"The Renaissance was a new development, strikingly different from the preceding Middle Ages." A lot of opinions can be formed from this statement. A person could support Burckhardt in his idea that it was a huge change in society, but for every opinion an opposite opinion is formed. The historian Burke believed that the Renaissance was not what its name says it is, that it was just a gradual change as time went on. During the time period called the Renaissance, which took place from the 14 th to the 16 th centuries, trade became a huge factor in the lives of people and the economy. During the middle ages, which took place from the 6 th to 12 th century, people were isolated from the world around them. People grew up and lived on their lord's manor, doing enough to survive to the next day.
As the Renaissance emerged trade increased, thus expanding people's eyes about the world. As trade increased new products and resources also spread through the once isolated Europe. As these new materials came through, more people made more money from selling them, causing the growth of a new, middle class. When this new class emerged through trade the once powerful lords and vassals became weaker in the social hierarchy. In the middle ages, religion dominated the people's lives.
Everyone followed the catholic churches teachings and anyone who did not was persecuted for it. The church had complete political control and power over the way people lived their lives. During the Renaissance a new idea emerged called secularism, which was the belief that a person should worry about the world rather than the after life. As this idea spread, people began basing their lives on what they could gain from their life on earth and stopped worrying about the after life. With a new lack of interest in the after life people stopped letting the church control them, thus decreasing it's power. In the middle ages the political control was also from lords rather than the king, who was more of just a figurehead.
When the Renaissance came about, city-states formed and rivalries between them grew over trade control. Thus political control was different from one state to another. Constant warfare ensued over control over trade and resources. Cultural ideas also changed during the Renaissance. Art in the middle ages lacked depth, individuality and color.
The art also revolved around very religious themes. Art changed to be more dimensional and helped people feel like the art was more realistic. In art such as "Madonna and Child" by Raphael vibrant colors were utilized and shadow effects were used to give the painting a more three-dimensional feel. Art of the Renaissance also moved away from religious themes, in "Arnolfini and his Bride" by Van Eyck, it showed that people didn't need to be married in a church because they could connect with god without a middleman. The art showed much more individuality in people, shown in art such as the "Mona Lisa" by DaVinci.
The painting showed detail in depth and in her face. Overall many changes occurred from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. It was a drastic change from the Middle Ages, but wasn't completely original since many of these ideas were ideas that came from ancient Greece and Rome. Burckhardt was right in saying that it was a big change from the Middle Ages, but Burke was right in saying that it wasn't a new set of ideas.