World History (A)

Chapter 1: European Renaissance and Reformation, 1300-1600


In the 1300s, a renewed interest in classical learning and the arts arose in Italy. Thinkers in northern Europe adopted these ideas as well but with a spiritual focus. The desire for a more satisfying spiritual life led some to revolt against the Catholic Church, as new churches were founded. In response, the Catholic Church undertook some reforms of its own, strengthening the faith.

Concepts from AP European History

The Renaissance

  • A revival of classical texts led to new methods of scholarship and new values in both society and religion.
  • The invention of printing promoted the dissemination of new ideas.
  • The visual arts incorporated the new ideas of the Renaissance and were used to promote personal, political, and religious goals.

The Reformation

  • The Protestant and Catholic Reformations fundamentally changed theology, religious institutions, and culture.
  • Religious reform both increased state control of religious institutions and provided justifications for challenging state authority.
  • Conflicts among religious groups overlapped with political and economic competition within and among states.