One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A member of the moderate non-Leninist wing of the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party, opposed to the Bolsheviks and defeated by them after the overthrow of the tsar in 1917.
- ‘It was June 1917 and Kerensky had formed a provisional government that included the Mensheviks and Social Revolutionaries - but also representatives of the capitalist parties such as the Cadets.’
- ‘A strong Social Democrat Party of Mensheviks emerged in Georgia in the early 20th century, which formed a brief republic, under British protection.’
- ‘Here he is referring to the revolutionary socialist party which was split between the Mensheviks on the right and the Bolsheviks on the left.’
- ‘A moderate socialist, he enjoyed the support of the Mensheviks, though he never joined the party.’
- ‘Riots and demonstrations broke out through the cities and on March 15, 1917 Czar Nicholas III gave up his throne to a provisional government mostly lead by Mensheviks.’
From Russian Menʹshevik ‘a member of the minority’, from menʹshe ‘less’. Lenin coined the name at a time when the party was (untypically) in a temporary minority.
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