“Secret Weapon” of Revolt: Napoleon’s Preparing of Campaign of 1812
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“Secret Weapon” of Revolt: Napoleon’s Preparing of Campaign of 1812
During the preparation of the war against Russia in 1811—1812 the French command led by Napoleon considered the possibility of organizing of mass protests in Russian Empire as one of the most effective methods of warfare. The Russian elite also treated the population of «Russian Poland» as potential allies of the French. The landlords afraid also the revolt of serves. However the hopes of one and fears of others didn't come true. Before the outbreak of hostilities the most of pro-French-minded residents of the western Russian provinces have emigrated to the Duchy of Warsaw or were sent off by Russian police. At the same time, the Polish nobles loyal to the tsar had good possibilities for their career in Russia. The large-scale robberies of the population by soldiers of the Grande Army during the war pushed away the local population from the French. Being afraid of an uncontrolled mass riot, Napoleon didn't decide to proclaim the serfdom cancellation in Russia.
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Nikolay Promyslov
Vice-Rector of the State Academic University for the Humanities. Research Fellow at the Institute of World History RAS
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