I. Background

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Civilization 9

E. Renaissance and the Reformation (1300 – 1600)

I. Background

  1. Early Middle Ages. Characteristics of early Medieval Europe (from 476 AD):

    1. Collapse of government of Roman Empire:

      1. Germanic kingdoms established, including Frankish kingdom. Charlemagne helps Pope, crowned "emperor." Many kingdoms collapse because of barbarian invasions (Vikings, etc).

      2. Feudalism established: Decentralization of power from king to feudal lords. Obligation of kings and vassals to each other.

      3. Manorialism: Self-sufficient economy of lord's manor. Most work done by serfs and villeins. Necessary because of lack of security due to invasions, feudal warfare, diminished trade, etc…

        • Collapse of trade, learning, towns/cities (except in Italy).

        • Church is the strongest institution during the Medieval Era. Conflicts with monarchs/lords over lay investiture, whether clergy should be tried in royal or church courts, whether monarchs must recognize authority of Pope, etc.

  2. Late (High) Middle Ages. The first real economic recovery of Western Europe (since fall of Rome) began during the 1000s/1100s.

  3. The Development of Medieval Trade Routes

    1. Effect of Crusades

    2. Black Death

II. Renaissance

  1. Definition.

  2. What are the characteristics of the Renaissance spirit?

    1. List and clarify the values and beliefs of the Renaissance

  3. What factors led to the Renaissance?

    1. Crusades, Black Death, Schism, trade/economic recovery, etc.

    2. Was it really a rebirth?

    3. Why did it begin in Italy?

  4. Impact:

    1. What social, cultural and political impact did the Renaissance have on Europe?

    2. How was Europe different in the Renaissance compared to the Middle Ages?

(compare and contrast the social, political, economic and cultural aspects of each)

    1. What impact, if any, did the Renaissance have on the common folk?

    2. Social Changes:

1) Religion

a) Christianity still important in people’s lives. Ex. Spain: reconquista complete in 1492, expulsion of Jews and Moors in same year, Inquisition, exploration, etc.

b) Definite shift in worldview (esp. outside of Spain) from spiritual to secular (because of Black Death, loss of faith in Church because of corruption/plague/Crusades/Schism/reactionary

policies, questioning of tradition by scholastics in universities, etc)

2) Social classes: importance of merchants, middle class (bourgeoisie)

    1. Cultural Changes

1) Humanism.

2) Greco-Roman revival.

3) “The Renaissance Man” (and Renaissance Women)

4) Importance of fame, glory (rather than, or in addition to, saving your soul)

5) Art and Architecture (e.g., da Vinci and Michelangelo) - perspective, visibility of artist

6) Literature (e.g., Dante, Cervantes, Shakespeare).

    1. Political Changes:

1) Change from medieval period:

a) those with money (merchants/bankers) gain political power, esp. in Italy, at expense of nobles.

b) monarchs in England, France, Spain, etc centralizing power. (Italy, which never unifies, invaded by other nations. Germany also remains divided.)

2) Political Science - Machiavelli's stress on reality of what is necessary to gain/keep power, rather than medieval ideals.

  1. Spread to Northern Europe:

    1. Why and how did the Renaissance spread to northern Europe?

    2. In what ways did the Renaissance spirit change in Northern Europe?

  2. New Scientific and Technological Innovations during the Renaissance

    1. Where did Europeans get the idea for the printing press?

    2. What impact did Gutenberg's invention of the moveable type printing press in 1440 have on life in Europe?

    3. nautical devices, cartography, naval engineering (plus curiosity, spirit of adventure, economic factors) - will lead to Age of Exploration)..

III. Reformation and Counter Reformation

1. Define reformation and counter-reformation

  1. Background:

    1. Why did Reformation occur?

(Conflicts with monarchs, schism, Black Death, Crusades, Christian humanism, earlier challenges to Church by Wycliffe and Huss and Savanarola, corruption, simony, indulgences, wealth of church, building of St. Peter's, etc.)

    1. Was the Reformation an outgrowth of the Renaissance, or a completely separate development?

  1. Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation:

    1. How did the Reformation challenge the traditional power and authority of the Roman Catholic Church?

    2. Martin Luther's background

    3. Johann Tetzel's indulgences and Luther's Ninety-five Theses

    4. Catholic Church's response to Luther

    5. Luther's other teachings (including "justification by faith")

    6. Anti-Semitic Laws and Policies

  2. Henry VIII and the English Reformation

    1. Causes of Henry's break with church

    2. Effects (including creation of Anglican Church/Church of England)

    3. Political ramifications of changes in church authority

    4. Elizabeth I

  3. Other branches of Protestant Christianity: John Calvin and John Knox.

  4. Counter Reformation: Catholic reaction to the Protestant Reformation

a. Ignatius Loyola

b. Inquisition

    1. Council of Trent (1545)

    2. Peace of Augsburg

  1. Roles of Men and Women within the Christian Churches during the Reformation

  2. Summarize effects of the Reformation.

  3. Causes and Impact of Religious Wars in Europe:

    1. Anti-protestant crusade of Phillip II

    2. The French Wars of Religions: Catholic versus Protestant

    3. The Thirty Years War: Catholics and Calvinists

CONCEPTS: Identify, Define and Explain Historical Significance




Hanseatic League



city-states (Italian)

Silk Roads

Marco Polo



printing press

Black Death

economic recovery



economic recovery

Silk Roads

Holy Roman Empire

Black Death





Italian city-states

merchants and bankers

middle class





fall of Constantinople (1453)


Medici family

Machiavelli (The Prince; Discourses)

"The end justifies the means."


Geoffrey Chaucer (Canterbury Tales)

Dante Alighieri (The Divine Comedy)


Cervantes (Don Quixote)

Leonardo da Vinci


perspective (in paintings)

movable type printing press



Northern Renaissance

Christian humanism

John Wycliffe


John Huss



St. Peter's Basilica


Martin Luther

95 Theses

The (Protestant) Reformation

"Salvation by faith alone"

Pope Leo X

Emperor Charles V

Diet of Worms


Peasants' Revolt (1524)


Peace of Augsburg (1555)


Henry VIII


Anne Boleyn

English Reformation

Anglican Church (Church of England)

Elizabeth I

Spanish Armada

John Calvin





St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre

Counter-Reformation (Catholic Reformation)

Ignatius of Loyola

Jesuits (Society of Jesus)


Council of Trent (1545)


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