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The Idea Of Humanism And The Renaissance

Essay, Research Paper

The Idea of Humanism and the Renaissance

The Renaissance was an incredibly important turning point in Western

Intellectual and Cultural Tradition. All of these changes centered around

the idea of Humanism — in which, people became less “God Centered” and

more “Human-centered”. I have narrowed down these changes, and will

discuss in detail, these changes in three major categories: Political,

Education, and the Humanism of Arts.

The major pollical changes of the Renaissance were from the old Feudal

System of the Middle Ages into a more flexible and liberal class system.

This was most noticeable in Italy (particularly in Florence), where the

divisions consisted of the old rich, the new rich nobles, the middle class,

and the lower middle class(The poor didn’t count). This created great

conflict between these social divisions. The new rich consisted of

successful merchants, capitalists, and bankers innovators of new systems of

making money. The Humanism philosophy was also a very popular with the

people and many political leaders rose to high positions with support of

these ideals. Three humanists even became chancellors of Florence — they

used their rhetorical skills to strongly rally the people of Florence

against their enemies.

The great changes in Education of the Renaissance were inspired at

first, by the desire of Humanists to be wise and to speak eloquently. The

idea of useful education for the people, and very “well rounded” schooling

in many different fields of learning were the new defined goals of

Renaissance education. People all over (Especially in Florence) revived

the Ancient Greek studies of Plato, Aristotle, and many others. People

began seriously questioning what these people said and re-developed the

“Scientific Theory” in which you didn’t just accept whatever was said to

you, but you tested the truth of it.

In the area of Humanism and the Arts, Renaissance Artists no longer

were subordinate to the interests and the values of the Clergy, and were

able to create anything of their “artistic will”. Both men and women were

now able to appreciated arts beyond just religious themes. Artists could

also now take advantage of new techniques, such as oil painting and linear

perspective to enhance the quality of their works. All of the great

artists of the time used became who they were solely because of this new

artistic freedom that the Renaissance brought them. These artists also

created works that were more complex than before. Taking advantage of

this, artists such as Leonardo da Vinci — the ultimate example of the

Renaissance man working in all types of educational fields, and

Michelangelo who was possibly the most famous artist and sculptor in


As you can see, the Renaissance was to great extent and a major

turning point in history from the Middle Ages in just about every element

of the Society. The Renaissance have truly become the original roots of

our culture from the West. This was was the time when people questioned

the past, and decided to go back to the schools of learning taking the past

of the Greeks into their present to make a better future.