Renaissance Vs Dark Ages Essay

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The light at the end of the tunnel for Europe was the Renaissance. When defining one era, one must consider what differentiated it from the eras preceding and succeeding it. In the case of the Renaissance, it is religion, gunpowder, art, and state-building that separates it from the Dark Ages. These are four of the characteristics that Rabb also argues defined the era.
From the ashes of the Catholic Church arose the Renaissance. Medieval Europe was ruled by the Catholic Church, and in recognizing this, the period immediately distances itself from the Renaissance. An erosion of papal authority was the most dramatic sign of dissatisfaction with the perceived wisdom of the High Middle Ages. Particularly disastrous, as Rabb notes, was the reign of Pope Boniface VIII. During his time as pope, monarchs in France and England began taxing the church, mostly to fund their ongoing wars against one another. Naturally, Pope Boniface VIII took a strong stance against this, and as a result he made a formal declaration that monarchs were subordinate to the power of a Pope. His statement was largely deemed laughable by kings throughout Europe, and when this happened, there was little the Church could do to stop it. This only further proves how weak
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Frustration with religious doctrine and practice brought open criticism from men such as John Wycliffe, who started to openly argue against traditional practices in the late fourteenth century. Jan Hus, having been influenced by Wycliffe, also began to outwardly express similar beliefs. These beliefs being the restoration of the Church’s true doctrines, and the disintegration of a corrupt and greedy Catholic Church. Both of these men, and their ideology, formed the groundwork for Protestantism. And their vocal religious dissatisfaction proved crucial precursors to the Reformation, which began in 1517 when Martin Luther launched his

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