Communist Party

​Party in power in the Soviet Union

In 1889 the Russian Marxists established the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. At its second congress in 1903, the party split into two wings: radical Bolsheviks and moderate Mensheviks. (The names were adopted at the same congress, after a vote on a question in which the Bolsheviks formed the majority. In fact there were more Mensheviks in the Party at the time than there were Bolsheviks.)

In 1912 the Bolsheviks abandoned the Party to form their own Russian Social Democratic (Bolshevist) Party. With the October Revolution in 1917, the Bolsheviks came to power and soon banned other parties. The only allowed party in Russia (later the Soviet Union) subsequently had several names: 1918-1925 the Russian Communist (Bolshevist) Party, and 1925-1952 the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks), 1952-1991 the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). After the failed August putsch of 1991, the Communist Party and its territorial organisations in Russia and various other former Soviet republics were disbanded. In several places, activities continued under different names, mostly as niche parties with modest popularity.

The Communist Party of Estonia was formally established in autumn 1920, after Soviet Russia and the Republic of Estonia had signed the Tartu Peace Treaty. Although the Party was formally independent between 1920 and 1940, its leadership was in the Soviet Union and they were directed and controlled via the Soviet CP and Comintern. After Estonia was occupied in 1940, the Estonian CP was joined with the CP of the Soviet Union, becoming the latter’s territorial organisation. Between 1940 and 1952 the official name of the party was the Communist (Bolshevist) Party of Estonia. In 1990 it split into two parties: an independent CP with its own programme, and a conservative wing subordinated to Moscow. In 1992 the independent wing became the Estonian Democratic Labour Party.

Details about this article