Cultural and Construction History of Essay

Download this Essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Essay:

Charles Van Doren has concluded that the Copernican Revolution is actually the Galilean Revolution because of the scale of change introduced by Galileo's work.

The technological innovation of the Renaissance era started with the invention of the printing press (the Renaissance). Even though the printing press, a mechanical device for printing multiple copies of a text on sheets of paper, was first invented in China, it was reinvented in the West by a German goldsmith and eventual printer, Johann Gutenberg, in the 1450s. Before Gutenberg's invention, each part of metal type for printing presses had to be individually engraved by hand. Gutenberg developed molds that permitted for the mass production of individual pieces of metal type. This permitted a widespread use of movable type, where each character is a separate block, in mirror image, and these blocks are assembled into a frame to form text. Because of his molds, a complete upper case and lower case alphabet set could be made much more rapidly than if they were individually hand carved (Science and Technology).

Prior to the invention of the printing press, books in Europe were copied mainly in monasteries, or in commercial scriptoria, where scribes wrote them out by hand. For that reason, books were a scarce resource. The rise of printed works was not right away popular, however. Not only did the papal court contemplate making printing presses an industry requiring a license from the Catholic Church, but as early as the 15th century, some nobles refused to have printed books in their libraries, thinking that to do so would sully their valuable hand copied manuscripts (Science and Technology). Similar conflict was later come across in much of the Islamic world, where calligraphic traditions were tremendously important, and also in the Far East. Despite this resistance, Gutenberg's printing press spread quickly, and within thirty years of its invention, towns and cities across Europe had working printing presses (the Printing Press).

The finding and organization of the printing of books with movable type marks a paradigm change in the way information was conveyed in Europe. The impact of printing is similar to the development of language, and the creation of the alphabet, as far as its effects on the society. They also led to the founding of a community of scientists who could easily communicate their discoveries, bringing on the scientific revolution. It can also be disputed that printing changed the way Europeans thought. With the older illuminated manuscripts, the stress was on the images and the loveliness of the page. Early printed works highlighted principally the text and the line of argument. In the sciences, the introduction of the printing press marked a move from the medieval language of metaphors to the implementation of the scientific method. In general, knowledge came nearer to the hands of the people, since printed books could be sold for a portion of the cost of illuminated manuscripts. There were also more copies of each book accessible, so that more people could talk about them (the invention of the printing press and its effects).

A lot of great thinkers of this era developed and initiated concepts that form the foundation of modern scientific theory. For instance, Galileo Galilei, an Italian physicist, astronomer, and philosopher, made major improvements to the telescope, as well developed an assortment of astronomical observations, the first law of motion, and the second law of motion. He has been referred to as the father of modern astronomy, as the father of modern physics, and as father of science (Science and Technology). The Renaissance revitalized science, religion, and art. Many of the theories and discoveries of the time had an enormous impact; they have endured to the present day.

Economic Environment

3.0 Background

The civilization of the Renaissance was the formation of affluent cities and of rulers who drew considerable income from their urban subjects in the Italian city-states and the countries of England and France. The trade that kept cities alive also provided the capital and the flow of ideas that helped construct Renaissance culture. Throughout the early Middle Ages foreign trade had nearly come to a halt. By the 11th century, though, population growth and contact with other cultures by way of military efforts such as the Crusades helped revitalize commercial movement (Renaissance). Trade slowly improved with the exchange of luxury goods in the Mediterranean area and various commodities such as fish, furs, and metals across the North and Baltic seas. Commerce soon moved inland, bringing new affluence to the citizens of towns along major trade routes. As traffic along these routes augmented, existing settlements grew and new ones were founded.

3.1 Medici -- the Banking Family

While the Medici family has all the power, Florence became the cultural center of Europe and also became the cradle of new Humanism. The Medici family was perhaps the richest family in Italy and thus had a lot of influence. In the 13th century the family began to increase their wealth through banking. At the end of the thirteenth century, the family's wealth enlarged when one of the members of the family served as gonfalero or bearer of a high ceremonial office. In the fourteenth century their wealth increased again (the Medici Family). With this wealth the Medici family was very helpful.

While this family ruled the city of Florence they did many unbelievable acts, such as spending money on their city, and making it the most influential state in Italy. They also made it the world's most stunning city. It turned into the cultural center of Europe and was known as an art center and the cradle of New Humanism. They also spent some of their wealth on putting together the largest library in all of Europe. And because of this they brought in a lot of Greek sources. They founded the Platonic Academy and supported many artists by feeding them, educating them, and providing them with the necessities that they needed in order to be successful. Some of those artists included Donatello, Michelangelo, and Raphael. The family also did a lot of charitable acts such as cultivating literature and the arts all throughout Europe (History of the Medici).

3.2 Mercantilism (300 words)

Mercantilism is the economic system of the major trading nations throughout the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, based on the idea that national wealth and power were best served by growing exports and collecting valuable metals in return. It outdated the medieval feudal organization in Western Europe, particularly in Holland, France, and England. The era 1500 -- 1800 was one of religious and commercial wars, and large revenues were required to uphold armies and pay the mounting expenses of civil government. Mercantilist nations were overwhelmed by the fact that the precious metals, particularly gold, were in universal demand as the ready means of getting hold of other commodities; therefore they tended to recognize money with wealth. As the best means of attaining bullion, foreign trade was favored above domestic trade, and manufacturing or processing, which provided the goods for foreign trade, was favored at the cost of the extractive industries like agriculture (the Renaissance and Reformation-Rise of Nation-State and Mercantilism).

State action, a necessary characteristic of the mercantile system, was used to achieve its purposes. Under a mercantilist policy a nation sought to sell more than it bought so as to mount up bullion. Besides bullion, raw materials for domestic manufacturers were also wanted, and duties were charged on the importation of such goods in order to offer revenue for the government. The state exercised much control over financial life, predominantly by way of corporations and trading companies. Production was cautiously regulated with the object of securing goods of high quality and low cost, therefore facilitating the nation to hold its place in foreign markets. Treaties were made to get hold of exclusive trading privileges, and the trade of colonies was exploited for the benefit of the mother country. In England mercantilist policies were successful in creating a skilled industrial population and a large shipping industry (Mercantilism).

3.3 New World and International Trade (1450-1600)

In 1492, a trip to the East, made by sailing westward around the world, brought Columbus to the New World and the lands known today as the Americas. Columbus had initially set out to find an all-water route to the East Indies. When he saw the Americas, he believed he had arrived at his planned destination. It was ten years later than the Europeans comprehended that he had found a new land. These new continents offered riches other than spices, in the appearance of gold and silver. The finding of silver led to the beginning of silver mining in Mexico and South America. Other finds in the New World introduced Europeans to corn, tomatoes, tobacco, and chocolate (the Age of Discovery).

The New World is one of the names used for the Western Hemisphere,…[continue]

Cite This Essay:

"Cultural And Construction History Of" (2012, September 02) Retrieved December 7, 2016, from

"Cultural And Construction History Of" 02 September 2012. Web.7 December. 2016. <>

"Cultural And Construction History Of", 02 September 2012, Accessed.7 December. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Cultural and Construction History of

    Thomas Aquinas led the move away from the Platonic and Augustinian and toward Aristotelianism and "developed a philosophy of mind by writing that the mind was at birth a tabula rasa ('blank slate') that was given the ability to think and recognize forms or ideas through a divine spark" (Haskins viii). By 1200 there were reasonably accurate Latin translations of the main works of Aristotle, Euclid, Ptolemy, Archimedes, and

  • Cultural and Construction History of

    Crusaders were able to implement feudal states throughout their travels during this period of warfare, many of which have been termed Crusader states and which were erected throughout the Holy Land and in parts of Asia Minor as well as Greece. The most famous of these, of course, was the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, which took place in 1099 and reigned until its fall in 1291. Kingdom of Jerusalem It

  • Cultural and Construction History of the Islamic Golden Age

    Islamic Technology Cultural and Construction History of the Islamic Golden Age Cultural Environment The Islamic Golden Age is also known as the Caliphate of Islam or the Islamic Renaissance. The term refers to a system of political, cultural, and religious authority derived from the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed in the early sixth century AD. At its high point under the Abbassid Dynasty (eighth to thirteenth centuries AD), Islamic civilisation experienced a flourish

  • Industrial Revolution Cultural and Construction

    The pioneering spirit of colonialism and of man's ability to make advances in stages of life primarily assigned to nature -- such as the aforementioned innovations in electricity and magnetism -- were all championed by the Enlightenment and carried over to the field of industry. Additionally, the Enlightenment helped provide some of the political context which helped to create environments in which the scientific and cultural achievements of the Industrial

  • Gothic Period Cultural and Construction

    William of Occam formulated the principle of Occam's Razor, which held that the simplest theory that matched all the known facts was the correct one. At the University of Paris, Jean Buridan questioned the physics of Aristotle and presaged the modern scientific ideas of Isaac Newton and Galileo concerning gravity, inertia and momentum when he wrote: ...after leaving the arm of the thrower, the projectile would be moved by an impetus

  • Byzantine Empire Cultural and Construction

    One of the most brilliant contributions of the Byzantium is its contribution to modern music and the development of what the world has come to appreciate as the foundations of classical music. The Byzantine "medieval" (Lang, 1997), in fact, the Byzantium influence is considered to be critical to the development of the Greek music and the relative genius behind Greek music (Lang, 1997) The quoted sovereign melody (Lang, 1997) is the

  • Cultural and Social History

    Illusion is central to both Abselon's description of the "pantomime of gentility," and Cook's description of what he calls "artful deception." As described by Abselon and Cook, what role does illusion play in Barnum's museum exhibits and in late 19th century department stores? Does illusion operate similarly or differently in these two contexts? Why is illusion so compelling to nineteenth-century, middle -class audience. For this question use the following two

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved