The differences between the 'moderates' and the 'extremists' were as below:
a) The moderates had faith in gradual reforms whereas the nationalists believed that the swaraj is their birth right.
b) The moderates believed in the theory of mendicancy but the extremists were against it.
c) Moderates were against an all out struggle against the British but the nationalists wanted to mobilise the whole country against the British rule.
d) The moderates believed that the British could be persuaded to see the justness of their demands but on the other hand, the nationalists were of the view that the demands could be realised only by putting pressure on the British Government.
e) The moderate leaders were sent to jails but the nationalists were beaten, handcuffed and sent to jail several times.
The nationalists were more popular among the masses in comparison to moderates. Methods adopted by the nationalists to achieve their aim : The nationalists did not believe in the constitutional methods. They favoured the use of force and revolutionary methods to achieve their aims. They did not believe in petitions, appeals and memorandums and they followed harsh methods and resorted to passive resistance.
The nationalists believed in the strength of Indian masses. They believed in launching a continued struggle against the British. They promoted the national movement into mass movement.
Swadeshi was another method adopted by the nationalists. Its main aim was to hit the Britishers economically. They promoted a clear-cut break from the constitutional methods followed by the moderates.
Boycott was a weapon used by them to draw the attention of the Britishers. They not only boycotted the British goods but also boycotted government services, titles and honours.
The nationalists laid more emphasis on the national education. Special institutions were set up to impart education as per the needs of the nation. There was a need for promoting an education which would strengthen national feelings. On 15th August 1906, the National Council of education was set up.