Russia, during the turn of the 20th century, experienced a great surge of political movements whose aim was to change the existing form of government. One of these was a movement called Bolshevism whose origins are found in Marxism. This movement had as its leader a radical, impatient revolutionary by the name of Vladimir Lenin. Lenin held to the original Marxist idea that the proletariat would overthrow the bourgeoisie but at the same time, Lenin differed from Marx on the particular details of how this revolution would take place and the form of government that would exist thereafter. In other words, Lenin took different principles from Marxism and combined them with his own beliefs and thus came about Marxist-Leninism. Lenin prevented Marxism from following certain stages through history and thus eliminated the possibility of Marxism truly taking place in its natural manner at that point in time. Giving an account of the similarities and dissimilarities of Marx's own Marxism and Lenin's personal interpretation of Marxism will prove that Marxism in Russia began as Marxism, but evolved into a completely different form of ideology called Marxist-Leninism. .
Karl Marx was born in Germany in 1818. He developed a theory that was based on the idea that economic factors throughout the cycle of history have dictated the struggles that have existed between different classes of society. Marx's theory constructed society of two classes: The bourgeoisie (middle class) and the proletariat (working class). As Marx outlined in his work, The Communist Manifesto, the bourgeoisie, being the more powerful class, employed the proletariat. As history followed its course the proletariat would grow bigger and the bourgeoisie smaller as a result of the procurement of capital into the hands of the shrinking of the bourgeoisie. Thus the outcome would be the polarization of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat as a result of the degradation of the bourgeois capitalist economic system which would result in an overwhelming increase of the proletariat.