You are on page 1of 9

Transformations in


A rebirth; a flowering of culture, based on classical
Greek and Roman ideas, that began in Italy around
1300 and later spread throughout Europe.

Italian Renaissance

During the 1300's the Bubonic Plague hit Europe and caused huge devastation.

This allowed for a rebirth also called the Renaissance.

During this time Italy was ruled by city-states like Venice,Florence these city-states
grew rich due to trade and commerce. These city-states competed for artistic
values in their cities so the wealthy bankers and merchant class spent money
glorifying their cities.

Italian thinkers were surrounded by old Roman influence and sought to revive
Greek/Roman and classical culture.

In reviving classical thought the Renaissance artists and writers were guided by

Renaissance writers wrote in a common vernacular to increase their audience.

Renaissance artists became masters of perspective in their art. There was three
great artists Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.

Italian Renaissance Artwork

Leonardo da Vinci



Mona Lisa

La Piet

School of Athens

Northern Renaissance

In the 1400's the Renaissance was spreading to other parts of Europe particularly
in the north. Cities like France and Great Britain were growing and prospering. The
Renaissance ideas spread here like wild fire.

Northern writers and artists traveled to Italy to study and Italians traveled north.

Northern humanists were still Christian but their work criticized the church and

A Dutch writer named Desiderius Erasmus wrote "The Praise of Folly" which
criticized and abused the Catholic Church.

Another great Renaissance writer named Thomas More wrote "Utopia" a ideal
society governed by reason and everyone has equal rights.

The greatest writer of the Renaissance was William Shakespeare who wrote plays
with classical culture and humanism, people loved the English marked him a true
Renaissance man.


In the 1500's people were criticizing the Catholic Church they ask for reforms.
However the church didn't start their counter reformation in time by then the
Protestant religion had formed.

A German named Martin Luther wrote about the Catholic Church's wrong doings.
He wrote about the church engaging in corrupted practices and selling
Indulgences. He also wrote about how poorly educated the priests were and how
ugly the church's look. Pope Leo 10 demanded that he retracted what he said or
be excommunicated( expulsion from the church).

However Luther continued and went on to form the Lutheran Church later others
built on Luther's ideas and formed new denominations of their religion.

Afterwards the Catholic Church started their counter reformation to regained

follower. They started the council of Trent, educated their priests, stopped selling
indulgences, made their churches lavish and ornate, missionaries and much

Scientific Revolution

Before 1500, most Europeans used the Bible and religious teachings, and the
works of classical philosophers as their main sources of knowledge.

The Renaissance and Reformation opposed traditional law and encouraged

independent thought.

Expanding sciences contributed to the revolution of sciences in areas like;

Chemistry, Astronomy, Biology, Navigation, Medicine.

An Example of expanding sciences in astronomy such as a Polish astronomer

Nicolaus Copernicus who pitched another theory about Earth's orbits in the
universe. He supported the Heliocentric theory which states that the sun is
the center of the universe and the Earth revolves around the sun.

However people objected this because in 2nd half C.E another astronomer
named Ptolemy made one of the first breakthrough in astronomy with his
geocentric theory. Which stated that the Earth was the center of the universe
and the sun revolved around the Earth. People believed this theory because it
supported religious teachings and the fact that people believed this because
it was many years later before the Heliocentric theory was proposed.

Scientific Revolution

Nevertheless other scientist added to Copernicus's work like Johannes

Kepler who used math to calculate how planets move. He also figured out
that the planets moved in an elliptical orbit instead of circles.

Another Scientist named Galileo Galilei made a telescope and observed

the sky. His observations supported the Heliocentric theory .

The Catholic Church didn't like this and threatened him with heresy
unless he retracted his work but his work continued to spread.

Discoveries like these help scientist view the world differently there were
other scientist like Isaac Newton who discovered gravity and natural
laws. Another scientist Francis Bacon created the scientific method that
we still use today.


In the 1600's European thinkers began mixing society and government with
scientific methods and principles this is a source of enlightenment.

Some great British thinkers like Thomas Hobbes and John Locke studied this and
argued between the behaviors and needs of the people and the best form of
government. Hobbes said people were naturally selfish and need a strong
government like a absolute monarchy, however Locke disagreed.

Locke argued that government was a social contract with the people for their
natural rights like the right to live, liberty, and property.

There we many great philosophers however Baron De Montesquieu, Voltaire, and

Jean-Jacques Rousseau. These people had private meetings in their homes and
discussed ideas. They all published work of high quality about the separation of
power. They all had some influence in the United States Government.