The European Renaissance was characterized by advancements and new developments in literature, science, religion, politics, and most importantly artwork. It proved to be a reappearance of learning based on classical sources. The renaissance was not as widespread as one would think. Essentially it is described as a time of cultural movements rather than technological advancements. Its time period ranged roughly from the 14th century to the 17th century. There is debate as to how far the movement stretched and exactly how many areas were influenced by the renaissance era.
The European Renaissance is thought to have originated in Florence, Italy in the 14th century, and occurred after the Black Death. The Black Death was a disease which affected all of Europe. It caused about a third of the population of Europe to die out. The survivors were devastated at the loss of their loved ones, but they found that they were better off financially and socially, making their way up the social ladder. Specifically in Italy, there was greater social mobility.
The upward mobility of individuals around this time allowed them to patronize early artists and rebuild libraries. Some areas were seeing more competitively between workers and their bosses, but the 'new' wealth was spent to display items to reinforce prestige. This allowed citizens to patronise the Renaissance artists. Merchants in regions like Italy saw increases in their wealth from trading, using the same trade routes in which the Black Death was spread. The trade income was further developing by Renaissance developments in commerce, causing the merchants to have more wealth to patronise with.
The Renaissance brought on new conceptions of life and the world. Scientific thinking, political views, and the arts blossomed greatly during this period. A great change was brought in political thoughts when a cornerstone book of political sciences, called The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli, was published using the printing press. The Prince is a book rulers use to authorize their power and it is still used today by different political leaders around the world.
The movement of the Renaissance not only affected Italy, but it also affected Germany, Holland, and England. The religious differences between these regions caused Church leaders to break away from Catholic beliefs and to begin the Protestant Reformation. Because the Renaissance embraced scholarship and new ideas of the people, it gave Luther the ability to formulate his ideas on religion. Religion and...