Renaissance: Impact on Cultural Movements and Religious Reformations

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The Renaissance was a major cultural movement which started around the 13th century and spanned through the 16th century. This movement was a period of European prosperity that first originated in Italy then eventually spread to all over Europe. The Renaissance means “rebirth” which refers to the return of the old Roman and Greek worlds. This rebirth inspired the beginning of the protestant reformation which took a great impact on religion in Europe. Developments in science, art, literature, and music changed the way people viewed life.

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The starting location of the Renaissance takes a significant part in impacting cultural movements and religious reformations which spread throughout Europe.

The Renaissance’s starting location played a great role in its movement and spreading to Europe. Around the mid-1300s the Renaissance started in the Florence Italy. Florence was the city-state where the Renaissance first arose. The rulers of Florence were the Medici Family who first supported the growth Renaissance with their wealth. The Medici Family was best known for their sponsoring of art. The Medici would use their wealth to help artists focus on art pieces, so artists wouldn’t need to worry about. Due to the patronage of the Medici family, a great quantity of architecture and art pieces were made in Florence. The Medici family also supported many well-known artists such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.

The Medici family also supported the sciences. Medici supported Galileo, who made great telescope discoveries and became known as the first astronomer ever. This developed culture of art, architecture and etc spread to all of Italy’s city-states. Italy’s geography is also linked to the spread of the Renaissance. Italy was set on the Mediterranean sea where commerce and trade took place. Italy’s location allowed the exchange of new ideas with other countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. If it weren’t for Italy’s location and the Medici Family’s patronage, the Renaissance wouldn’t have been possible nor would it have been as great as it was.

There were many developments and ideas that featured throughout the Renaissance period. The Renaissance mainly focused on humanism and art. Humanism was a method of inquiry and enlightenment. This method focused on the human potential to reach greatness and encouraged the learning of art, literature and Greek and Roman texts. Humanism was significant during the Renaissance since it was a time people viewed humanity and the world differently. During the Renaissance architecture, art, and science were strongly fused with each other. “artists like da Vinci incorporated scientific principles, such as anatomy into their work, so they could recreate the human body with extraordinary precision.”( Leanardo used the interdependent studies of science, art, and anatomy in order to recreate a human body. Leonardo Da Vinci showed people that they shouldn’t limit themselves to one field of learning. Art played a huge role in the renaissance by emphasizing the way humans think and look at things.

The Protestant Reformation was a religious reform movement that divided the western churches in Europe. This reformation was the result of humanism. Humanism brought back ideas of Greek and Roman texts. The ideas of these ancient texts granted people solutions that the Catholic church could not. “In northern and central Europe, reformers like Martin Luther, John Calvin and Henry VIII challenged papal authority and questioned the Catholic Church’s ability to define Christian practices. They argued for a religious and political redistribution of power into the hands of Bible.”(

These reformers questioned the power and authority of western churches. Luther was troubled by the practices going on in the widespread churches. These persistent attempts were unsuccessful until finally Martin Luther, a church reform leader, sent out his ninety-five theses to the authority of the church. Luther believed that many practices of the Bible differ from the previous Church beliefs. This document struck the corrupt churches and proved that Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches could coexist. Due to the statement provided by Luther, the Catholic churches began to lose money and power.

At the same time, Luther became a leader of the church reforms and gained followers. Various versions of Christianity were developed to resolve the customs of the Catholic church. There were Lutheran churches, Eastern Orthodox Churches, and Roman Catholic. This reform of churches was a highly significant event since the church had so much power and were involved in the intellectual and political life of Europe. The Protestant Reformation not only affected churches in Europe, but it played a hand in education, politics, and culture. If it weren’t for the Renaissance’s Humanism and its rebirth of the ancient Roman and Greek, there would have never been a Protestant Reformation.

Many great and well-known geniuses shined by making great impacts throughout the Renaissance period. One genius from the Renaissance was Leonardo Da Vinci. Da Vinci was an Italian artist and scientist. “His journals were filled with over 13,000 pages of his observations of the world. He drew pictures and designs of hang gliders, helicopters, war machines, musical instruments, various pumps, and more. He was interested in civil engineering projects.”( He was known as the “Renaissance Man” for the many fields of study he educated in.

Leanardo used the interdependent studies of science, art, and anatomy in order to recreate a human body. His inventions and ideas were ahead of time. Leonardo Da Vinci proved to people that they shouldn’t limit themselves to one field of education. He impacted the renaissance through his human anatomy allowing people to view life differently. His art also served as an example of the many great techniques he uses to make them. Some of Da Vinci’s inventions impacted war during the Renaissance. He created a 33 barreled organ or a machine gun.

This helped revolutionize weaponry by making it faster to reload and use. Another genius from the Renaissance was Michelangelo, who was an Italian Artist. “His work demonstrated a blend of psychological insight, physical realism, and intensity never before seen.”( Michelangelo emphasized the significance of art through his statues, paintings, and architecture. His statues such as “David” showed facial expressions giving more depth into art. He impacted art by showing feeling and depth in his art.

Overall, the starting location of the Renaissance takes a significant part in impacting cultural movements and religious reformations which spread throughout Europe. Italy helped fund and spread the earliest ideas and developments across Europe. Aspects of the Renaissance including Humanism helped inspire the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. Lastly, thanks to the Medici Family, artists such as Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci were able to have an impact during the cultural movement. The Renaissance was the start of modern times and developed culture and life for Europeans.


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  2. “Why Did the Renaissance Begin in Italy?”, Methacton.
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  4. Editors, “Renaissance.”, A&E Television Networks, 4 Apr. 2018,
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Renaissance: Impact on Cultural Movements and Religious Reformations. (2019, Oct 24). Retrieved from