The Italian Renaissance

The Renaissance was a name given to period of history. Renaissance means a ‘rebirth’. The Renaissance movement that originated in Italy during the end of the middle Ages, explains “Medieval and Modern History. ” It served as a rebirth in education, art, and technology . this created a new culture. One must wonder why Italy was the perfect setting for a Renaissance to create a new era of time. Italy was in a great location on the map and easy sea trade routes.

In the city-states area had easy water and land access, were prime spots located in Europe, and the people would benefited from a system of roads that remained from the Roman Empire army. Italian city-states conducted their own trade like silk, ships and iron work, collected their own taxes, and made their own laws. Which would make for a very rich country. The trade had created a great amount of income. For the towns to be so close on the Mediterranean Sea, made it a perfect setting for selling or trade routes or making an income.

People from all over Europe came to northern Italy to buy, sell, and do their banking. Many city-states developed specializations. For example, Milan made iron and weapons for the armies. Genoa was a trading center for ivory and gold. Venice ships controlled the trade routes in the Mediterranean Sea, and silk, spices, and many more things. This is why I believe it started in Italy due to the increase for traded led to a new living economy for Italy. Another factor was teaching of Humanism in Italy was a crucial movement to the Renaissance, according to author R. A. Guisepi, (2016) “To Renaissance scholars and philosophers, these classical sources held great wisdom.

Their secularism, their appreciation of physical beauty and especially their emphasis on man’s own achievements and expression formed the governing intellectual principle of the Italian Renaissance. This philosophy is known as “humanism. ”) (pg1) Many people lost faith in the church ability’s and wanted more control of their own lives. Humanism again favoritism and taught the people to follow their own mind and instinct and figure out issues in the world instead of going straight to the church for help.

Humanism helped in education and science and more. Another big factor was that Italy allowed the Renaissance to happen in each city –sate, which is why a wealthy merchant class developed. In some parts of Europe small towns the political weren’t talked about as much this meant more people could be involved in the political side of everyday life. This in turn would create a class for merchants the higher up class of men. Many merchants’ business men took advantage of their power and used their wealth from the community to use it for bad choices.

With Florence in particular, came under the influence of a powerful merchant family the Medici, family was no doubt the foundation of prosperity for Florence. The rise of the Medici is partly explained by their involvement in social affairs and political influences. According to website themedicifamily. com (2016), (“The contributions of the Medici to the culture and history of the Renaissance are hard to ignore. Florence was home to many Renaissance figures, men like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Niccolo Machiavelli, all while the city was under Medici administration.

Despite the fact that Florence was a republic, the Medici were so powerful that they essentially ruled the city, even representing it diplomatically. The family’s rise from obscure peasantry to a leading house in Europe highlights certain aspects of what scholars have come to define as the “Renaissance. ” For example, Renaissance thinkers believed that humans had the potential to change their situation, and improve their lives through education and diligence.

Often reflected in the art and writing of the Renaissance is the idea that educated, worldly individuals were better able to serve and improve society, The Medici used their talents not only to gain power and reputation for themselves, but also used their influence to improve the quality of life of those in their charge, to sponsor cultural endeavors, and to keep Florence free from foreign domination. ’’). (pg1) The Medici handled the money that came into Italy by the banks control. Their money in turn help to transform the city they lived in the most beautiful and architectural for its era of this time.

Many artists were invited and paid to come to create many lavish buildings and paint art in them, some art would take years to complete. Artists had many factors on the renaissance in Europe because many talented artist lived in Italy at the time such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. There for was an unspoken rivalry between the artists to create the best art or to come up with new creative ideas. Art was a major thing that was developed during the time of the renaissance.

Towns competed with each other making their town or city the most talked about or lavish, Italy was massively populated country. Due to the amount of people and the size of the towns there was bigger need for everything such as trade. With the amount of money being brought in from the trade it made many unknown towns more advanced in this era. The attitude towards women, their rights and how they were treated underwent many changes during the renaissance. Women were thought of as property, owned first by their fathers and then their husbands.

However during medieval times women were given more rights and enjoyed their freedoms. They could own land and had many of the same rights that men had. This time the church had made major changes, but many women took many steps back for their struggles for equality. In those days women did not get to pick their husbands a male from their family made the choice for her like a brother uncle or a male in the family if the father was gone, and if the women had enough dowry to attract a husband with highest social status.

Men could leave their wife if they were unhappy with the marriage and remarry elsewhere but the women would have no right and be consider as good as trash . According to Encyclopedia (2016), (“Abuse could be found everywhere, and among all classes. Wife-beating was permissible, as was the physical punishment of children and servants. Some moralists urged moderation and others deplored the use of beatings altogether. Men might, furthermore, imprison, starve, and degrade their wives and other family members’’), (pg1). Women were destined to chastity until their wedding night.

They were always to remain faithful, even though their husbands were urged to cheat outside of marriage. Girls had to stay a virgin or the shame would come on her and her family, which in turn they would banish her from the family and cut all ties with the girl. Lower class women still has many rights and shared many of the responsibilities with their husbands. The women would help in all aspect of their husbands business or land . Upper class women had education expectation pushed on them. However forced to give up their studies once married.

A women’s first priority was to be a good wife, house keeper, mother, and to please her husband. The thoughts and feeling of women’s were not considered important during this era. This is especially the case of rape, many poor girls were raped many of the time it was the wealthy men who would force rape on young girls or they would cover it up, or force the girl to keep up the sexual abuse. Larceny was consider a worse crime than rape. Such girls were reflected as “used property. ” A rape was only consider outrageous if it was the rape of a noblewomen.

According to Encyclopedia (2016), (“Increasingly in the Renaissance era, the concept of honor also depended on virginity. The violation of a daughter’s virginity brought dishonor not only on the girl, but also on all of her male kin. Therefore, a young woman was usually held responsible for being raped (forced to have sexual relations) because this assault meant she was no longer a virgin and she had thus dishonored her family. Even though the young women was the victim of the rape, she was the one who was punished.

Punishment often varied with the social standing of the woman’s male relatives. For example, the daughter of a nobleman was punished more severely than the daughter of a laborer because the (history-world. org, 2016) (history-world. org, 2016)nobleman had a more honored place in society. When some young girls lost their virginity through rape or seduction, they were then abandoned by their male kin and often turned to prostitution (having sexual intercourse in exchange for money), which was the only way they could support themselves’’). (pg1)

Racism was a part of the renaissance as well, it showed a social hierarchies. Race was not talked about by the color of your skin but more of gender and religious group they were associated with at the time. Slavery was part of the renaissance you can see painting with high ranking white females with their black slave child. Black servants were much sought after, it was consider exotic to have a slave. In Italy slaves could work almost any job they seek after. To own a slave was more for the rich however some blacks were free as well to do as they wish.

It wasn’t the same way blacks were treated in America when they were slaves. The slaves were free to participate in music, art and partake in festivals. A famous author Sally McKee wrote, according to Genoa: (2008) (Whereas huge shipments of grain used to arrive by ship annually in this city, now they arrive laden with slaves, sold by their wretched families to alleviate their hunger. An unusually large and countless crowd of slaves of both sexes has af? icted this city with deformed Scythian faces, just like when a muddy current destroys the brilliance of a clear one). pg1)

Not only were the social reputes of women and slavery lowered during this time or the “rebirth. ” However, we cannot tell exactly what they though during this time frame, we can only hope to learn from this infraction. Last but not least as the French forces began to prey on the Italians according to history. com (2010) (On February 16, 1808, under the pretext of sending reinforcements to the French army occupying Portugal, French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Spain.

Thus began the Peninsular War, an important phase of the Napoleonic Wars that was fought between France and much of Europe between 1792 and 1815. During the first few weeks after their 1808 invasion of Spain, French forces captured Pamplona and Barcelona and on March 19 forced King Charles IV of Spain to abdicate. Four days later, the French entered Madrid under Joachim Murat. In early May, Madrid revolted, and on June 15 Napoleon’s brother, Joseph, was proclaimed the new king of Spain, leading to a general anti-French revolt across the Iberian Peninsula. ) (pg1)

After losing control of the church with the Pope, and Spain taking over the culture changed and forcing that the Italian to cooperate with the Spanish and French the Renaissance came to an end in Italy due to the economy. In conclusion all these events played a significant part on why the renaissance took place in Italy. Italy had all the things needed for a revival and the people of Italy took resourcefulness and used what they had. This shaped the renaissance and without it we may still have been living like people in the Middle Ages. The rebirth is a very significant period of history in which changed the way we live today.