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The Bolsheviks, originally also[1] Bolshevists[2] (Russian: большевики, большевик (singular) Russian pronunciation: [bəlʲʂɨˈvʲik], derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority", which comes from bol'she, "more", the comparative form of bol'shoi, "big") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) which split apart from the Menshevik faction[3] at the Second Party Congress in 1903.

The Bolsheviks were the majority faction in a crucial vote, hence their name. They ultimately became the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.[4] The Bolsheviks came to power in Russia during the October Revolution phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917, and founded the Soviet Union.

The Bolsheviks, founded by Vladimir Lenin, were an organization of professional revolutionaries under a democratic internal hierarchy governed by the principle of democratic centralism, who considered themselves as the vanguard of the revolutionary working class of Russia. Their beliefs and practices were often referred to as Bolshevism. Bolshevik revolutionary leader Leon Trotsky frequently used the terms "Bolshevism" and "Bolshevist" after his exile from the Soviet Union to differentiate between what he saw as true Leninism and the regime within the state and the party which arose under Stalin.


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