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:
weapons and silk; had most wealtha and power (green in pic)
Mediterranean; enabled city to become rich through trade (purple in pic)
island city; grew rich from sea trade (brown in pic)
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
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.
top of the Sistine Chapel
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.
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.