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The Italian Renaissance:Brief History Of Economics, Religion, Society, Politics, Music, Furniture, Architecture, Art, Dance, Clothing, Food, And An Emphasis On Theatre

3934 words - 16 pages

The word Renaissance originally came from the French version of the Italian word rinascita which means rebirth. The Renaissance was characterized by geographical exploration, the growth of secular values, and scientific and artistic inquiry. The Renaissance was also a cultural and intellectual movement where many advancements were made in the fields of music, literature, art, and science. During the 15th century students flocked to Italy from all of Europe to study philosophy, the classics, and the remains of antiquity. Italian literature and art, even clothing and furniture designs, were imitated in the rest of western and northern Europe. The later Renaissance was marked by the growth of ...view middle of the document...

Her calling was to be a wife and mother. Although women often contributed to production and monetary transactions, it was not customary to praise or acknowledge it. Women did not openly participate in any economic activities unless they were widows or members of the upper class.In the beginning of the Renaissance religious leaders had a great influence on the government and many other aspects of private life. Many church leaders came from wealthy governing families in the city-states of Italy and other countries. The Church collected tithes, or taxes, which added more financial burden to the already heavy load of the poor. Also the fact that royalty and rich families were exempt from taxes did not ease the suffering of the poor. Between 1400 and 1600 there were more than thirty popes which created a lot of instability in the Church's leadership. The prestige of the church also suffered because of the rampant corruption that occurred. Increasing dissatisfaction with the Church called for reform. After Marin Luther posted his famous "95 Theses," which described all of his complaints regarding the Roman Catholic Church, on the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany in 1517 the Protestant Reformation began. The printing technology which had developed during the Renaissance allowed Luther's ideas to spread like wildfire throughout Europe. During the Renaissance the leaders of every country determined which Church would be dominate in their country. The citizens were required to comply. Italy remained the center of the Roman Catholic Church because the Pope is located there. Protestants were often persecuted. Despite the decline of the Catholic Church, there was a religious fervor in all of Europe. One preacher, Girolamo Savonarola of Florence called on sinners to repent and he was very successful in Italy. The traditional religion was replaced by popular religion. Popular heretical movements emerged and challenged papal authority. Humanists hoped to reform Christian society by relying on education rather than being dependent on religion. People of this era expressed discontent with the traditional ways of religion and this resulted in many small progressive sectors of different faiths.The Medicis were an Italian banking and political family that ruled Florence for almost three centuries. Lorenzo the Magnificent, Cosimo de' Medici's grandson, had artists like Michelangelo visit his court. Although the Medicis were twice expelled from Italy by their political opponents, they were reinstated both times by Spain. Two of the most celebrated popes, Leo X and Clement VII were members of the Medici family. Using their wealth and influence, both Cosimo and Lorenzo selected loyal supporters to fill government posts and carry out their policies. The most famous political philosopher during the Renaissance was Niccolo Machiavelli. His controversial treatise "The Price" (1513) became a cornerstone of modern political philosophy. In "The Price," Machiavelli...

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