February 12, 2010
The Renaissance Period
The Renaissance Period began in Europe from 1485 to 1625 during that time it spread to England, France, Germany, Spain and several other countries. The term Renaissance literally means rebirth or reconstruction of civilization. It was considered a great cultural movement; a period of revival, renewal and growth (Renaissance period).
During the Renaissance there were many different kings and queens including,
Henry the 7th, Henry the 8th, King Edward, Bloody Mary, Queen Elizabeth and King James the First.
Queen Elizabeth was the daughter of King Henry viii and Anne Boleyn, his second wife. She was born on September 7, 1533 at Greenwich Palace in London England. As a child Elizabeth was well educated as she was taught by all the famous scholars such as, William Grindal and Roger Asham. From an early age it was clear she was very gifted she loved to learn new languages and by the time she was an adult she could speak five different languages fluently (Heather Thomas, 1998). After many years of being looked down upon and forgotten Elizabeth finally became the Queen of England on Sunday January 15, 1559 at the age of 25 years old. During the time period of which she had the throne Elizabeth introduced new types of architecture such as the first theatre where she had Shakespeares plays played at. She greatly encouraged dancing, poetry, bouquets and most of all drama. She had also put an end to religious turmoil that had existed during Mary Is reign and published an Elizabethan Prayer Book that both Protestants and Catholics could accept. Queen Elizabeth was very dedicated to her county and making major improvements to it. Unfortunately she died March 24, 1603(Elizabeth 1).
There were many political changes during the Renaissance period for example, the old Feudal system of the middle ages turned into a more felixable and liberal class system. This was more noticeable in Italy than anywhere else especially in Florence where the old rich, new rich, Nobles and middle class lived. This new system of politics created great conflict between these social divisions but in the end all of their problems were resolved.
The Bubonic Plague, also known as the Black Death was the single greatest killer during the Renaissance Period in Europe. The first severe outbreak was during in the 1340??™s killing between one- third and one- half of the population in some areas of the country. The plague went away for many years then came back in 1363 and returned every ten to twelve years until 1661. Some outbreaks were more severe than others and the only way you could avoid the disease was to leave the city or country. Unfortunately this was only an option for the wealthy and many died as a result (Grendler, 2004, p. 5). Another natural disaster occurred during this period called the Little Ice Age, lasting from the 14th to the 19th century, which was a period of unstable climate conditions with increased rains and floods and very cold winters. During the fall of 1314 the rain and cold began. The weather got exceptionally cold and very wet, growing seasons were shorter, Winters were longer and many died because of hunger, this weather persisted for five long years.(Wharton, 2009).
Nicolas Copernicus was the first publish the theory that the earth was not the center of the universe and that it actually revolved around the sun. He also thought the earth rotated on its axis, which was the reason for the movement of the stars. Copernicus, a polish astronomer began to doubt Ptolemy??™s ideas when he realized the planets appeared to move backwards during his studies of the sky. Because of fear of being prosecuted from the religious and scientific communities he did not publish his theory until near the end of his life in 1543 (Nicolas Copernicus).
Another great scientist during this period of time was Galileo Galieli. Born February 15, 1564 in Pisa, Italy to Vincent Galilei who was a musician. Galieli was an Italian physicist, Mathematician, Astronomer and Philosopher who had a big impact on the scientific revolution (Galileo Galieli). In the year 1609 Galileo discovered the invention of the telescope in Holland, but later on he devolved a better more useful one which he used to study they skies(Netzley, 1998, p. 20). Galileo made many new discoveries including the moons of Jupiter and the phases of Venus. As a professor of astronomy at the University of Pisa in Italy he had to teach the accepted and most known theory which was that the sun and planets revolved around earth. Later on in his career at the University of Padua he was exposed to a new theory introduced by Copernicus that the earth and planets revolved around the sun. Because of Galileo??™s observations he was certain that Copernicus theory was correct (Netzley, 1998, p. 21). But because the Catholic Church believed that the sun revolved around the earth he was forced to take back what he believed was true. Galileo died a blind man in 1642, many believe because he was always looking at the sun for long periods of time. (Netzley, 1998, p. 22).
Sir Isaac Newton, born on Christmas day in 1643, is considered to be of the greatest scientists and mathematician that ever lived. When he was a boy he was more interested in making mechanical devices than in playing with kids his age or studying. He made a windmill that could grind wheat and corn, a water clock and a sundial in his spare time; many of his teachers thought of his as a poor student. He wanted to attend college but he did not have enough money to attend, so he enrolled at the lowest entry where he served other students by running errands and doing daily tasks for them. Unexpectedly the university shut down because of the Bubonic Plague but that didnt stop him, he went home and continued to study on his own. Within a short period of time he made three great discoveries; one day when he was in his garden he saw an apple fall on the ground and after many hours of thinking about why it had fell he finally he came to the conclusion that the same force that caused the apple to fall also kept the moon in orbit around the earth. This incident led to his discovery of the three basic laws of motion. Newton??™s second discovery had to do with light and its properties. He discovered that white light is made up of a spectrum of colors and when blended together they produce white light. He passed a beam of sunlight through a prism and discovered that the light is made up of different colors. And lastly his third great discovery had to do with mathematics when he developed a kind of math known today as calculus. He was just 24 years old at the time. At first Newton did not publish his results and by the time he decided to do so some one else had discovered the same thing as he had so he said this man stole his idea. About 200 years later it was decided that both men had come to the same conclusion without help from one another. He died in 1727(Galileo Galieli).
Key Literary figures
William Shakespeare was a widely known writer and author throughout the renaissance period. He was baptized on April 26, 1564 but unfortunately his birth date is unknown. He was an English poet and playwright, and was considered one of the greatest writers in the English language. Many of his works are known throughout the world; even still today his popularity remains. Shakespeare produced many of his known work between 1589 and 1613 which consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets and two long narrative poems. He wrote many tragedies including Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Macbeth; a number of comedies such as The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Nights Dream; ten histories including Richard II, Richard III and Henry V. and in addition to all of that he wrote many popular plays that have been translated into several other languages and performed more than any other (William Shakespeare).
Leonardo Da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452 in Vinci Italy. When Leonardo was just fifteen years old he joined the studio of Andrea Del Verrocchio in Florence, where he spent much of his time painting. Five years later he became a member of the guild, which was a painter??™s guild in Italy. About four years later he worked as an independent artist at his own studio in Florence Italy. Leonardo was and is reneowed primarily as a painter. Two of his works, The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper are the most famous portraits and religious paintings of all time. He is one of the best known figures of the Renaissance period; and is remembered for his achievements as a painter, sculptor, architect, scientist and engineer (Grendler, 2004, p. 10).
Donato di Niccolo di Betto Bardi also known as Donatello born in 1386 was a famous early renaissance Italian artist and sculptor from Florence Italy. Generally considered one of the greatest sculptors of all time and the founder of modern sculpture; in fact the techniques he used himself are still used by many sculptors even today. Just some of his masterpieces include St. Peter, St. Mark, Zuccone, St. George and the Dragon, St. John the Evangelist, Magdalen, and Angel with Tambourine. He died on December 13, 1466. (Donatello)
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino better known as Raphael was one of the greatest and most popular artists of all time. He was born on April 6, 1483 in Urbino, Italy. Like many Raphael learned a lot by looking at the works of other artists of his time such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo and many others. Many of his works are found in the Apostolic Palace of The Vatican which includes the Madonna dell Granduca, The Small Cowper Madonna, The Alba Madonna, Stanza dell Incendio. And four large scale paintings which include the, Marriage of the Virgin, Sposalizio, The Crucified Christ with Virgin Mary and Saints and Angels (Raphael Sanzio).
In conclusion, the Renaissance period was the most important time period in the development of humanity because of the significant adjustments in exploration, science, government, the church, art, and writing.
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