Renaissance in England
The word Renaissance is simply defined as “rebirth”. The total Renaissance movement was “felt in art, literature, science, music, politics, religion and other intellectual” aspects (Wikipedia, Renaissance). The movement started in Italy in the late decades of the 1300s and spread throughout Europe over the next two and half centuries.
The “term “Renaissance” was first used by the French historian Jules Michelet in 1858. The term stuck because it best described the period of transition between the medieval epoch in Europe and the beginning of the modern age” (Johnson 3). The three major events that shaped the Renaissance period were the printing press, voyages of ...view middle of the document...
Johann Gutenberg perfected or invented printing by movable type in the 1440s. Nonetheless, in the hands of Gutenberg and of financial supporters and printers associates, the convenient new device spread quickly. “The phenomenal growth of the printing industry reflected the widespread hunger for books” (Thompson 167). The spread of learning, and the cause and effect of the Renaissance mentality led to the printing of large amounts of material across Europe (Thompson 167).
The invention of the printing press and the new voyages by Columbus and Vasco da Gama allowed the printing of materials to be spread easily to other areas of the country. The economy flourished with the new voyages because trade and business could expand across the sea and helped the beginning of capitalism (Thompson 211). The Europeans sailing provided means for trading, conquest and expanding knowledge of religion through printed materials (Thompson 116). The discovery of being able to sail across the oceans to discover material items and goods was exciting for the Europeans.
The voyages by Balboa and Magellan that circled the world proved beyond a doubt that the earth was round, the Pacific and Atlantic were separate oceans and Americans were between them (Thompson 117). “Overseas trade expanded and Europe received a wide variety of new staple foods, ‘colonial’ products, pepper, coffee, cocoa, sugar and tobacco” (Thompson 119). The voyages through naval exploration also allowed for science to expand it discoveries on land and of what we now as the solar system.
“The actual scientific accomplishments of the Renaissance period were international in scope” (Thompson 189). One intellectual trend that prepared the way for new scientific advances was the currency of Neoplatonism (Thompson 187). “The importance of this philosophical system to science was that it proposed certain ideas, such as the central position of the sun and the supposed divinity of given geometrical shapes that would help lead to crucial scientific breakthroughs” (Thompson 187). The Europeans felt that Neoplatonism seemed very “unscientific” because it emphasized mysticism and intuition instead of empiricism or rational thought. The new trend allowed the Europeans to put on a new “thinking cap” when looking at science...