Kingship in the Ancient
Chinese emperors justified their actions by claiming the
Mandate of Heaven, or
divine right of rule.
The Mandate of Heaven was later used to explain the
Dynastic Cycle. A dynasty would remain in
power only as long as it was providing good
a dynasty went into decline, and began to abuse its power, it
was said to lose the Mandate of Heaven, or the favor of the
gods. A strong
leader would usually emerge to claim the Mandate, and
establish a new dynasty.
The dynastic cycle would then begin again.
The Indus Valley had long been divided into rival kingdoms.
In 321 BCE.,
Chandragupta Maurya founded the Maurya
Mauryan Empire had a strong central
government and an proficient
bureaucracy, a system
of operating government through departments run by officials.
By 270 BCE,
Rome controlled all of Italy. They
also conquered most of southern Europe and parts of Asia
Minor. This expansion led to a
civil war and the end of
Julius Caesar took power in 48
BCE. After his murder, Caesar's grandnephew,
Emperor. Under Augustus, a 200 year long
peace began, which is called the Pax Romana. The
Pax Romana became a time of cultural and intellectual
achievements for Rome, and saw the return of the
Middle Ages, kings and strong nobles battled with the
Roman Catholic Church for supreme power.
Beginning in England an France, kings began to strengthen
their central power, and restrict the Church.
The struggle grew especially fierce over
or the power to name Bishops and other church officials within
the country. This fighting later resulted in the
foundation of nation-states, under many different
In Spain, England, France, Austria, Prussia and Russia,
were established. Each had a different level of
success. Absolute monarchies also existed in Mughal
Ottoman Asia Minor & Africa.