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PPS Revolutionary Fraction

The PPS was founded in Paris in 1892 (see the Great Emigration). In 1893 the party called Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania, (SDKPiL), emerged from the PPS, with the PPS being more nationalist and pro-Polish independence oriented, and the SDKPiL being more pro-revolutionary and communist.

After the Revolution of 1905 in the Russian Empire, the party membership drastically increased from several hundred active members to a mass movement of about 60,000 members. Another split in the party occurred in 1906, with the Polska Partia Socjalistyczna – Frakcja Rewolucyjna following Józef Piłsudski, who supported the nationalist and independence ideals, and the Polska Partia Socjalistyczna – Lewica which allied itself with the SDKPiL. Soon however, the PPS-FR regained its dominance and renamed itself back again to the PPS, while the PPS-L was eclipsed, and in 1918 merged with SDKPiL forming the Communist Party of Poland.

The Polish Socialist Party – Revolutionary Faction, also known as the Old Faction (Polish: Polska Partia Socjalistyczna – Frakcja Rewolucyjna,PPS–FR, or Starzy) was one of two factions into which the Polish Socialist Party split in 1906. The Revolutionary Faction's primary goal was to restore an independent Poland, which was envisioned as a representative democracy.

Its opposition was the Polish Socialist Party – the Left (also known as PPS–L or the Young Faction), which believed that Poland should be a socialist country, established through proletarian revolution, and likely a part of some larger international communist country.

With the failure of revolution in the Kingdom of Poland (1905-1907) PPS–L lost popularity, and PPS–FR regained dominance. In 1909 PPS–FR renamed itself back to Polska Partia Socjalistyczna (Polish Socialist Party); the increasingly marginal PPS–L merged with Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania in 1918 to form the Communist Party of Poland. PPS in the meantime supported militarist pro-independence activities of Combat Organization of the Polish Socialist Party and Związek Walki Czynnej.

Piłsudski anticipated a coming European war and the need to organize the officers of a future Polish army that could help win Poland's independence from the three empires that had partitioned her out of political existence in the late 18th century. One of the main goals of Organizacja Bojowa, other than providing funds for continuing activity and demonstrating the strength of Poland's underground, was to prepare a future cadre for the Polish Army. In 1906, Piłsudski, with the connivance and support of the Austrian authorities, founded a military school in Kraków for the training of Bojówki.

In 1908, Piłsudski transformed the "Combat Teams" to "Związek Walki Czynnej" (Association for Active Struggle), headed by three of his associates, Władysław SikorskiMarian Kukiel, and Kazimierz Sosnkowski. Compared to Organizacja Bojowa, ZWC was much less political and much more military, but was not the last paramilitary organization created by Piłsudski, who would go on to create the Związek Strzelecki and thePolish Military Organization before his final goal, Polish independence, was achieved in 1918.

Activists of PPS–FR: Józef PiłsudskiKazimierz PużakTomasz Arciszewski, Rajmund Jaworowski, Leon WasilewskiMieczysław Niedziałkowski,Walery SławekNorbert BarlickiJędrzej Moraczewski.