Before the year of 1812, there was a great gap between the Russia elite and the Russian lower class.But then the great French ruler, Napoleon, decided to invade Russia to gain more land and power for himself.But out of nowhere, the Russian people rose to the challenge, especially the peasant class, and defeated him.This war brought together the two classes and had a huge impact on how the noble class thought about their serfs and their country. When Napoleon invaded Russia, there was a huge outcry to stop the coming "infidels" from taking their country.Nobody knew how this war was going to change the country forever.Many later historians have said this war was a watershed in Russian history.
When reading, "Cavalry Maiden" by Nadezhda Durova, you can see that there are major changes that are occurring during this time.One of thefirst signs of this is in the very beginning of her story.She is staying with a family while in the field, which this family was a peasant family.As you read you can see that there is a special bond between to two. Durova, who is a noble, is actually concerned on how she sees her.The peasant asks her, thinking she is a man, if she will remember her.If you read other accounts with the noble and peasant interaction, you can see that this type of interaction doesn't occur very often.
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You usually hear of how the owners treat their serfs in a manner that in some cases can be very inhumane.You hear of how they will beat their serfs, worked them to death, and barley give them enough food to survive on, or sometimes non-at all.But here you have a noble and peasant who are interacting together and are generally concerned with each other's welfare.This would be generally unheard of until this war.
Another good example of this is that an actual woman is fighting, and leading this war.She is taking a very active role in the defense of her country. The.