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Chapter 10 Notes

Renaissance in Italy (1375-1527)

o 14th-15th centuray Italy, revival of ancient learning meant more people were rational.
o Renaissance was a time of transition from the medieval to the modern world
o Beginning of Renaissance started with death of Petrach in 1374 (father of humanism) and
the death of Boccaccio (author of Decameron)
o Italy had adv. b/c of location, thrive in commerce, many became the bankers of Europe
o Milan, Florence, Venice, Papal States, Naples were the most competitive states in Italy
Venice was ruled by an oligarchy of merchants
o 4 social classes
Grandi (nobles and merchants who originally ruled)
Popolo grosso (new merchant class) “fat people”
Middle-burgher (guild masters, shop owners, pros)
Popolo minuto (little people)
o Medici- wealthiest Florentine
o Military brokers were called condottieri
o Humanism was the scholarly study of the Latin and Greek classics in order to try and
revive old values
o Studia humanitatis was a liberal arts program of study
o 1st humanist were orators and poets
o Petrach’s most famous contemporary work was a collection of highly introspective love
sonnets to Laura, a married women he liked
o Goal of studying humanism= be wise and eloquent
o Humanist learning wasn’t limited to a classroom
o Women started getting educations too
o Revival of Greek Studies esp. Plato were great
o Lorenza Valla wrote about Latin philology and talked about the character of new
learning, he found flaws in the Donation of Constantine which was later used by the
o Civic humanism-promoting virtue and public service
o People began taking special interest in worldy art
o Renaissance artists tried to give humanity and nature in their works
o New oil paints, chiaroscuro (shading) and linear perspective helped them do this
o Da Vinci was a man of many skills who had a very short attention span
o Raphael was very kind and is known for his madonnas
o Michelangelo is known for his David which is a great ex. Of symmetry, harmony and
proportion and helped create a new style (mannerism) which later would make Tintoretto
and El Greco well known (mannerists)
o Slavery grew during the Renaissance in Italy and when the Plague came more and more
people wanted slaves
Italy’s Political Decline: French Invasion (1494-1527)
o Louis XI didn’t invade Italy but Charles VIII jumped to it and entered Florence with no
o The League of Venice combined Venice, Papal States, and Emperor Maximilian I against
French but would cause problems with the French and Spanish until 1559
o Alexander VI was a very corrupt pope. He promoted his children’s careers and did a lot
of things that were wrong like annulling marriages so that Anne of Brittany could stay
French and he left the League of Venice
o Machiavelli was a humanist and student of ancient Rome, wrote The Prince as satire and
he wanted a strong rule to come from the Medicis
Revival of Monarchy in N. Europe
o Alliances between the King and towns resulted in the ability to have sovereign states.
Monarchs had many options for getting money: collecting rent from royal domains
(feudal lords) levy national taxes on essentials like the salt tax (baelle) and by selling
public offices and gov. bonds
o Charles VII of France made a permanent army initially with the help of Joan of Arc
o France rose b/c of collapse of English Empire after the 100 year war and the defeat of
Charles the Bold
o Spain became strong with union of Isabella and Ferdinand, who ruled Spain with total
control and established the Inquisition (watching jews and muslims in Spain), they also
sponsored Columbus which meant gold and silver for Spain (more than they already had)
o Richard II took throne from Edward IV’s son which resulted in him being called a villain
by the Tudor dynasty
o The Tudors dominated England throw the 16th century
o Golden Bull- 7 member electoral college which was an administrative body, were in
charge of electing the emperor as well
The Northern Renaissance
o Charlemagne made kings and princes promote learning
o Gutenberg made the printing press which allowed literature to spread at an affordable
o Print was also great for political and religious propaganda
o Erasmus was the “prince of the humanists”, he tutored when there were few tutors and
wanted to combine classical ideals of humanity and civic virtue with Christian ideals of
love and piety, he worked hard to try and make ancient Christian originals be made
available to everyone and as a result, church authorities at one point put Erasmus’s works
in their list of forbidden books
o Germany, England, France, and Spain had spikes in educational and religious reform due
to humanism
o Reuchlin wrote the first reliable Hebrew grammar
o He was attacked by Pfefferkorn who wanted to suppress Jewish writings and when this
conflict occurred, it produced a great mockery in Letters of Obscure Men and also helped
Martin Luther be able to be defended later on in 1517
o Thomas More is the best known English humanist for Utopia
o Utopia carps at contemporary society and depicts a perfect society where everyone is
equal and everyone must earn their bread for their own work
o French invasions of Italy allowed Italian learning to enter France
o Spain entered the service of the Catholic Church
Voyages of Discovery and the New Empire in the West
o Rush for gold meant rush for spices in India since diets in Europeans were dull
o Gold and silver from Columbus’s 1492 trip helped finance Spain’s role in religious and
political conflicts
o In his trip to San Salvador, Columbus discovered nice Indians called the Taino Indians,
who could be easily enslaved
o Aztecs dominated Mesoamerica and the Inca the Andean South America
o Aztecs did many sacrifices involving blood
o Montezuma led to the fall of the Incans when Cortes would raze the capitol of
o Incans were not so much on blood as they were on labor taxes
o The Incan Empire was ended by Pizarro, a Spaniard
o Roman Catholic priests thought they could foster Erasmus’s “philosophy of Christ” in the
New World, but the Natives disliked the Spanish since they had invaded them
o Mining conquistadores wanted gold but mainly got silver
o Hacienda was the major rural and agricultural institution in the Spanish colonies
o The hacienda made foodstuffs and leather goods
o Encomienda allowed some Spanish to have the right to the labor of a # of Natives but it
then led to repartimiento where the adult male Indians had to give a specific # of days to
the Spanish economic enterprises. This became known as mita (Incan labor tax)
o Columbus led to people wondering how legitimate the ancients were
o Inflation spiked in Spain and prices quadrupled by 1600