Period 4 SPICE Analysis

An Analysis of the Cultural Aspects of Period 4 Topics


The artists, sculptors and architects of the renaissance were very religious, devout Christians. They made paintings of angels, bible depictions, and the Virgin Mary (which they often referred to as Madonna, meaning "My Lady" in Italian). The Sistine Chapel is a massive homage to Christianity as a while, with paintings that line the walls and the ceiling with Bible scenes and other religious imagery. While secularism is often associated with these times, it is wrongly associated. It is often believed that because of the classicism (The integration of the style of art and literature of classic Rome and Greece) displayed by the famous artists of the Renaissance, the artists adopted their secularist philosophies. This is not entirely true, as the renaissance artists were mostly funded by the Church itself, and so for many it was not an option. Though one would think that if you were painting biblical scenes all over the insides of a giant building, you would need to be Christian to have that sort of dedication.

The art of this time is considered by many to be some of the greatest art in history. Steady quality paintings were being made, ranging from The Mona Lisa, to the Sistine Chapel, to Pieta. Its no wonder, with so many of the famous artists from the Renaissance period (Michelangelo, Donattello, Da Vinci, Raphael, Bruegel the The Elder, and countless more), that it was considered the golden age of art; Not to mention literature's revival of literature in Shakespeare.

The Columbian Exchange

The Columbian exchange was a massive exchange of culture, technology, and disease that occurred between the New and Old worlds. The blending and merging of these cultures created new, unique cultures as a result of the blending. The colonies that the europeans settled into contained indigenous peoples with their own unique cultures, and while the conquistadors' goal was to spread their own culture, the natives put up a fight in maintaining their own beliefs and traditions, and as a result the two cultures transitioned into a single, unique culture. The columbian exchange brought Christianity to the New world, and the figures of Christianity replaced the figures of worship of the past. Other religions were also brought over from the Old World, such as Voudon, which became a major part of Haitian culture and remains so today. Many goods were transfered from the New world to the Old World, such as Tomatoes, which were then used in Italy to invent Pizza.
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Mughal Empire

The Mughals have a long history of conflict between Muslim and Hindus. At one point, the Mughal leader Akbar (grandson of the founder of the Mughals) gave Hindus the most rights of any leader during the Mughal empire, letting Hindus enlist in the army and in government services. However, down the line in the Mughal timeline, the grandson of Akbar, named Aurangzeb, decided to remove these hindu tolerance policies. Aurangzeb was a bigoted ruler. Islam was the major religion, and if you werent Muslim then you were forced to pay drastically higher taxes. Hindus were not allowed to enlist in the army, or any government services, either. Hindu schools and temples were destroyed. The efforts of former Mughal rulers to make India a united nation of both Hindus and Muslims were tarnished by Aurangzeb during his tyrannical rule. His reign led to the eventual decline of the empire, and Hinduism managed to survive and become the major religion of India.

Protestant Reformation

The catholic church had begun to gain traction in the world during the 1500's; However, it also began to get a bad reputation as a deceitful and corrupt scam. Donations and charity received went into luxurious, humongous churches, cathedrals and architectural masterpieces that seemed to belie the message of Christianity in their extravagance and overt overindulgence. Many ambitious man planned to take positions of power in order to take advantage of the corruption. Churches began giving indulgements, or forgiveness for sins, as rewards for devotion to faith and donations. One man found this fundamentally wrong, and sought out to change it.

Martin Luther was a young professor of scripture. He objected the practices of indulgence, and rejected money and physical things for more spiritual fulfillment in prayer and study. He found inspiration to pursue more spiritually in his faith by a passage in a letter of Saint Pauls that made the claim that salvation should not come from 'doing certain things' but rather from religious faith. Luther agreed, believing that preachers emphasized the donations moreso than the genuineness of the actions, and that this was not how one should go about doing things. His argument was taken as opposition by the pope and the church attempted to silence him. However, this only inspired him to take it even further, sparking the protestant reformation, a revolution of ideas. Martin said that the Christian belief should be base off of the word of God in the bible, as opposed to the authority of a pope. This definitely upset the pope and the Catholic clergy, more decisively dividing the two beliefs into two separate divisions: Protestant and Catholicism. The religions of these times impactfully changed the culture of not only Italy and Europe, but the whole Old world and as a result, the New World as well.

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The Ottomans

The Ottoman Empire were well versed in the arts and featured it heavily in their culture. They used a unique type of calligraphy perfected by a man named Seyh Hamdullah, who kick started the movement and led to a variety of styles of calligraphy that the Ottomans used. The Ottomans were also big on architecture; They were heavily influenced by Christian architecture, however the empire was primarily Muslim, as this is evident in that the city of Constantinople is no longer a Christian city. When the Ottomans invaded the city, they used the new technology of cannons to knock over the previously impenetrable walls of the city and proclaim it as Ottoman territory while renaming it Instanbul, which as it stand is still the name of the (primarily Muslim) city. Islam claimed the city and it became obvious that Islam would remain the most influential religion of the area, as it is today. The Christian Influence is seen in Instanbul, as the remnants of what was once Constantinople influenced the Architecture of the Ottomans when they began becoming more well versed in Architecture, using Byzantine stone and brick structures.

Ottomans also began opening up to technologies and mathematics that were previously untouched. Books on the Sciences and Mathematics were being written and churned out. Thanks to scientifically-minded rulers such as Mehmet II, interest in Astronomy, Medicine, Philosophy, Mathematics, and Geography increased exponentially.

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