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Post by wangrong on Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:49 am

The elevation of Pedro II to the Imperial throne in 1831 led to a period of crisis, the most troublesome in Brazil's history.[51] A regency had been created to rule on his behalf until he reached the age of majority.[25] Disputes between political factions led to several rebellions and resulted in an unstable, almost anarchical, situation under the regents.[52]
The possibility of lowering the young emperor's age of majority, instead of waiting until he turned 18 on 2 December 1843, had been floated since 1835.[53][54][55] The idea had received support from both main political parties.[54][56] It was thought that those assisting him in taking the reins of government would be in a position to manipulate the inexperienced youth.[57] Those politicians who had risen to power during the 1830s had by now also become familiar with the pitfalls of rule. According to historian Roderick J. Barman, by 1840 "they had lost all faith in their ability to rule the country on their own. They accepted Pedro II as an authority figure whose presence was indispensable for the country's survival."[58] The Brazilian people also supported lowering the age of majority,[59] as they considered Pedro II "the living symbol of the unity of the fatherland"; this position "gave him, in the eyes of public opinion, a higher authority than that of any regent."[60]

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