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Word Count: 1,328
In the nineteenth century the Russian Empire had reached its golden age the arts and sciences flourished and metropolitan aristocracy came to resemble that of the French court under King Louis XV or perhaps that of the Antebellum South in the United States In this social system the prodigal sons of nobility would join one or another branch of the military to prove their honor and dedication to the motherland In this time period Leo Tolstoys novel War and Peace is set The political themes in War and Peace are highlighted through just those mediums war and peace In times of peace the rulers of the Russian Empire are mostly portrayed as self-centered hypocrites that work only for their own benefit During such times Tolstoy displays his dissatisfaction with the type of diplomacy in which the government will do nearly anything to remain in power In times of war Russian nobility is characterized as for the most part efficient and dependable The individual characters of the novel lose their faults and assume the roles of upstanding officers in service to their Emperor Regardless of this fact Tolstoy states his opinion that a nations future is in no way controlled by its leaders but rather by the subjects that make it up The war in reference is Russias conflict with Napoleon The struggle begins when the Russian people feel growing unrest at the way that Buonapartes regime is treating the aristocracy of France At the beginning of the book there is mention of how Napoleon executed the duc dEnghien an act that caused much scandal among Europes nobles who saw this as a threat to their own lofty positions The engagement of forces at the beginning of the book is a series of conflicts between Napoleonic France and the other European powers starting in the fall of 1805 with the Austerlitz campaign and climaxing in Napoleons march upon Russia in the summer of 1812 The book
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