RenaissanceThe 14th, 15th and part of 16th century was a glorious time for Europe, it was the reformation of many old ideas and the formation of many new, this was called the Renaissance. The Renaissance brought many changes to Europe, the economy was greatly boosted by of all the new explorations. The flourishing economy helped to inspire new developments in art and literature. And from that many new beliefs were formed.
The European economy flourished during the Renaissance due to many factors. There was a large income coming in from over seas exploration. Spain alone received added income from Christopher Columbus and when he stumbled across North America on his way to find a shorter rout to the Indies. The exploration down the coast of Africa also brought in a lot of extra income. This income came from the exploitation of the Africans by kidnapping them and selling them as slaves. Income also came from establishing colonies in Africa and setting up gold mines and mines for other needed metals. With all of this extra income coming into the European countries they had more money to help fund the arts. During the Renaissance there were many drastic changes in the style of art. Giotto was a very influential painter, during the start of the Renaissance. In Giotto’s work he used three dimensional images, this was a drastic change from the classic art where depth was not used. His painting were very realistic and life like, unlike the previous centuries art. Giotto’s work inspired artists by the likes of Leonardo de Vinci, Raphael and Michaelango. Michaelango painted the Sistine Chapel, which is located in the Vatican in Rome. The Sistine Chapel depicted the book of Genesis. The manner in which it was painted was unlike another at the time, all the characters in the Sistine chapel are very life like and realistic. Also it was one of the first times that religion was painted by the painters opinion of the events. The arts led to new ways of thinking.
With the arts the artists began to think on their own and those movements began to spread. It was not just what the church said anymore that was right. Humanism, one of the new beliefs which was formed during the Renaissance, said that people should read the works of the greats and focus on writing, and the arts. Humanists believed that they were equal with the ancient Greek and Roman writers and philosophers. Petrarch was the original humanist, and a writer who wrote many letters to the people of ancient Rome. In those letters he spoke as if he was an equal with them. Another of the new beliefs was scholasticism, which was the opposite of humanism. Scholastics thought that people should spend more time the sciences, they also wanted the church and science to be brought together as one. As new scientific discoveries were made many of the churches theories were beginning to be questioned.
Some of the new scientific discoveries consisted of theories which went against the churches beliefs. One theory which was proven true about the Earth revolving around the sun. This was contrary to the churches view that everything revolved around the Earth. This theory was proven true by Copernicus who is considered the father of modern astronomy. Kelper an astronomer and astrologer also discovered about the rotation of the planets. As the church began to be questioned more and more. And soon there were new religions forming. The major religion that was formed during the Renaissance was the Protestant religion. The Protestant religion began to spread throughout Europe, at one point of time the official church of England was a Protestant church.
This new and improved Europe was mainly came to be from the blustering economy, the explorations, art, literature, and new discoveries, but this new growth of a western power was not just a natural development, in fact it was inspired by a superior civilization, the Chinese. If it was not for the Chinese version of the Renaissance which occurred about a thousand years earlier there would be no European Renaissance. The Chinese had many useful inventions which the Europeans exploited unlike the Chinese. One crucial Chinese invention was the compass, the Chinese had no need to exploit the invention because they had everything they needed right in China. The Europeans on the other hand would be nowhere without the compass, because it was an essential tool for their over seas exploration. Another key invention that the Europeans used to fuel their Renaissance was the printing press, this was also another Chinese invention that they had used a thousand years earlier. Many views about being civilized and a gentleman was a crucial part of the Renaissance. Baldassare Castiglione wrote an influential book called The Courtier which was all about how to be a gentleman. Confucius a Chinese philosopher wrote about that same idea during the Chinese Renaissance. So in fact the European Renaissance was inspired by a superior civilization, the Chinese.
Compared to the Middle Ages the Renaissance was a major step up in all aspects of life from the economy, which benefited from the explorations, the arts and literature and the new scientific discoveries and theories. So the Renaissance was a very beneficial period of time in European history.