The Renaissance and Rationalism

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The Renaissance and Rationalism . 1300-1800. Renaissance . The. Historical Background. 1350-1550 in Italy; 1500-1650 in England A “large city” only had 100,000 people (think Boise Idaho) Time where rank and status mattered. Status was determined by landownership
The Renaissance and Rationalism 1300-1800Renaissance TheHistorical Background
  • 1350-1550 in Italy; 1500-1650 in England
  • A “large city” only had 100,000 people (think Boise Idaho)
  • Time where rank and status mattered. Status was determined by landownership
  • It was a time of uncertainty for every social class: sickness and plague were everywhere, also castles and churches buildings were made of wood and easily caught on fire
  • Background continued
  • A king’s power was becoming greater whereas the nobility where losing power
  • The invention of gunpowder left castles vulnerable to cannon fire and knights vulnerable to gunshot wounds
  • Cultural Background: HumanismAd fontes(back to the sources)
  • Humanism, which advocated a return to classical learning, started in Italy and then moved Northward
  • Focused especially on the Greek, Latin, and Hebrew
  • For the 1st time in 1000 years intellectual learning focused on the ancient works
  • PetrarchBoccaccioHumanism Continued
  • They also viewed the classics as great source of moral and practical wisdom as well.
  • Humanist Myth- Dark Ages were “dark” because there was no learning, or enlightenment”–
  • the middle ages were not “dark” and did produce a number of accomplishments used during the RenaissanceChristian Humanism
  • Focused not only on the classics but on early church doctrine as well. (The Catholic Church wasn’t in the greatest shape back then)
  • Believed life should be active and frowned upon people who lived a life in quiet devotion
  • They also disliked the selling of indulgences and the idea that people went on pilgrimages (these were probably the forerunners to the Reformation)
  • Salamanca SpainReformation
  • Happened because many felt the church was losing its spiritual mission
  • Started when Martin Luther posted his 95 thesis on the door of a cathedral
  • Gave birth to other Protestant (coming from the word pro-test) denominations
  • A Changing WorldReligion wasn’t the only thing changing.
  • The face of the world was changing for Europeans with the new voyages of discovery
  • 1519 Magellan voyaged around the world
  • Copernicus proposed the world was heliocentric and not geocentric
  • Literary Background
  • The written word was used rhetorically, to teach or persuade people
  • Writers would use their characters to propose an imaginary world and then explore the consequences
  • Writing was also used to persuade people to do good—except The Prince
  • Emphasis was placed on using ones own language, such as German, Spanish or French
  • Writers would often not invent their own material but rewrite what they knew in a better way.
  • Characteristics of Ren. writing
  • Admired Greek and Roman literature
  • Classified as a branch of rhetoric—using language to persuade, entertain, and teach
  • Literature was closely related to speech making; therefore, it is full of elaborate speeches
  • Written in the vernacular
  • Rationalism or EnlightenmentThe Age of Mentality
  • c. 1600-1800
  • Reason was the greatest authority
  • Philosophers challenged folk lore and tried to find formal laws
  • Even nature followed reason’s laws
  • Mud bath pilgrimages
  • Paintings reflecting nature
  • Human nature
  • Human mind is a blank slate on which we can record impressions—Locke
  • Emphasis on experience
  • Natural curiosity
  • ScienceCuriosity led to scientific triumphs
  • Newton
  • Motion
  • Gravity
  • Calculus
  • Leeuwenhoek-microscope
  • Boyle-father of chemistry
  • Jenner-small pox vaccination
  • Rationalism and PoliticsCurrent way
  • A king has the divine right to rule
  • Locke’s New Idea
  • Every man has the right to liberty, landownership and life
  • Influence of the Enlightenment thinkers
  • this idea influenced the Americans to write their constitution
  • Rousseau influenced the French Revolution
  • “Man was born free but he is everywhere in chains”
  • American Rev and French rev are just two ways the Enlightenment influenced the following centuries
  • Reason was used
  • To promote reasonableness of government
  • To justify revolt
  • Literature
  • Admired Greek and Romans as well as the Ren. writers
  • Milton
  • Pope
  • La Fontaine
  • Addison and Steele
  • Diderot—First Encyclopedia
  • Printing press of the 1400s helped promote the printing of newspapers in the 1600s
  • Tatler
  • Spectator
  • Created Public Opinion
  • Pascal
  • Mathematician
  • Physicist
  • Asked people to feel God rather than think about him
  • Voltaire
  • Disagreed with Pascal on man’s concern for trying to find happiness in heaven
  • Reason was to be used to foster progress and happiness on earth
  • vs
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