The 14th century was the beginning of another phase in European history, and it was called the Renaissance period. The rise of this period started in Italy and reached the rest of Europe the following 16th and 17th century. Renaissance, which literally means rebirth, represents the dawn after the darkness during the Middle Ages, and with this came many changes in the European society, which up to now has an effect to our modern life. Renaissance Period During the Renaissance period, changes in the culture, politics, and religion occurred.
Social changes became more evident during this period with the introduction of a movement known as Humanism. It was Humanism that became as the medium of expressing great ideas. For the most part, it regarded human beings as social creatures who could create meaningful lives only in association with other social beings (Melanie, 2000). Renaissance humanists gave emphasis on active life within the community rather than that of the solitary, monastic, contemplative life of the Middle Ages.
With this point of view, humans associated culture with becoming involved in the area of political, moral, and military action, offering their services to the state, and became conscious of becoming more effective in their field. Moreover, there was a sense of individualism, wherein expression of the individual personality, and individual achievements and aspirations were recognized, thus, the rise of “self-made” scholars and artists. This also led to great discoveries in the field of science. It was also during the Renaissance Period that a successful central government was recognized.
Since feudalism has already fallen, another form of government was needed, and in the formation of the central government, the Chain of Being was followed. The chain of being explains that everything in the universe have order – a hierarchy. Moreover, a universal interdependence, which states that “correspondences” is seen everywhere, also exists alongside universal orderliness. A central government such as national monarchy wherein a king heads the state was seen in England and France (Melanie, 2000). Another significant change that occurred during the Renaissance period was the Protestant reformation in the 16th Century.
This reformation protested against the policies of the Church. Due to the disapproval of the Protestants with the Church representative’s authority, they have recognized the Bible as the source of sole authority. The Bible was then translated into vernacular languages to help the common people in understanding its content. Because of this, the Bible became the new source of symbols and inspiration for literature (Melanie, 2000). Today’s Society Today’s society is a result of what was done in the past. Even up to this time, the Renaissance period has given this society many heritages that are still beneficial.
Politically, the central government, which was established during the Renaissance period, is still being used up to this moment. The central government or federal government maintains national security and exercises international diplomacy. With this, there is order and interdependence within its subunits. The U. S Department of Health and Human Services is another example of an institution that promotes individual achievements and knowledge through recognition in fields of research and studies. Moreover, it also gives importance to human life by providing health services to its nation.
The Catholic Church is another institution that is continuously affected by the events of the Renaissance. The Catholic Church, though still popular in many countries, has lost its supreme authority. Scandals are being thrown at them, especially the unending fight between the Roman Catholic hierarchy and the Bible. Renaissance has been the start of a new age, and it has shaped the present society. Many great minds, which started the way for what is now known as science and technology, has been discovered during the Renaissance period. It was a time of new inventions and belief.
Education and literature was also given importance during Renaissance (Melanie, 2000). Today, US is known for having different universities that excel in academics, innovation, and technological advances such as Yale and Harvard University. The lost of supremacy of Catholicism as a religion can also be traced from the Protestant Reformation. Moreover, same as in the renaissance period, individual and family success is the current goal, and understated luxury is the mark of success. Today, money affects the social status of every individual.
European renaissance uniquely influenced ceremonies such as weddings and courtships. It’s primary objective is to produce children. Whereas, the government still advises American families, typically consists of parents and their children, on promoting family planning and reproductive health. The rich and famous is generally better to be married to someone of the same social status to increase their assets and fame while those who are in the general social status would usually go for emotional factors or compatibility at least. Contemporary fashion trends would be traceable to the Renaissance’s great change for fashion.
Richly detailed clothes are still being worn today with fashion accessories that are as significant as the wardrobe itself. What you wear shows who you are. Dining etiquette can still be seen on American dining wherein for example serving utensils and silverwares are used and “fine manners” is expected. Foods evolved from denoting nobility and eventually reaching its way into ordinary American homes. Lastly, the Federal government is a present evidence of the central government wherein its establishment can be traced back during the Renaissance period.