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7th Grade World History

The Renaissance

Ancient Rome
Ancient Islam
Ancient Africa
Ancient China
Ancient Japan
The Americas
Medieval Europe
The Renaissance
The Reformation



Many people think that the georgraphy of the Renaissance is absolutlely nothing, but I'm here to tell you that there is actually something.  There are four major northern Italian cities that had become trading centers-Florence, Genoa, Milan, and Venice.  Venice and Genoa were Italy's major port cities.  They were home to merchant ships that brought spices and other luxuries.  The other cities played a part in this Italian role.  For example, Venice produced glass and workers in Milan made weapons and silk.  Florence wove wool into cloth, and Genoa was home to all the merchants bound by boat.

Here are the main cities:

Milan-made weapons and silk; had most wealtha and power (green in pic)

Genoa-on Mediterranean; enabled city to become rich through trade (purple in pic)

Venice-an island city; grew rich from sea trade (brown in pic)

Florence-banking and trade center;used money to build beautiful (blue in pic)



Humanists were no less religious than the people of the Middle Ages.  But their lives weren't all around religion.  They spent their time doing paintings, sculptures, and art. 

     The Northern Renaissance people wanted to learn about history of Christianity.  They thought that the church was currupt and no longer true to the spirit of Jesus's teachings.  So they called a church reform.  Deiderius Erasmus published a book in 1509 telling about how currupt the church clergy were.  In this he emphisized on devotion to God and the teachings of Jesus. 



There were MANY achievements for the Renaissance.  There were literature, art, archutecture, math, astronomy, and many buildings.  The litrerature very good.  One poet, Dante Alighieri, was one of the first people to write in Italian.  One of his major works of art was The Devine Comedy.  It tells the tale about an imanginary journey through afterlife.  Niccolo Machiavelli also wrote a book; he called his book The Prince.  This gave leaders advice on how they should rule.  In both of these, it shows that you could be successful.  Italian artists created very good pieces of work.  These pieces of art were very more colorful and alive and more detailed than Medieval Europe's.  Painters often painted of myths about Gods and peasants.  They showed grave detail in all their people.  Leonard da Vinci was the true genius of the Renaissance.  He practically did anything, he sculpted, architected, invented, painted, and engineered.  His notebook was full of fascinating drawings of plants, animals, machines, and the human body.  Another great Italian artist was Michelangelo.  He designed buildings, wroted poetry, carved sculptures, and painted-painted very well.  His most famous work was that of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican.  It was muy buen.  Math was pretty cool in their time.  They used it to figure out the univers; they made up the square root sign and positive and negative numbers.  Advances in math led to advances in engineering.  Filippo Brunelleschi designed a dome for a cathedral in Florence, but soon faced a problem: the dome was too heavy.  So he used two thin, light layers instead of one thick, heavy one.  In astronomy, they learned about the earth, sun , and other planets.  They figured out that the earth moved around the sun, not the other way around.  This wasn't all, children had a change in education too.  As well as Christianity, children learned about humanities as well.  They also got taught about history.  They thought that it was very important to give children past knowledge about the world.

     In the 700's, papermaking spread from China to the Middle East very fast.  In the 1300's the Middle East started to make paper like mad men until the had made enough to over take the animal skins that people used to write on.  Later that cenury, Johann Gutenberg developed a printing press that evelutionised their age.  It made it so that the made copies in like not long.  The Bible was both the first printed book and the number one selling book.  Italian universsities was a hot place for someone to go and study.  They studied there but took back their information with them to their home countries.  The teachers were humanists, so students took Renaissance ideas back with them. 

     In the Northern Renaissance, artists didn't paint about Greek Gods, they painted realistic, with physical flaws.  They painted sooooooo realistic that objects appeared to be glued to the page instead of painted.  These artists painted scenes from daily life.  A great painter of the time was Albrecht Durer.  He studied the human body also so he could paint humans more realistically.  But he didn't stop with humans, he painted grass so realistic that 600 years later, we can tell what species it is.  He also painted religious scenes and then gave them to the church.  Hans Holbein and Jan van Eyck were two portrait painters of that time.  Holbein painted a portrait of King Henry VIII and Euck painted with oil paints, a new form of paints.

     Writing literature wasn't only limited to only Italy, other countries put Renaissance ideas into their forms of art too.  Miguel de Cervantes was a great writer in Spain.  He made fun of romantic comedies of the Middle Ages.  He made fun of the Middle Ages.  Francois Rabelais fo France also made fun of the Middle Ages.  He was the best in France.  But the best writer in the English Language would definately have to be William Shakespear.  He wrote all sorts of sruff, like plays, poems, and books.  He wrote more than 30 comedies, tragedies, and histories.  He has had a packed theatre alot of times in London.  Through all of Cervantes, Rabelais, and Shakespear the ideas of the Renaissance was kept on and will be kept on through out the universe.

Art of Leonardo Da Vinci Screenshot

Leonardo's human body

top of the Sistine Chapel

Mona Lisa

the Mona Lisa




 These cities weren't bound together though.  Each state had there own form of government.  For example, Venice was republic while the Papal States was ruled by the pope.  But in most states, a single rich merchant family ruled the government.  This was called a signoria and the head of a signoria was called a signori.  Trade influctuated under the signori.  They had compititions to see who would grow the most under trade.  One of the first people to do this was the Medici family.  They were bankers that made loads of money by making people pay interest.  They were Florence's richest family by 1434.  Cosimo de' Medici ruled the city when this happended.  He wanted his city to be the best, the best of all Italy.  So he hired artist to paint and decorate his city.  This family helped start the Renaissance.

If you remeber The Black Death hurt and killed many of Europe's families.  This was a very bad time, but it was aslo a very good time.  It marked the period of change.  Workers started to charge more money for their labor and prices went down on food and trade.  So there was more trade and new products started to appear in the market.  Marco Polo and many other traders began to make use of this.  They traveled along the Silk Road in search for new items.  They traveled to China where they met up with Kublai Khan, Mongol Emperor.  He offered Marco Polo a government spot there but he declined and took the job as a messenger for the king.  He started to head towards India and Southwest Asia without his father and uncle.  Polo spent 20 years in Asia before returning to Venice to record his stories in a book.  Many people demanded trading goods from Asia to douse their curiousity.  Therefore, trade increased.

S.ocial Structure


The people of Renaissance were composed of four social classes. The nobles owned much of the land, and lived on large estates outside the city walls. They behaved according to the rules of chivalry and distained the merchants. The merchants were the newly rich, who gained wealth in industries like wool processing, boat making and banking. The merchants sought to protect their wealth by controlling the government and marrying into noble families. They became patrons of great artists in order to gain public favor. The middle class of Florence was composed of shopkeepers and professionals At the lowest level were the workers, who did not have job protection and were very dependent on their employers. Workers who violated rules could have their wages withheld or could be discharged from their jobs. As difficult as their lives were, however, these urban workers were better off than the peasants who lived in rural areas.

Jeremiah 29:11 "'For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
Joshua 1:9"'Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  
Do not be terrified; 
Do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.'"
Isaiah 40:28-31 "'Have you never heard? Have you never understood?The Lord is the everlasting God,the Creator of all the earth.He never grows weak or weary.No one can measure the depths of his understanding.29 He gives power to the weakand strength to the powerless.30 Even youths will become weak and tired,and young men will fall in exhaustion.31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.They will soar high on wings like eagles.They will run and not grow weary.They will walk and not faint.'"