On the 17th of Febuaray, 624 Wu Zetian was born into a wealthy, aristocratic family. Her father became wealthy through the timber business giving Wu the chance to become an itelligent and influential women. The family were great friends with the governer Li Yuan. With his help, Wu, at the age of 14, was sent to the imperial palace where she became an imperial concubine to Emperor Taizong.
You are never to return to your home! Go at once!
I want to rule!
While being a concubine to the emperor, Wu rose to the rank of cairen with the help of pursuing her education even further. Wu also unfortunatley had an affair with the emperor's 9th son who would someday become emperor. She became even more influential in the court which gave her more of the desired power and influence. Another thing Wu accomplished, was becoming the emperor's favorite concubine and giving birth to a boy and a girl.
I am the ruler!
Wu suddenly had a plan to frame her rival; Empress Wang. She would strangle her new born baby girl and try to frame the empress. Unfortunatley for Wu, the empress wasn't found guilty for the crime making Wu even more determined to end this rivalry. So, Wu organized the empress' murder which was a sucess.
This is the secret police! Open up by the law of Empress Wu or you will be executed!
With both of the rulers dead, one of Emperor Taizong's sons took rule. This son appointed his own wife as an empress consort and granted her father a highly ranked position. This upsetted Wu and made her even more determined to get things her own way. She then gave her son exile and everyone who were loyal to him.
The youngest son was now the ruler of the empire. Unluckily for him, he was put under house arrest and his mom made all of the critical decisions. She technically ruled the empire which recieved a lot of backlash. She fought these negative comments with terror.
Empress Wu ruled the empire with fear. She employed secret police and placed her own skilled people at offical positions. She made Buddhism the offical religion and built temples, she created the civil service exam, she expanded the borders into Middle Asia and the Korean Pennisula, and finally, she ordered an attack onto the Tibetan Empire 2 years into her rule. Empress Wu was ruthless and ambitious during her lifetime.