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Life in the Renaissance

Although the Renaissance was a time of significant change in comparison to the Middle Ages, there were times of both peace and prosperity, and war, disease and famine. For the average man in the street (or village) daily life had changed little since the Middle Ages. Diet was similar, life was short (an average life expectancy of 30 - 35 years in most parts of Europe, with perhaps a 50% child mortality rate within the first year of life), and war and disease were commonplace.

In comparison to the 14th century, however, the 15th century and the 16th century were both times of population growth, economic growth, and relative prosperity, especially for the town people and those of privilege.

Religion in the Renaissance

Religion in the Renaissance can be best summed up by saying that the Renaissance was a period of huge religious turmoil. The studies and teachings of the Humanists eventually lead to the Reformation, and many of the religious debates can be broadly (and as inaccurately as broad generalisations usually are) categorised as a battle between the establishment and the new blood.

Undoubtedly one of the major threads was forged by Henry VIII of England when he declared his realm independant of Rome, establishing his own Church of England, and thereby beginning the trend whereby the Catholic Church ceased to be able to provide a supra-national force of unification.