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Europe. Renaissance (14 th C) generated intellectual curiosity about the world of humankind in Europe the Mediterranean, and beyond. Renaissance Re-birth What was new - not ideas But the volume & intensity of ideas Initially centered on/in Italy Suggested reasons New Reading of Classics

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Renaissance (14th C)

generated intellectual curiosity about the world of humankind in Europe the Mediterranean, and beyond



  • Re-birth

    What was new - not ideas

    But the volume & intensity of ideas

    Initially centered on/in Italy

    Suggested reasons

  • New Reading of Classics

  • Tumultuous politics

  • Black death

Creation of adam michelangelo

Creation of AdamMichelangelo

  • Renaissance celebrated human achievement

  • Man reaching to god


Primarily male

Renaissance promoted learning for all

  • Last stage was Rhetoric

  • The ability to use knowledge to put it into use in public sphere

    Women excluded from this

    Exceptions seen in reign of

  • Isabella of Castile 1474 – 1504

  • Elizabeth I 1588-1603


Role of Venice

  • “the serene republic”

    International trade allowed sense of power and control Venice

    Indication of role seen in occupation

    Population 150,000

    30,000 sailors


  • 15th and 16th centuries centralization of power in Europe

  • The “New Monarchs”

    • hired armies

    • Paid for armies with revenues from new, often bitterly hated taxes.

    • Created more effective national courts of law.


  • Monarchs were often despotic

  • “It is better for a leader to be feared than loved”


Personified the emergent nation-states of Europe

Brought peace to local communities weary of chronic feudal war


  • Without centralization

  • European countries could not have generated financial and military resources necessary

  • For worldwide exploration.

  • As New Monarchs competed for wealth and power, the New World was inviting

Cultural developments

Cultural developments

Revolution in communications technology

Seafaring and geography hot topics.


  • Paper from Asia

    • Via Muslims

  • Arrives in Europe

  • Similar thing with printing press

  • Asia wooden typeface shift to bronze

  • In Europe metal typeface combined with moveable type and oil press


  • 1440 Guttenberg

  • 1st Printed bible


  • Plague hit Europe in in mid 14th century

  • Black Death

  • Changed structure of society

  • 1/3rd population dead

  • Result


More food for those still alive

Survivors inherit property

Peasants began to move around

15th century a dangerous place

Big challenges lead to some taking big risks



  • 1517 Luther

  • Ninety-five thesis challenged dominance of Catholicism

  • God spoke through the bible not through the pope or priests


Luther and Indulgences

Pious acts can absolve sin

Pope controls Treasury of merit

Pious acts done by Saints and Virgin Mary

“As soon as the coin in the coffer rings, the soul from purgatory rings”


  • Calvin 1536 predestination

  • Education important

  • Prevents idleness

  • Hard work, efficiency, frugality sign of possible predestination

Lure of the east

Lure of the east

Silks carpets, jewels spices

European powers looking to avoid Venetians as middle men

Plus closing of Constantinople

All led people to look for a new route to the east


  • Looking for the way east turned to old trips

  • Marco Polo (1254-1324)

    • Image from 15th century

    • Nothing to extreme

  • Trips planned on similar misinformation

  • Prester John


  • 1482 edition of the Geographia.

  • Depicts the habitable world as known to Ptolemy and his ancient Greek contemporaries

  • Surrounding map are personifications of winds

  • Most of world – land

  • Only 3 continents

  • T-O Map



  • Beginning in 711

  • Catholics began an attempt to retake Spain from the Muslims (Moors)

  • Finally completed in 1492 with the marriage of

  • Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castille



  • Worked with Spain on the Reconquista

  • 1415 Portuguese forces conquered Ceuta, the Muslim bastion at the mouth of the strait of Gibraltar that blocked Portugal's access to the Atlantic coast of Africa

  • Ideal of Reconquista allowed for expansion into ‘heathen’ lands


Prince Henry the Navigator, son of the Portuguese King

from 1415 until death in 1460 acted as an important conduit for bringing together technology, money, and prestige

pushed for greater expansion down Africa’s coast

New ship design the caraval allowed them to take advantage of winds and tacking against the winds

It was sturdier and larger than earlier European sea going ships


Genoese and Florentines looked west

  • Brought sailing know-how, mercantile instincts, and banking practices to cities of Spain and Portugal.

    Commercial community of fifteenth century Lisbon hoped to outflank Muslims and Venetians,

  • i.e. those who still held the keys to the doors of African gold and Asian Luxury goods


Europeans’ quest for commodities and labor to help produce them brought

  • the annexation of Atlantic Islands

  • generated trade south along the African coast for slaves and other commodities

  • most importantly gold to help finance their enterprises.


  • Despite success of Portuguese exploring eastern Atlantic

  • Spain first country to head west looking for the east

Christopher columbus

Christopher Columbus

  • Background

    • Born sane year as Isabella 1451

    • Genoa

    • Freelance Sailor

  • Father raised in household of Prince Henry the Navigator

  • Sailed to central Africa

  • Convinced Asia was 2,500 miles to west

  • (actually 11,000)


  • Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile

    • 1469 Unified Kingdom of Spain

    • 1492Defeated Moors at Grenada

      • Ends Islamic presence in Spain

      • Sponsor Columbus

  • Tried to persuade

    • Portugal

    • England

    • France

    • Spain

  • To let him sail West to China

Columbus s first voyage 1492

Columbus’s First Voyage, 1492

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