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Word Count: 527
The excessive interference of harem women was a main factor in the eventual decline of the Ottoman Empire The increase in harem size was correlated to the increase in expenditures incurred partly by the larger number of women and partly by the extravagances of various Sultans The intrusion of women into the Ottoman governing structure caused fundamental changes in state policies towards the roles of the Princes by limiting the Princes governing and public duties The abandonment of the one mother-one son reproductive policy combined with the change in law regarding the Kafes meant that many of the Sultans of the seventeenth century lacked experience in government and looked towards their mothers the Valide Sultan for guidance and advice This in turn meant that the Valide Sultan and the Sultans favourites were able to influence the actions and decisions of the Sultan Other factors that created instability in the government were the withdrawal of the Sultan from public appearances and active leadership of the army and the general inflationary state of the economy that plagued Ottoman society for much of the first quarter of the seventeenth century The entire Sultanic policy of withdrawing from active campaigning and leadership of the Janissary corps led to dissension within the army as the soldiers were not being allowed to battle and capture booty and treasures for both themselves and the state treasuries The cost of outfitting the Janissaries was not recuperated from various conquests of new lands and led to a drain in the economy The distancing of the Sultan away from the army as their attentions turned towards their harems and their own private pleasures led to the deposition of some Sultans The rapid change of Sultans also led to further instability as abrupt changes in state policies encouraged corruption and bribery among Ottoman officials This was in part due to the introduction of the damad into politics The damad Grand Vizier was
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