What factors spurred the Renaissance movement in Europe?

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One theory about the Renaissance is that it was caused in large part by the Black Death.  The plague is said to have caused people to rethink the ways in which people looked at the world.  It also caused social and cultural upheaval because of how many people died.  For these reasons, Italy (and Europe in general) was more open to changes in philosophy and world view.

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Culture usually spreads through trade.  Trade allows people of different cultures to interact act and influence one another.  Therefore Renaissance ideas spread partly because of Italy’s trade importance.

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