The Mensheviks were more focused on changing Russia peacefully through an evolutionary process, while the Bolsheviks wanted revolutionary, violent change.
On July 30, 1903, the second congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) was held in Brussels, Belgium. While the meeting was supposed to unite the party, instead it split in two. Lenin headed the Bolsheviks, who believed that violence was necessary for the revolution to succeed. The Bolsheviks thought that only a violent uprising in the proletariat can truly create a communist state, with the rebellion to be headed by a small number of intelligent revolutionaries. The Mensheviks, on the other hand, believed that reform and democracy would gradually bring Russia into communism. They thought that the formulation of a parliament and organization into different parties would allow Russia's working class to gain more power. Lenin gave his group the name "Bolshevik", which means majority-class. His opponents were called "Mensheviks", which means minority-class, although, at the congress in Brussels, there were more Mensheviks than Bolsheviks. During the civil war following the overthrow of Czar the Bolsheviks represented the red army and the Mensheviks represented the white army. The Mensheviks wanted to later establish a monarchy, which was not supported by the Mensheviks.
A member of the non-Leninist wing of the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party.
The Mensheviks and Bolsheviks were both Communists, but they disagreed on how the revolution could be achieved. The Mensheviks believed in mobilizing the Russian masses (workers and peasants) against the existing establishment and in using the parliamentry system to achieve it, whereas the more radical Bolsheviks believed that the revolution should come about through the works of a small group of intellectual elites such as Lenin. The reason this confuses a lot of people is because Menshevik means "minority", and Bolshevik means "majority", when actually it was the Mensheviks who believed in a revolution of the majority, and the Bolsheviks in one of the minority. The reason for these paradoxies is that the names actually represent the size of their respective parties rather than their viewpoints-- the 1905 split between the two factions revealed that the MAJORITY of Communists were Bolsheviks, and the minority were Mensheviks. The Bolsheviks went on to carry out the revolution successfully.
The opposing party after the Russian Revolution who battled for control against the Communists, or Bolsheviks. The Mensheviks, or "whites", still believed in a Socialist government, which severely taxes the rich and hardly taxes the poor, so the money can be redistributed among its citizens.
The Bolsheviks, or "Reds", however, believed that any type of Capitalistic activity should be eradicated completely. Thanks to the damned efforts of Lenin, he managed to sway the fickle populace to the Bolshevik side, and with a newly formed (but weak) army, they drove out the "whites" and established their so called "workers paradise" as the new government. Few actually knew what horrors Lenin and Stalin had in store for them. When Lenin died, Stalin and Trotsky (the "sword of the revolution") battled out for control. With the aid of two politicians who opposed Trotsky, Stalin took the reins of Communist Russia, and had the two killed.
Years later when Trotsky plotted to begin his own Communist revolution on the US in Mexico, Stalin had a Latino Soviet named "Mercader" to drive a ice-pick into Leon's skull.
Without the Mensheviks, Russia has been doomed for several decades before the USSR collapsed.
Mensheviks are better than the Bolsheviks. Bolsheviks are liars who steal what you have, and claim it is still "yours".