How did the proposals of Menshevism conflict with the practices of the Old Regime in Russia?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the most significant objections that the Mensheviks had with the Czar was his approach towards the Duma.  The Mensheviks believed that the legislative power of the Duma was significant enough help alleviate, if not solve, the problems of the Russian people.  They objected to the dismissive manner in which the Czar treated the Duma.  The Mensheviks believed that the Duma was the best way to ensure the voices of the people were being heard.  Their perception of the Czar's practice was that he discarded this Duma, refusing to give it any real authority or show his support of it.  

The Menshevik desire to increase the legislative authority of the Duma, strengthening it to be a more formidable component of Russian government was reflective of the conflict it had with the Czar.  The Mensheviks believed that the authentication of the people's voice rested with the Duma, and their opposition to the Czar resided in the fact that he did not share such a belief.  They believed that the Duma could help to modernize the Russian economic reality more than anything the Czar was doing.  Recognizing that Russia was a ways off from the Marxist vision of socialism, the Mensheviks believed that strengthening the Duma would enable some of the changes in Russian economics to happen which would allow a transition into a socialist state.  Not surprisingly, this, too, conflicted with the Czar's vision.