A bibliography history of Empress Wu                 Empress Wu Zetian

          Tang Dynasty China (625-705AD)

            Only woman to be emperor of China


       History is full of women who stepped outside of the box. The box is full of tradition and expectations of behavior of women. Empress Wu is such a woman.

        Wu Zhao, also known as Wu Zetian or Empress Wu, was born in 625 A.D. She is the daughter of an influential noble at that time. She was taught reading, writing and dancing at an early age. At the age of 14, because of her beauty and intelligence, she was chosen to serve the Emperor Taizong as a concubine. Life in the palace was not easy as it should have been. Many people may think that the concubines lived in relative peace, because they had everything they wanted. However, this was not the case. It is a fact, that to be able to survive in the palace, one must obtain power. Every concubine tried their best and used many kinds of methods to gain as much power as possible. So did Wu. She was always looking for a way to impress the emperor and draw attention to herself. She would stop at nothing to gain power. At the age of 26, she became the head of the hundreds of concubines. But her goal was to be the empress. At that time, she had birthed a baby girl, suddenly, an idea came to her. She decided to kill her own child to make it appear that someone had done it. Then she ran to the emperor and told him that the present empress Lee murdered the baby. Emperor Taizong believed Wu’s story, because he thought that she would never murder her own child. He then, placed Wu as the new empress.

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       When Taizong died, Wu was thirty-two. Since Taizong’s son is too young to be an emperor, Wu took the place and became the first female emperor in Chinese history. Although she was cruel in many points, say, for instance, she killed or force suicide on anyone who opposed or insulted her, she still had great achievements for China. First, she incorporated Buddhism into society. In addition, Empress Wu helped peasants by lowing taxes and helped raise agricultural products improving public works. She continued to improve agricultural production by putting irrigation systems in place. Moreover, she had men ...

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