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20 Chinese Soc. & Pol. Sci. Rev. 251 (1936-1937)
The Rise of the Emperor System in Ancient China

handle is hein.journals/chinsoc20 and id is 265 raw text is: THE RISE OF THE EMPEROR SYSTEM
Throughout the four milleniums of Chinese history there has been
very little change in the title of the supreme ruler. At the beginning
he was called King (T), under whom were a great number of feudal
princes ( 4). Then, the princes declared their independence and
assumed the royal title for themselves. Finally, one of these upstart
kings swallowed up all the rest, became Emperor of the whole Chinese
world, and instituted a system that was destined to last twenty-one cen-
turies, right down to the establishment of the Republic. This emperor
system, however, was not set up in one day; the steps of its establish-
ment may be discerned as follows:-
(1) The declaration of independence of the feudal princes;
(2) Alliances and counter-alliances among the Contending States;
(3)  Negotiation for the voluntary submission to Ch'in;
(4) Ch'in Shih Huang Ti and the first establishment of the
emperor system;
(5) The Han dynasty and the apotheosis of the emperor;
(6) The abolition of the imperial temples and the final establish-
ment of the emperor system.
Before the era of the Contending States (Rg), all the Chinese
principalities, with the exception of the barbarian states of Ch'u ( ),
Wu (-4), and Yiueh (g), recognized the King of Chou (JrJ) as their
common sovereign, at least in name. In the Ch'un Ch'iu period (4a),
though the King of Chou had long lost all substantial power, no state,
great or small, ever attempted to disown him as the Son of Heaven.
The main problem of Ch'un Ch'iu international politics was the struggle
for hegemony or the balance of power. With this end in view, all the
greater states considered the figurehead Son of Heaven as their best
ally, for only with his sanction could they legally become Hegemonic
(a). Thus the King's position, weak as it was, was quite secure.

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