Tivis Graybeal | Trent Mentzer

What brought about the Renaissance and what are the lasting legacies of that era?

Setting the Stage:
the economic conditions that allowed the Renaissance to take place

  • In the middle ages, the people were tied to the land because the landlord controlled them financially.
  • After the Black Death, the need for laborers was so great that it freed the people up to leave their current situation for better wages. People were not loyal to a particular landowner and the monarchs used this to challenge the nobility to give themselves more power. During this tome the cities grew and prospered shifting from agricultural life to life led by artisans and craftsmen. This also increased the trade between the cities or city-states and other countries not only on the rivers but inland as well.
  • The power struggle between the Pope and the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire led to a weaker government. As a result, the control of the Holy Roman Empire decreased. There was no central authority. Instead ruling families sprang up and controlled smaller pockets of land. The wealth of these families financed cultural and political activities.
  • It also brought about an elaborate court system. Artists, intellectuals, and politicians were all sponsored by the wealthy families. They also paid for great religious and civic buildings. The rulers learned to tax the people to create income.
  • They also sent explorers to the New World and grew wealthy from the explorations. The rivalry between the nations further fueled the Renaissance because each country had a desire to outdo the others.

What was the Renaissance?

The cultural rebirth that occurred in Europe from roughly the fourteenth through the middle of the seventeenth centuries, based on the rediscovery of the literature of Greece and Rome.

The Spread of the Renaissance

The Renaissance spread from Italy throughout western and northern Europe into countries such as England, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain. Visitors to Italy like bankers, diplomats, merchants, and young scholars carried Renaissance culture home with them. Italy was invaded during the Renaissance. The invaders were dazzled by the beauty of Italian art and architecture and returned home influenced by Italian culture.

Renewing interest in Greek
and Roman Cultures

During the Renaissance they....

  • Studied ancient Greece and Rome because they wanted to recapture the spirit of the Greek and Roman cultures.
  • Believed that the civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome had achieved greatness in the arts and sciences, government, and military affairs.
  • They searched for manuscripts, statues, coins, and other surviving examples of classical civilization.
  • They focused on language, public speaking history, poetry, and moral philosophy.

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Artistic Legacies

Pictured left to right: Michaelangelo Buonarroti, Leonardo DaVinci, and William Shakespeare

Leonardo Da Vinici:
Occupation: painter, designer, and inventor
Studied: anatomy, astronomy, botany, geology, geometry, and optics.
Born: on April 15, 1452 near Florence, Italy outside of the village of Vinci.
Employed by: the Duke of Milan, the city of Florence, Pope Leo X & Francis I.
List of accomplishments: designed artillery and fortresses, system of locks for canals, and revolving stages, drew plans for tanks, helicopters, parachutes, airplanes, machine guns, and movable bridges.
Famous for: painting the Mona Lisa and influencing many others during the Renaissance
Died: on May 2, 1519.

Michelangelo Buonarroti:
Occupation: sculpture, painter, architect, and poet
Born: March 6, 1475 in Caprese, Italy
Studied: Anatomy
Employed by: Medici Family, Pope Julius II
List of accomplishments: School of Athens, new styles of architecture, frescoes
Famous for: sculpture of the David, painting vault of Sistine Chapel
Died: February 8, 1564

William Shakespeare:
playwright, poet, and actor
Born: April 23, 1564 in Stratford on the Avon, England
Employed by: The Globe, the king of England, Lord Chamberlain, self-employed (partner in his own company)
List of accomplishments: 38 plays, two major narrative poems, a sequence of sonnets, and several short poems.
Famous for: writing plays such as Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet that are still studied and performed today.
Died: April 23, 1616

Intellectual Legacies

From left to right: Nicolaus Copernicus, Galileo Galilei, and Johannes Gutenberg

Nicolaus Copernicus:
Polish astronomer, found of modern astronomy
Born: February 19, 1473 in Torun
Famous for: developed theory that Earth is a moving planet, Earth and planets revolve around the sun
Wrote: On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres
Died: May 4, 1543

Galileo Galilei:
Occupation: Italian astronomer, Founder of modern experimental science
Born: February 15, 1564 in Pisa, Italy
Famous For: using refracting telescope to make important discoveries, law of falling bodies and law of pendulum, discovered moon is not smooth, found four objects circling Jupiter, study of tensile strength, theory of motion, Inquisition found him guilty and he was sentenced to isolation
Wrote: The Sidereal Messenger and Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Discourse on Two New Sciences
Died: January 8, 1642

Johannes Gutenberg:
Born: c. 1398 in Mainz
Famous For: inventing the movable printing press
Printed: The Gutenberg Bible
Died: February 3, 1468

Political and Economic Legacies

Political Legacy:
  • England, France, and Spain were being united into nations under monarchies.
  • Germany and Italy were divided into many independent states.
  • Germany was still led by the Holy Roman Empire.
  • Nations financed explorers such as Christopher Columbus and John Cabot to the New World
  • The Renaissance brought about the middle class and led to the noble and upper class.
  • Scholars still use the Renaissance method of humanistic inquiry.
  • Led to the establishment of the New World and the modernization of the Western World.

Economic Legacy:

  • Royal courts and princes supported the Renaissance in northern and western Europe.
  • Artist and painters still travel to Europe to see architecture and art.
  • Goods brought back from the New World made the European nations wealthy.
  • The new middle class gained economic dependence ending feudalism,
  • The middle class became skilled laborers and artisans.

What brought about the Renaissance and what are the lasting legacies of that era?

What would the world be like today if the Renaissance had not occurred?

Works Cited

Emmons, Jim Tschen. "Renaissance." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.

Findlen, Paula. "Galileo." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.

Findlen, Paula. "Copernicus, Nicolaus." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.

Hankins, James. "Renaissance." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.

Lander, Jesse M. "Shakespeare, William." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.

Romano, Frank J. "Gutenberg, Johannes." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.

Summers, David. "Leonardo da Vinci." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.

Summers, David. "Michelangelo." World Book Advanced. World Book, 2014. Web. 17 Dec. 2014.