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The Influence Of The English Renaissance

1822 words - 7 pages

What is the English Renaissance? It was known as the period of rebirth and was the period in European civilization that immediately followed the middle ages. Its popularity grew by a surge of interest in classical learning and values. It was primarily a time of revival after a long period of social decline and stagnation. The renaissance was a cultural and artistic movement dating from the early 16th to the early 17th centuries. It is associated with the pan-European renaissance that many cultural historians believe originated in Tuscany. The English Renaissance started with King Henry I, but did not reach its full potential until the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. It was during her reign that the renaissance reached the height of its popularity so much so it became known as the Elizabethan age. “The English renaissance was first launched by King Henry around the early 15th century” (the Renaissance back 2). King Henry was fascinated by the cultural and artistic views of the original Italian Renaissance. Henry's interest in arts was widely recognized, and knowledge of the Classics was regarded as “an avenue to royal favor” (the English Renaissance 2). Though the English renaissance had many influences and people who made it possible the Italian Renaissance is arguably the biggest.
The Italian Renaissance was the start of the Renaissance, a period of great cultural change. Italy in this time was very wealthy yet very unstable due to strikes and revolts by Italian textile workers. It was during this period of instability that the first Renaissance figures, such as “Dante and Petrarch lived” (Italian renaissance 3), and the first works of Renaissance art were not seen until the opening half of the 14th century. The 14th century saw a series of problems and natural disasters that caused the European economy to go into recession. Coincidentally with the many natural disasters going on some of them actually help establish the Renaissance. The Black Death, or bubonic plague wiped out a third of Europe's population, producing a labor shortage, so that the reduced population was much wealthier, better fed, and, significantly, had more money to spend on luxury goods like art and architecture. As incidences of the plague began to decline in the early 15th century, Europe's devastated population once again began to grow. This new demand for products and services, and the reduced number of people able to provide them, put the lower classes in a more favorable position. Furthermore, this demand also helped create a growing class of bankers, merchants, and skilled artisans. This new growing prosperity brought the country together it inspired many and gave birth to a new age of beliefs and ideas.
The ideas and ideals of the Renaissance endured and even spread into the rest of Europe, setting off the Northern and English Renaissance. “The Italian Renaissance started around the early 14th century and lasted until the mid 1550s” (English...

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