The Renaissance

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Transcript The Renaissance

The Renaissance
1485-1660
The Spirit of Rebirth
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Renaissance – a French
word meaning “rebirth”
Renewed interest in
classical learning, the
writings of ancient
Greece and Rome
A renewal of the human
spirit, of curiosity and
creativity
A Flourish of Genius
Began in Italy
 Leonardo da Vinci,
Michelangelo,
Christopher Columbus,
Galileo, etc.
 Catholic Church was
very rich and powerful,
even in political affairs
 Optimistic view of
humanity was
expressed by many
Renaissance artists
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Humanism
 Tried
to answer
questions like “What is
a good life?” and “How
do I lead a good life?”
 Sought to harmonize
the Bible and the
classics, using the
classics to strength (not
discredit) Christianity
The New Technology
Gutenberg invented the
printing press
 Before the printing
press, books were
written out by hand
(difficult process,
expensive to purchase,
and few books were
available)
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The Reformation
Rejected the authority of the pope and the
Italian churchmen
 Feelings of patriotism and national identity
made the English resent the financial
burdens placed on them by the Vatican
 Martin Luther – founded a new kind of
Christianity, based on a personal
understanding of the Bible instead of on
what the pope said
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King Versus Pope
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King Henry VIII asked for a divorce from his
wife of 24-years
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theoretical reason – she had previously been married
to his brother
real reasons – she was too old to give him a male heir
and he wished to marry Anne Boleyn
Pope refused because he was controlled by the
queen’s nephew.
 Henry VIII appointed a new archbishop and
declared himself head of the English (Anglican)
Church.
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The Protestant Reformation
Many people were
dissatisfied with the new
church because it wasn’t
reformed enough – it
was merely a copy of
Catholicism.
 Some said that religion
was solely a matter
between the individual
and God
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Henry VIII
Had six wives:
 Divorced, beheaded, died
divorced, beheaded, survived
 Fooled around, but couldn’t tolerate any
suspicion of his wives’ fidelity
 Was an important figure and deserves the
title of Renaissance man
 Survived by three legitimate children –
Mary, Elizabeth, and Edward
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The Boy King and Bloody Mary
At age 9, Edward began to rule in name
only. Died of tuberculosis.
 Mary was Catholic and determined to
avenge the wrongs done to her mother.
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 Restored
the pope’s power in England and
ruthlessly hunted down Protestants
 Burned about 300 subjects at the stake
 Married the king of Spain, a country England
was beginning to fear and hate
Elizabeth: The Virgin Queen
One of the most brilliant and successful
monarchs in history
 Reestablished the Church of England and
rejected the pope’s authority
 Resisted marriage and officially remained
“the Virgin Queen” because her strength
lay in her independence and her ability to
play one suitor off another.
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A True Daughter
Survived many plots
against her life, several
of which were initiated by
her cousin, Mary Stuart,
Queen of Scots (heir to
England’s throne)
 Elizabeth (after 20 years
of plots against her life)
had Mary beheaded
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The Spanish Armada
King Philip of Spain used
Mary’s execution as an
excuse to invade
England with the
Spanish Armada
 England’s Royal Navy
destroyed the Spanish
Armada, assuring
England’s independence
from the Catholic
countries
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A Dull Man Succeeds a Witty Woman
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Elizabeth (childless) was
succeeded by James VI of
Scotland, aka James I of
England (son of Mary
Stuart)
He tried hard – patronized
Shakespeare, sponsored a
new translation of the
Bible, and was a peaceful
ruler – but couldn’t follow
in Elizabeth’s footsteps.
The Decline of the Renaissance
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Charles I, who reigned after
James I, was beheaded by
some of his subjects
Parliament and Puritan
dictator Oliver Cromwell ruled
for the next 11 years
Scientific truths were soon to
challenge long-accepted
religious beliefs.