The Renaissance of Italy has been noted to come from early European history. More over, Italian Renaissance is closest to the middle Ages and the birth of the Philosophy of humanism As French forces began to prey on the Italian states in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth century, Rome became the focus of Italy's collective defense, and the pope the architect of that defense. Milan had fallen, and the northern states were under pressure, but they could survive as long as Rome remained strong. At this time, Pope Leo X maintained control, keeping the central state strong. His successor however did just the opposite. Pope Clement VII failed as a politician and leader, when international affairs became worse with a great emperor, Charles V, of Europe.

The frequent wars between city-states brought to Italy the mercenary leaders known as the Condottieri and ultimately resulted in foreign intervention. In 1494, Charles VIII of France invaded Italy, marking the beginning of a period of foreign occupation that lasted until the 19 th century. By 1550 almost all of Italy had been subjugated by the Habsburg ruler Charles V, who was both the Holy Roman emperor and king of Spain. The awareness of wealth and power in the cities led to new formations of social classes. Individuals had created most of the wealth not in the noble class, but the bankers, in particular, created a support structure for the growing wealth. Not only did these moneymaking activities produce wealth, they also seriously redistributed wealth.

At the beginning of the middle ages, wealth in Italy consisted almost entirely of land and was determined in the hands of the nobility. Wealth began to concentrate in the hands of the non-aristocratic peoples. Because the nobility tended to borrow money only to do non-productive things like gamble, party, and fight wars, they often defaulted on their loans. When they did, part of their property would transfer to the wealthy bankers and merchants. By the end of the fifteenth century, most of the wealth of Italy had been transferred away from the nobility, including the pope in Rome, to this new, commercial class. In general, Renaissance Italian society consisted of five classes that varied in nature and number depending on which area of Italy you were in.

At the top of the class hierarchy were the old nobility and the merchant class that had traditionally ruled the cities. Below them were the emergent capitalist and banker class combined with the lower classes and wished to become as powerful as the top class. Below them were the less wealthy merchants and trades people and below them, the poor and destitute. This final group probably made up a third of the urban population in Italy during the Renaissance. Finally, there were the domestic slaves, they represent the first attempts by European society to institute slavery as an economic practice.