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Ch. 10 The Renaissance and
Overview: The Italian
Renaissance (1350-1550)
• “rebirth”; transition
from medieval to
modern times
– Medieval Europe (pre12th c.)
– fragmented, feudal
– agricultural economy
– church-dominated
thought, culture
– Renaissance Europe
(post-14th c.)
– political
national feelings
– urban, commercialcapitalist economy
– growing lay/secular
control of thought &
• A period of artistic, cultural, and intellectual
– Attraction to ancient cultures of Greece and Rome
• Spread of humanism—a literary movement
concerned with secular issues
– Northern humanists—mix of religion and classical
• Renaissance defined more by individual
accomplishments than events
Goals of the Renaissance
• Humanism
• Individualism
• Secularism
Defining the Renaissance
• As you watch the video, assess the
importance of at least 5 defining traits of
this movement
DQ: Italy and Renaissance
• What qualities were present on the Italian
peninsula that allowed for the
Renaissance to emerge?
• Think about SPRITED
• Respond in a 6-8 sentence paragraph
The Italian City-States
Geography—Italy center of Mediterranean
trade; centers of ancient
--become the middlemen of Europe
Italian towns had expanded into independent
Urbanization—25% of Italians took part in civic
culture; cities were magnets for trade, ideas,
and culture
The Major City-States
• Florence—cultural center
• Centers of trade with Far
East became powerful citystates: Genoa, Venice, and
• Rome, Naples, and
Milanmanufacturing and
market centers
• Italy helped the spread of
ideas from different cultures
Lack of Government
• No central authority in Italy;
allowed for city-states to be
• Most city-states were
– Florence was a republic
• The rise of signors (tyrants) to
keep city-state in order
• A condottieri was the despot’s
hired army used to remove
any political constraints
Italian Society
• Emerging middle class of merchants and
bankers controlled the gov’ts
– Wealth based on capital and ability to lend it
– New wealth led to appreciation of earthly
pleasures such as art
– Art did not have to be devoted to God
• Wealth not based on land as in the rest of
• “Money is power”The world could be
changed without the help of God
• Secularism is born
Social status
• Guilds—gov’t controlled monopolies on
trade—manufacturing, clothing,
• Professional group—bankers,
administrators, and merchants
• Skilled labor—stone masons
• Merchant families more powerful than
landed nobility
Family Structure
• Patriarchalpower in the male head;
children must be liberated by father before
achieving autonomy
• Late 20s or early 30s establish
• Economically beneficial marriages
• No age discretion
• Many remarriages and blended families
• Italy depended on African slavery as a
result of the Black Death