Renaissance Essay, Research Paper
How were the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, Exploration, and the Enlightenment all extensions of Renaissance Humanism?
During the Renaissance people began to care more about individual achievement. Renaissance Humanism was the most intellectual movement associated with the Renaissance. This movement was based upon the study of the classics. The knowledge people gained from studying caused them to begin to question everything. The questions made people seek answers, which resulted in the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, Exploration, and the Enlightenment. This paper will analyze how the emphasis placed on knowledge during Renaissance Humanism caused the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, Exploration, and the Enlightenment.
The Reformation began with the question, What must one do to be saved? When Martin Luther found an answer that did not fit with the teachings of the Catholic Church, he split from the church. This destroyed the religious unity of the western Christian world. Some of the new scientific discoveries consisted of theories, which went against the church’s beliefs. One theory was that the earth revolves around the sun, which was contrary to the church s view that everything revolved around the earth. The church began to be questioned more and more. Soon there were new religions forming, the major one being the Protestant religion.
In 1633 Galileo was tried and convicted of heresy and disobedience for saying the earth moves around the sun. Galileo was one of the seventeenth century scientists that started the Scientific Revolution. During the Scientific Revolution many educated Europeans took an interest in the world around them. Before Renaissance Humanism people just accepted what they were told by the church, and would not have contradicted it. The Printing Press, which was one of the inventions during Renaissance Humanism, played a crucial role in spreading new ideas quickly and easily. The Scientific Revolution largely resulted from the work of great intellectuals such as Galileo.
Europeans could not have made sea voyages without the level of knowledge and technology that had been reached because of Renaissance Humanism. By the end of the fifteenth century Europe had fairly accurate maps of the known world. Some inventions that assisted sailors were the compass, which told which direction was north, the astrolabe, and quadrant, which both helped a person know where they were at a direct point. Two faster and larger ships were also invented, the carrack and the caravel. One way that the Reformation helped the Age of Exploration to begin was by the Catholic Church trying to go to America to convert Native Americans in order to get more souls. The Age of Exploration could not have occurred without the knowledge acquired during the Renaissance.
The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement during the eighteenth century. It was strongly influenced by the Scientific Revolution and by the aftermath of the Reformation. The intellectuals of the Enlightenment were committed to finding the laws that governed human society. The Enlightenment was a result of seventeenth century ideas, especially those of Isaac Newton and John Locke. Locke believed that knowledge does not come from heredity, but from our environment. The environment during Renaissance Humanism was one that encouraged education and learning.
Renaissance Humanism was a major factor in the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, Exploration, and the Enlightenment. Without Renaissance Humanism the Catholic Church would not have been questioned and scientists would not have began studying the world around them. Also the compass, quadrant, and the astrolabe would not have been invented and the intellectuals of the Enlightenment would not have been given the chance to try to find the laws that govern human society. In conclusion the Reformation, the Scientific Revolution, Exploration, and the Enlightenment were all results of the emphasis placed on knowledge due to Renaissance Humanism.