Renaissance is a word which means “rebirth” in French. In Italian, it means “Rinascimento”. Renaissance is a cultural revolution in Europe, particularly in Italy which occurred during the latter part of the Middle Ages from 14th century to 17th century. It is the period when great developments and progress in arts and science occurred. It is believed that Renaissance flourished because of the so-called “Black Death”. People shift their ideas from spiritual life to their lives spent here on Earth. Florence gave way to the birth of renaissance. It is where great men of arts like Da Vinci, Michelangelo and even Boticelli spawned. Renaissance introduced concepts of sciences and arts which until today last.
Humanism which is a process of learning was used by renaissance scholars. This method study original texts and review it using reasoning as well as empirical evidences. In arts, artists develop very sensible linear perspective. Painters also considered study of lighting, silhouette and anatomy to improve their works. Architects of renaissance combined mathematics with architecture. Classical style flourished. Dome shaped infrastructures, which seemed impossible to do was achieved. Science experienced “scientific revolution” in which the scientific method, which is based on empirical evidences, was introduced. This gave rise to development in different branches of science. During renaissance, people have changed the way they see God and man. It results to debates which questioned the Christianity.
Aztecs and Incas
Aztec was a Mesoamerican empire which exists from 14th to 16th century. Aztecs have rich culture and traditions. Aztecs have human sacrifices to their gods, thus, wars continued in order to have human sacrifices. Army men do not kill their enemies; instead they held them as captives which will be their human sacrifices. When there are no wars, warriors participate into gladiatorial battle. In terms of agriculture, Aztecs are famous for their
Hanging Garden. They were very much into gardening. In politics, the king of every city is an appointed judge. The magistrates were elected. People who committed huge crimes will be sacrificed while those who committed lesser crimes will become slaves. On the other hand, the Inca Empire employs strict administration of bureaucracy. The emperor marries her sister to maintain the lineage pure. This civilization also believes in human sacrifices. But it is not always the case, because sometimes they sacrifice animals instead of humans. Other royalties hold administrative designations. Military activities are not common, only in times of troubles like wars and rebellions. There are no records of agricultural activities during the Inca Empire (Tankard, 2006).
Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates
Abbasids were able to solidify and unify Islamic leadership. On the other hand, Umayyad had the biggest unitary state during their rule. They are Sunni Muslims. Abbasid were from the youngest uncle of Muhammad in contrast with the Umayyad were descendants of Umayya who is from another clan. Conflict rise between the two because Abbasid caliphate they are the true descendant of Muhammad.
The Umayyad military was used mainly for the expansion of their religious territory while the Abbasid army called the Mameluk was established to prevent the collapse of their rule. In terms of politics, the Abbasid caliph rule with coordination from non-Arab Muslims which contributed to the unification of Islam during their rule. Umayyad was believed to shift from a religious institution to a dynastic body.
The factors which caused social and cultural changes in the lives of tropical people are architecture, religion, gender and learning. Expansion of Islam results to new architectural styles. Style from the Middle East and locality are fused. In learning, Islam made people from
Africa use Arabic. Spread of Islam also introduced the study of Islamic Laws and knowledge about science, mathematics including medicine. Social change occurred when discrepancy between the elites and the poor increased. In Africa and India, slavery became common. Slaves are tasked to do tedious works like mining, while women slaves are asked to do household chores, they also served as entertainers. Women in the tropics were trained to do house chores which includes child rearing, cooking and some farm works. Records do not have clear accounts on the implication of Islamic rule to women in the tropics, but it is known that in some places, women did not practice veiling and seclusion.
Renaissance. Retrieved April 29, 2007 .
Tankard, Keith. (2006). “Aztec and Inca Empire”. Retrieved April 29, 2007 from http://www.knowledge4africa.co.za/worldhistory/inca13.htm
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