Homework Help

renaissance period -- What caused it?what were the factors that spurred the movement of...

user profile pic

nando95 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 8, 2012 at 5:27 PM via web

dislike 0 like
renaissance period -- What caused it?

what were the factors that spurred the movement of the renaissance in europe?

Tagged with discussion, history

3 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 8, 2012 at 8:11 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

Culture usually spreads through trade.  Trade allows people of different cultures to interact act and influence one another.  Therefore Renaissance ideas spread partly because of Italy’s trade importance.

user profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 8, 2012 at 8:41 PM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like

One theory about the Renaissance is that it was caused in large part by the Black Death.  The plague is said to have caused people to rethink the ways in which people looked at the world.  It also caused social and cultural upheaval because of how many people died.  For these reasons, Italy (and Europe in general) was more open to changes in philosophy and world view.

user profile pic

frizzyperm | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted December 10, 2012 at 6:48 PM (Answer #4)

dislike 0 like

There are several theories to explain the driving force of the renaissance. I suspect there may be some truth in all of them, rather than one being correct and the others wrong.

1) The conquest of Moorish Spain. When the Conquistadors drove the Muslims from Al-Andalus (the Islamic name for Spain and Portugal) they captured the Islamic libraries of Cordoba, Grenada, AlHambra etc. These libraries contained not only advanced 'modern' Islamic scholarship, but they also held the texts of the ancient Greeks and Romans, which had been lost in the West for centuries. This refound old knowledge sparked a thirst among western powers to discover more about their illustrious, more-civilised past. 

2) The fall of Constantinople in 1453. When the most advanced and magnificent city in Europe fell to The Ottomans, its Christian scholars were forced to flee into the 'wild'. They headed West, esp. to Italy, and they took their knowledge and books with them.

3) Last, but by no means least, the invention of the printing press, which was the medieval equivalent of the invention of the internet.

There are lots of other contributors, people, factors etc. But I believe that the main power behind the renaissance was a vast injection of new knowledge and a radical new means of distributing it.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes