"T'ien Ming," the "Mandate of Heaven" is a central concept that stretches across millennia of Chinese history. In Confucian society, maintaining the Mandate of Heaven ordained a prosperous and peaceful Imperium. Losing it meant that war, bad harvests, earthquakes and dynastic turmoil were an Emperor's inevitable fate. In "Fire in the Lake," a 1972 meditation on the Vietnam War, author Frances Fitzgerald elaborated a Vietnamese version of the Mandate of Heaven as it applied to the 1963 overthrow of the Diem regime. It was Fitzgerald's contention that the communist victory was an inevitable result of the South Vietnamese government losing the "Mandate of Heaven" and a consequent evaporation of popular support.
|The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author
and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.