History in the Making

Document Type



Emperor Wu Zetian and Empress Dowager Cixi were the only two women to hold full control over China. They lived during different periods in Chinese history, but they accomplished the same goal. This paper will begin with the history of these two remarkable women, and it will give some background information on the respective dynasties that they lived under, the Tang (618- 907) and Qing (1644-1900). Then, the reader will learn about their journeys from the concubines of emperors to the most powerful people in China. Next, this article will cover the interesting information about Empress Dowager Cixi that Princess Der Ling and Sara Pike Conger wrote about in their books. Both authors had a personal relationship with Empress Dowager Cixi. Finally, the article will address some similarities and differences between Emperor Wu Zetian and Empress Dowager Cixi. The purpose of this article is to convey, not how effective Emperor Wu Zetian and Empress Dowager Cixi were as rulers of China, but the abilities of these women to rise above their circumstances and become the rulers of a great empire.

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