What developments and ideas were most important as precursors to the scientific revolution?

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saintfester eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Scientific Revolution had many underlying causes that precipitated its beginning. Here is a short list of the most influential;

1)   The Invention of the Printing Press: Along with a sharp uptick in literacy, this invention allowed dissemination of information at a much quicker pace. It also allowed scientist to begin the process of peer review, which is so important in all scientific discoveries to day.

2)   Discovery of the New World: When Columbus discovered North America, he also discovered numerous new plant and animal species. The natural curiosity of European powers to investigate these along with great advances in navigation and astronomy helped push forward a general interest in star-based science.

3)   The Development of Nation-States: Not only did the demand for new war technology help speed up mechanical and applied sciences, but the constant one-upmanship that resulted from this new sense of nationalism encouraged nations to increase funding towards research.

4)   The Reformation: Martin Luther’s protest movement against the Catholic Church made opposition to religious authorities less of a taboo. This eventually led to more and more scientist publishing heretical theories.

Humanism: The Renaissance helped bring back an interest in the classical discoveries of Greek scientists. Many European scientists then used these early findings to spur