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The Bolsheviks (Russian: Большеви́к IPA: [bəlʲʂɨˈvʲik], derived from bolshinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) which split from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903. The Bolshevik Party Political Programme was published in August of that year.[1] Its local organisations across the country were called Soviets, and it later became the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

Bolsheviks (or "the Majority") were an organization of professional revolutionaries (with a mainly Jewish hierarchy) who were strictly governed internally by their principle of quasi-democratic centralism and a quasi-military discipline, and externally by terror and murder. They considered themselves as the vanguard of the revolutionary proletariat of the world, not just Russia. Their beliefs and practices are referred to as Bolshevism.

The party was founded by Vladimir Lenin, who also led it in the October Revolution when the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia and went on to found the Soviet Union.


  1. Dmytryshyn, Basil, editor, Imperial Russia - A Source Book 1700-1917, New York & London, 1967, pps:325-331

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