The Russian Social Democratic Party split into two factions in 1903, with those following V.I. Lenin called Bolsheviks, and their rivals being called this.
The Russian Social Democratic Party split into two factions in 1903, with those following V.I. Lenin called Bolsheviks, and their rivals being called Mensheviks. The followers of the Marxist revolutionary line espoused by V.I. Lenin called themselves the majority, or Bolsheviks, and referred to their rivals as the minority, or Mensheviks. The Mensheviks took a less radical position, seeking cooperation with middle-class parties. The two factions grew into separate parties, with Bolshevism becoming the strategy that led to the overthrow of Russian czarism and the establishment of soviet power in the revolutions of 1917. The Bolsheviks renamed themselves the Russian Communist Party in 1918 and the word Bolshevik was finally dropped from the official title of the Soviet Communist Party in 1956.
HistoryNet.com is brought to you by World History Group, the world's largest publisher of history magazines. HistoryNet.com contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines.