- Political, social, and economic conditions PRIOR to the leader’s gaining power:
- Significant actions and events during term of power:
- Ideology, motivation, goals:
- Short-term effects:
- Long-term effects:
- What most impressed/interested you about leader:
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The most interesting things I find are that women did not any longer bind their feet under Wu's power (which is truthfully akin to wearing stilettos); that she supplanted military advisers with scholar advisers selected by merit through test taking; that she lessened taxation on peasants, thus acknowledging their status as dignified humans instead of a work force lacking in human dignity. I like Wu--I believe we need a Wu today (bloodshed excepted).
The earlier posts make excellent points. I suppose that the most interesting thing to me in reading about Empress Wu is her extensive reliance on a secret police force. I think of secret police forces as characteristic of the 19th and 20th centuries (at least in Europe), but Empress Wu seems to have made great use of them much earlier than I would ever have expected.
I must agree with the above posts. The most amazing thing is the power which she was able to have in a world controlled by man. Her "ruthlessness," as pointed out by pohnpei, is another point which amazes me. The fact that her behavior went against the grain is astonishing.
For me, what amazes me is that, in a patriarchal world, she was the first and only woman to assume absolute power. This clearly indicates she was a very ambitious, tenacious and stubborn individual. Of course, we also need to factor in her willingness to kill to assume that power, as #2 points out, but I think we need to recognise what a tremendous achievement her rise to power represented.
For me, what is most interesting about this leader is how ruthless and power hungry she was. Anyone who would kill someone else in cold blood just so they could pin the murder on a rival is about as ruthless as you can get. Then consider that the person she killed was her own daughter! When you do something like that, it's hard to describe you as anything but ruthless and there's not much that could be more "impressive" than that.
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