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Bolsheviks

party lenin russian name

Bolsheviks, proponents of the wing of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) led by Lenin. The name originated in 1903 when the Central Committee of the RSDLP split over the criteria of party membership. Lenin called his followers Bolsheviks (from the Russian word for majority) and his opponents Menshevik (from the word for minority). The party seized state power in the revolution of Oct. 1917. In March 1918 the name was changed to Russian Communist Party. The Bolsheviks later founded the Third (Communist) International, while the Mensheviks remained affiliated to the Second (Socialist) International.

See also: Communism; Mensheviks; Lenin, V.I.

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