What was the Renaissance and what was its impact on Europe?Why is it valid to say that Europe was modern as a result of it?
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that encompassed many different fields, which started in the 14th century and lasted until the 17th century. While this movement was vast in every respect, there were some core elements.
First, the Renaissance questioned the Medieval ages and traditionalism. It went back to the glories of the classical world and in some ways even surpassed it. The buzz word was "ad fontes," which meant "back to the sources". For this reason, there was a break with Medieval Europe and a confidence that better day were ahead. This outlook could be seen as leading to the modern world.
Second, the Renaissance lead to a spirit of questioning. Eventually this lead to the Protestant Reformation, where the authority of the Catholic church was called into question. This allowed the another pillar of the Medieval culture to be weakened. For this reason, we can say that the Protestant Reformation unwittingly also paved a road to modernism.
In light of these two points, we can say that while the Renaissance did not usher in the modern age, it did play a pivotal role.