Universal Monarchy - History - Asia

Asia

A parallel process occurred in Asia. Whereas in the West the title of Emperor had by the 19th century largely been stripped of religious connotations and had come to be seen purely in political terms, the title in eastern Asia is almost entirely a religious one, commonly stated as ‘the son of heaven’. Here the title denotes a higher, ‘heavenly’ rule (‘celestial empire’), in contrast to kings who rule between heaven and earth, and by extension today to presidents who are mere base earthly rulers. Imperial China was a Universal Monarchy where all other monarchs were regarded as tributary. The concept was taken up by the Mongols, who under Genghis Khan were able to enforce this concept more widely than China. The Japanese attempt to unify South East Asia in the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere under Emperor Hirohito follows the model set by Imperial Germany and Joseph Chamberlain of imperial rule based on economic union, matched with Japanese religious ideas.

The Hindu/Buddhist concept of the Chakravartin is a perfect illustration of the ideal of a Universal Monarch.

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