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Markers of Modernity in Early Europe

  • Date Submitted: 04/28/2014 02:43 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 24.6 
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From the 14th to the 19th century, the Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution and the Enlightenment brought many new viewpoints and ideas to Europe. Humanism, individualism, and secularism are three of several intellectual and cultural movements that emerged from this change of thought and aided in the modernization of Europe. Throughout the different time periods, there were many notable figures that played a role in addressing and practicing these principles. Leonardo da Vinci and William Harvey contributed to humanism, Martin Luther and John Calvin to Individualism, and Niccolo Machiavelli and Cardinal Richelieu to secularism.
Humanism developed during the Renaissance, when many students wanted an education separate from church-dominated universities. They desired to understand the causes of human actions so they could in turn better themselves. Humanism emphasized the value of human beings, and promoted rationalism and empiricism over traditional beliefs that were taught by the church. Leonardo da Vinci and William Harvey were two leading humanists of the 16th and 17th centuries. Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance artist who integrated many humanism techniques into his paintings. Da Vinci was greatly inspired by observing other people and the world around him. This interest lead him to dissect and study the human body so he could understand how it works, and be able to accurately portray people in his art.   Da Vinci's research of anatomy through dissection lead to a better understanding of the human body. Hundreds of years later, William Harvey was introduced to the science community where he also contributed to medical breakthroughs. William Harvey was an English physician who promoted humanism through his medical techniques and research of the human body. He was the first doctor to use quantitative and observation methods simultaneously, and by doing so, he accurately proved how the blood circulates in the human body. Preceding Harvey's...

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