THIS WAS LIMITED TO UNDER 500 words--and WAS AN ESSAY ANSWER (TIMED) FOR A MIDTERM EXAM
Question: Describe the importance of the Renaissance in Italy.
The Renaissance, literally the "rebirth," was just that to Italy. As the Middle Ages came to a close, so too did the overshadowing gloom finally subsidize in Italy--and eventually Europe. The new view on human existence spread like wild fire and spawned a rekindled "secular" approach that embraced the Individualist movement (the "successful demonstration of human powers"), the artistic (and architectural) Realism approach, and as the divine right of the church and its clergy became more scrutinized, it helped spawned the 'literary Inquisition' of the Humanists. Additionally, the pursuit of literature and arts led to more application and study of the natural sciences and revitalized the importance of the University.
However, the Renaissance, despite the foundation of humanities and ripple of challenge of religion, did not necessarily mean that Italy would rise like the phoenix from Rome's ashes.
In fact, militarily and religiously, quite the opposite happened. The very threadwork on which the pre-Renaissance Europe was based, that is the Roman church, was grossly neglected and as the church lost power and influence, the door was slowly creaked open for the Wars of Religion that were just around the corner. In the city-states, another concept that was rekindled and strengthened by the Renaissance, the political involvement and evolution was completely stinted, and as the political realm lost power, so too did the city-state militaries. Regardless of the impact of the Renaissance on Europe and Italy, regardless of how great society became at the spawning of a "human power" movement, the fact that its stranglehold allowed the Italian military to simply disintegrate while European and Mediterranean hostilities were still rampant...