The Renaissance Period: Full of Subtance or Emptyness?

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During the middle ages, the feudal system left commoners in western Europe oppressed. Making up 95% of the population, the peasants and serfs of the roman empire were limited to their land. They worked day in and out. Working on farms, they were the providers of crops to the nobility. They had very few rights, as most did not own land and they were forbidden to hunt. These people also had very little exposure to art, music, and culture. Religion was dominant and explains everything. There was a mal-distribution of wealth, as the commoners had very little due to the high taxation. When they were not busy working on farms, they were busy attending religious ceremonies. Even when a commoner aspired to attain a status higher than what he had been born with, becoming anything more was extremely difficult. Just being accepted into a guild as a craftsman took much effort, for they had limited openings. People were slaves to their government. The only form of justice was the Inquisition, and they often used torture and killing as a method of justice. There was no system of due process or any sort of democracy. Science was discouraged, which lead to a society of ignorant and backwards people. Obviously the middle ages were a backward time for Western Civilization, but was the Renaissance a time in which the backward society died off and modern civilization spawned? The Renaissance had many accomplishments during it's years. Beginning in Italy, Western Civilization began to take a turn for the better. Culture and the arts became enriched. The upper class began to indulge in new forms of entertainment. Art had found it's way to the forefront of popular culture. Michaelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel. New cuisines and types of food were developed. Gunpowder was devolved and made armies more powerful. The Papacy became more tolerant of science and invention. Copernicus

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