Empress Wu Zetian

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Empress Wu Zetian

China is considered to be one of the oldest civilizations in the world today. Out of its two thousand years of existence, and two hundred and forty-three emperors from the eleven major dynasties only one woman has ever ruled China. This would be Empress Wu Zetian who's cunning, malicious, and devious behavior would lead her to commit unthinkable acts against others as she tried to rise above her statues of a mar woman and sit on the dragon throne of China.

The future Empress of China Wu Zhao would be born in Wenshui part of the Shanxi Province (www.chinavoc.com/history/tang/women.htm) in 624 A.D. Wu Zhao's father Wu Shihuo, a supporter of Emperor Taizong, was a member of an aristocratic Shanxi family, while her mother, Lady Yang, was from the royal Sui family. At the time of Wu's birth China would be experiencing an era in the Tang Dynasty in which women had more freedom. During this time most women did not practice foot binding or were they of a submissive nature. Because of Emperor Tai Tzong cultural revolution women were allowed to economically independent, and educated in philosophy, culture and social ethics. As a result Wu Zhao was educated in music reading, writing, and the Chinese Classics. By the age of thirteen Wu Zhao would not only be know for her beauty, but also for her intelligence and wit.

At fourteen Wu Zhao was recruited to the court of Emperor Tai Tsung, and became a member of the harem. She would be given the rank of Cairen a concubine of the fifth level (www.hyperhistory.net/apwh/bios/b3wuempress.htm). Due to her wit and understanding of literature and history Wu would be put to work in the Imperial Study. This would prove to be a valuable educational experience for her, as a result of the twelve years she worked in the Imperial Study, Wu learned the finer points of official documents, policy and foreign affairs. In the intervening time Wu would become Emperor Tai's favorite concubine and he would rename her Wu Niang, Charming Lady (www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/history/tang/emperor_wuzetian.htm). It would be during her early years in the harem that Wu would learn she had to obtain power in order to survive life in the harem and court. Upon the death of Emperor Tai Tsung Wu, along with the rest of the Emperor Tai Tsung's harem, would be forced into a nunnery where she was to live out the rest of her life. Life in the convent would be hard on Wu, as she would have to shave her head and live a simple life of toil. There would be some enjoyment for Wu as the new Emperor Kao Tsung would come and visit her from time to time. Empress Wang, Emperor Koa's wife, world learn of these visits and see Wu Zhao as a way to distract Emperor Kao from his head concubine Lady Xiao. So, Empress Wang would encourage her husband to have Wu returned to court. However, this would be the worst mistake of Empress Wang's life. Once returned to court Wu would become the Emperor's Zhaoyi or second concubine (www.chinastyle.cn/essential/famous-emperors/wuzetian.htm). After her experiences in the convent Wu would remember her earlier lessons about power and life at court and in the harem. With her intelligence and familiarity with political issues, Wu would begin to gain influence with the Emperor. Wu would secure even more influence with the Emperor when she bang to give birth to sons and heirs. It would be during this time that Wu would start to conspire against Empress Wang and Lady Xiao. As the only way Wu saw to obtain more power was to eliminate them both. First after the birth of her daughter, Wu would kill her and place the blame on Empress Wang being jealous of her (www.chinastyle.cn/essential/famous-emperors/wuzetian.htm). Next Wu would spread rumors that someone was trying to lay a curse on the Emperor. Upon hearing these rumors the Emperor had the palace surged and found evidence, that had been planted by Wu, in both Empress Wang's and Lady Xiao's bedchambers that implicated them. Both...
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