Circumstances that Created the Renaissance
Italy becomes the subject of all the history that concerns transition from medieval practices to modernity due to her fame for being the birthplace of the Renaissance. It is crucial to understand the contributors to the process hence evaluate rebirth in depth. There are significant circumstances that enable Renaissance and among them being economic, social, geographic and even political conditions. Various writers have contributed the Renaissance to political circumstances where it is believed that due to the struggles of getting to democratic governances Italy move from the medieval governance to a more suitable ruling to the emerging societal norms. However, this paper makes an analysis and concludes on economic circumstance as being the most important one of the several others in propelling the Renaissance. The economic elements of banking, education, and trade provided the framework for the development of the Renaissance.
Looking at banking, Italy’s northern city states like Rome, Milan, Florence, Mantua, Padua, Genoa, Venice, Bologna, and Ferrara flourished as banking and commercial centers during the twelfth centuries (Perry, Chase, Jacob, Jacob & Daly, 2015, 13-1a). Italy had majored on this when other European countries focused on other aspects of governance, which put the economy ahead of every other country. The people in Italy got employed within the industry while those that got services from the industry were able to obtain loans to services their businesses. With the growth of the cities came a change in various aspect. First, a huge number of people were able to earn a living hence changing their lifestyle wanting to have a smaller size of the family to be accommodated in the city rather than the traditional family in the medieval times where they would get a huge number of children (Perry, Chase, Jacob, Jacob & Daly, 2015, 13-1b). Secondly, the cities disregarded the feudal nobility. As a result, the industry run with no limitation from a governing authority leading to a spark of change. It is due to this shift that resulted in people changing their focus from things that did not impact anything to those that mattered resulting to individualism where they turned their attention to the pursuit of self-happiness which characterized most of the Renaissance period.
Education was the other economic aspect that propelled renaissance. Literacy not only creates awareness but also expands the class of literate people hence resulting in changes based on the knowledge acquired. Although there was philosophical literature available during the medieval time as time went by and there was the interaction between the Italians and Muslims during trade along the Mediterranean, the Italians were able to acquire books from various studies such as mathematics, art, and even science. Humanist pursued learning different aspects like how to undertake civic duties, how to live the good life and to achieve self-cultivation and as a result sort not only the medieval literature but also the classical literature acquired from the trade (Perry, Chase, Jacob, Jacob & Daly, 2015, 13-3). As a result, there was the expansion of knowledge in the Italian community. Consequently, further growth to the in the Renaissance. The reduction in famine and plagues accommodated for the foundation of colleges and school which catered for both men and women although the focus in education was for men while women only enrolled to engage in other activities other than sewing and knitting. It is through the learning process that introduction of projects like the printing press in the city states was possible. The invention of printing technology that used ink from the Chinese and the Muslims enable a huge number of people to publish books on various subjects ranging from religion to secular. The printing press further contributed to trade that went as far as to other European countries (Perry, Chase, Jacob, Jacob & Daly, 2015, 13-3).
Lastly, is trade as an economic aspect of the economy in propelling the renaissance. The trade took place in the Mediterranean where the Muslims and the Europeans exchanged goods like oil, grains, and wine. Bologna and Venice are among the Italian cities that had already established themselves as principal centers of trade. There was the exchange of not only money but also books, information, and knowledge. Scholars from Italy moved from Italy to Spain easily as there was a variety of books and antiquity to study in Córdoba (Perry, Chase, Jacob, Jacob & Daly, 2015, 13-4a). The interaction between the Muslims, the Italians and the rest of Europe allowed the exchange of information through the interaction and as a result spread of various attributes that accelerated renaissances. Whenever people from different background meet and interact, they develop characteristics that are common to them. The traders are no different as they borrow from the interaction during their activities.
It is clear that political circumstance did not have a great impact to the Renaissance as compared to economical. The entire of Europe had their struggles with the political aspect. However, Italy was one of the most affected considering that she struggled in getting the best governance for her city states. Italy moved from feudal nobility, papacy to struggles with republican and despotism all this in the quest to get the best ruling that allows for freedom and protection of individuals (Perry, Chase, Jacob, Jacob & Daly, 2015, 13-1a). Despite all the struggles Italy emerged as the birthplace of the Renaissance. If political circumstance were the significate aspect, Italy would not be seen as the lead, as this would have been achieved by the most politically stable countries in Europe. It can only mean that economic circumstance was the most significant aspect in propelling Renaissance.
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