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Renaissance and Discovery

Renaissance and Discovery

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Renaissance and Discovery

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  1. Renaissance and Discovery Chapter 10 EQs: What political, social and economic impacts did the Renaissance have on Europe? How did the discovery of the New World affect Europe?

  2. An Introduction • By the term Renaissance ("New Birth"), used in its narrower sense, is meant that new enthusiasm for classical literature, learning, and art which sprang up in Italy towards the close of the Middle Ages, and which during the course of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries gave a new culture to Europe • Using the word in a somewhat broader sense, we may define the Renaissance as the reentrance into the world of that secular, inquiring, self-reliant spirit which characterized the life and culture of classical antiquity. This is simply to say that under the influence of the intellectual revival the men of Western Europe came to think and feel, to look upon life and the outer world, as did the men of ancient Greece and Rome; and this again is merely to say that they ceased to think and feel as mediaeval men and began to think and feel as modern men.

  3. Contrasting Middle Ages to Renaissance

  4. Part One: The Italian Renaissance • Why was Italy the heart of the Renaissance? • GEOGRAPHY – Italy’s position on the Mediterranean made it powerful at the end of the 14th century. • Even though the Black Death first struck Italy and ravaged it’s population, it also ended first in Italy. Remember, the Black Death was brought to Europe by trade, trade that came into the Italian Mediterranean city states

  5. Fathers of the Rebirth • Petrarch (Francesco) (1304-1374)– writer, philosopher, poet, Humanist (the father of Humanism) • Boccaccio (Giovanni) (1313-1375) – writer, poet, Humanist, Author of Decameron • The death’s of Petrarch and Boccaccio generally mark the beginning of the Italian Renaissance period • Dante (Alighieri) (1265-1321) – writer, poet, Humanist, Author of The Divine Comedy • All preached HUMANISM, the study of the classics (Greek, Latin and of the church) in attempt to revive old values and social norms

  6. Humanism • Humanists believed that much of the current education system in Europe was useless, it only served the elite or those who gave themselves to the church • They emphasized that individuals should embrace the study of the humanities (studia humanitatis), things like art, literature, poetry, rhetoric philosophy, history, politics and morality…things that basically celebrated the dignity and virtue of man • Humanists promoted the idea of individuality, personal virtue and public service • Their main criticism of the Scholasticism movement of the Middle Ages was that its main focus was based on summarizing and comparing texts rather than interpreting their meaning and debating their points of views

  7. Humanist Reforms, Works, Revivals • The first most important actions taken by Humanists were to revive old manuscripts and texts, translate them from Greek and Latin into common languages spoken by the masses (Florentine “Academy” under the patronage of Cosimo de’ Medici) • “It is better to will the good than know the truth” – Petrarch • The Humanist idea that education must be useful not just information to be learned • The works of Plato (Neo-Platonism) were among the first such teachings to be translated…they grew in mass appeal due to their examinations of human reasoning • The concept of civic humanism also arose out of the reform of education by the Humanists…in this manner, average people rose to political power through Humanist teachings and used their persona to rally people towards causes (ie. Florence should repel the aggression of Naples and Milan)

  8. The Socio-Political Landscape of the Renaissance • The first overall major political theme of the Renaissance is the death of the Feudal/Manor system and the rise of individual monarchs and states • In Italy, individual city-states emerged, thanks in part to their participation in global trade (Genoa, Milan, Florence, Venice, Naples, Rome, Siena, Mantua, “Sicily”)…their was competition but political/military aggression was long held off by treaties amongst these states • Most states were ruled by despotic family dynasties (minus Venice which was a Republic)…names such as de Medici, Borgia, Sforza…who consolidated their power through trade or even corruption

  9. The Socio-Political Landscape of the Renaissance • Social Class and Conflict • Old Rich - grandi • Merchant Class (new rich) – popolo grasso • Business people, Guild artisans - burgher • Lower classes – popolo minuto • Conflicts were almost always engaged between the old and newly rich, the Black Death impacted the lower classes and the banking families who had greater contact with the outside world • It would take the skilled manipulation of despotic rulers to quell this social disorder…these despots, however, became patrons of Humanism, which they used as a tool to distract the masses

  10. The Socio-Political Landscape of the Renaissance • Despotism and Diplomacy • Cosimo de Medici – the master manipulator, managed Florence as puppet master, arranging the elections of officials and re-writing the cities constitution…he made sure that the town council (Signoria) was ruled by the most influential and trustworthy people from all upper corners of Florentine society • In other city states, oligarchy was common…like councils of upper class individuals hired strongmen (podesta) to wield executive authority…they hired mercenary armies (condottieri) to handle defense as conscripting the squabbling general populace was near impossible • Being strongman wasn’t an easy job…you could get fired, you could get assassinated • What kept the city states from going to war was their art of diplomacy…each had ambassadors and embassies established in other cities which basically served as “spies”

  11. French Intrusions • France toward the end of the 15th century began to assert political claims in Italy, particularly in the north…their targets, Savoy and Milan. • These claims were enhanced in 1494 when the Borgias decided to raise armies in Rome and Naples to attack Milan…the Milanese ruler Ludovico il Moro, made an error in crying to France…first, this allowed the French king Charles VIII to march armies right through the Italian states…second, it would allow France to eventually align itself with Milan’s enemies, who virtually placated the French…this caused the Spanish to desire control of Italian state and led to their invasions • It was the corruption of the Borgias that would be bolstered by this “invasion”…they even got a Pope in control of the church (Alexander VI) who was by far the most corrupt pope EVER in the history of the church, a true HEDONIST (ie. “The Banquet of the Chestnuts”) • 1527, the sack of Rome by Charles V effectively is given as the ending date of the Italian Renaissance

  12. Machiavelli • The Prince (1513) – This work is a satirical view of Italian politics of the Renaissance…many believe the figure “The Prince” is actually Lorenzo di Medici of Florence • Machiavelli was attempting to entice republican unity in Italy…he criticized the divisions amongst the states and proselytized the need for one strong ruler • “Machiavellian” as a term means “ruthless, political expediency”, only a strongman/dictator could unify Italy


  14. Renaissance and Discovery Chapter 10 EQs: What political, social and economic impacts did the Renaissance have on Europe? How did the discovery of the New World affect Europe?

  15. Part Two – The Northern Renaissance and Discovery of the New World • The main difference between the Renaissance of the south and that of the north is the interpretation of the humanist movement…whereas the southern (Italian) Renaissance tended to be more secular, the northern Renaissance had greater religious undertones • Another important difference was that whereas Italian states remained relatively divided, northern states began to consolidate politically…strong central monarchs began to emerge (minus Germany which remained largely divided). • With the decline of the feudal system, cities and towns allied themselves with strong kings/princes…however, “dynastic” family rule and the aspirations that went with it did not disappear (meaning, rulers of large states still wished to marry into the families of others to gain control over those states)

  16. The Political Landscape of Northern Europe • In northern states, the matters of taxation were no longer in the hands of the lords/vassals, it was now conducted by the king’s appointed officials…taxes, wars and laws were now matters of national not regional concern. • Many of these monarchs had public assemblies (Cortes in Spain, Estates General in France, Parliament in England) but were able to avoid entanglements with them by appointing bureaucratic officials to serve their capacity in matters of finance, law, etc. (ie. Corregidores in Spain, justices of the peace in England and bailiffs in France). • National armies were bought and paid for rather than raised by tribute…soldiers earned a wage, some were even recruited from other states as mercenaries (ex. Hessians from Germany)…fund raising for these endeavors was always difficult due to the fact that nobles abhored taxes, so creative taxation on sales of goods and transport were developed (ie. Sales tax and tariffs)

  17. Rising Monarchies • France • Charles VII (thanks to Joan and a banker named Jacques Coeur) rose to power…his son Louis XI furthered the expansion of France 2 fold 1) by the collapse of English power in France after the end of the 100 Years War and 2) by the defeat of Charles the Bold of Burgundy who was trying to make his states more grand than France and the Holy Roman Empire combined • Of course, Louis XI’s son, Charles VIII would mess up these gains with wars in Italy and Spain, sending France back to turmoil until the rise of Francis I 20 years later • Spain • The rise of Spain came from a marriage of Castille and Aragon (ie Ferdinand and Isabella) as well as the expanding efforts of the Reconquista which led to…

  18. Rising Monarchies • Spain (continued) • Religious fervor in Spain helped to drive out the Muslims for good in the 15th century • With the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon married in1469, the result was Ferdinand and Isabella setting a clear agenda for the purification of Spain • Persecute/expel the “heathens” (Muslims, Jews) and purify their kingdom into a Catholic state • Develop the military and begin to expand Iberian control into Europe (as seen in Italy, later against England and in Belgium/Netherlands) • Explore the world, compete with their rivals in Portugal for dominance of sea trade

  19. Rising Monarchies • England • Internal warfare erupted after the 100 Years War between the Houses of York and Lancaster (The War of the Roses)…Richard III eventually came to power as a villain who murdered Edward IV’s sons and needed a “kingdom for a horse”…The Tudor House of Lancaster eventually killed Richard III at the Bosworth Field • It was Henry Tudor the VII the consolidated English power once more, ending the nobles feuds by the creation of the Court of Star Chamber …and by using English Common Law to further the powers of the monarch and limit the nobility • The Holy Roman Empire • Germany was still a land of disunion, it’s only connection being common reign under the Holy Roman Empire…the Golden Bull of 1356 established a common council of princes that elected the emperor…both served as checks and balances to one another • A legislature called the Reichstag was also created body which princes and city rulers could discuss issues…despite these obvious unifying attempts, Germany remained regionalized with certain states being more powerful than others

  20. The Northern Renaissance • The invention of the Printing Press separated the Northern Renaissance from that of its southern counterpart • Northern Humanists focused their attention on spreading literature to the masses in order to secure a populace that was governable…add to this a new industry, the manufacture of paper which created a whole new economic opportunity for society • Becoming a printer was the new profitable job, as printing made record keeping and “spreading the news” easier • Print also became a powerful propaganda tool for the monarchs and the church, making it easier to spread decrees and concert the masses

  21. Northern Humanist Thinkers • Erasmus • “The Prince of Humanists”…his main claim to fame was his criticism of the Catholic church (which also makes him a so-called “Father of the Reformation” • Erasmus professed that a person could live like Christ and be humble and did not have seek salvation thru any means provided by a church…people could be free to interpret for themselves the meanings of and teachings of the Bible • Ulrich Von Hutten • Knight and ardent supporter of the reformation…supported a movement to resurrect Judaic teachings when it was attacked by the Church…Letters of Obscure Men • Thomas More • English author of Utopia, a depiction of a society based tolerance and social justice…he became one of Henry VIII advisors before being executed for opposing Henry’s schism from the Catholic church

  22. The Exploration Experiment • Atlantic Exploration began…Portugal vs. Spain in a battle royale for dominance of the sea • It was actually explorers from Italy who first sailed out the straits of Gibraltar down the African coast in the 14th century…Portugal and Spain followed suit, though these exploits were hindered by poor technology • All learned better shipbuilding techniques and use of compass/astrolabe form Muslim explorers and sailors…Prince Henry the Navigator of Portugal led the charge in improving

  23. Paths of Conquest • Spanish conquest of Latin America had 4 motivations: Gold, God Glory (and GREED)…and took 2 main directions, towards Mexico and South America, right to the civilizations of the Aztec and Inca that the Spanish had been hearing rumors of • Conquistadors were a mix of interesting characters…not ALL were official members of the Spanish military, some were just average joes with influence seeking their fortune…most expeditions averaged around 50 to 500 men only • Conquistadors were given free reign in their efforts by making agreements with the crown to share their spoils…they even recruited their “soldiers” much the same way, promising them spoils from the conquest • Many were later granted land titles in Latin America (encomiendas)…most established themselves as new nobility and created a new class system in the New World • Their eventual successes were attributed to several simple factors: superior military technology (horses and weapons), European diseases, ruthless leadership, and the taking advantage of crumbling native empires

  24. Patterns of Spanish Colonization • The Spanish proceeded to layout a strict colonial system (later legitimized in the Law of the Indies) • They designed cities in a grid like structure similar to their own in Spain (influenced by Muslims)…at the center of these towns/cities was a large plaza, surrounded by government buildings, military offices and a CATHOLIC CHURCH…a market would also be held in the plaza • The church became a central figure in the government/colonization process (more later)

  25. The Spanish Colonial Economy • More than 80% of Spanish America was engaged in agricultural production • HOWEVER, mining was the essential activity • Major silver mines opened up in Mexico, Peru and Bolivia • Potosi in Bolivia was the largest and most productive of all mines, the town was populated by over 160,000 people, mostly by mita mining slaves from other parts of Peru • According to Spanish law, the crown held all subsoil rights even though mines were owned by individuals…these individuals had to pay 1/5 of their profits to the Spanish crown • Haciendas – large local estates that emerged to sustain the local population…created the landed aristocracy of Latin America (feudalism) • Haciendas produced food mainly for the colonies, NOT luxury crops…that was left up to plantations and rancheros (encomiendas) • Haciendas tied the native populations and poorer migrants & peasant farmers to the land and created an imbalance of wealth that would lead to future revolutions in Latin America

  26. The Spanish Colonial Economy • The Spanish crown established one important provision in the Law of the Indies  ALL luxury goods, gold and silver produced in Spanish colonies had to be directly sent to Spain • There was NO direct trade between Spanish Viceroyalties or other European power from the Spanish colonies…Spanish colonies and colonists had to buy Spanish made goods (source of dissatisfaction for future independence movements) • Spanish galleon fleets funneled goods from the Pacific (Philippines) through the Americas then directly to Spain…these fleets were well armed to prevent piracy…only one fleet was lost before this era of trade ended in the 1730s

  27. The Impact on Europe of the New World Discovery • The obvious is economic…new products increased trade and increased individual wealth and entrepreneurship in European states…it created a greater competition between states • Prices skyrocketed as inflation increased the values of basic goods such as food and clothing, however, wages and rents stayed behind (income gap) • This wealth increased sponsorship of activities (ie. the upcoming Scientific Revolution) and the development of new industries…this also created an industry of banking where capital was “loaned” …the Medicis grew wealthy as bankers as did the German Fugger family (which bankrolled the Hapsburgs)