The abdication of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia in March 1917, was a result of numerous significant factors. The causes of his downfall included his lack of leadership, poor decisions, the changing social conditions and the rise of opposition groups such as the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. The abdication led Russia to change significantly with immediate consequences such as political turmoil, short term consequences such as the revolution and long term consequences such as Stalin ruling of Russia. All these resulted in an overall change in how Russia was ruled from autocracy to communism.
In 1900 four out of five citizens of Russia were peasants, who could only make a living in farming. This way of life would become a long term cause for the abdication of the Tsar. This was because under the Tsar's rule peasants had minimum wages and lived in poverty. Although the peasants had been freed from serfdom in 1861 by Tsar Alexander II, they still had restrictions on how they lived. The land on which they grew their food was not given to them individually but to a village commune. The peasants had to pay for the land given to the commune in yearly instalments, called redemption payments, for forty-nine years. Once forty-nine instalments were paid the land was the personal property of the peasant. As population grew plots of land became smaller and smaller, this meant peasants found it harder to sport their family each year. For all these reasons life was hard for Russian peasants, and diseases and malnutrition was common. Many of these peasants tried to improve their life by moving to the nearest city or town. They would work in the factories and mines until it was harvest season where they would go back to their communes. The hard working and living conditions these peasants had to suffer though while trying to make a living was horrific, Father Georgei Gapon wrote "They receive miserable wages and generally live in an overcrowded state.