Humanism in The Renaissance

Essay by kelseakiwiJunior High, 9th grade January 2004

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The Renaissance was a great revolution in Europe from the ways of the Middle Ages. This essay is about the different aspects of humanism evident during the Renaissance (the changes in political philosophy, art and religion). Essay Question: What cultural changes during the Renaissance portrayed humanism?

Humanism in the Renaissance

The Renaissance was a time in which the modern age began, because of humanism. Humanism is a way of life centered on human interest. It was a huge change to switch from a religion based society in the Middle Ages to a people based society in the Renaissance. During the Renaissance, humanism effected political philosophy, art and religious change.

First, political philosophy was severely changed during the Renaissance due to humanism. Niccolo Machiavelli of Florence, Italy was the main source of change. At this time there was much conflict between the cities of Italy. Because of this, Machiavelli wrote a book on his political philosophies to keep the current ruler in power.

His book was entitled, The Prince. Machiavelli had a very negative, yet realistic, outlook on human nature. He wrote in his book that it is best for a ruler to be feared as opposed to being loved. His reasoning for this belief was that people are not very faithful; they are likely to stay loyal when things are going well, but when things get tough, they will desert you. If the ruler is feared, people should be afraid to go against him or her. He also wrote in his book that political life should not be governed by one set of beliefs. This belief is humanistic, because a single person's view holds much more importance. He did not believe the government should be entirely run off of one set of religious views. Machiavelli's humanistic opinions changed the...