The Patriotic War of 1812 and the Foreign Campaigns of 1813-1814 in the Historical Memory of the Peoples of the Urals

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Abstract


The article identifies the features of the Ural region in terms of preserving and updating the memory of the epoch of 1812-1814. Based on the analysis of various options for preserving images of the epoch (through “living memory,” “materialized memory,” festive events and other means), the author comes to the conclusion that the Ural region, despite its remoteness from the theater of war, organically fit into the all-Russian memorial context. At the same time the memory is shaped by the region’s focus on military production, and by its providing a significant part of the irregular cavalry recruited from the Orenburg Cossacks and non-Russian peoples. The latter circumstance, through images of “Northern cupids,” gave the Urals an “exotic” fame abroad. Forms of preserving Urals memory of the events of 1812-1814 range from variants of “living memory,” which includes elements left over from the communicative memory, to purposeful activities of central and local authorities to organize “mass events” at anniversary dates. A significant role in memory preservation is traditionally played by educational institutions, which, starting from the school level, form the “memory of childhood.” The greatest concentration of “memory elements” related to the epoch is observed in the Southern Urals, which is predetermined, to a large extent, by the presence of compactly living non-Russian peoples who seek to emphasize their role in the events of all-Russian and even global history. Unlike a number of other national regions of the Russian Federation, the appeal to historical memory in the Urals takes place within the framework of a “unifying and reconciling” tradition. Despite some commemorative “gaps,” the three epochs (pre-Soviet, Soviet and post-Soviet) in relation to the historical memory in the Urals about the events of 1812-1814 look quite organic. Images of this great time continue to act as a unifying factor, thus preserving the sense of a “common past” not only with the all-Russian, but also with common European and global history.


About the authors

Vladimir N. Zemtsov

Ural State Pedagogical University

Author for correspondence.
Email: vladimirzemtsov@yandex.ru
26, Kosmonavtov Ave., Yekaterinburg, 620017, Russia

Doktor Istoricheskikh Nauk [Dr. habil. hist.], Professor, Head of the Department of General History and Methods of Teaching Historical Subjects, Ural State Pedagogical University; Professor of the Department of Modern and Current History, Ural Federal University named after the First President of Russia B.N. Yeltsin.

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