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The Renaissance
Spirit of the Renaissance
• Began in the city-states of northern Italy.
• Spread to northern Europe and Spain.
• City-states had become wealthy because of
the Crusades.
• Created a powerful middle-class of bankers
and merchants.
• Had the time and money to seek education
and support the work of artists.
Interest in the Classics
• Learning of ancient Greece and Rome.
• Read ancient texts.
• Rediscovered knowledge that had been lost or
forgotten during the Middle Ages.
New views of the world
• Europeans changed the way they thought
about themselves.
• Had strong religious views.
• Read the works of early Christian writers.
• Interested in secular affairs.
• Focused on “how to behave”.
• Machiavelli – “The Prince” – handbook for
rulers – “safer to be feared than to be loved”
Achievements of the Renaissance
• Confidence in the ability of individuals to
shape their own lives.
• Stimulated a creative spirit that revolutionized
the arts and world of learning in Western
Europe.
Art
• Studied Greek statues and Roman buildings.
• Works reflected realism and grace.
• Experimented with new paints and paimting
techniques.
• Developed “perspective” – a method of
painting that makes objects or scenes appear
three-dimensional.
• Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo
Madonna and Child - Giotto
Da Vinci – Benois Madonna
Literature
• Wrote on religious and secular subjects
• Petrarch – wrote sonnets (a 14 line poem)
most famous are love poems to “Laura”
• Cervantes – Spaniard – Don Quixote – novel
that mocks the ideals of medieval knights –
the musical Man of La Mancha is based on
this book.
• Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet - Hamlet
The Printing Press
• Johann Gutenberg invented a press using
movable type.
• Used to produce the first Bible printed by
machine.
• Meant books could be mass produced.
• Spread new ideas more rapidly as more
people learned to read.
Age of Exploration
• Motives – desire to bypass trade routes
controlled by Muslims and Italian city-states.
• Desire for gold and silver led to conquering of
the Americas.
• Wanted to spread Christianity to other lands.
Impact of Technology
• Renaissance mapmakers produced more
accurate maps.
• Astrolabe – could be used at sea to calculate
latitude – didn’t have to hug the coastline.
• Improved the magnetic compass
• Adopted the lateen sail from the Arabs.
• Used new shipbuilding techniques to build
large, seaworthy ships.
Voyages
• 1488 – Bartholomeu Dias rounded the Cape of
Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa.
• 1498 – Vasco da Gama sailed around Africa to
India. Led Portugal to build a rich trading
empire in Asia.
• 1492 – Christopher Columbus sailed to the
New World.
• Ferdinand Magellan circumnavigated the
world.
Effects of Expansion
• Had worldwide impact
• Spread foods, animals, and ideas from one
continent to another.
• Known as the Columbian Exchange.
• Also introduced European disease to the New
World. Wiped large populations of native
americans.
Colonies
• Established colonies in the Americas and
trading outposts in Asia.
• Spain and Portugal divided South America.
• Spain, France, the Netherlands, and England
set up colonies in North America.
• Supplied Europe with precious metals, foods,
timber, and furs.
• Led to increased warfare between nations
competing for land and power.
Economic Impact
•
•
•
•
Changed the economy of Europe.
Trade and commerce grew.
Harbor cities grew in importance.
Developed new ways of doing business – jointstock companies- raised capital for trade
voyages.
• Set up banks and insurance companies.
• Helped European nations increase their
power.
• Rulers adopted the economic philosophy of
mercantilism.
• Colonies supplied the parent country with raw
materials – parent country expanded
industries to produce manufactured goods for
the colonies.