Discuss The Difference Between The Medieval Period And The Renaissance

1451 Words6 Pages
The first people to differentiate between the medieval period and the renaissance were those living during the latter. Renaissance writers saw themselves as set apart from the more recent past, and believed they had more in common with the distant classical period. They viewed themselves as on the cusp of a bright new era, a “rebirth” of classical innovation and knowledge. Later historians would also mark this time as something new and shiny, standing out from the dreary middle ages. French historian Jules Michelet saw the renaissance as a beacon of democracy and liberty, Jacob Burckhardt applauded the rediscovery of the classics, and Walter Pater saw in this period “a spirit of rebellion and revolt against the moral and religious ideas of the time.” They were in like mind with the Renaissance thinkers themselves, but as Bartlett points out one cannot study their own time period with proper objectivity needed for accurate historical analysis. The Renaissance is a continuation of the late medieval period, built and grounded in it, rather than the dawn of a completely separate era. The growing republics, the influx of classical influence, and the rising secularism grew out of the middle ages rather than being spontaneously birthed at the start of…show more content…
This makes sense, seeing as there is a giant leap from monarchies to democracies, oligarchies being an intermediary stage. Florence was for a brief moment ruled by the lesser of society, which is more in line with Michelet’s view. The Ciompi Rebellion was made up of unskilled workers who wanted more say in the government, they managed to overthrow the government for little over two months before the oligarchy was restored. The renaissance saw the takeover of the communes, and one by one they fell into one man rule. Ironically, it seems the republic city-states thrived more in the medieval period versus the renaissance, which is known for
Open Document