Why was Italy so important during the Renaissance compared to other places?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are at least three reasons why Italy was so important to the Renaissance.  These are reasons that made Italy the birthplace of the Renaissance. Two of these factors have to do with Italy’s location while the third has to do with the presence and importance of the Catholic Church in Italy.

The first factor that made Italy important in the Renaissance was the fact that it had been the center of the Roman Empire.  The Renaissance got its name because it was supposed to be a rebirth of civilization in Europe after the fall of Rome.  That made the center of the Roman Empire the logical place for it to start.

The second factor that caused Italy to be important was its location in the Mediterranean.  Italy was the link between the Middle East and Europe.  Many of the ideas of the Renaissance came from classical Greek and Roman texts that had been preserved in the Muslim world and came from that world to Italy along with traders. 

Finally, Italy was the center of the Catholic Church.  Throughout the Middle Ages, the Church was home to most of the educated people of Europe.  It was the main source of education even for secular people.  The Church concentrated a great deal of wealth and power, along with many intellectuals, in Italy.  This contributed greatly to the fact that the Renaissance was centered in Italy.

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