Although there was no desire for a change in the form of government among most Brazilians, the Emperor was overthrown in a sudden coup d'état that had almost no support outside a clique of military leaders who desired a form of republic headed by a dictator. Pedro II had become weary of emperorship and despaired over the monarchy's future prospects, despite its overwhelming popular support. He allowed no prevention of his ouster and did not support any attempt to restore the monarchy afterwards. He spent the last two years of his life in exile in Europe, living alone on very little money.
The reign of Pedro II thus came to an unusual end—he was overthrown while highly regarded by the people and at the pinnacle of his popularity, and most of his accomplishments were soon brought to naught as Brazil slipped into a long period of anarchy, dictatorship and economic crises. The same men who had exiled him soon began to see in him a model for the Brazilian republic. A few decades after his death, his reputation was restored and his remains were returned to Brazil as those of a national hero. This reputation has lasted to the present day. Historians have regarded the Emperor in an extremely positive light, and he is usually ranked as the greatest Brazilian ever.
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