Russian Social Democratic Labour Party
The Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (RSDLP) was a Russian political party.
The party was founded in 1898. Its program was based on Marxism and socialism. The party wanted to lead the workers of Russia and to get rid of the Tsar.
Some members of the party wanted democracy and were called "Mensheviks".
Other members of the party spoke for the dictatorship of the working class and were called "Bolsheviks". The leaders of the Mensheviks were Martov and Potresov. The leaders of the Bolshevik group were Plekhanov and Lenin.
The Russian Social Democratic Labour Party was an illegal party. It fought against the autocracy, organized meetings and strikes, and printed illegal newspapers blaming the Tsar and his government. Many members of the party were arrested, put into prison, or condemned to penal servitude.
In 1917 Lenin and most other Bolsheviks became a separate political party, RSDLP(B), which later became the Russian Communist Party.
During the Russian Civil War, the RSDLP was banned by the communists. Some social democrats became Communists, others fled from Russia, and still others became political prisoners.