Italian Renaissance: A Political Science Perspective

4 April 2015
A presentation of the society which developed during the Italian Renaissance and the political factors which influenced its formation.

This paper looks at the Italian Renaissance from a political science perspective with particular focus on Florence and the crisis of legitimacy of the Renaissance. In order to fully understand the politics of the times, the writer briefly examines the background of the Renaissance and why it started in the Italian city-state of Florence. The types of government and politics that developed during the period and the effect these developments had on European politics and history are also discussed.
“Most scholars and historians are in general agreement that western civilization went into a cultural, political and intellectual decline following the eclipse of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD. The decline lasted through the so-called Middle Ages until a series of dynamic intellectual and cultural movements in Europe from the 14th to 16th century (the Renaissance or “re-birth”) acting as a bridge between the classical and the modern age catapulted Europe towards rapid development leading to the Age of Enlightenment, the industrial revolution and the present times.

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The origin of Renaissance is said to be Italy, with its center of gravity the city-state of Firenze (Florence, in English), although the movement later spread to the rest of Europe. The period of Renaissance is also notable for having produced several remarkable persons such as Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1516 AD) “the great painter, scholar, inventor and Niccolo Machiavelli (1569-1527)” the brilliant historian and political thinker.”

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