Explain Why The Bolsheviks And Mensheviks Spilt In 1903

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Following, Marx ideas of socialism, the Social Democratic Party was set up in 1898. However, four years later in 1903 they spilt into 2 groups- the Bolsheviks (lead by Lenin) and the Mensheviks (lead by Martov). Lenin proposed that the party should be limited only to dedicated revolutionaries but Martov argued that membership should be open to anyone who accepted the party programme and was willing to follow the instructions of the party leaders. Lenin won the debate and his group was later called the Bolsheviks whilst Martov’s group was called the Mensheviks. This disagreement arose because of a profound difference in their beliefs of the role of the party. The Bolsheviks believed that the revolution should be organised by a small group of dedicated and skilled revolutionaries who should lead the party and make all the decisions. On the contrary, the Mensheviks believed that the Party should be a mass party with as many working class members as possible. They argued it should be run democratically, with the members electing the leaders and deciding on its policies. For Lenin, the party was to be a group prepared to seize power as soon as possible yet on the other hand, for Martov, the main purpose of the party was to spread propaganda and raise the level of consciousness of the proletariat. This was because he did not believe that Russia was ready for a Marxist revolution for many years. Lenin believed that is the Mensheviks had their way, it would take years to start the revolution; they would just waste time on useless discussion and argument. Martov, replied that the revolution would fail if it did not have the support of the whole working class. The social democratic party remained spilt on the issue. Lenin and his supporters failed to reach an agreement with Martov and his supporters. So, from 1903 onwards there were three important revolutionary
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