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The Bolsheviks was founded by Vladimir Lenin, after the split from the Russian Socialist movement in 1903. They were an organization of professional Marxist revolutionaries under a democratic internal hierarchy governed by the principle of democratic centralism. They considered themselves as the vanguard of the revolutionary working class of Russia. Their beliefs and practices were often referred to as Bolshevism.
In November 1917, Bolsheviks took control of a chaotic Russia, becoming the de facto rulers after the subsequent civil war. They then renamed themselves the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU).
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.