australian colonial history
meg dillon
© Meg Dillon 2008
Australian Colonial History
Western Civilisation
Session 6
6
6

Recapitulation:

The ideals of the Renaissance:- a search for truth and beauty. Appealing, but restricted to the wealthy commercial elites. 1400 - 1520 Northern Italy consisted of independent city states with wealthy merchant classes either governing in republics (Venice, Florence, Siena) or highly influential in dictatorships such as Milan. The Papacy (Guelfs) and the Holy Roman Emperor (Ghibellines) competed for influence in these city states resulting in continuing small wars between them. Knowledge about antiquity seeped in from the East. In addition ancient texts started to be discovered in monastery libraries and art relicts dug up during excavations for buildings. The hunt for these discoveries about the Greek and Roman worlds accelerated as wealthy merchant patrons paid scholars to travel extensively to find these. Florence, the wealthiest city in Europe, became the leader in giving patronage to the new group of architects, builders, sculptors, artists and scholars who espoused the ideas of Ancient Greece and Rome. This spread quickly throughout Northern Italy and into the rest of Europe. Printing spread the newly discovered works of Romans such as Cicero, Horace, and Virgil. Greek philosophy and literature from the writings of Aristotle, Plato Homer and the dramatists were translated and read in the original. These ‘new’ ideas penetrated the works of contemporary scholars and influenced their writings. Politics too was reevaluated using ideas from the ancients. Machiavelli’s books advocated a an extreme type of pragmatic ruling strategies (The Prince) that reflected both past ideas and suggested new ways of controlling the political turmoil that existed in the Fifteenth century. After Charles VIII of France invaded Florence in 1494, the ruling Medici were removed. Savonarola , a Dominican priest, became the new leader of the city, both as a secular leader and priest. He set up a type of theocratic republic in Florence. Savonarola wanted to make Florence a city devoted to God and to give up its luxurious way of life which he considered immoral. In 1497, he and his followers went to the main square and began to burn mirrors, cosmetics, pictures, pagan books, gaming tables, musical instruments, fine dresses, women’s hats, and the works of immoral and ancient poets. They also burnt paintings by some famous artists, such as Sandro Botticelli and Michelangelo. This event is now called the "Bonfire of the Vanities". Savonarola was excommunicated by the Pope whom he derided as corrupt and was arrested and executed in 1498. The Medici returned to Florence and took control of the city. This marked the end of the Renaissance period in Northern Italy but by then its influence and the new knowledge had spread throughout Europe. Our video: Ideas of the Renaissance extolled the virtues of the Renaissance which advocated, learning, free discussion of ideas, production of beautiful art and sculpture and the building of great public buildings and sections of cities. o But does this oversell the Renaissance? o Could whole cultures ever adopt all of its optimism and search for truth and beauty? o Why are we so attracted to these ideals? The commercial elites in Italy were just as exclusive as the aristocracy so the Renaissance was not a great period of social or economic change: it mostly introduced ideas and cultural developments. These were emulated by European aristocracies in the C18th and C19th. o Is this why little is known about it today? o Have its cultural norms have been superseded? o Is it fair to say its cultural norms have only ever been the concern of small groups of ruling elites or scholars? o Have its ideals any relevance to us today?

The Start of Modern Europe

When does a period of change start? There is rarely a defining date, instead a number of critical factors start to occur and support changes in political, economic and cultural directions. These occur while attributes of the past systems still exist concurrently and sometimes violently oppose the changes occurring. This is what a number of historians argue began over a period of 100 years or so in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance periods. The powerful impacts of these factors did more to change the course of European history than the cultural ideals of the Renaissance because their effects were felt by larger numbers of people especially as they wrought changes in the rise of the middle classes and the working classes. Modern Europe started to be forged through the effects of: Population changes caused by repeated periods of Bubonic plagues The trickle down effect of reading and learning caused by the invention of printing and rapid spread of knowledge. The protestant reformation The exploration and discoveries of the far east and the Americas and Africa leading to the advent of colonialism

The Plague

Map: Black Death map Show and discuss Bubonic plague ravished the populations of most European countries several times throughout this period. Over 1/3 to half of the population died. The Consequences of the Black Death, This caused working class labour, both free and rural serfdom, to become a scarce economic commodity which helped serfdom to crumble in most parts of Europe [ but not Russia], introduced and increased wages as rewards for work and increased choice and the living conditions of the working class. The slow rise of the working class starts here. Video: Black Death in Italy C14 This video runs for one hour. It is worth watching as the words of eye witnesses figure strongly in the presentation.

Discussion:

Supply and demand? What progress did the working classes and unfree labourers make after the dramatic population decreases all over Europe? o Remember England as specific example. o Could relocate themselves to towns or other areas o Could work for whom they pleased o Could set their wages and demand higher pay but wages fluctuated during the next 100 years. o Many took over the leases [5 acres] of neighbours who had died, or other family members and farmed larger areas eg 15 acres or more. o Could marry whom they pleased. Less interference in their personal lives from feudal lords. Broader economic effects? o Towns especially port towns ,grew rapidly as workers and tradesmen relocated there. o Food prices fell as wages rose. and more efficient agricultural practices were adopted. o Spare agricultural land was taken up for grazing and the higher meat production resulted in dietary improvements. A shift from grain production to grazing animals that needed fewer laborers. o Laws attempting to enforce lower wages and bind laborers to their feudal employers largely failed in most parts of Europe. o Labor saving devices lead to higher productivity and a greater interest in inventing new machines. Start of the machine age?? o In England land was freed from some grain production which enabled the start of the wool industry which became one of Englands greatest exports. What were the Social consequences? o Some groups were capegoated for the plague eg Jews in Eorope, Women in near East. o Women gained greater freedom to move round and take up work of their choice in towns or industries like the wool industry and cloth production. They could marry whom they pleased. o Fformer feudal serfs and tenants experienced an increase in individual choices and better control over their lives . o Start of the formation of a free working class. Which included rural free tenants, tradesmen and town workers. The printing press. This invention spread information rapidly. Mostly initially increasing the access to information for the middle class as well as scholars. Universities and schools become more important for larger groups of people. Commerce, exploration, education advanced quickly as information became available more directly to classes other than the wealthy. Video: Printing Press Gutenberg 14 mins. View and discuss.

Discussion:

Who benefitted most from the spread of printed books and texts? o Most popular works were travel stories. o New Protestantism benefited as huge numbers of bibles were translated and printed in contemporary languages. Also religious tracts highly distributed. o Scholars , a small group, Venice started printing copies of Greek and Roman manuscripts in both Latin, Greek or contemporary languages. Universities grew. o Encouraged more people in the wider population to learn to read and write.

Next Session

Our next session will continue to look at major historical trends: The emergence of Protestantism in the early C16th [1515] in Germany, which later spread throughout Northern Europe. It had twin effects: o The redistribution of national wealth that would previously been collected and retained by the Catholic Church. This secular retention of local wealth fueled the growth of industries, exploration and the powerful merchant classes. o It also changed the character of middle and working classes as they adopted strict behavior norms that favored thrift, sobriety, education and enterprise. Rise of individualism. Started in M iddle Ages – rise of conscience ie individual responsibility started to spread in religious houses introducing some resistance to co-ersion eg appeal personal appeal to a higher power and the integrity of the soul challenged the domination of the Church or State. Martin Luther’s doctrines extended and spread this doctrine of the individual being directly in communication with God, not requiring the intervention of priest or church. Exploration and discovery of the New World which lead to o Mediterranean powers being eclipsed. This sea and the Eastern trade routes into it were no longer the commercial boundary of Europe o Prominence of new powers – Portugal and Spain o Increase in wealth in Europe as treasure floods in from the new World o Access gained to North and South Americas, Africa o Access gained to the Far East: Japan, China, South East Asia o The emergence of Colonialism as European powers each sought exclusive control over an area in the New World they could invade and dominate. European countries become increasingly nationalistic fostering wars between them. In a way this is a continuation of the theme of war that has wracked Europe since the Ancient Greeks. Does it now increase? o o Which wars or disputes were major ones? END

Want to read more?

You could start with these videos and texts.

Videos

Ideas of the Renaissance This is the revision video of 18 minutes that supports the advances in the Arts of Renaissance. School of Life, 2015, History of Ideas: the Renaissance, date retrieved 29/4/19, retrieved 29/4.19 Timeline World History documentaries, 2017, The Black Death (Plague Documentary), retrieved 29/4/19. Runs for one hour worth watching as the words of eye witnesses figure strongly in the presentation. Waltraud Pausup, 2013, Johannes Gutenberg and the Printing Press, retrieved 29/4/19, Short video of 11 minutes that provided the basic details. Timeline Documentaries, 2019, YouTube, The Machine that made Us (Gutenberg Printing Press), retrieved 29/4/19, Stephen Fry presents the material . Video One hour.

texts

Black Death map2 This map shows the spread of the disease through Europe over a 3 -5 year period. Wikipedia Contributors, 2019, The Consequences of the Black Death, date retrieved 29/4/2019,PageID 894488222. Wiki has a very good reading list that you may like to see if you want to read more.
australian colonial history
meg dillon
© Meg Dillon 2008
Australian Colonial History
Western Civilisation
Presenter Meg Dillon
Session 6

Recapitulation:

The ideals of the Renaissance:- a search for truth and beauty. Appealing, but restricted to the wealthy commercial elites. 1400 - 1520 Northern Italy consisted of independent city states with wealthy merchant classes either governing in republics (Venice, Florence, Siena) or highly influential in dictatorships such as Milan. The Papacy (Guelfs) and the Holy Roman Emperor (Ghibellines) competed for influence in these city states resulting in continuing small wars between them. Knowledge about antiquity seeped in from the East. In addition ancient texts started to be discovered in monastery libraries and art relicts dug up during excavations for buildings. The hunt for these discoveries about the Greek and Roman worlds accelerated as wealthy merchant patrons paid scholars to travel extensively to find these. Florence, the wealthiest city in Europe, became the leader in giving patronage to the new group of architects, builders, sculptors, artists and scholars who espoused the ideas of Ancient Greece and Rome. This spread quickly throughout Northern Italy and into the rest of Europe. Printing spread the newly discovered works of Romans such as Cicero, Horace, and Virgil. Greek philosophy and literature from the writings of Aristotle, Plato Homer and the dramatists were translated and read in the original. These ‘new’ ideas penetrated the works of contemporary scholars and influenced their writings. Politics too was reevaluated using ideas from the ancients. Machiavelli’s books advocated a an extreme type of pragmatic ruling strategies (The Prince) that reflected both past ideas and suggested new ways of controlling the political turmoil that existed in the Fifteenth century. After Charles VIII of France invaded Florence in 1494, the ruling Medici were removed. Savonarola , a Dominican priest, became the new leader of the city, both as a secular leader and priest. He set up a type of theocratic republic in Florence. Savonarola wanted to make Florence a city devoted to God and to give up its luxurious way of life which he considered immoral. In 1497, he and his followers went to the main square and began to burn mirrors, cosmetics, pictures, pagan books, gaming tables, musical instruments, fine dresses, women’s hats, and the works of immoral and ancient poets. They also burnt paintings by some famous artists, such as Sandro Botticelli and Michelangelo. This event is now called the "Bonfire of the Vanities". Savonarola was excommunicated by the Pope whom he derided as corrupt and was arrested and executed in 1498. The Medici returned to Florence and took control of the city. This marked the end of the Renaissance period in Northern Italy but by then its influence and the new knowledge had spread throughout Europe. Our video: Ideas of the Renaissance extolled the virtues of the Renaissance which advocated, learning, free discussion of ideas, production of beautiful art and sculpture and the building of great public buildings and sections of cities. o But does this oversell the Renaissance? o Could whole cultures ever adopt all of its optimism and search for truth and beauty? o Why are we so attracted to these ideals? The commercial elites in Italy were just as exclusive as the aristocracy so the Renaissance was not a great period of social or economic change: it mostly introduced ideas and cultural developments. These were emulated by European aristocracies in the C18th and C19th. o Is this why little is known about it today? o Have its cultural norms have been superseded? o Is it fair to say its cultural norms have only ever been the concern of small groups of ruling elites or scholars? o Have its ideals any relevance to us today?

The Start of Modern Europe

When does a period of change start? There is rarely a defining date, instead a number of critical factors start to occur and support changes in political, economic and cultural directions. These occur while attributes of the past systems still exist concurrently and sometimes violently oppose the changes occurring. This is what a number of historians argue began over a period of 100 years or so in the late Middle Ages and early Renaissance periods. The powerful impacts of these factors did more to change the course of European history than the cultural ideals of the Renaissance because their effects were felt by larger numbers of people especially as they wrought changes in the rise of the middle classes and the working classes. Modern Europe started to be forged through the effects of: Population changes caused by repeated periods of Bubonic plagues The trickle down effect of reading and learning caused by the invention of printing and rapid spread of knowledge. The protestant reformation The exploration and discoveries of the far east and the Americas and Africa leading to the advent of colonialism

The Plague

Map: Black Death map Show and discuss Bubonic plague ravished the populations of most European countries several times throughout this period. Over 1/3 to half of the population died. The Consequences of the Black Death, This caused working class labour, both free and rural serfdom, to become a scarce economic commodity which helped serfdom to crumble in most parts of Europe [ but not Russia], introduced and increased wages as rewards for work and increased choice and the living conditions of the working class. The slow rise of the working class starts here. Video: Black Death in Italy C14 This video runs for one hour. It is worth watching as the words of eye witnesses figure strongly in the presentation.

Discussion:

Supply and demand? What progress did the working classes and unfree labourers make after the dramatic population decreases all over Europe? o Remember England as specific example. o Could relocate themselves to towns or other areas o Could work for whom they pleased o Could set their wages and demand higher pay but wages fluctuated during the next 100 years. o Many took over the leases [5 acres] of neighbours who had died, or other family members and farmed larger areas eg 15 acres or more. o Could marry whom they pleased. Less interference in their personal lives from feudal lords. Broader economic effects? o Towns especially port towns ,grew rapidly as workers and tradesmen relocated there. o Food prices fell as wages rose. and more efficient agricultural practices were adopted. o Spare agricultural land was taken up for grazing and the higher meat production resulted in dietary improvements. A shift from grain production to grazing animals that needed fewer laborers. o Laws attempting to enforce lower wages and bind laborers to their feudal employers largely failed in most parts of Europe. o Labor saving devices lead to higher productivity and a greater interest in inventing new machines. Start of the machine age?? o In England land was freed from some grain production which enabled the start of the wool industry which became one of Englands greatest exports. What were the Social consequences? o Some groups were capegoated for the plague eg Jews in Eorope, Women in near East. o Women gained greater freedom to move round and take up work of their choice in towns or industries like the wool industry and cloth production. They could marry whom they pleased. o Fformer feudal serfs and tenants experienced an increase in individual choices and better control over their lives . o Start of the formation of a free working class. Which included rural free tenants, tradesmen and town workers. The printing press. This invention spread information rapidly. Mostly initially increasing the access to information for the middle class as well as scholars. Universities and schools become more important for larger groups of people. Commerce, exploration, education advanced quickly as information became available more directly to classes other than the wealthy. Video: Printing Press Gutenberg 14 mins. View and discuss.

Discussion:

Who benefitted most from the spread of printed books and texts? o Most popular works were travel stories. o New Protestantism benefited as huge numbers of bibles were translated and printed in contemporary languages. Also religious tracts highly distributed. o Scholars , a small group, Venice started printing copies of Greek and Roman manuscripts in both Latin, Greek or contemporary languages. Universities grew. o Encouraged more people in the wider population to learn to read and write.

Next Session

Our next session will continue to look at major historical trends: The emergence of Protestantism in the early C16th [1515] in Germany, which later spread throughout Northern Europe. It had twin effects: o The redistribution of national wealth that would previously been collected and retained by the Catholic Church. This secular retention of local wealth fueled the growth of industries, exploration and the powerful merchant classes. o It also changed the character of middle and working classes as they adopted strict behavior norms that favored thrift, sobriety, education and enterprise. Rise of individualism. Started in M iddle Ages – rise of conscience ie individual responsibility started to spread in religious houses introducing some resistance to co- ersion eg appeal personal appeal to a higher power and the integrity of the soul challenged the domination of the Church or State. Martin Luther’s doctrines extended and spread this doctrine of the individual being directly in communication with God, not requiring the intervention of priest or church. Exploration and discovery of the New World which lead to o Mediterranean powers being eclipsed. This sea and the Eastern trade routes into it were no longer the commercial boundary of Europe o Prominence of new powers – Portugal and Spain o Increase in wealth in Europe as treasure floods in from the new World o Access gained to North and South Americas, Africa o Access gained to the Far East: Japan, China, South East Asia o The emergence of Colonialism as European powers each sought exclusive control over an area in the New World they could invade and dominate. European countries become increasingly nationalistic fostering wars between them. In a way this is a continuation of the theme of war that has wracked Europe since the Ancient Greeks. Does it now increase? o Which wars or disputes were major ones? END

Want to read more?

You could start with these videos and texts.

Videos

Ideas of the Renaissance This is the revision video of 18 minutes that supports the advances in the Arts of Renaissance. School of Life, 2015, History of Ideas: the Renaissance, date retrieved 29/4/19, retrieved 29/4.19 Timeline World History documentaries, 2017, The Black Death (Plague Documentary), retrieved 29/4/19. Runs for one hour worth watching as the words of eye witnesses figure strongly in the presentation. Waltraud Pausup, 2013, Johannes Gutenberg and the Printing Press, retrieved 29/4/19, Short video of 11 minutes that provided the basic details. Timeline Documentaries, 2019, YouTube, The Machine that made Us (Gutenberg Printing Press), retrieved 29/4/19, Stephen Fry presents the material . Video One hour.

Texts

Black Death map2 This map shows the spread of the disease through Europe over a 3 -5 year period. Wikipedia Contributors, 2019, The Consequences of the Black Death, date retrieved 29/4/2019,PageID 894488222. Wiki has a very good reading list that you may like to see if you want to read more.