Defend or Refute - "The Renaissance was a new development, strikingly different from the preceding Middle Ages." - This essay agrees with this quote, and gives many reason as to why.

Essay by svolachHigh School, 11th gradeA+, January 2004

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Was the Renaissance a new development or was it just a continuation of the Middle Ages? The Renaissance was a new development completely different from the middle ages. Even though many scholars claim that much of the ideas of the Renaissance came from the middle ages and that their were many progressive changes during the middle ages, the Renaissance had enough unique qualities to justify itself as a completely separate period of time in history.

During the Renaissance there were rises of new social classes completely different then before. People became more secular, and were concerned more with individuality, materialism, idealism and humanism. The invention of the printing press made books cheaper and available for anyone to buy. New authors started writing about different subjects. Books that educated people, were among the most popular. Because books were available for anyone, education stretched among all classes. Education was stressed more then anything.

It was thought that only through education can a person become successful. The dominant intellectual movement was humanism, which is based on the idea that humans are rational beings and emphasized the value of an individual. Petrarch used humanist ideas in his works, he criticized his own times, and believed that the world can be improved by the study of classical literature. Peter Paul Vergerio believed in similar ideas, he stated in his writing "On the Liberal Arts", that it is most important for a person to be educated in liberal arts that the learning should be done while that person is still a child, as you never know what the future will bring but if you are educated you will be successful no matter what.

Art was a very big part of the Renaissance. With the help of science, artists understood the anatomy of the human...