The decline and fall of Pedro II of Brazil occurred over the course of the 1880s, with the underlying factors accumulating and coming increasingly into focus after 1881. This period paradoxically coincided with a time of unparalleled economic and social stability and progress for Brazil, during which the nation had achieved a prominent place as an emerging power within the international arena. The roots of the collapse of the monarchy can be traced as far back as 1850, upon the death of Pedro II's youngest male child. From that point onward, the Emperor himself ceased to believe in the monarchy as a viable form of government for Brazil's future, as his remaining heir was a daughter. Although constitutionally permitted, a female ruler was considered unacceptable by both Pedro II and the ruling circles. This issue was deferred for decades, during which the country became more powerful and prosperous. So long as the Emperor enjoyed good health, the matter of succession could be ignored. From 1881 on, Pedro II's health began failing. He gradually withdrew from public affairs as time passed. Weary of being tied to a throne which he doubted would survive his death, he persevered out of duty and because there seemed no immediate alternative. Nor did his daughter and heir, Isabel, exhibit a desire to assume the crown. Both, however, were overwhelmingly beloved by the Brazilian people, who still supported the monarchy. The indifference towards the Imperial system by the Emperor and his daughter allowed a discontented republican minority to grow more audacious and to eventually launch the coup that overthrew the Empire. Pedro II may be considered a rare instance of a head of state who, despite being considered a highly successful ruler to the end, was ultimately subjected to overthrow and exile.