Chapter : 2. Socialism In Europe & The Russian Revolution

Growth Of The Revolutionary Movement; Spread Of Socialism

There were many peasant rebellions in Russia before the 19th Century but they all were suppressed. Though there were many groups working for the spread of socialism but there was no strong organisation. In 1883 George Plekhanov, a follower of Marx formed Russian Social Democratic Party. In the 1898 different socialist groups got together to form Social Democratic Labour Party (SDLP). Due to some differences of opinion on issues of party discipline and tactics, the party got split in Mensheviks (the minority) and Bolsheviks (majority). Alexander Kerensky was the leader of the Mensheviks or minority men and Vladmir Ilyich Ulyanov, popularly known as Lenin was the leader of the Bolsheviks or majority men.
Difference in the Mensheviks and Bolsheviks :
Mensheviks Bolsheviks
1. The Mensheviks were in minority The Bolsheviks were in majority
2. The Menshviks wanted to establish socialism through the spread of education and reforms among the workers The Bolsheviks wanted to spread socialism through revolution i.e. by uprooting autocratic ruler.
3. Alexander Kerensky was the leader of the Menshevik group Lenin was the leader of the Bolsheviks

(a) Other Parties : The Menshevik and the Bolshevik parties were the political parties of industrial workers. There was also a party of the peasants which was known as the Socialist Revolutionary Party. The non-Russian nationalities of the Russian empire had their own parties, which were working to free lands from colonial oppression.
(b) Bolshevik Party and Lenin : Lenin was most important leader of the Bolsheviks. He is regarded as one of the greatest leaders of the socialist movement after Marx and Engles.

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