At the turn of the XIX and XX centuries, Russian Social-Democrats, standing on Marxist positions, united in the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party.
But the second party congress, held in 1903, the revolutionaries disagreed and split into two factions: the Mensheviks and the Bolsheviks.
How did the Mensheviks
Second Party Congress was held in Brussels and Londonin July 1903. When on the agenda there was a question on the election of the central bodies of the party, most were supporters VI Lenin, and supporters of his opponent JO Martov made a minority. This is how the Menshevik and Bolshevik fraction of the Social Democratic Party of Russia.
The victory in the historic voting allowedLenin called his faction "Bolshevik", which was a winning move in the ideological struggle with his opponents. Supporters Martov had no choice but to recognize themselves as "Mensheviks". However, it should be noted in fairness that in the future Lenin fraction is often in the actual minority, although the term "Bolshevik" fraction was fixed for ever.
Formation of fractions was due to fundamentaldifferences in views on the construction of the party that existed between the Social Democratic leaders. Lenin wanted to see the party united and militant organization of the proletariat. Supporters Martov wanted to create an amorphous association in which membership would be broad enough.
The Mensheviks did not take strict centralization of the party and did not want to confer broad powers of the Central Committee.
The struggle between the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks
Differences of opinion between thetwo factions of the Social Democratic Party traced right up to the victory of the Bolsheviks in the October Revolution. Supporters of Lenin, under his leadership conducted a relentless struggle against the Mensheviks, trying at the same time preserve the unity of the party.
When the first Russian revolution of 1905-1907He suffered a defeat of the Mensheviks began to convince the members of the party that is necessary to break with the clandestine activities and switch exclusively to the legal forms of work. Proponents of this view were called "liquidators".
Prominent representatives of the "liquidationist" of the movement were PB Axelrod and AN Potresov.
The clash between the opposing viewsfractions was traced very clearly, when the First World War. Among the Mensheviks rapidly gaining momentum "defencist" views. GV Plekhanov and A. Potresov, for example, recognize a defensive war in Russia and considered possible loss of national tragedy.
IN AND. Lenin, in turn, sharply criticized "defencists", believing that the party in these conditions should seek the defeat of his government and contribute to the escalation of World War II in the civil, the purpose of which would be a victory of the proletariat and the establishment of socialism in the country.
After the victory of the February bourgeois revolutionSome Mensheviks became part of the new Provisional Government, and also enjoyed a major influence in the Soviets. Many Mensheviks strongly condemned the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks, which occurred in October 1917. Subsequently, representatives of Menshevism were persecuted and repressed by the new Bolshevik government.