Bolsheviks vs Mensheviks
Bolsheviks and Mensheviks are two Russian factions that show differences between them in terms of their principles and constitution. Bolsheviks are a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labor Party or RSDLP. On the other hand, Mensheviks are the faction of the Russian Revolutionary Movement that emerged in 1904. This is the main difference between the two Russian factions.
It is interesting to note that Bolsheviks split apart from Menshevik faction in 1903 at the Second Party Congress. On the other hand, the Mensheviks faction arose due to the dispute between Vladimir Lenin and Julius Martov. The dispute arose only during the Second Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party.
In fact, the dispute between Vladimir Lenin and Julius Martov took place over minor issues of the party organization. The October Revolution phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917 saw the Bolsheviks coming to power. In fact, it can be said that the Bolsheviks founded the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic.
In the course of time, in the year 1922 the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the chief constituent of the Soviet Union. On the other hand, because of the dispute between Martov and Lenin, the supporters of Martov came to be called as Mensheviks, and they were actually looked upon as minority, whereas the followers or supporters of Lenin came to be called as Bolsheviks.
As history would have it, neither faction could hold absolute majority during the Congress. As part of the Russian history, the split proved to be along one. Both the factions took part in several discussions regarding the revolution of 1905, class alliances, bourgeois democracy and the like.
One of the common areas of agreement between both the factions is that they both firmly believed in bourgeois democracy. They both felt that bourgeois democratic revolution was necessary. It is generally believed that Mensheviks behaved and appeared more moderate than the Bolsheviks. This is of course based on general observation.
It is equally important to note that the Mensheviks were more positive when it came to the management of the mainstream liberal opposition. On the other hand, the Bolsheviks comprised mainly of workers coming under a democratic internal hierarchy governed by the principle of democratic centralism. In fact, the Bolsheviks headed by Lenin considered themselves as the champions of the revolutionary working class of Russia.
The impact of Bolsheviks on the history of Russia is so great that their practices were often termed as Bolshevism. The practitioner of Bolshevism was often called by the name Bolshevist. It was Leon Trotsky who first used the term Bolshevist to indicate a person that practiced and believed Bolshevism. It is believed that Leon Trotsky saw what the real Leninism in Russia was. The Bolsheviks too like the Mensheviks held the opposition quite strongly. These are the fundamental differences between the two vital Russian factions, namely Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.