Renaissance: Continuity or Change?

Beginning in the early fourteenth century and continuing for over three hundred years, the Renaissance was a cultural liberation for the people of Europe.   Everything from the arts to the way people thought about life and death, the Renaissance played an important part in the development of various technologies and ideas. However ,while it is seen as a revolution by the majority of people, some believe that the Renaissance was merely an advancement in the chronological order of time. This essay will look at the Renaissance from multiple angles and examine whether it was just an advancement of time or if it was a complete revolution of ideas.

There are many different theories that historians have decided on that could be an explanation of how the Renaissance began; the bubonic plague, cultural conditions of Florence and its people, and political and social structures all played various roles int the development of of the Renaissance. Italy as a whole was not   a unified country under on capital as it is today. Instead, it was divided into several city states; each with its on army, boundaries, but most importantly, political ideologies. One historian, Quentin Skinner, pointed out in his records that a German bishop visiting northern Italy noticed that feudalism was not the driving political idea. Instead, the bishop, Otto of Freising saw that the society of Italy was now more based around trading and merchants. Skinner also stated that the Italian city states seemed to be more focused on liberty and equality of the citizens, instead of the norm of Europe where the church and empire like powers influenced everything.

The Renaissance, while still influenced by the catholic church and its teachings, was less focused on God himself, but more focused on viewing God on a human level. Now while much of the art created in this period was still in recognition of the church and its complexes, a more modern idea of theology began to form in which citizens viewed the...