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Unit 1

1.2 Italian Renaissance

2 min readmay 7, 2020

Christine Lin

Dalia Savy


The Italian Renaissance

The Renaissance first began in Italy in the 15th century then later spread across Europe with the revival of classical texts and new humanist values. New scientific and secular views began to emerge during this time period. This was known as the time when society evolved from medieval to modern times. The Renaissance in Europe was characterized by growing national consciousness and political centralization, an urban economy based on organized commerce and capitalism, and a growing control of secular thought and culture.
Due to the economy evolving during this period, the creation of city-states, cities which controlled the political and economic life of the surrounding countryside, became prominent. The creation of city-states led to a new social group in Italy: the urban rich. This class consisted of local nobility and the newly rich.
Five major city-states evolved from this time period: Milan, Florence, Venice, Naples, and the Papal States. Oligarchies also emerged during this time and they hired strongmen to maintain law and order in their city-states. They used absolute power, especially in a cruel and oppressive way. The rise of warfare and political turbulence led to the rise of diplomacy, in which despots created embassies and even appointed ambassadors to other city-states.

The Impact of the Italian Renaissance

During the Italian Renaissance, new values of secularism and individualism challenged the teachings of the Catholic Church, institutional powers of universities, artistic and political behaviors. As education shifted towards the teaching of classical texts and new methods of scientific inquiry, everyone was questioning their preexisting realities.
This time period was also characterized by new ideas like naturalism and new techniques of geometric perspective. The concept of patronage and a refocus on art and artistic supports grew. The questioning in the Catholic Church teaching promoted an individualist approach to religion.
People realized that they no longer had to listen to the interpretation of the Bible that the church provided them with and began to come up with their own ideas.
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Image Courtesy of Simple Wikipedia

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