During the Renaissance, Florence was a city-state ruled by powerful families. The social class system was characterized by four classes: the nobility, merchants, middle class and lower class. The city-state system was more democratic than other systems in Europe during that era because status was primarily determined by occupation instead of family lineage.Continue Reading
The nobility of Italy owned most of the land and wielded power over the city. They had conflicts with merchants, who were the second-highest ranking class. The city-states of Italy were bustling centers of trade and commerce, which allowed people to gain wealth through trades such as manufacturing, banking and clothes-making. These trades were government-protected jobs called guilds. This created an opportunity for social-climbing, which made the nobility uncomfortable.
The middle classes of Florence were mainly shopkeepers and skilled laborers, such as masons. The lowest class consisted of unskilled laborers. They did not have job security and often had unsafe working conditions.
One of the most well-known families throughout Renaissance Europe was the Medici family from Florence. The Medici family were patrons of many great artists and musicians of the Renaissance, which helped the culture of Italy flourish during that era. Most of the great Italian artists descended from merchants and craftsmen.Learn more about Middle Ages
The Carolingian Renaissance was significant because it preserved the literary heritage of the Roman Empire and developed a new uniform style of handwriting that made documents more legible. Scholars of that period also systematized Latin grammar, preserving the language of the Roman Catholic Church.Full Answer >
The most significant difference between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance was the shift in focus from the Catholic Church and community to the secular world and the individual. This change in worldviews led to developments in art, science and law that proved revolutionary to the Western world.Full Answer >
The Middle Ages were given their name in retrospect during the Renaissance in the 14th century. The Renaissance was a time of great cultural change and many looked to ancient Greece and Rome for inspiration. The Middle Ages, or Medieval Ages, refers to the period between the fall of Rome in 476 C.E. and the beginning of the Renaissance.Full Answer >
The Renaissance occurred between the 15th and 17th centuries, highlighted by several important events such as the death of Petrarch in 1374, the Papacy's move to Rome in 1420, the birth of Leonardo da Vinci in 1452, the end of the Hundred Years War one year later and the rule of Lorenzo de Medici in Florence in 1469. Other important events are the creation of artworks such as "Morte d'Arthur" in 1470 and the "Last Supper" in 1498.Full Answer >