Why Did The Renaissance Come From Northern Europe?

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Why did the Renaissance come later to northern Europe than to Italy and what were its distinctive characteristics?

The Renaissance, a term coined by Giorgio Vasari in 1550 , is used to describe the period of cultural and intellectual change which started in Italy and then spread across the rest of Europe. This development in society led to Europe stepping out of the medieval era and becoming a powerhouse on a global scale. The Italian Renaissance is what the majority of people think of when thinking about the Renaissance period but that was just the starting point. The Italian Renaissance changed as it spread across Europe, creating a French Renaissance, an English Renaissance and a Northern Renaissance. The focus of this essay is the Northern Renaissance, discussing why it arrived later to northern Europe and what distinguishes it from the Italian Renaissance. A key factor as to why the Renaissance was later in arriving in northern Europe is due to its location. Northern Europe was further removed from the centres of trade in the Mediterranean. As a result trade and progressive ideas that come with wealth developed more slowly in the north of Europe. The cities of Milan, Florence, and Venice had become very successful during the end of the Middle Ages. Northern Italy was able to lead the Italian Renaissance due to the Mediterranean, the central location for trade. They controlled trade with Asia mostly through the silk road and also through importing spices

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