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History — Chapter 11

The Modern Age in Europe — (A) Renaissance

Class 9 - Total History & Civics Solutions


Short Answer Question

Question 1

What is meant by the term 'Renaissance'?

Answer

The term 'Renaissance' means rebirth or revival. It stands for a complex transitional movement in Europe between medieval and modern times beginning in the 14th century in Italy and lasting into the 17th century.

Question 2

Mention any two causes of the Renaissance.

Answer

Two causes of the Renaissance were:

  1. Capture of Constantinople — Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire fell into the hands of the Turks in 1453. This forced the Roman and Greek scholars to shift to Rome and other parts of Europe with their manuscripts. These genius scholars spread their new spirit and ideas, wherever they went paving the way for Renaissance.
  2. Decline of Feudalism — Decline of Feudalism in the 13th and 14th centuries provided an impetus to free thinking and favoured the growth of new learning. It led to new developments in the spheres of art, literature, philosophy and science and contributed to the rise of Renaissance.

Question 3

What role did the victory of the Turks over Constantinople play in the rise Renaissance?

Answer

Constantinople was the capital of Eastern Roman Empire and centre of Greek and Roman cultures. It had valuable manuscripts of Greek and Roman writers. When it fell into the hands of the turks in 1453, the Roman and Greek scholars were forced to shift to Rome and other parts of Europe with their manuscripts. Rome then became the centre of Greek culture. These scholars were geniuses, men of liberal outlook, humanism and logical thinking. They spread their new spirit and ideas, wherever they went. In this way they revived the interest of the people in the study of Greek philosophy, science, art and literature. The revival of the learning of Greek classics paved the way for the Renaissance.

Question 4

The decline of feudalism led to the rise of Renaissance. Give two reasons.

Answer

The two reasons for the rise of Renaissance with decline of feudalism were:

  1. The decline of feudalism provided an impetus to free thinking.
  2. The peace and freedom that prevailed after the decline of feudalism favoured the growth of New learning.

Question 5

Mention any two factors that led to the growth of the spirit of enquiry among the people of Europe.

Answer

Two factors that led to the growth of the spirit of enquiry among the people of Europe were:

  1. Role of original thinkers — During the Medieval Age, the church discouraged original thinking but certain bold and independent thinkers who criticised the church and their dogmas, came up. They asked the people to developed their own thinking. Thinkers like Roger Bacon, Abelard, Thomas Aquinas revolutionised the thought process and laid stress on reasoning.
  2. Development of science — Certain medieval scholar showed a scientific attitude and asked their students to observe things in nature. This brought in many new inventions and discoveries. Development of science created the spirit of enquiry and scientific temper.

Question 6

How did the invention of the printing press bring in a new awakening in Europe?

Answer

In the Middle Ages, books were few and they were beyond the reach of the ordinary people. The Printing Press enabled Europe to multiply books and put them within the reach of people. The printing press spread knowledge far and wide. Scholars found it easier to read printed books than hand-written manuscripts. Printing and distribution of books influenced people's attitude to life and brought about a new awakening in Europe.

Question 7

Mention any two consequences of geographical explorations.

Answer

Two consequences of geographical explorations are:

  1. The geographical discoveries led to the establishment of trade between Europe and the East.
  2. They also paved the way for the process of colonisation of Asia and Africa.

Question 8

Explain briefly the term 'Humanism'.

Answer

Humanism was regarded as the most remarkable phenomena of Renaissance. It was a product of the spread of education and learning. The word humanism was derived from the Latin words 'Studia humanitatis' (the studies of mankind). Basically it meant a decisive shift in concern for human as distinct from divine matters. Humanism extolled man and stressed his essential dignity. It was centred on the man of flesh and blood with all his earthly joys and sorrows. It opposed religious asceticism. It defended man's right to pleasure and the satisfaction of earthly desires and requirements.

Question 9

Why did Renaissance begin in Italy? Give two reasons.

Answer

Renaissance began in Italy because of following reasons:

  1. Italy was the seat of the glorious Roman Empire and all the historical remains and relics of the Romans were found there. These attracted a number of scholars and artists.
  2. The enormous wealth which Italy had accumulated as a result of trade with the east also contributed to the rise of Renaissance. The wealthy merchants of Italy patronised the artists and literary figures and used their wealth for the revival of classical culture and literature.

Question 10

Renaissance artists tried to depict life on canvas and stone. With reference to this statement, describe the progress in the art of painting.

Answer

The Renaissance painters established very high standards and produced some of the greatest paintings of the time. The artists of the Renaissance period refused to abide by medieval rules, tradition and adopted new artistic methods such as frescoes for wall pictures, oil colours and woodcuts. They studied optics and geometry and used their knowledge to develop perspective in their paintings. They also studied human anatomy to find the mechanism underlying gestures and expressions. They had a humanistic secular approach and produced highly artistic and life like paintings.

Question 11

Mention the impact of the Renaissance in the field of English literature.

Answer

The most significant impact of Renaissance on literature was the use of local languages, instead of Latin as in the Middle Ages. Besides, there was a change of themes in the literary work. Earlier writers dwelt on spiritual themes including heaven. However, during Renaissance, the authors wrote on man and his problems. A number of english poets and dramatists of repute were produced in England. Some of the English writers of Renaissance period were Geoffrey Chaucer, Thomas More, Francis Bacon, William Shakespeare, etc.

Question 12

Mention the theory introduced by Copernicus.

Answer

Copernicus introduced the Heliocentric theory. It was about the model of the Universe. His model of the universe placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the centre of the universe.

Structured Questions

Question 1

Many factors contributed to usher in the spirit of Renaissance, which had far-reaching consequences for the entire world. In this context, write short notes on:

(a) Invention of the printing press.

(b) Decline of Feudalism.

(c) Capture of Constantinople.

Answer

(a) Invention of the printing press — The first printing press was set up in Germany by Gutenberg in the middle of the 15th century. Later on Caxton introduced it in England. The invention of printing press in the middle of the 15th century in Europe made it possible to produce books in large numbers. The Bible and many other religious and classical books were printed and made available all over Europe. The printing press spread knowledge far and wide. Scholars found it easier to read printed books than hand-written manuscripts. In the Middle Ages, books were few and they were beyond the reach of the ordinary people. The Printing Press enabled Europe to multiply books and put them within the reach of people. Printing and distribution of books influenced people's attitude to life and brought about a new awakening in Europe.

(b) Decline of Feudalism — Feudalism was a system according to which the medieval European society was organised on the basis of land tenure. In this system, all the people, from the King down to the lowest land owners were bound together by obligation and defence. The King used to give estates to his lords (Dukes and Earls). The Lords, distributed a part of their land among the lesser lords (Barons), who provided them with military support. The Dukes and Earls owned allegiance directly to the king, whereas the Barons owed allegiance to Dukes and Earls. The Knights formed the lower category of feudal lords. The feudal lords did not cultivate their lands and gave it to the peasants for cultivation.

The society had a graded organisation in which there was hardly any chance for social mobility and progress. It was also opposed to freedom and equality of rights. Decline of Feudalism in the 13th and 14th centuries provided an impetus to free thinking. The peace and freedom that prevailed after the decline of feudalism favoured the growth of New Learning. It led to new developments in the spheres of art, literature, philosophy and science and contributed to the rise of Renaissance.

(c) Capture of Constantinople — Constantinople was the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire and was a centre of Greek and Roman cultures. It had valuable manuscripts of Greek and Roman writers. But Constantinople fell into hands of the Turks in 1453. Many Greek and Roman scholars were thus, forced to shift to Rome and other parts of Europe with their manuscripts. Rome then became the centre of Greek culture. These scholars were geniuses, men of liberal outlook, humanism and logical thinking. Wherever they went, they spread their new spirit and ideas. They revived the interest of people in the study of Greek philosophy, science, art and literature. The revival of the learning of Greek classics paved the way for the Renaissance.

Question 2

Renaissance brought in a spirit of enquiry among the people of Europe. In this context, answer the following question:

(a) Explain briefly the role of original thinkers in promoting the spirit of enquiry among the people of Europe.

(b) How did the development of science create the spirit of enquiry?

(c) What was the role of Crusades in ushering in the spirit of enquiry?

Answer

(a) During the Medieval Age, the Church discouraged original thinking and called upon scholars to put faith in the Church dogmas. However, original thinking could not be suppressed for a long time and certain bold and independent thinkers criticised the Church and asked the people to develop their own thinking. They developed a spirit of enquiry and a sense of curiosity among the people. They taught human beings to know the Why and How of things. Thinkers like Roger Bacon, Abelard, Thomas Aquinas revolutionised the thought process and laid stress on reasoning.

(b) Certain medieval scholars showed a scientific attitude and asked their students to observe things in nature. This brought in many new inventions and discoveries. Development of science created the spirit of enquiry and scientific temper. Roger Bacon contemplated the use of horseless carriages and flying machines. Copernicus proved that the Earth moves around the Sun. Galileo invented the telescope. These inventions broadened the mental outlook of the people and put an end to the old beliefs and traditions.

(c) The Crusades were the religious expeditionary wars with the goal of restoring the Church's access to holy places in and near Jerusalem. They brought the people of Europe into direct contact with the people of Asia. The Crusades brought to Western Europe ideas from the East. It widened their outlook on life. People began to rely on reason rather than on blind faith.

Question 3

Renaissance or rebirth brought about drastic changes in art, literature and science. In this context, wite short notes on the following:

(a) Leonardo Da Vinci

(b) William shakespeare

(c) Copernicus

Answer

(a) Leonardo Da Vinci — Leonardo Da Vinci was a great painter, sculpture, musician and a scientist. Da Vinci's interests ranged far beyond fine arts. He studied nature, mechanics, anatomy, physics, architecture and weaponry. He saw science and art as complementary rather than distinct disciplines, and thought that ideas formulated in one realm could, and should, inform the other. He spent a great deal of time immersing himself in nature, testing scientific laws, dissecting bodies (human and animals) and thinking and writing about his observations. In the early 1490s, Da Vinci started documenting about four broad themes — painting, architecture, mechanics and human anatomy. He created thousands of pages of neatly drawn illustrations. His paintings of the 'Virgin of the Rocks', 'The Last Supper' and 'Mona Lisa' are great masterpieces of art.

(b) William Shakespeare — He was an english poet, playwright and actor who is widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English Language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet and the 'Bard of Avon'. He wrote 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems and a few other verses. His first plays were mostly historical dramas like Richard II, Henry VI and Henry V with the exception of Romeo and Juliet. In his early period, he wrote comedies like A Midsummer Night's Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, As You Like It and Twelfth Night. After 1600, he wrote tragedies like Hamlet, King Lear, Othello and Macbeth. William Shakespeare's work transcends culture and history. He appeals to emotions and thoughts that are a part of eternal human nature and therefore, have a universal appeal.

(c) Copernicus — Nicolaus Copernicus was a mathematician and astronomer. He formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the centre of the universe. The publication of this model in his book 'De revolutionibus orbium celestium' (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres), just before his death in 1543, is regarded as a major event in the history of science, triggering the Copernican Revolution. He introduced the Heliocentric theory. This also led to a series of discoveries by scientists like John Kepler, Galileo and Isaac Newton.

Question 4

Study the picture given below and answer the following questions:

Identify the painting and name the artist who made it. Name another famous painting by the same artist. Write a short note on the artist who made this painting. What changes occurred in the style of painting as a result of the Renaissance spirit in Europe? The Modern Age in Europe - (A) Renaissance, Total History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 9.

(a) Identify the painting and name the artist who made it. Name another famous painting by the same artist.

(b) Write a short note on the artist who made this painting.

(c) What changes occurred in the style of painting as a result of the Renaissance spirit in Europe?

Answer

(a) The given painting is 'The Last Supper' by Leonardo Da Vinci. 'Mona Lisa' is the other famous painting by him.

(b) Leonardo Da Vinci was a great painter, sculpture, musician and a scientist. Da Vinci's interests ranged far beyond fine arts. He studied nature, mechanics, anatomy, physics, architecture and weaponry. He refined his skills of painting and sculpture and trained in Mechanical arts under Andrea del Verrocchio. He saw science and art as complementary rather than distinct disciplines, and thought that ideas formulated in one realm could, and should, inform the other. He spent a great deal of time immersing himself in nature, testing scientific laws, dissecting bodies (human and animals) and thinking and writing about his observations. In the early 1490s, Da Vinci started documenting about four broad themes — painting, architecture, mechanics and human anatomy. He created thousands of pages of neatly drawn illustrations. His paintings of the 'Virgin of the Rocks', 'The Last Supper' and 'Mona Lisa' are great masterpieces of art.

(c) The artists of the Renaissance period refused to abide by medieval rules and tradition. They adopted new artistic methods such as frescoes for wall pictures, oil colours and woodcuts. They studied optics and geometry and used their knowledge to develop perspective in their paintings. They also studied human anatomy to find the mechanism underlying gestures and expressions. They were able to show their talent without being restricted by the rigid rules of the church. The Renaissance painters had a humanistic secular approach and produced highly artistic and life like paintings.

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