The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 08 The Later Renaissance: from Gutenberg to the Reformation

Anonymous The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 08 The Later Renaissance: from Gutenberg to the Reformation
ISBN:
2000000001711
Мова:
англійська
Автор:
Anonymous
Видавництво:
Project Gutenberg
Рік видання:
2003 р.
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The Renaissance marks the separation of the mediaeval from the modern world. The wide difference between the two epochs of Teutonic history arises, we are apt somewhat glibly to say, from the fact that our ancestors worshipped and were ruled by brute force, whereas we follow the broad light of intellect. Perhaps both statements require modification; yet in a general way they do suggest the change which by a thousand different agencies has, in the course of the last four centuries, been forced upon the world. Mediaeval Europe was a land not of equals, but of lords and slaves. The powerful nobles regarded themselves as of wholly different clay from the hapless peasants whom they trampled under foot, serfs so ignorant, so brutalized by want, that they were often little better than the beasts with which they herded. Gradually the tradesmen, the middle classes, forced their way to practical equality with the nobles. Then came the turn of the masses to do the same. The beginnings of the merchants' movement we have already traced in the preceding volumes; the end of the peasants' effort is perhaps even to-day scarce yet accomplished.

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