This chapter presents the extended ministerial crisis and the unprecedented failure of four leaders to form a government as one of the main reasons why many members of the elite believed that the Brazilian Empire had become politically bankrupt. It is rather difficult to capture the excited spirit of these days; though no one proved willing to die for the empire or for the Republic, the politicians took the issue of the form of government rather seriously, for their offices depended upon it. Prime Minister Ouro Preto held on to the belief that only far-reaching reforms could save the monarchy. In opposition during the 1870s, Ouro Preto advocated financial and educational reforms in articles, books, and speeches. His enthusiasm for reform even called into question his commitment to the monarchy at that time. Once in office, though, he became a mainstay of the throne and remained a monarchist until his death.
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