World History


Renaissance Questionnaire
1. Make an outline of the philosophy of humanism in the Renaissance times.
2. Make a report of the following people: Francesco Sforza, The Medicis and the Viscontis. 
3. Describe Venice in the Renaissance times.
4. How important is Charles III invasion in Italy? Describe it.
5. Explain the Spanish invasions to Italy in the 1400’s.
6. Explain how the printing press was invented.

1. Outline:
Renaissance Humanism
I. Concept
A. Definition: it is a system of thought that rose during Renaissance which featured the humans as the primary beings, rather than the divine
1. It was said that you were the maker, molder and shaper of yourself
2. People were neither of heaven nor of earth and neither mortal nor immortal
B. It was based on early Greek and Roman thought
C. Studied many subjects now known as the humanities
1. grammar
2. history
3. literature
4. moral philosophy
5. poetry
6. rhetoric
D. Main literary current from 1400 to 1650
II. 14th and 15th century
A. 14th century
1. Petrarch was considered father of Italian Renaissance humanism
i. lived during the 14th century
ii. fostered the development of humanism
2. Latin 
i. Petrarch looked for forgotten Latin manuscripts in monastic libraries
ii. he emphasized the use of pure classical latin
iii. he thought the intellectual life was one of solitude
iv. Cicero’s works were the model for prose
v. Virgil’s works were the model for poetry
B. 15th century
1. Humanists took a new interest in civic life
2. Humanists in Florence served as secretaries for princes and popes
III. Vernacular Literature: language of the people (not Latin)
A. Writers wrote in the language of their region
1. Italian
2. English
3. French
B. This style became more popular with 2 main writers
1. Dante: he wrote in French; wrote the Divine Comedy
2. Chaucer: he wrote in English: wrote the Canterbury Tales
3. Christine de Pizan: she wrote in French: wrote revolutionary book: The Book of the City of Ladies 
IV. Humanist Education
A. Humanists believe that education could dramatically change human beings
B. Humanist schools were opened
1. these were the most important subjects:
a. history
b. moral philosophy
c. rhetoric
d. grammar
e. logic
f. poetry
g. math
h. astronomy
i. music
2. these subjects “allowed individuals to reach their full potential”
3. following Greek beliefs, educators also emphasized on physical education; especially dancing
C. The schools’ main point was to create complete citizens
D. Women rarely attended this schools; those who did only studied some subjects: 
1. morals
2. religion
3. domestic artistic skills
a. singing
b. instrument playing
2.
a. Francesco I Sforza -born July 23, 1401 in Tuscany- was an Italian condottiero or “Mercenary Captain” (English term), who founded the Sforza dynasty in Milan. His brother, Alessandro, was also part of the dynasty, but he ruled in Gradara and Pesaro. They came from a family of mercenaries and warriors. As a youngster, Francesco gained fame for being able to bend metal with his own hands. Later on, he also proved being a very skilled field commander and expert tactician. He initially fought for the Kingdom of Naples and later for the Papal States. In 1436-39, he served Florence and also Venice. As he grew older and gained experience, he went to Milan, where he was named commander-in-chief of the army. The duke of Milan died in 1447 and at that time, Francesco had the seigniory for various territories in there. He allied with William VIII of Montferrat. As the duke had left no male heir, he took advantage of the situation and began to plan the conquer of Milan. Years happened and the city was very disorganized; constant riots took place in the street because the population didn’t have food. Eventually the Senate gave him the dukedum in 1450; however, the Holy Roman Emperor never approved this title. Sforza modernized the city and applied an efficient taxation system. He was moderate and people really liked him. Florence was ruled by Cosimo de’ Medici and the two rulers became close friends, creating the Italian League, a defensive alliance of several states. Milan became a great location for arts during Renaissance. He applied the concept of balanced power and had great diplomatic relationships. He died in 1466 of gout and hydropsy. He was succeeded as the duke by his son Galeazzo Maria.
b. The House of Medici was a banking family and later on dynasty that ruled Florence during the 14th century. The family gained influence and rose to power through strategic marriages and employment relationships. The family was originally from the north of Florence and at one point they were the richest family in Europe. Giovanni di Bicci, in the 1400’s, increased the wealth of the family through his creation of the Medici Bank, and became on of the richest men in the city of Florence; he wasn’t a ruler at this moment. Cosimo de Medici was his son and is considered the real founder of the political fortunes in the family. Cosimo ruled Florence as the uncrowned king during all his life. He had a big library and brought in many Greek sources, including the works of Plato from Constantinople. He supported many artists like Brunneleschi, Donatello and Fra Angelico. During his reign, Florence became the cultural center of Europe and the cradle of the new Humanism. Cosimo’s son, Piero, ruled for few years but was succesful. His sons, Lorenzo and Giuliano were opressive and cruel and as a result they were not good leaders, but the city still enjoyed its highest point in art. Lorenzo’s son, Piero, was defeated by the French and exiled from the city. The French armies were eventually defeated by the Spanish and then Piero came back. After he died, his son, Lorenzo was named Duke of Urbino by Pope Leo X and later Giulio -his illigitimate son- became the ruler. Then, he abdicated the throne to become a Pope and gave the power to his illegitimate son, Alessandro. Alessandro became hereditary Duke of Florence. Then came Cosimo I, who was not a descendant from Cosimo il Vechio, set the style for the new absolute rule by concentrating the administration of Florence in a new office building and creating an arts museum. His son, Francesco I, was an ineffectual ruler so his younger brother Ferdinand II took over and the Florence flourished again. Ferdinand had a good relationship with Galileo Galilei and the economy was doing fine. However, after several dumb leaders the economy sunk and there was no religious tolerance. The last of these bad rulers was Gian-Gastone who had no male heirs, so the House of Medici died with him.
Medici women included Catherine, who married Henry II, King of France and ruled the country after her husband's death; Maria, who married Henry IV, King of France. Maria's daughters became queens of Spain and England. Cosimo II's wife, Maria Magdalena, was the sister of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor.
c. The Visconti Family was a predominant family in Milan from the 13th to the 14th century. They ruled as lords all over this city. They gained power when Pope Urban IV named one of their members, Ottone Visconti, the archbishop of Milan. The Pope assigned Ottone one special task: to dominate over the Della Torre family, leaders of a popular party. These two families battled for years. Ottone made his nephew, Matteo I Visconti, the captain of the people. His actions were mostly to benefit of his family and relatives. Matteo I Visconti succeeded his uncle, Ottone, and ruled Milan, too. The conflicts with the Della Torre family continued; they even exiled Mateo I to Verona. When Matteo went back to Milan, he took over Piacenza, Tortona, Pavia, Cremona, Alessandro, etc. He solved problems with diplomacy but sometimes violence was used. He was excluded from the religious community due to a fight he had with the Pope. He quitted later and his son, Galeazzo I, took over. After all these struggles with the pope, this family started a non-stop battle with the popes that followed. In Galeazzo’s rule he defeated the Holy Army that a pope had sent against the whole Visconti family. Azzone, his son, succeeded him. Azzone was wise and stabilized Milan, being peaceful with the church. He was a good ruler and took over new territories. After he died, two of his uncles, Lucchino and Giovanni, were declared dukes. Lucchino succeeded him and conquered new territories like Tuscany. He was a god ruler, but very cruel to his relatives. He was so cruel to his family that his wife poisoned him. After his death, his brother Giovanni took was the next in line. He was a successful ruler; he expanded the rule of his family all through Northern Italy except for some states. When he died, his 3 nephews, Matteo II, Galeazzo II and Bernabo Visconti succeeded him. According to historians, Matteo II did not have any leadership skill whatsoever. He was immoral and poisoned by his brothers. Galeazzo II ruled next; he was very into art and literature so he set up the university and library of Pavia. He made a lot of small communities (or lordships) part of the organized state. He died of natural causes. Bernabo succeeded him and made heavy taxes that people could not pay. These taxes were to pay for the battles that they had with some popes and against cities like Venice and Florence. He died in jail so his nephew, Gian Galeazzo, took over. Gian Galeazzo was the best of all the Visconti rulers; he was remembered for centuries. He conquered territories like Verona, that were thought to be impossible to conquer. He was said to be the richest prince at that time (1400s). He died at the age of 55 from a plague that struck Milan. Both of his sons, Giovanni Maria and Filippo Maria Visconti were too young to take over the dukedom of Milan. The state was going through a political crisis, so many of the territories their dad conquered were taken away. When he became old enough, Giovanni Maria became a duke. Filippo Maria, later, took the reigns of Milan as a Duke and he was a successful ruler. He recovered many of the territories his father had taken over. He died as the last direct male descendant of the Visconti family so his son-in-law, Francesco Sforza, succeeded him.
3. The city had a population of more than 150,000 people, it had hundreds of canals, merchant ships and warships. The navy was very strong and the city became a staging area for the Crusades. Venetians referred to their city as a republic, which is a form of democracy. The supreme ruler, doge, was elected for all his life. There were many artists who were patronized by wealthy merchants and beautiful architectonical buildings were constructed around the city.
4. Charles III (of Spain) was not from this period of time and he didn’t invade Italy.
5. On 1527, thousands of troops belonging to the Spanish king Charles I arrived at the city of Rome. Along with them, came mercenaries from different countries. These men had not been paid in months and as proposed by their leader, they invaded Rome, smashing the gates of the city, stealing all of the treasures, sacking the churches and making church officials sold as slaves. This went on until the authorities forced some order. This invasion ended with the Italian Wars and left Spain as a dominant force in Italy.
6. The printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenburg, a German inventor. This happened around the 1450’s because there was a growing need for the fast and inexpensive production of large quantities of written documents, due to the cultural changes of the Renaissance. Gutenburg borrowed money from local businesses and banks to work on developing a technology that could address this demand. It consisted in replaceable/moveable wooden or metal letters. This invention brought down the price of printed materials and made such materials available for the masses. It remained standard until the 19th century.



Medieval Times 
Questionnaire
  1. Explain the political world that existed in the Italian states before the 15th century (Milan, Venice, Florence, Papal States -Rome-)
➣Florence: was dominated by the Tuscany religion; it was small but wealthy and a group of wealthy merchants controlled the government; they also had a series of successful wars. In 1434 Coisimo de’Medici took control (Medici family) of the city. Using his wealth and influence, he dominated the city of Florence becoming the cultural center of Italy.
Around the late 1400s, Florence had an economic decline.
➣Milan: located in northern Italy; it was ruled by the Visconti family and later by the Soforza dukes. The rulers created a very efficient tax system, but the economy also rose because of trade.
➣Papal states: states ruled by popes of the Catholic church; they gained control over central Italy.
➣Venice: a very important city-state because it worked as a bridge between Asia and Western Europe; the city was a rich trade empire ruled by a small group of aristocrat merchants. Their elected leader was called doge. Venice became very powerful internationally.
  1. How was the land divided in the medieval times in Europe?
The land was divided through the feudal system, which consisted in the King dividing the land into big feuds and assigning them to Lords, that would subdivide the land and assign it to vassals; these territories that were assigned to the vassals were called fiefs.  In the big territories you would find crop fields (mainly barley, wheat, rye, oats, peas and beans), and also manors, were you would find the lord’s house and some of the other people’s houses -only the ones who could afford to buy those pieces of territories to the lord-.
  1. Why do you think the feudal system collapsed?
Because of two main reasons. First, the Black Death caused many of the peasants to die (because those were the ones who couldn’t afford good medicine even though it wasn’t very accurate). Since the majority of the peasants died or got sick, there was no one to take care of the agriculture and the livestock, so when there was no food, the manors were disorganized and eventually larger centralized governments overwhelmed the smaller feudal states.
  1. What were the Crusades?
A series of Holy Wars launched by the Roman Catholic states against the “Saracens”. They were performed around the city of Jerusalem. They started in 1095 and ended in 1291.
  1. Why did cities such as Venice flourished after the Crusades?
Because them, being port cities, had more connection with other cities and benefited from the transport and trading opportunities brought by the Crusades and the Christian kingdoms that flourished for two hundred years in the Holy Land.  The crusades also gave a considerable boost to the knowledge, availability, and desire for eastern goods like silk and spices.
  1. Mention 10 facts from Medieval Times and briefly describe them.
a. The church was a very influential institution. People obeyed everything the priests said.
b. The whole period was full of wars. For example, the 100 Years War or the Crusades
c. The government was a monarchy, but the feudal lords and the church had a lot of influence over people.
d. The economy was very bad at the time; most people were peasants or serfs.
e. Sciences like astronomy and medicine were very delayed in comparison to the rest of the world, due to the religious beliefs mainly.
f. Marriage became a very serious institution, even though divorce was accepted.
g. Latin was the official language, but it was influenced by the local language in each state. 
h.  Jousting, football and golf were common sports; the last one was for richer people.
i. Castles were made of stone or wood; these were for the rich.
j. The architectonic style that prevailed was Gothic.
  1. What was the base of the economy of the medieval society?
The foundation of the Medieval economy was agriculture. Barley, wheat, rye, oats, peas and beans were the main crops. 70% of the population were either serfs or peasants and worked in the crop fields. Serfs were attached to a piece of land in which they always had to work. Manors were self-sufficient. Everything people needed was produced in the manors. Even though farming was very important, trade was also a basic element and the merchants became wealthy people.
  1. Describe the role of the church in the Medieval Times.
The church was very important during the Medieval Times. People thought their soul was the most important, so they let the church guide them through all their lives, with rituals like baptism, confession, confirmation, etc. The church launched many wars, like the Crusades; a war contradicts all of the principles of church, but that was the way things worked back then. Thanks to this wars, Catholics are able to enter to the Holy Land nowadays. Many people say that church was also very abusive because of the taxes and the lack of allowance for people to choose their own religion. The church was also very influential.
  1. What is Gothic style?
Gothic style is a type of architecture which was developed during the high and middle ages of the Medieval times. It was mainly developed in France. A clear example of this architecture is the Notre Dame Cathedral. This architecture is characterized by the pointed arch, massive piers, stained glass windows and flying buttresses.





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