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    Boutcher, Warren 2002. Reassessing Tudor Humanism. p. 243.

  • Print publication year: 1957
  • Online publication date: March 2008

III - Fifteenth-century civilisation and the Renaissance

This chapter discusses the history of the events, late medieval civilisation and Renaissance, which changed the face of Europe around 1500. During the last decades of the fifteenth century, England, France, and Spain, after long and complex preparation, had attained national unification under strong monarchies. For many of the aspirations of the Middle Ages a turning-point was reached when the Church Councils of Constance and Basle succeeded in ending the schism, which had torn the unity of the Church but failed to satisfy the long-sustained hopes for religious reform and a moderation of the strictly monarchical fabric of the Church. In terms of social and constitutional history, the greatest strides beyond medieval feudal conditions were made, except for Italy, in the English monarchy. The European recourse to Italian civilisation coincided with the invasion of Italy by French armies; from then on the northern portion of the peninsula was to be an annex alternately of the French and Habsburg monarchies.
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The New Cambridge Modern History
  • Volume 1: The Renaissance, 1493–1520
  • Edited by G. R. Potter
  • Online ISBN: 9781139055765
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