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Italian Renaissance

            The Italian renaissance was a great reawaking of the mind in Europe. There where many things that effected the Italian renaissance. The renaissance was marked by the invention of new ideas, trade, and exploration of the human body, but also by plague, war, and death. All of there events shaped Florence during the renaissance and all had different effects on the city. .
             The Italian renaissance had many ideas that had been put together. Eyeglasses, with round lenses, first appeared in Florence around 1352, and were only worn by the well educated, the wealthy, and people who read the Italian clergy. Eyeglasses allowed people to see and read well. Marco Polo and his Italian trade family were also key factors in the renaissance. They searched for many Asian spices that the Europeans demanded. Such spices as peppercorns, nutmeg, mace, and cinnamon all came from the east, along with precious gems and fine silk. Trade was significant because the economy of the renaissance continued to improve; there was an ever-increasing demand for imported goods, and new places to export local products. Gunpowder was first used during the battle of Crecy in 1346. Historians are uncertain if it was brought over by china or invented by the Europeans. The gunpowder allowed the Florentine army to be more demanding and effective. The Mongrel Empire, the largest empire in China, threatened to battle with Florence on two occasions, but never once attacked. The mongrels and the Europeans eventually became friends and joined sides to fight the Muslims. .
             The plague in Florence was very devastating. In 1348, a rat carrying a flea with a deadly disease, struck Florence with a bang. Almost 80,000 people died as a result of the plague, which was close to 40% - 50% of their population. Therefore, economic collapse allowed people to switch classes. There were more people to spend money on the arts and education. .
             During the renaissance, many artists were not only artists, but scientists and mathematicians too.

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