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There were many important continutities between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Let us look at two of them. First, there were important continuities in political organization. Much of Italy, for example, continued to be ruled by popes or by lords in a fairly feudal system. The same is true for other parts of Europe where feudalism was even stronger than in Italy. Second, there was a great deal of continuity in religious belief. The Renaissance thinkers were known for humanism, but were not, for the most part, shedding traditional beliefs. This was still a very religious age.
That said, there were important changes going on. The rise of humanism and the beginnings of rejection of authority are important changes that came with the Renaissance. This idea that people should study the world as it is and try to determine how it works in an objective way, using scientific reasoning, was something that was clearly new.
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