A. Italy became divided into city-states by the mid- 14th century.
1. City-states: a land of independent cities that dominated the country districts around them.
2. They became the centers of politics, economy, and social life.
3. Secular, non-religious, spirit spread with wealth.
B. Rebirth of the Greek and Roman ideas and antiquities
1. Intellectuals became interested in Greek and Roman culture.
a) Affected politics and art and led to attempts to reconcile the pagan philosophy with Christian thought.
2. Emphasis on individuality
a) High regard of worth and potential created an ideal of a well-rounded person who can achieve in many different areas of life.
C. These characteristics affected mostly wealthy upper-classes.
1. They made up a small amount of the entire population.
2. Indirectly had an impact on ordinary people from the cities where artistic and intellectual achievements visible.
II. Economic recovery of the 14th and 15th centuries
A. By 14th century, Italian merchants were carrying commerce throughout Mediterranean.
1. Expanded their lines of trade north to the Atlantic seaboard.
2. Venetian Flanders Fleet
a) Maintained route from Venice to England and Netherlands.
(1) There they contacted with the Hanseatic League which continued to prosper during the plague.
B. 13th century: North German coastal towns formed commercial and military Hanseatic League.
1. 1500- more than 80 cities part of League in north Europe and England that traded fish, grains, timber, honey, metals, and wines.
2. Flanders became economic crossroads for Hanseatic merchants and Flanders Fleet of Venice to meet.
3. Silting of ports caused Bruges to slowly decline.
a) Hanseatic League unable to compete with large territorial states.
C. Economy of 14th century also affected manufacturing patterns.
1. Wool industries of Flanders and other cities were devastated.
a) 15th century: Florentine wool industry recovering and Italian cities developed industry of silk, glassware, and hand worked items in metal and stones.
2. Printing, mining, and metallurgy rivaled against textile industry.
a) New machines and techniques for deeper digging and separating metal from ore and purifying.
b) Entrepreneurs developed large copper, iron, and silver operations.
c) Expanding iron production contributed to development of more effective firearms.
3. The Medici family and Banking
a) The Medici expanded from cloth production to commerce, real estate, and banking.
(1) 15th century: House of Medici was greatest bank in Europe.
(2) Had controlling interests in wool, silk, and mining of alum, dying of textiles.
b) Also principal bankers for the papacy
c) At the end of 15th century, they had a sudden decline from poor leadership and loans to rulers.
d) 1994- French expelled Medici from Florence and took their property.
III. Social Changes of the Renaissance.
A. Three Estates:
1. The First Estate- the clergy, who believed people shouldn’t be guided to spiritual ends.
2. The Second Estate- the nobility, privileges based on principle that nobles provided security and justice for society.
a) Faced declining incomes while maintaining noble status rising.
b) Served as military officers, help political posts, and in the 16th century, members of aristocracy pursued education to maintain role in government.
c) Castiglione’s The Book of the Courtier described ideals of what is expected of an aristocrat.
(1) Nobles should possess impeccable character, grace, talents, and noble birth.
(2) Nobles must participate in military and bodily exercises, have a classical education, and adorn his life with the arts by playing a musical instrument, drawing, and painting.
(3) Nobles were to make a good impression by being modest, not hiding their accomplishments but showing them with grace.
3. The Third Estate- peasants and inhabitants of towns and cities.
a) Most noticeable trend from the