Empress Wu's Power During The Tang Dynasty

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1) Historical argument Question: How did Empress Wu manage to gain and consolidate her power in a male-dominated imperial system during the Tang Dynasty? Thesis: This essay argues that the primary reason for Empress Wu’s rise to power during the Tang Dynasty was her skilled policy of cooptation such as through the use of symbolism to justify her rule and effective policies to rule her people. Other historians have argued that the main reason was Wu’s use of repression, as evident from her violence and ruthless actions. However, this essay uses symbolism and Wu’s effective policies to show how the people were in fact convinced that Wu should be the ruler of the Tang Dynasty. It could not have been that repression served as the primary reason for Wu’s rise to power as the Chinese people, at all levels of society would have opposed this form of repression if not for Wu’s cooptation of the people through symbolism and her effective policies. 2) One-page outline a) Write about what Empress Wu did rise to the position of the ruler of the Tang Dynasty i) how she plotted against Empress Wang to gain power in the harem – from…show more content…
Symbolism has been argued as one of the ways Empress Wu used to consolidate her power as Emperor. In particular, this article argues that Empress Wu relied significantly on the use of avian symbols for her political cause. Using dynastic histories, lyrics of poetry, design on tombs and folk tales, Rothschild examines the use of various species of birds as symbols by Empress Wu in the justification of her rule. Rothschild examines each avian symbol in each paragraph by providing the significance of the bird and how Empress Wu used it to her advantage. They include the phoenix, crane, sunbird, parrot, hens, rooster and other miscellaneous

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