The historical backdrop against which the intellectual and cultural upheaval of the Renaissance era played itself out in its preliminary stages left its permanent mark on the character of the intellectual and cultural ferment. Set in the city-states of Italy in the fourteenth, fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the constant insecurity, both economic and political, and intense volatility of the historical situation provided the material for new intellectual, cultural, and social experiments. That would be the conclusion presents the means of constructing a new European monoculture identity, one focused on humanistic studies, science, and the arts. (Burckhardt)
In the twelfth century, Italy saw a resurgence of urban living, which matures into a flood in the thirteenth century. The Italian cities, particularly Venice, had long served as intermediaries in the trade between central Europe and the Muslim and Byzantine states to the east. As they grew wealthy, many of these cities turn into centers of banking long before the rest of Europe had discovered this rewarding area of commerce. In large part, medieval church doctrine prevented the growth of banking and money markets because it considered lending money at interest called usury to be a corporeal sin, that is, a sin which guaranteed the damnation of one’s spirit. (Burckhardt)
The phenomenal growth of wealth in the Italian cities ultimately led to the growth of a series of city-states, that is, personage area ruled centrally from a single city. In contrast to cities in central and northern Europe that were ruled by monarchs, the Italian cities were permissible a high degree of independence and expanded their political sway over the areas encircle them. (Hooker)
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