Women In The Tang Dynasty

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Social Status of Women in the Qin-Han Empires and Six Dynasties to Tang Periods
Understanding of traditional China indicates that from the beginning of documentation of women’s roles, women were held to the standard of taking care of her home, husband, and children. As China expanded geographically, economically, and socially, women were granted freedom that allowed them to participate in the patriarchal dominated society. The understanding of women during this time of continual diversification is limited by the primary source documentation we have access to. Historians are able to trace a significant change in women’s roles and opportunities after the falling of the Qin-Han Empires. The emergence of the Tang Dynasty following the fall of Han
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The rise of the Han Dynasty sought to revise legalist policies that were domineering to the people living in Qin Dynasty. While the Han eliminated some policies, a majority of the laws affecting the militia, bureaucracy, and economy remained the same. The laws impacted the daily lives of commoners in the Han as these restrictions created by these legalist policies can be seen as detrimental to the view of certain groups, namely women. The Han’s desire to unite China after the Qin Dynasty broke China apart proved to be a difficult task that resulted in the Han’s ultimate demise. Women were unable to obtain social and bureaucratic power because of the constant rebuilding mentality of the Han dynasty. Ban Zhao wrote a guide to morals for women. Zhao’s guide to virtue shows how women viewed their places during the Han…show more content…
Wu Zetian, also known as Empress Wu was the only woman who took the title of emperor in Chinese History. Empress Wu’s rise to power as a concubine reflects the changing dynamic of women in the Tang Dynasty. Empress Wu was able to take control of her own destiny and rid her competition and become the primary empress of Gaozong. When Gaozong suffered a stroke, she became empress and ruled during her sons two reigns, which she deposed. Scholars of the time offer biographies and stories that depict her as a tyrannical ruler. Historical analysis supports the viewpoint of Empress Wu being a forceful ruler. Empress Wu suppressed rebellions of Tang princes and had aggressive foreign policy. Empress Wu’s end of power came when she was in her eighties and no longer able to maintain her role as empress successfully. The reign of Empress Wu allowed women to have an increase in status. While in power, Empress Wu increased the mourning period for women to three years and allowed palace women to organize themselves into a
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