Timeline Capsule
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Time Capsule Details | BeingBlackToday.com
1903
ASIA CONTINENT
Russia

Vladimir Lenin
(born Vladimir Ulyanov)
Russian Communist Revolutionary
Leader of the Bolsheviks
Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) Holds its Second Congress in Brussels

In 1903, the Second Congress of the RSDLP met in exile in Brussels.  However, due to harassment by Belgian authorities, they were forced to disband and meet later in London.

Vladimir Lenin
Before this Second Congress, a young intellectual named Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin) joined the party.  In 1902, Lenin published "What is to be Done?", outlining his view of the party's task and methodology.  He advocated a disciplined, centralized party of committed activists who would blend the underground struggle for political freedom with the class struggle of the proletariat (working-class people).

RSDLP Splits into Two Factions:
Bolsheviks vs Mensheviks
Due to irreconcilable differences, at a meeting of the Congress in November of 1903, the RSDLP split into two factions, the Bolsheviks headed by Lenin, and the Mensheviks headed by Julius Martov.  Lenin's faction would end up in the minority and smalller than the Mensheviks until the Russian Revolution of 1917.

The two factions made a number of attempts at reunification, however, the split remained, as they disagreed on the vision of revolution.

Haves vs Have-Nots
Julius Martov, Russian Politician
Leader of the Mensheviks

Lenin and the Bolsheviks pushed for an immediate working-class revolution, while the Mensheviks believed that Russia was in too early a stage of its history to start a working-class revolution.  The Bolsheviks regarded peasants as their allies, while the Mensheviks viewed bourgeois (middle-class) liberals as their revolutionary allies.