Female Heroes of Asia:
Gaozong was 21 years old when he ascended the throne. However, real power soon passed from Gaozong into the hands of… Wu Zhao entered the palace of the Tang emperor Taizong ruled — inat the age of 14, as a junior concubine.
By that time, the Tang dynasty had recently reunited China, largely through the efforts of Taizong. Relegated to a Buddhist convent on the death of Taizong, as custom required, the future empress Wuhou was visited there by the new emperor, who had her brought back to the palace to be his own favourite concubine.
She first eliminated her female rivals within the palace—the existing empress and leading concubines—and in gained the position of empress for herself, eventually bearing Gaozong four sons and one daughter.
Wuhou used her authority to bring about the fall of the elder statesmen, all of whom had served Taizong and still exercised great influence over the government. These men opposed her elevation to the position of empress, mainly because, although she was the daughter of a relatively senior officer, her family was not one of the great aristocratic clans.
They also objected to the nature of her relationship with Gaozong, on the grounds that, as she had been a concubine of Taizong, it was incestuous. By the empress had triumphed over all opponents, who had been dismissed, exiled, and, in many instances, finally executed.
Virtually supreme power was now exercised by the Wuhou empress in the name of the sickly Gaozong, who was often too ill to attend to state affairs for long periods. The emperor, who was weak in character, relied on her entirely, and, for the last 23 years of his life, the empress was the real ruler of China.
She continued to eliminate potential rivals, even when these were her own relatives, but she governed the empire with great efficiencyemploying able men who clearly felt loyalty to her and stood by her when she was challenged.
Her great ability as an administrator, her courage, decisive character, and readiness to use ruthless means against any opponent, however highly placed, won her the respect, if not the love, of the court. In the years between andthe Tang empire conquered Korea under military leaders who were picked and promoted by the empress.
When Gaozong died inhe was succeeded by his son Li Xian by Wuhouknown as the Zhongzong emperor. The new emperor had been married to a woman of the Wei family, who now sought to put herself in the same position of authority as that of Wuhou, for Zhongzong was as weak and incompetent as his father.
After one month Wuhou deposed her son, exiled him, and installed as emperor her second son, Li Dan the Ruizong emperorwhose authority was purely nominal.
A revolt was raised by Tang loyalists and ambitious young officials in the south. It was crushed within weeks with the loyal cooperation of the main armies of the throne. This demonstration of the support she commanded in the public service made the position of the empress unshakable.
Six years later, inat age 65, the empress usurped the throne itself.
Accepted without revolt, she ruled for 15 years. During that period the question of the succession began to assume great urgency.
Her own nephews of the Wu family had hoped that, as she had already changed the name of the dynasty to Zhou, she would also displace the Tang heirs of the Li family and leave the throne to one of the Wu nephews. But, even among her loyal supporters, there was a growing hope that the Tang family of Li would not be discarded.
In the empress decided to accede to these views; the exiled Zhongzong was recalled to court and made crown prince.
The empress showed her remarkable quality in this decision; she did not place her own family in the line of succession or designate one of her nephews as her heir. She seems to have had no ambition on behalf of her own family, only a determination to retain power for herself to the end.
In the last years of her life, fromthe empress gave her favour to the Zhang brothers, artistic but depraved courtiers who engaged her affection by elaborate entertainments and skillful flattery. They were intensely resented by the court and senior officials, many of whom had the temerity—and courage—to warn the empress of their pernicious activity.
She did not heed these warnings and, as she gradually fell into ill health, depended increasingly on the care of the Zhang brothers. In February a conspiracy formed among the leading ministers and generals, who seized the palace, executed the Zhang brothers, and compelled the empress, old and ill, to yield power to Zhongzong, who reigned until She retired to another palace and died there in December of that year.
The Wuhou empress was a highly competent ruler, using men of her own choice, regardless of their social standing.Kids learn about the biography of Empress Wu Zetian the only woman who became Emperor of China including her rise to power, accomplishments, early life, legacy, and fun facts.
Wu Zetian was China's first and only female emperor. A Brief Biography of Wu Zetian. China's Only Female Emperor, Empress Wu of Zhou. Women Rulers: Queens and Empresses of the 18th Century. The Long and Unusual Life of China's Last Emperor, Puyi.
Why Aurangzeb Was Considered a Ruthless Emperor of India. Directed by Xiaogang Feng. With Ziyi Zhang, You Ge, Daniel Wu, Xun Zhou. A loose adaptation of Hamlet, "The Night Banquet" is set in an empire in chaos.
The Emperor, the Empress, the Crown Prince, the Minister and the General all have their own enemies they would like to finish off at a night banquet.
Dec 03, · NPR’s Book Concierge Our Guide To ’s Great Reads. by Nicole Cohen, David Eads, Rose Friedman, Becky Lettenberger, Petra Mayer, Beth Novey and Christina Rees – Published December 3, Empress Xiaoqinxian (29 November – 15 November ), of the Manchu Bordered Yellow Banner Yehe Nara clan, personal name Xingzhen, was a consort of the Xianfeng Emperor..
Selected as a concubine of the Xianfeng Emperor in her adolescence, she gave birth to a son, Zaichun, in After the Xianfeng Emperor's death in , the young boy became the Tongzhi Emperor, and she became . Wu Zetian () Biography of China's only female emperor who lived during the Tang dynasty when women's unrestricted lives produced exceptional women noted for their contributions in the areas of culture and politics.