Unit 2- Humanism, The Renaissance, and The Protestant Reformation Questions
What changes occurred in the late (high) Middle Ages that would enable the Renaissance to take place?
In the high middle ages invasions slowed, trade increased and there was good agricultural production that attracted many new people. The population grew and new cities were created. There was wealth and relative peace which enabled the Renaissance to take place. The Renaissance started in Italy in Venice and Florence. Due to banking, ship building and arms manufacturing Venice was a prosperous port city. The port facilitated trade, gave access to consumers and raw materials and gave them naval supremacy. Venice also had exclusive trade treaties w/the Byzantines, the government controlled shipping. The government also hired mercenaries and taxed conquered people. Florence was a prosperous inland city due to banking and wool. The banks were supported by the pope, there were banks throughout Europe and the East and there was also a thriving textile industry. The Medici family was very wealthy and supported the arts. They paid artists to sculpt, paint etc. therefore artists could make art and still earn money.
How do the opinions of scholars in the high Middle Ages and historians today differ regarding the term “Renaissance” referring to the period as a “rebirth” or “new beginning”
Scholars of that time thought that the Renaissance was something that just happened. That just all of a sudden there was a rebirth of art and literature and learning. They believed that they were responsible for the Renaissance. However historians today know that the Renaissance did not just happen overnight. The Renaissance was greatly influenced by its medieval past. Historians believe that the Renaissance was a natural progression of medieval society.
Describe Renaissance Humanism. What influences, traits, projects and goals did Humanist thinkers share.
Many humanists valued travel, education, equality, and free will. Humanists thought that everyone should be educated and that people should not be restricted to learning in a Church. Many Humanists criticized the church, they did not like how corrupt and greedy the church had become and they did not like the hierarchy of the church. They also criticized monastic life and thought that monks should have worldly pleasures and that clergy should be able to have wives. Humanists did not criticize Christianity, in fact many Humanists were religious, they just found fault with the church. Humanists also criticized their societies and social and economic classes. Many Humanists were greatly influenced by Greek and Roman literature.
Explain the following: “at the center of the humanist’s pursuit were the individual human being and his personal quest.”
Humanists thought that the individual human being was extremely important. And they thought that beauty was found in the individual person. They thought that humans possess free will and have the ability to control their own fate.
Compare and contrast Humanists’ views on the Christian religion and their thoughts of the Church.
Humanists did not criticize the Christian religion, in fact many humanists were very religious. Humanists criticized the bureaucracy of the Church and they criticized how much authority the popes had. Humanists thought that the Church had strayed from the core values and teachings of Christianity. They felt that the church had become greedy and corrupt.
Why were Venice and Florence centers of the Renaissance movement in Italy?
Venice and Florence were centers of the Renaissance movement in Italy because they were both very wealthy cities and in order for art to flourish a city has to be wealthy to support it. If a city is not wealthy it has to spend its money on necessary and does not have money to spend on the arts. Due to banking, ship building and arms manufacturing Venice was a prosperous port city. The port facilitated trade, gave access to consumers and raw materials and gave them naval supremacy. Venice also had exclusive trade treaties w/the Byzantines, the government controlled shipping. The government also hired mercenaries and taxed conquered people. Florence was a prosperous inland city due to banking and wool. The banks were supported by the pope, there were banks throughout Europe and the East and there was also a thriving textile industry. The Medici family was very wealthy and supported the arts. They paid artists to sculpt, paint etc. therefore artists could make art and still earn money.
How would you describe Machiavelli’s political philosophy?
Machiavelli was cunning and ruthless. He thought that for someone in power it was better to be feared than loved. However he also thought that you should not be hated. If the people hate their leader they are likely to rebel. But if people don’t hate their leader but are afraid of them then they are not likely to rebel. He also thinks it is necessary and ok for someone in power to do immoral things (the end justifies the means) and that it is ok to be thought of as cheap. He also though a leader should pretend to be religious and that they must deceive people but should be careful who they are deceiving. He also thought a leader should be proficient in the art of war.
What areas outside of Italy were “engines” of the Renaissance?
The areas out of Italy that were “engines” of the Renaissance were France, England, Spain, and Germany.
How did the invention of the printing press transform Europe?
The invention of the printing press allowed the books to become more accessible to those of a lower class because some many were being produced for such little costs. This created a boost in literacy thus allowing ideas, such as political or religious ones, to be spread faster.
What is “utopian” literature and how does it reflect Humanist thought?
Utopian literature is literature that talks about an ideal place or world (i.e. Thomas Moore’s Utopia or Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis). They reflect Humanist thought because they are critiquing society. They are analyzing the world around them and saying how it may be improved.
How did Renaissance art reflect Humanist thought? Give examples.
Renaissance paintings eliminated nonessentials and focused on the central theme of a painting and its basic human implications. There was shift of focus from evangelical imagery to focusing more on people. There was a focus on the idea that paradise was possible on earth. Humanists thought that humans possessed great beauty and that there was value in the individual. The painter Giotto observed life and painted a three-dimentional world portraying believable human beings moved by real emotion. His paintings expressed is delight in the everyday life. Michelangelo glorified the human body in his painting and sculpture.
Choose two Italian Renaissance artists and describe one work of each artist.
DaVinci and Michelangelo. DaVinci’s painting Mona Lisa is a portrait of a woman whose smile captures an air of tenderness and humility. Michelangelo’s sculpture David was a large marble statue of the biblical David. It was commissioned in 1501 to stand in Florence as a symbol of the city, its government and its culture.
Choose two Northern Renaissance artists and describe one work of each artist.
Jan van Eyck and Albert Durer. In Jan van Eyck’s painting of the merchant Arnolfini and his wife he gives extraordinary reality to every detail. He even paints his own image reflected in the mirror in the background, and he painted the individual hairs on the little dog. Durer’s engraving St. Jerome in His Study depicts the scholarly Jerome working at his desk, surrounded by animals and objects of symbolic and allegorical significance.
How did the Protestant Reformation come about?
The Protestant reformation came about because the Church had grown corrupt and greedy. They were offering these things called indulgences. Indulgences were a type of pardon that excused people from their sins and could be bought. Their was a lot of issues happening within the Church as well. At one point of time there were three different popes. The average church follower was confused because they didn’t know who to take orders from. It was sparked from Martin Luther, in 1517, writing his 95 Theses on the Church’s corruption. His writings become wildly popular and spark leaders like John Clavin.
Describe two reasons for the spread of Protestant ideas.
Protestant ideas spread because of the printing press, pamphlets spreads quickly and to many people. They also spread because people agreed with these ideas, people saw how corrupt and greedy the Church was. Protestant ideas also spread for political reasons. German princes did not want to recognize the pope’s authority so they sided with Luther and his ideas spread to parts of Germany and all of the Scandinavian countries.
How did the Catholic Church react to the Reformation?
The Catholic Church reacted to the Protestant reformation by having their own reformation. They defined points of doctrines as to clarify differences between Protestants and Catholics practices, persuade Protestants to return to the Church, and to deepen spiritual/religious commitment in their own community.
Explain three ways in which religious doctrine and practice differed between Catholicism and the new Protestant denominations.
Catholicism’s religious authority was the Pope where as all Protestant denominations see their religious authority coming from the bible. The Protestant believed that the Pope was just a man and he couldn’t deem wether or not you get into heaven. When taking communion Catholics believe that the bread is the body of Jesus, Calvinists believe that the bread is symbolic of Jesus. But the Lutherans are in the middle and believe that when taking communion Jesus is present. In Catholicism grace is earned through sacraments and good work. Lutherans believe grace is earned through faith alone, and Calvinists believe God alone grants salvation meaning it is predestined.
Why did witch hunts arise as a social phenomenon at this time?
Witch hunts arose during this time because they were used to explain something bad happening such as failure of crops, outbreaks of fire, unexpected death, or infertility.
Give two examples of how conflict between Catholics and Protestants resulted in “religious wars.”
Two examples of religious wars are when the Spanish monarchy tried to force Europe back into Catholicism by trying to dethrone Queen Elizabeth, and sending an army to try to control/suppress the Calvinist movement in the Netherlands. The other war was the Thirty Years’ War. It was when the Holy Roman Emperor tried to force Bohemia (Czech republic) to return to Catholic Church. It involved all of Western Europe eventually (Spain, France, Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Poland, Bohemia, and Russia.
How did monarchs and emperors attempt to consolidate power during this period? Give two examples.
Monarchs consolidated their power by expanding their administrative staff. This allowed them to collect more taxes and employ royal policy. Also many kingdoms became Protestant. This allowed them more power as they weren’t in the confines of the Church. It let the kingdoms also use the religion as justification for mobilizing resources, such as armies.
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