neglected the gods that they do not accept our offerings? What has brought on these things? Have the provisions for our officials been too lavish or have we indulged in too many unprofitable affairs? Why is the food of the people so scarce? When the fields are surveyed, they have not decreased, and when the people are counted they have not grown in number, so that the amount of land for each person is the same as before or evengreater. And yet there is a drastic shortage of food. Where does the blame lie? Is it that too many people pursue secondary activities to the detriment of agriculture? Is it that too much grain is used to make wine or too many domestic animals are being raised?
-Emperor Wen, Edict on the Primacy of Agriculture
Then answer the following question:
What impact did the idea of the Mandate of Heaven have on Chinese government in practice?
2. Read the following passage:
“And look you, don’t you turn up your nose at the other freedmen, his fellows. They’re very warm men. You see the one lying last on the last couch yonder? He’s worth his eight hundred thousand any of these days. A self-made man; once upon a time he carried wood on his own two shoulders. […] Only the other day he placarded his house with this bill: C. POMPEIUS DIOGENES IS PREPARED TO LET HIS GARRET FROM JULY FIRST, HAVING BOUGHT THE HOUSE HIMSELF.”