The abandoned Empress of China is a striking example of the power of technology in history. When she died in 1911, her death made headlines all over the world. It was even reported in the New York Times! What made this story so amazing was not just the fact that such an important figure had died, but that technology played a major role in her death. The Empress was traveling in a train when she fell ill. Rather than stay on the train and risk infection, she decided to step off and travel by carriage instead. Unfortunately, due to the snowstorm that hit the region, her carriage got lost and she was stranded at a remote station for days on end.
Due to the extreme cold, the Empress became fatally ill. When rescuers finally found her, it was too late and she died days later. Had she stayed on the train, she would have easily recovered and lived out another day. Technology played a significant role in this story, from the lost train to the treacherous weather conditions. By using technology to communicate information and track her whereabouts, officials were able to rescue her even though it was too late for her actual body.
The Abandoned Empress of China: The Life and Times of Wu Zetian
Wu Zetian (c. 624-705) was the first female emperor in Chinese history, reigning for more than 20 years from 683 to 701. Wu was a highly accomplished and powerful ruler, whose successful reign is credited with reviving China’s declining empire. However, her reign was also marred by allegations of murder and tyranny, culminating in her eventual death in705 at the hands of her own son. Wu Zetian’s life and times provide a fascinating glimpse into Chinese imperial politics during the late Tang Dynasty.
Wu Zetian was born into a prominent military family around 625AD in present-day Henan province. She entered the Chinese civil service after marrying the Prince of Wei in 649AD, and rose through the ranks to become an influential minister during Emperor Gaozong’s reign from 684 to 689AD. Emperor Gaozong granted Wu Zetian great power and respect, appointing her as his viceroy of Jing Province in 698AD. She quickly demonstrated her abilities as a powerful administrator, revitalizing Jing Province and increasing its tax revenue by 50%.
In 690AD, Emperor Gaozong retired to live as a monk and appointed his son Li Zhongmu as the new emperor. Although Wu had nominally submitted to Li Zhongmu after becoming his mother-in-law, she still wielded considerable political power due to her close relationship with Emperor Gaozong. In 698AD
Wu Zetian’s Rise to Power
The abandoned Empress of China, Wu Zetian, rose to power in 684 AD after the death of her father. At the age of six, Wu was married to the heir to the throne and became Queen consort. She soon gained control over her husband’s government and was able to secure her position as regent when he died in 689 AD. In 705 AD, Wu secured the throne for herself by murdering her nephew and rival for the throne, Emperor Zhongzong. She continued to rule autocratically until her death in 710 AD. The Wu Zetian is considered one of China’s most controversial empresses due to her controversial rule and her mysterious death.
Wu Zetian’s Reign as Empress
Wu Zetian, who ruled China from 690 to 705 AD, left an enduring legacy as one of the most powerful and controversial empresses in Chinese history. During her reign, Wu consolidated her power by suppressing dissent and implementing a series of reforms that transformed early China into a centralized imperial state.
Despite her stunning success at consolidating power and advancing the state’s interests, Wu was eventually overthrown by her son Emperor Xuanzong in 705 AD. Her reign is largely forgotten today, but it remains an important period in Chinese history that has had a significant impact on subsequent generations.
Wu Zetian’s Fall from Power and Death
In 696, after reigning for more than 30 years, Wu Zetian’s rule came to an end when her son, 698-705 emperor Zhongzong, had her arrested and detained in the palace. In 702, after a year of imprisonment and under torture by agents of the Crown Prince Li Si (李斯), Wu Zetian finally gave her consent to have her two sons put to death. She then killed herself.
Lessons Learned from the Abandoned Empress of China
Since the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, the Chinese Imperial Palace has been left abandoned and decaying. The Empress Dowager Cixi (1835-1908) was one of the last representatives of Chinese monarchy, reigning for almost 45 years until her death. Her story is a unique example of how power can change hands and how society can disintegrate without a central authority.
The Empress Dowager Cixi was born into a powerful clan in 1835. She married the Prince Zhen of Tongling, who became heir to the throne after her father-in-law’s death. When her son ascended the throne in 1861, she became regent and effectively ruled China as its head of state. Under her rule, China rapidly industrialized and attained unprecedented political and military strength. However, by the end of her reign, Cixi’s power had severely declined due to internal divisions within China’s ruling circles and rivalry with other European powers like Russia and France. In 1908, during an attempted coup d’état led by members of the imperial family, she fled Beijing with only a small number of followers to stay at Emperor Puyi’s palace in Germany until his death in 1916. After that she returned to Beijing where she died two years later at age 82.
Cixi’s life provides an interesting case study on how power can change hands and social structures can collapse without a strong central authority. Her rule is also representative of some important trends in China