Italian Renissance and the Reformation

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The European Renaissance was a turning point in the way people saw art, literature, and architecture. These new views soon led to the Reformation, or the reforming of the Catholic Church. These changes led Europe out of the middle ages and into modern times.

The Renaissance began after Europe began recovering from the Black Death. Anyone who had survived was just happy to be alive and started focusing more on material things, rather than religious ones. Another reason the focus shifted from religious thoughts was because of the Great Schism. People began second guessing their rulers and religious leaders and became more secular. One important city involved in the Renaissance was Florence, which would come to be known as the cultural center of the Renaissance. Florence was located in Tuscany and was ruled by merchants originally, but was later taken over by a wealthy family known as the Medicis. Later, however, the economy began to decline, which made the people turn to a man known as Savonarola. Savonarola, however, was an extremely strict ruler and did not allow such things as gambling or painting. He then went on to criticize the Pope and was sentenced to death for heresy. The Medici family then gained back control. These power struggles within Italy would lead to better trade which would help lead to people having a new, better way of life.

Through the Middle Ages, society was divided into three social classes: the clergy, the nobles, and the peasants. However, as people entered into the Renaissance, these classes changed. The nobles during these times started to lose a lot of income, however, the members of the older nobility kept their lands and titles. On into the Renaissance, the nobles came back to dominate society and w...

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...nded Parliament to finalize the break between the Catholic Church and England. The Act of Supremacy of 1534, passed by Parliament, explained that the king was the ruler over the Church of England. Altogether, the Reformation was a period of religious confusion that ultimately led to new and more organized branches of Christianity.

Between the Renaissance and the Reformation, many important changes came along to society. One of the most important was the new idea of humanism which led to magnificent progression in art, architecture, and literature. Another important change was with religion. An example of this would be the creation of Protestantism when people began disagreeing with the decisions of the Catholic Church. All of these changes were important in helping the people still hurting from the Black Death, as well as building a foundation for today’s society.