Wed. Jul 6th, 2022

1. The Plague of 1456-1458

Some historians argue that the Italian Renaissance stopped, or slowed, because of a terrible epidemic called the Plague of 1456-1458. This disease killed off thousands of people in Northern Italy and forced many wealthy traders to leave. However, there is evidence that shows that the plague first spread from Asia to Turkey, Greece, and Egypt. It then traveled by boat to Venice and Italy where it killed about a third of their population. On March 9th, 1476 the Black Death hit Europe. This plague killed half of Europe’s population. [1] The Black Death was not the only plague the Italians had to face. In the 1490s, Italy suffered from a terrible epidemic called the “sweating sickness.” The sweating sickness only affected Italy and parts of Germany. It killed more than half of its victims. [2]

what slowed the spread of the italian renaissance across europe
what slowed the spread of the italian renaissance across europe

2. The Reformation & The Counter-Reformation

During the 16th century, many European countries experienced political changes. There were two crises that led to these changes. One was the Protestant Reformation, and the other was the Counter-Reformation (also known as the Catholic Reformation). The Protestants were a group of Christians who believed that people should be allowed to choose what religion they wanted to follow. If you were a member of one religion and lived in another country than you could not be converted. The Catholics looked at Protestants as heretics and didn’t want them in their country. They were unhappy that the Protestant Reformation separated many groups of people. The Catholics, who at the time were led by Pope Clement VII, opposed this movement and called it heretical. Because divided Christians no longer wanted to trade with one another, many countries lost contact with Italy and stopped receiving their goods and ideas.

what slowed the spread of the italian renaissance across europe
what slowed the spread of the italian renaissance across europe

3. The Hundred Years’ War

The Protestant Reformation led to the increased resistance fought between the Catholics and Protestants. There was also a war that took place during the 16th century between France and the Holy Roman Empire, which eventually spread into many other countries. The French had been fighting since 1467 over what to do with their control of territory in Italy. The Hundred Years’ War started when Henry V, King of England, invaded France and brought it to an end in 1453. This war lasted until 1559 when the Treaty of Longjumeau finally ended it. There were many battles from the Hundred Years’ War. Some of them were Crécy (England, 1346), Poitiers (France, 1356) and Agincourt (England, 1415). The French won most of them because their army was more organized and better trained than the English army. Most wars during this time period ended in a treaty instead of a battle. Some people say that the reason that Italy didn’t spread its Renaissance ideas to other countries was because war occurred most of the time. This war made it hard for artists to travel around because the armies would steal their paintings and sculptures.

what slowed the spread of the italian renaissance across europe
what slowed the spread of the italian renaissance across europe