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Empress Wu - Essay Example

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The country over the last two thousand years has been ruled by over two hundred and three emperors of whom only one is a woman; Empress Wu. Most nations in the world have had at least one great female leader today…
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Download file to see previous pages Her thirst and quest for power made her do the unthinkable from murdering her own daughter and son.
Empress Wu Zhao was born in Wenshui part of the Shanxi Province in 624 A.D. Her father Wu Shihuo was a rich merchant who educated her daughter well. The education the Empress received at a young age was very pivotal for her political shrewdness and prowess (Woo 5). During the time of her birth, China was under the rule of the Tang dynasty which accorded women more freedom compared to the earlier dynasties. The Emperor at the time Tai Tzong had encouraged cultural awareness in which the women were allowed to be economically independent and were well enlightened in the fields of philosophy, social ethics and culture. The power of female sexuality was at that time widely recognized in medieval china; the ladies of the Sui and Early Tang dynasty elite were relatively independent. They could ride horses, henpeck their husbands and they took charge when their men were away for herdsmen or military duty (Will 128). Due to this, Emperor Wu was adequately educated in the disciplines of music, writing, reading, and Chinese classics. By the time she was thirteen years old, Empress Wu not only recognized her womanly beauty, but she also appreciated her intelligence and wit. Due to her intelligence, Empress Wu was soon recruited to the court of Emperor Tai as a concubine and she doubled up as a secretary in the Imperial Study. She obviously took her chance to study more about official documents and politics. The rest is history.
Empress Wu held power for more than a century in one guise or another, firstly she ruled as a consort; the favored wife of Emperor Gaozong, then secondly as the ruler behind the throne of her youngest son and finally herself until her death. She ruled with sheer ruthlessness and decisiveness as she stabilized the Tang dynasty when it seemed to be crumbling and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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