Impact Of The Renaissance in Europe Essay

Impact Of The Renaissance in Europe Essay

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                    The impact of the
                Renaissance on Europe


     Jacob Burckhardt best describes the renaissance as the prototype of the

modern world, for it was the period between the fourteenth and fifteenth century

in Italy, when the base of modern civilisation was formed. It was mainly through

the revival of ancient learning that new scientific values first began to overthrow

traditional religious beliefs. People started to accept a new rational and objective

approach to reality and most important of all to rediscover the importance of the

individual. The result in Burckhardt words, was the release of the’ full whole

nature of man’. However the Renaissance biggest contribution was the way

different important individuals through their logical revelations managed to

diminish the power of the Catholic Church. (Craig, Graham, Kagan, Ozment,

Turner; The heritage of world civ; pg.493-494)

     Medieval Europe before the Renaissance had been a fragmented feudal

society with an agriculturally based economy, and its culture and dominated by

the Church. After the fourteenth century was characterised by the growing

national consciousness and political centralisation based on organised

commerce and capitalism, along with the secular control of thought and culture.

     It was in Italy from around the time 1375 to the sack of Rome (1527) that

the distinctive features and impacts of the renaissance era are revealed.

(Internet 1)

     Italy having a geographic advantage, laying in the centre of the commerce

between the east and west. Due to this fact rich and urban cities were formed in

Italy. There started to be more Italian cities than there were people in them.

Trade monopolies were formed to ensure profitability of trade and manufacturing,

but only those with sufficient capital could engage in either. For example, in

Florence 10% of the families controlled 90% of the wealth. These wealthy

families established power over these city-states (ju...


... middle of paper ...


...Yet there has never been a controversial or

important than Niccolo Machiavelli’s The prince. It’s vivid prose being-“ Men

must either be pampered or crushed “ – has not stopped readers through the

centuries devouring its every aspect. With Machiavelli begins the science of

politics. (Internet 1)

     Another development was the perfection of the art of diplomacy. Constant

warfare between city-states was aimless, and by the end of the fourteenth

century city-states began the practice of keeping resident ambassadors at the

major seats of power. At the same time this improved communication and

provided leaders with accurate information about friends and enemies.

Diplomacy became both an offensive and defensive weapon. (Kishlansky, Geary,

O’Brien; Civ in the west; pg. 340)

I would like to conclude with mentioning that Renaissance artists and

philosophers did more than construct, adorn buildings or write books. Inevitably

their work expressed ideals and the way their society worked. The emphasis was

more upon the here and now rather than the hereafter; and most importantly,

upon humanity and its capacity for growth and perfection.

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