The European Renaissance is the broad cultural movement that started in Italy with the returns from trading cities to their European home-towns after being in Middle East, esp. Constantinople. The European Renaissance was spurred by the rebuilding of culture and awareness of past great civilizations including Greek and Roman civilizations. A lot of the artists who were part of this movement were either self-taught or learned from apprenticeships. European Renaissance was a time when old trades were getting rediscovered and people started learning about them again. European Renaissance is also called the Age of Reformation (c. 550–1620) by many historians.
European Renaissance took place in the 14th century to 16th century and ended with the Great Comet of 1577, which could have been said as an omen. European Renaissance lasted for at least a hundred years because it was not a single movement but a series of movements happening consecutively over a period of time in different areas. The European Renaissance can be divided into three phases: early, high and late Renaissance. In each phase, there are 3 divisions that further divide the Renaissance. European Renaissance was not just a cultural movement, but it also contained development in science and technology.
It is important to note that European Renaissance took place within the backdrop of European colonialism and imperialism when European courts were waging war against each other in the name of religion and plundering Asian countries for trade and luxury goods. European Renaissance can be seen as a period where European nobility started learning more about themselves: their history, culture and art forms while others were being subjugated by Europeans in order to create wealth for Europe. The European nobility started favoring arts including literature, sculpture, painting etc.
In terms of economic growth, European Renaissance did give rise to increased trade between cities on account of geographical discoveries which included new routes from Asia to European cities via ocean, which were not used earlier. European Renaissance also saw European countries conquering other countries in the name of religion leading to wealth for European nations; European Renaissance saw military revolution that included development in firearms and artillery leading to more control over entire populations by European governments (or their appointed rulers).
European Renaissance can be said as a period where cultures started mixing again with influence from Arabic, Indian and Chinese culture. European Renaissance contributed to global awareness about Europe; it gave rise to nationalism among European countries; it led to Protestant Reformation. On the flip side, increased inter-religion conflicts between Catholics and Protestants during this period caused long term hatreds among these religions which are still prevalent today.
Globalization existed even then with increased trade relations between European countries but European Renaissance led to European colonialism which was expansionism at the cost of other cultures. European Renaissance also increased awareness among European rulers about their position in society with power over large populations leading to development in bureaucracy. Increased trade during European Renaissance meant increased number of poor people who were exploited both by European royalty and nobility as well as through increasing taxes on the poor people.
European Renaissance saw rise of capitalism, which led to increased poverty since it allowed exploitation of workers for profit by rich business owners rather than giving wages commensurate to work performed; European Renaissance saw end of Feudalism where land was owned by royalty or nobility that ruled over peasants who tilled fields for food and clothing. The biggest change brought about by European Renaissance was rise of nation states, which led to European countries being controlled by national governments.
European Renaissance led to European colonial empires that brought wealth to European economies at the expense of loss in lives and natural resources for other cultures. European Renaissance was a period where European nobility felt more superior over others, leading to subjugation of different cultures in order to bring about European prosperity. Let us consider pros and cons of European Renaissance in detail: Pros Of European Renaissance European Renaissance saw major developments in English literature e. g. Geoffrey Chaucer who wrote Canterbury Tales, John Gower who wrote Confessio Amantis etc. hen literature was mostly dominated by Greek language having minor influence from Latin language because knowledge of these two languages was limited to elite population only.
European Renaissance saw European nobility getting more interested about their own history and culture which led to patronage of arts and literature. European Renaissance gave rise to English Longbowmen who were professional soldiers paid for by King Henry V of England to fight wars; European officers during this period were excellent in Artillery, especially the Italians and English whose expertise was sought after by European rulers.
European Renaissance gave rise to European voyages of exploration where Europeans started exploring continents outside Europe i. e. American Continent, Asia etc. ; kings of different European countries competed with each other in order to expand their empires leading to formation of national governments that started controlling entire populations under sovereign rule.
European Renaissance brought back Classical Greek ideas that had been due to long term effects of the Middle Ages i. e. European Renaissance contributed to the overthrow of Feudalism where land was owned by royalty or nobility that ruled over peasants who tilled fields for food and clothing; European Renaissance brought back Humanism which flourished during Ancient Greek civilization wherein people were enjoying life, searching for knowledge instead of being subservient to monarchy. European Renaissance saw rise of European nation-states controlled by national governments that started controlling entire populations under sovereign rule just like the way European monarchies were ruling over European citizens before the European Renaissance.
European Renaissance led to the development in bureaucracy which increased interaction among different officials across Europe increasing awareness about political situations which made it easy for monarchs to maintain law and order etc. ; European Renaissance also gave rise to increased trade relations between different countries making it easy for European monarchs to collect taxes from these European countries leading to increased wealth across the European continent.
European Renaissance saw European economy based on Capitalism where land was owned by capitalists who exploited workers for profit in order to increase their individual wealth; European Renaissance brought about rise of European bourgeoisie who bought shares of business enterprises in order to become wealthier by increasing revenues collected from these businesses that helped European economies flourish. Increased production of goods by exploiters after the European Renaissance led to decrease in prices because producer could produce goods at low rates which could be sold at higher rates when there is high demand for good in market.