The first major influence of the Renaissance on today's society was religious. The Renaissance was the period of the Reformation, the origin of Protestantism, which has grown to be an important element of Christianity. The Reformation marked the beginnings of religious freedom in Europe, and the gradual separation of church and state.
The invention of the printing press coincided with the rise of vernacular literacy and the gradual supplanting of Latin as the language of the educated with various vernaculars for business, religion, and education.
The Renaissance was the beginning of a great age of exploration and colonization which had sweeping geopolitical effects, including the conquest of many parts of the world by Europeans.
The groundwork for much of modern science and medicine was laid in the Renaissance, including the discovery of the circulation of the blood, the heliocentric account of the solar system, and Newton's laws.