Why was the Renaissance considered the beginning of the modern age?  

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mrkirschner | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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The Renaissance was a revolution of ideas. The revolution of ideas is the origin the modern age. At the heart of the movement was the importance of the individual. During the Renaissance period, Europeans came to believe that individuals have vast potential for greatness. This view is known as humanism, and it drove the amazing works of arts and science of the period. Individualism was a Greek idea that was revitalized because of the study of Greek and Roman classics that occurred in Western Europe.

Humanism as a social philosophy also brought an end to the dominance of the Roman Catholic Church over Western Europe. People came to see themselves as more than servants of God. Even their concept of the relationship with God was changed during the Protestant Reformation. This led to an explosion of thoughts and tools that greatly modernized the world. Inventions like the printing press, the microscope, and telescope modernized the fields of medicine and science. Innovative improvements in the field of navigation allowed explorers to travel faster and further.

The secularization of Europe that occurred during the Renaissance allowed Europeans to have extreme confidence in human potential. This led to the Age of Reason, the scientific revolution, and the Enlightenment. These achievements ushered in the modern era for the West.