The Renaissance


Renaissance literally means //rebirth//. But what's rebirth? How was this time a rebirth?
It all started in Italy. Italy is a peninsula in the center of everything. It was a major trading port. You could go along the //silk road// from Asia and take your boat across to Italy. There you'd start trading, picking up new merchandise and taking it back to your country.
As time progressed, it became clear that this was really the rebirth of society. Life was definitely changing for the better. A new government, payment system, ideas about art and literature, and many new inventions created great change in society. The idea of banking and loans started and other things just made life better. In many ways, this was the beginning of new, better lives.

The Renaissance was a period of time that included the start of //humanism//, many important inventions, and a higher standard of living. The printing press, mechanical clocks, and eyeglasses are all inventions that were created within the Renaissance.


Humanism originated in Florence during the Renaissance and is still alive today. Humanism is the idea that people could choose their own paths in life rather than relying on G-d to do so and waiting to get to heaven. This idea was a main influence in paintings, literature, poetry, and moral philosophy. Art began to express human beings and realistic topics rather than religion. People began to care more about living than about life after death. "Europeans could worry less about dying and concentrate more on living." (Burstein/588.) Humanism attached importance to humans themselves rather than to supernatural beings or religious figures such as G-d or Jesus.


Renaissance art was mainly centered around human life. There were many great artists in the Renaissance, such as ////Michelangelo////, who painted the ////Sistine Chapel////. ////Leonardo Da Vinci////, another great artist and a true Renaissance man, was very talented in many fields and painted the Mona Lisa. Renaissance painters invented several new techniques for painting. Paintings now had depth, or perspective, and realism. Artists in the Renaissance studied human bodies and drew what they saw. They also used anatomy, or the study of the body, to make their paintings as realistic as possible. To show depth, objects in the background of the paintings were drawn smaller than objects in the front of the paintings. Brighter colors were used for objects up close in the paintings, while images farther away were made to look blurrier. For more detail, see Thinglinks at the bottom of this page.

Cosme de Medici (CC)


During the Renaissance, people made many changes to the world, including inventions that we still use today. Before the Renaissance,

the majority of people did not know how to read or write. At the time, they were not skills that most people needed in daily life. With the
invention of the printing press, by Johann Gutenberg, books were made faster and cheaper, and this encouraging people to learn to read. Also, the Bible was translated into many different languages. This one invention changed the world by helping spread ideas. When people all over Europe eventually began to read and write, people began to build universities so that they could learn even more. This was also the time of William Shakespeare, who wrote plays like "Romeo and Juliet". Other major scientific inventions were created, like the telescope that lead to the discovery that the church was wrong in thinking that the planets revolved around the earth, but the sun is the center of the universe.


In Florence there was a wealthy merchant family named the Medicis , who started the banks, which kept all of the money earned by merchants. The bank also made money by charging fees, and giving out loans. This was the first time in history that people used banks for their money. People grew quite wealthy from the trade and were able to spend more money on every day items. Since only some people gained wealth, a middle class was created that had enough money to pay for what people needed and to build nice homes, buy nice things, and enjoy life. The middle class was growing and this encouraged more trade.

Leonardo Da Vinci Renaissance Man

Martin Luther (CC)

As the Middle Ages turned into the Renaissance, people began focusing less on religion. The effect of this decline led to a decreased role of the Catholic Church. People began to read more and realized that they did not need the Pope to interpret God's teachings, which upset the Catholic Church. Later, Martin Luther realized the church did not focus as much on religion as he thought they should. They used indulgences to make money. Indulgences was money that was given to the Church to get a family member or close friend out of purgatory. Purgatory is a place between heaven and Hell. Martin Luther created the 95 Theses, nailed it to the door of the church and began the Protestant Reformation. This brought power to the people and they began to think for themselves.

More on Martin Luther

In conclusion, the Renaissance has impacted the lives of people from the past until this very day. We still use inventions from that time period as part of our every day lives. Since the Renaissance, people have been thinking independently and creating and using new ideas every day. In the Renaissance, a new form of Christianity was made, many world famous paintings were created, and a newer and higher standard of living began.

Created by Monique and Hannah on June 4, 2009
Revised by Alex on April 18, 2011
Introduction film: Created and added by Simon April 30, 2011
Revised & Edited by Junyoung
Links added by Maddie May 27, 2011
Introduction added by Cameron April 27, 2012
"Humanism" added by Cameron April 28, 2012
Edited by Amanda and Molly April 30, 2012
"The Printing Press," (film) created and added by Aryeh on June 5, 2012
Thinglinks added by Connor P. April 11, 2013
Formal Movie Bibliography: