Sample History Essays on The Italian Renaissance

The Italian Renaissance was introduced by Italian scholars and the wealthy individuals towards the end of 14th century.  Subsequently, new ways of life and thinking anchored on modern culture, literature and art were introduced. The Italian renaissance ushered in new ways of living that later transformed the political culture in Italy.

During the Italian renaissance, people were divided into five social classes that included the royal rulers, nobles, merchants, workers and the peasants. In this social setup, the rules were largely influenced by the wealthy family who also controlled wealth and property. The rulers were responsible for day today governance of cities operating under its own currency. The nobles occupied expansive estates outside the cities and own most of the land around the cities. The nobles occupied high positions in the government and consisted of military officials, government advisors, and politicians.[1]  The merchants were involved in economic activities like trade and gained massive wealth by working in industries and the banking sector.  They maintained their wealth by marrying from the noble families.

The conditions of life for the ordinary people were poor. The ordinary members of the Italian Renaissance composed of the peasants, slaves, and unskilled workers. The workers maintained their jobs as shopkeepers and had less freedom within Renaissance Italy. The peasants were the lowest members in the social pecking order and depended on menial jobs without any guarantee or job security. In cases in which they contravened work rules, their salaries were cut and even dismissed from their jobs. The ordinary people were poor and lived in houses with single rooms.

The urban life influenced the development of cities. Most of the people lived and worked in the countryside while the urban centers retained their significance as essential centers of production and political control. [2] The urban centers controlled the economy and culture and ultimately led to the creation of five powerful cities consisting of Venice, Florence, Milan, Papal and Naples. These cities had their own powerful rulers supported by nobles and wealthy merchants. The cities created a balance of power in which they could wage war against each but not destroy another for fear of power vacuum.

Indeed, the Italian Renaissance engineered significant changes in social and political life.  The economic activities within cities gave them political power and control. The social class determined the position of people in Renaissance Italy as the rulers, nobles and merchants had defined methods of acquiring wealth. The workers and peasants lived a poor life as they were the under the control of individual occupying the upper social order.

 

Bibliography

Monfasani, John. “The Rise and Fall of Renaissance Italy”. Aevum 89, no. 3 (2015): 465-481, accessed January 31, 2020, https://www.jstor.org/stable/43824718.

Zophy, Jonathan. A Short History of Renaissance and Reformation Europe: Dances over Fire and Water. Upper Saddle River, N.J:  Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009.

 

[1] Zophy, Jonathan. A Short History of Renaissance and Reformation Europe: Dances over Fire and Water. Upper Saddle River, N.J:  Pearson Prentice Hall, 2009.

 

[2] Monfasani, John. “The Rise and Fall of Renaissance Italy”. Aevum 89, no. 3 (2015): 465-481, accessed January 31, 2020, https://www.jstor.org/stable/43824718.