The italian renaissance
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The Italian Renaissance. Quick Vocab Review . Renaissance: means “rebirth” Bringing back the classical world of the Greeks and Romans. Characteristics of the Italian Renaissance. Italy is made up of city-states

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Quick vocab review
Quick Vocab Review

  • Renaissance: means “rebirth”

    • Bringing back the classical world of the Greeks and Romans

Characteristics of the italian renaissance
Characteristics of the Italian Renaissance

  • Italy is made up of city-states

    • These city-states were the center of the Italian political, economic, and social worlds

  • These city-states are secular

    • Many Italians began to enjoy day-to-day activities and the benefits of strong trade and industry

Characteristics of the italian renaissance1
Characteristics of the Italian Renaissance

  • Europe is recovering from disasters of the 14th century

    • Who can think of some of them?

    • Recovery and rebirth go hand in hand

  • Italian thinkers going back to their Roman past

    • Once again interested in the culture that dominated the ancient Mediterranean world

      • Started seeing humans in new ways

      • Affected politics and art

Characteristics of the italian renaissance2
Characteristics of the Italian Renaissance

  • New Emphasis on the individual and their abilities

    • New social ideal: well-rounded personality, or universal person

    • The “Renaissance Man” – able to achieve things in many different areas of life

I’m DaVinci… I am the ULTIMATE Renaissance Man. I was skilled as a painter, sculptor, architect, inventor, and mathematician…


The italian states
The Italian States

  • What is a city-state?

    • Independent governments that are not unified or part of a single entity

  • During the Renaissance, Italy did not form a centralized government

Who were the powerhouses
Who were the powerhouses?

  • Milan: Duomo Square

  • Venice

  • Florence

Why was it that the italian cities prospered
Why was it that the Italian cities prospered?

  • Benefited from trade on the Mediterranean as well as northern Europe

  • Profited from the crusades—set up new trading centers in eastern ports


  • Location is Key:

    • On the crossroads of trade routes from Italian coastal cities to the Alpine

  • Ruled by Visconti and Sforza families

    • Created a strong central government

    • Efficient tax system brought great revenues


  • Rich from trading in eastern Mediterranean and northern Europe

  • Ran by merchant-aristocrats

  • Wealth gave the city international power


  • Led several successful military campaigns to gain land and influence

  • Controlled by the Medici family

    • They used power and wealth to control the city through appointing favorites and supporters

The problem with being a little guy
The Problem with being a “little guy”

  • France and Spain made Italy their battle ground

    • The Italian city-states weren’t powerful enough to protect themselves from the French so they appealed to the Spanish for help

  • Spanish leaders couldn’t pay their troops so they said the soldiers could sack Rome

    • Sack of Rome 1527—end of Renaissance

    • Women raped, church officials sold as slaves, churches and palaces robbed


  • Diplomat in Florence, forced to exile

  • Wrote “The Prince”

  • His views had a profound influence on later political leaders

Social classes of the renaissance
Social Classes of the Renaissance

  • Three classes (or ‘estates’)

    • Clergy (those who prayed)

    • Nobles (those who fought)

    • Peasants/Townspeople (those who worked)


  • Only 2-3% of the population

    • Held important political posts and advised the king

  • The Book of Courtier— Castiglione (1528)

    • Nobles are born, not made; should have character, grace, and talent

    • Perfect noble must take part in military and have a classical education

    • Standards of conduct

    • Goal is to serve prince effectively and honestly

Peasants and townspeople
Peasants and Townspeople

  • Made up 85-90% of the population

    • Serfdom and manorialism in decline

  • Townspeople 12% population

    • Artisans and merchants (middle-class)

    • Patricians were at the top of society, ruling society, politics, and the economics of their city-state

    • Burghers—shopkeepers, artisans, guild members

    • The destitute—poor and unemployed

    • Poverty in the cities was on the rise

Family structures
Family Structures

  • Parents carefully arranged marriages to strengthen family and business ties

    • Dowry: sum of $ paid by wife’s family to husband

  • Patriarchal society

    • This means that ____________ are in charge…

    • Father-husband managed all finances, made decisions regarding children

    • Children did not become adults until they were legally freed by father in court

    • Mother supervised the household