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Facts about Abraham Lincoln

Key facts about Abraham Lincoln

  • lincoln-100Born February 12, 1809. Assassinated April 15, 1865.
  • 16th US President 1861-1865
  • Lincoln was President during the American Civil War, leading the Union to victory over the Confederate states.
  • Issued Emancipation Proclamation 1st January 1863
  • Gave Gettysburg Address 19 Nov 1863.
  • 1865 – helped pass the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery in the United States.
  • Assassinated by Confederate spy, John Wilkes Booth one week after the surrender of Lee’s Confederate Army.

Signature

Bouncing back from Failure

Lincoln’s life was notable for numerous setbacks and personal misfortune.

Lincoln failed in business in 1831 and again in 1833.  He was defeated for the Legislature in 1832 defeated for speaker in 1838, defeated for Elector in 1840. Lincoln was defeated for Congress in 1843 and 1848. Defeated for Senate in 1855 and 1858. Defeated for Vice-President in 1856. He suffered a nervous breakdown in 1836.

His mother died when he was nine. His beloved sister Sarah died from childbirth in 1821. He also had younger brother Tommy, who died three days old. His first love Ann Rutledge died of typhoid fever in 1835. He also saw two of his young sons die – Edward and “Willie” Lincoln (1862.)

“I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”

Lincoln Observed: The Civil War Dispatches of Noah Brooks

Appearance

  • Abraham_LincolnLincoln was noted for his unusual, ugly looks. Walt Whitman gives a typical description on seeing Lincoln: “Lincoln has a face like a Hoosier Michael Angelo, so awful ugly it becomes beautiful, with its strange mouth, its deep cut, criss-cross lines, and its doughnut complexion.”
  • Height: Lincoln was tall (6″ 4′) and relatively thin. A neighbour in New Salem said of Lincoln he was “thin as a beanpole and ugly as a scarecrow.”
  • Weight: Most sources suggest around 180lbs.  During his presidency, he is believed to have lost weight.
  • Beard. Lincoln was the first President to wear a beard.
  • He grew a beard after an 11-year old girl, Grace Bedell, wrote a letter in the fall of 1860 saying that he would be more charming with whiskers. ‘for you would look a great deal better for your face is so thin‘. Lincoln replied to her letter and started to grow a beard (Letter) (In the 1990s, the original letter was sold for $1,000,000.)

Personal life

Lincoln_O-60_by_Brady,_1862

Lincoln 1862

  • Lincoln was born in a one-room log cabin in Kentucky on the Western Frontier.
  • He was named Abraham Lincoln after his paternal grandfather who was a military captain in the American Revolution and was killed by Native Americans in 1786.
  • In 1816, his family moved to unbroken forest in Indiana – a non-slaveholding territory.
  • Lincoln had two brushes with death; 1816 he was saved from drowning, 1819 he was kicked unconscious by a horse.
  • Lincoln read late into the night to improve his own education. He sought out any good books he could read.
  • In 1825, he left a borrowed book on George Washington out in the rain; the farmer Josiah Crawford made Lincoln work for two days to pay off the costs of damage to the book.
  • Lincoln abstained from alcohol and tobacco throughout his life
  • Lincoln supported the Temperance movement, though he also suggested the Temperance movement would be more successful if it concentrated less on denunciation and more an emphatic/sympathetic understanding of those who drink.
  • Lincoln became very close to his step-mother Sarah “Sally” Bush Johnson who his father remarried. His step-mother helped to re-invigorate the family home after finding it in a state of disrepair.
  • He was not close to his father and did not attend his funeral.
  • Lincoln was physically strong, adept at using an axe. However, he was said to be not keen on manual labour.
  • Until he was 21, he had to give all earnings to his father. It gave him a natural empathy for those who could not keep the fruits of their labour.
  • Up until 1827, Lincoln earned no more than 31 cents per day for manual labour. He once ferried two passengers halfway across the Ohio river and he was tossed two half dollar coins. Saying: “It was a most important incident in my life. I could scarcely credit that I, a poor boy, had earned a dollar in less than a day. … The world seemed wider and fairer before me.
  • Lincoln volunteered for the Army during the Black Hawk War, though he never saw action.
  • On one occasion during the Black Hawk War, he saved the life of a Potawatomi – a native Indian who wandered into this camp. His men wanted to kill him, but Lincoln intervened to prevent this.
  • In 1832, Lincoln opened a general store in New Salem, Illinois. It proved a commercial failure. Lincoln liked to talk politics to customers and his partner drank heavily building up debts.
  • After his business failed in 1833, he was left with debts of $1100. He avoided bankruptcy and referred to it as his “National Debt.” He eventually paid it off.
  • Lincoln worked at various jobs – farm hand, rail-splitter, county surveyor, lawyer, boatman, General Store Manager, New Salem Postmaster, speaker.
  • Lincoln became an adept boatman, making long trips down the major rivers of Mississippi, Illinois and Ohio.
  • Lincoln is the only president to successfully apply for a patent (No. 6469). His device was to help boats stuck on sandbanks.
  • As president, he earned $25,000 a year. On his death, he left no will and had an estate of $82,000.
  • He married Mary Todd in 1842. Lincoln was not confident around women, stating once “I can never be satisfied with anyone who would be blockhead enough to have me.”

Lawyer

  • Lincoln attended school for less than a year.
  • Lincoln was an entirely self-taught lawyer, learning from  Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England.
  • Lincoln was admitted to the bar in 1836.
  • Lincoln’s law practices were based in Springfield, Illinois.
  • Lincoln and his partners handled over 5,000 cases. From murder charges to civil and Railroad cases.
  • Lincoln took one case to the US Supreme Court Lewis v. Lewis (1849)
  • In 1858, he defended William Armstrong on the count of murder. He successfully defended his client after using a Farmer’s Almanac to show on that day the moon was at a low angle, and witnesses could not have seen the event in detail.

Slavery

  • Lincoln witnessed slavery first-hand, while sailing down to New Orleans. It is said he took a vow to end slavery after seeing a beautiful negro girl sold into slavery.
  • Lincoln opposed slavery by often referring to the Declaration of Independence and the opening lines on the equality of men. Lincoln contented the Founding Fathers intended for slavery to die out and for the US to aspire closer to this lofty goal of equality.
  • In the 1850s, Lincoln opposed acts such as the Kansas-Nebraska Act which could see the spread of slavery into free states.
  • In the 1850s, Lincoln was not an abolitionist. He did not believe the constitution allowed to interfere in the southern slaveholding states. However, he personally wished for all men to be free and denounced the extension of slavery into any new state.
  • In 1857, Lincoln denounced the Supreme Court’s decision in Dred Scott v Sanford, arguing that Declaration of Independence
    ‘did consider all men created equal—equal in certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’.”

Politics

Abraham-lincon

  • From 1834-1842, Lincoln served as a Whig politician holding a seat in the Illinois state legislature.
  • Lincoln’s domestic policies included supporting internal improvements – government spending on infrastructure, such as canals, roads and bridges.
  • Lincoln quietly expressed support for giving women the vote at a time when it was rare: “I go for admitting all whites to the right of suffrage who pay taxes or bear arms – by no means excluding females.” June 13, 1836 (Sangamo Journal)
  • 1847-49 he was a Whig member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Lincoln was critical of President Polk’s actions over the Mexico War. This was politically costly for Lincoln, as many considered it unpatriotic to question the President’s motives and action over war.
  • After two years in Congress, he decided not to re-stand for election and 1849 returned to being a lawyer.
  • In 1854, Lincoln ran for Senate as a Whig. Despite leading after six rounds, Lincoln asked his friends to vote for the anti-slavery Lyman Trumbull. Lincoln felt his withdrawal was necessary to beat the incumbent pro-slavery Democratic candidate. Trumball would remember this act of political magnanimity, and he went on to co-author the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery.
  • In 1858, Lincoln campaigned for Senate against Stephen Douglass. There were seven major debates, which attracted large crowds. Douglas supported the extension of slavery. Lincoln opposed the extension
  • Although he lost this 1858 election, his performance impressed many in the new Republican Party.
  • During the 1860 election for the Republican Nomination, Lincoln was considered the outsider. He had little executive experience, serving only two years in the House of Representatives.
  • In the 1860 Presidential election, Lincoln  was promoted as the “The Rail-splitter candidate” Lincoln’s humble roots, coming from a log-cabin and hard manual labour of splitting logs for rails was used to portray their candidate as man of the people, someone embodying the “American Dream.”
  • In the 1860 election, Lincoln won – becoming the first US president from the Republican Party.
  • In 1860, turnout was a record 82.2%.
  • He won the electoral college by 180 to 123, though received only 39% of the national vote.
  • In the 1861 Inaugural address, Lincoln made overtures to the south to prevent secession.
  • As President, Lincoln vetoed only four bills passed by Congress.
  • In 1861, Lincoln signed a bill for the first US income tax of 3% on incomes over $800.
  • Lincoln was responsible, in 1863, for making Thanksgiving a major US holiday.
  • In 1863 Lincoln approved the creation of the National Academy of Sciences.
  • In 1864, Lincoln approved a grant and federal support for Yosemite Valley and the nearby Mariposa Big Tree Grove to be used for public recreation (later National Park)
  • In 1864, Lincoln was re-elected in a landslide, receiving 78% of the Union soldiers vote.

Lincoln during the Civil War

Lincoln and his cautious General McClellan.

  • Lincoln was determined to avoid firing the first shots in any Civil War with the South. However, ignoring the advice of many in his cabinet, he also approved the Federal Fort Sumter to be restocked, leading to the first skirmish of the war.
  • In the early months of the war, Lincoln tread carefully to keep Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri and Delaware from joining the Confederacy. Lincoln said, “I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.”
  • Lincoln assumed sweeping powers during the Civil War, taking a close interest in military issues as Commander in Chief.
  • Lincoln’s acts included a military draft, suspension of habeas corpus and the power to appoint generals.
  • Lincoln avidly read many military manuals and became frustrated with generals, such as McClellan who he considered too timid.
  • During the Civil War, Lincoln was criticised by both “Copperheads” southern Democrats supportive of slavery in the south, and radical Republicans who wished to see the immediate abolition of slavery.
  • In 1862, Lincoln stated the Civil War was primarily about defending the Union: “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery.”
  • However, on September 22, 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation to free slaves in 10 states under Union control. The end of slavery now became a military objective.
  • On signing the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln stated: “I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper.”
  • The Gettysburg Address November 19th. Lincoln spoke for just three minutes, saying 272 words.
  • Lincoln was ill during the Gettysburg Address with an early stage of smallpox.
  • At Gettysburg, a fellow senator Edward Everett gave the main address, speaking before Lincoln for two hours and 13,607-words.
  • In 1863/64, Lincoln appointed General Ulysses S. Grant to the command of the Union army.
  • Many criticised General Grant and spread rumors of his heavy drinking, but Lincoln, supportive of his general, reportedly stated: ‘Well, I wish some of you would tell me the brand of whiskey that Grant drinks. I would like to send a barrel of it to my other generals.”
  • Lincoln toured battlefields. On one occasion, Captain Oliver Wendell Holmes shouted at him, “Get down, you damn fool, before you get shot!”
  • Lincoln often showed compassion to deserters. He rarely allowed execution for desertion. Overturning 75% of death sentences for desertion – rising to 95 percent by the middle of the war.

Assassination

  • Abraham Lincoln was assassinated Good Friday, April 14, 1865 while attending a play at Ford’s Theatre.
  • On the day of his death, Lincoln told his wife, he wished to visit the Holy Land.
  • Booth was a Confederate spy from Maryland, who was incensed when Lincoln supported voting rights for blacks in a speech 11 April 1865.

Personal characteristics

  • “Honest Abe” – Abraham Lincoln gained the nickname of ‘Honest Abe’ when his business partner died and Lincoln inherited his debts. Rather than flee town, as was common in the West, Lincoln remained and worked hard for several years to pay off his debts.
  • Lincoln was widely considered a man of integrity, truth and conscience.
  • In 1856, Walt Whitman denounced northern, eastern Democrats, stating he wished to vote for a Presidential candidate who had the following characteristics. “I would be much pleased to see some heroic, shrewd, fully-informed, healthy-bodied, middle-aged, beard-faced American blacksmith or boatman come down from the West across the Alleghanies”
  • Lincoln rarely resorted to slogans, stereotypes and personal attacks in politics, but generally offered considerations developed from his reflections and reading.
  • In the political sphere, Lincoln generally rejected equal voting rights for black voters (it was a minority political view in the 1860s). Frederick Douglass, who sometimes disagreed with Lincoln, nevertheless stated. “He treated me as a man… He did not let me feel for a moment that there was any difference in the color of our skins.”

Religion

  • Lincoln loved to read the Bible. He never joined any particular church, though he did attend different churches with his wife, especially when President.
  • Lincoln expressed belief in an all-powerful God, but no explicit profession of Christian beliefs.

Unusual facts about Lincoln

  • On November 9, 1863, he saw the actor John Wilkes Booth – his eventual assassin during a play ‘The Marble Heart’ at Ford’s Theatre.
  • In 1842 Abraham Lincoln almost fought a duel with swords with the Illinois State Auditor, James Shields. The duel never took place after friends intervened.
  • On October 3, 1863, President Lincoln made the traditional Thanksgiving celebration a national holiday.
  • After Lincoln was elected president in 1860, the King of Siam offered him a gift of elephants.
  • Co-incidences with the assassination of JFK and A.Lincoln. Both presidents were shot in the head on a Friday seated beside their wives. Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theatre; Kennedy was shot in a Lincoln automobile, made by Ford. (more co-incidences)

Labels applied to Lincoln

  • “Spotty Lincoln” – over Lincoln’s desire to enforce President Polk to point to spot where the first conflict with Mexico actually occurred.
  • “Black Republican” – During the 1858 Senate election, Lincoln was given the derogatory label ‘Black Republican’ for his support for black Americans.
  • The Great Emancipator.
  • Father Abraham – For biblical reference to Abraham who led his people during war.
  • The Tycoon – For energetic leadership of Civil War
  • Uncle Abe – For his kindly, avuncular nature.

Historical Reputation

  • In scholarly ranking polls, Lincoln has been rated as the best president in a poll of polls (Washington Post)

Related

lincoln-100Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) 16th President of the US from 1861-1865. He led the Union forces during the American civil war. Lincoln led the North to victory preserving the Union and passing a bill to abolish legal slavery.

Lincoln_MemorialLincoln Quotes – “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” – Abraham Lincoln

People of The American Civil War (1861-65) A list of over 20 famous and influential figures in the American Civil War (1861 – 1865) Includes politicians, generals, soldiers, spies and social activists. Including; Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant.

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan. “Facts Abraham Lincoln”, Oxford, UK. www.biographyonline.net, 13 March 2017.

Facts about the American Revolution

  • The American Revolution was a struggle between 13 American colonies and Great Britain.
  • The American colonies wished to attain independence and create a new sovereign nation – the United States.
  • The American Revolutionary War lasted for eight years – between April 1775 to September 1783.
  • The American colonists supporting independence were named Patriots.
  • The American army was known as the Continental Army after the Continental Congress of 13 states.
  • The 13 colonies were Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.
  • Colonists remaining loyal to the British crown were known as ‘loyalists’.
  • British soldiers were known as ‘redcoats’ or ‘devils.’
  • During the war, the majority of people living in the American colonies were ‘fence sitters’ not taking either side.
  • The American Commander in Chief was George Washington.
  • The British military commander at the start of Revolution was Sir William Howe, though he was later replaced due to failures in the British war effort.
  • King George III led British resistance to American independence. The British Prime Minister was Lord North (a Tory)
  • Not all British MPs supported military action against the American Patriots. The ‘Whig’ faction, e.g. Edmund Burke criticised military action to resolve the issue.
  • During the war, African-American slaves served on both sides of the war. The British offered freedom to slaves who escaped their masters and served with loyalist forces. After 1776, George Washington raised a small number of black only units.
  • During the chaos of war, many slaves were able to escape.  In South Carolina, 30% of slaves escaped, migrated or died during the conflict.
  • Approx 25,000 American Patriots died during military service – the biggest cause of death was disease – often in unsanitary prisoner of warships.
  • Compared to the ratio of the population, The War of Independence was the second-deadliest American conflict after the Civil War.
  • In 1776, the population of the 13 American colonies was estimated at 2.4 million. 85% of the white population was of British descent, with 9% of German origin and 4% Dutch.
  • Approx 42,000 British sailors deserted in the war. American colonies also had difficulties raising troops due to the economic need to stay on a farm. 90% of the American population worked on farms.
  • The British army was weakened by needing to also fight in the Caribbean.

Read On…

Famous landmarks in England

Some of the most famous landmarks and tourist attractions in England, including Big Ben, Blackpool Tower, Palace of Westminster and Windsor Castle.

Blackpool Tower

blackpool-tower-500

Opened in 1894, it was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It is 158 metres tall. The Tower Ballroom is a major entertainment venue. Blackpool is one of the most popular seaside resorts in England.

White cliffs of Dover

White_Cliffs_of_Dove

The imposing chalk cliffs face the European continent at the shortest crossing of the English channel. The White cliffs of Dover is the first sight of England for people crossing the English channel.

Read On…

Facts about Scotland

loch-lomond

Loch Lomond by Bill Higham

  • Population of Scotland: 5,313,600 (9% of UK population 64m)
  • Area: 33% of UK landmass including 790 islands. (660 uninhabited)
  • Capital: Edinburgh
  • Patron Saint: Saint Andrew

Scotland’s major cities

  • Glasgow – 592,820
  • Edinburgh – 486,120
  • Aberdeen – 217,120
  • Dundee – 144,290
  • Inverness – 56,660
  • Stirling – 89,850

Mountains: Ben Nevis is the highest peak in the UK at 1,346m.

There are 600 square miles of freshwater lakes, including Loch Ness

Loch_Ness_monsterLoch Ness Monster is a famous and enduring myth of an ancient sea creature still inhabiting the deep loch of Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. It became world famous in 1934 after a hoax photograph was widely circulated.

The first recording of the Loch Ness monster was 565 AD where a follower of St. Columba related being attacked by a ‘water beast’
Scottish dogs.

Stirling-castle

There are over 2,000 castles recorded being built in Scotland, most of which are still standing. Famous castles include Stirling Castle (above) Balmoral and Edinburgh Castle. Usually these were built as defensive mechanisms. Read On…

Facts about the Industrial Revolution

The Industrial Revolution was a period between the late 18th Century and early 20th Century, which saw rapid growth in mechanisation, industrial production and change in society.

Two stages of Industrial Revolution

  • First stage of the Industrial Revolution (1770-1870) – Centred on steam, water, iron and shift from agriculture.
  • Second stage of Industrial Revolution (1870-1914) – New technologies of electricity, development of petrol engine, oil, and greater use of cheap steel.

Key features of the Industrial Revolution

  • Population shift – moving from rural agriculture to work in factories in cities.
  • Mass production of goods, increased efficiency, reduced average costs and enabled more to be produced.
  • The rise of steam power, e.g. steam trains, railways and steam powered machines.
  • Industrial and scientific discoveries enabled a revolution in our understanding of the material world.
  • Rapid industrialisation had a cost in terms of pollution and poor working conditions for labour.

Reasons for the Industrial Revolution

railway

Birmingham New Street station

  • New technologies dramatically improved speed of transporting people and goods. The first Intercity railway was built in 1830 between Liverpool and Manchester. The railways enabled more freight to be transported cheaply and quickly.
  • In 1700, it took four days to travel from London to Manchester, by 1870, it took four hours.
  • Application of steam engines. The development of the steam engine was critical for the Industrial Revolution. It enables steam trains, but also steam-powered pumps and machines, which increased the productivity of labour.
  • Agricultural revolution enabled higher food output from fewer farm workers, leading to surplus workers who could go and work in factories. This revolution in agriculture was due to new techniques like crop rotation, selective breeding, economies of scale from bigger farms and better transport.
  • Growth in global trade. Helped by Britain’s effective shipping capacity and Empire, which was a source of raw materials.

Read On…

Facts about the Renaissance

The Renaissance was a period in history between the 14th and 17th Centuries, associated with a wave of new artistic, scientific and cultural achievements.

  • The French word renaissance literally means ‘rebirth’, and was first seen in English in the 1830s.
  •  The first quote of Renaissance in English:
    “A style possessing many points of rude resemblance with the more elegant and refined character of the art of the renaissance in Italy.” – W Dyce and C H Wilson’s Letter to Lord Meadowbank (1837)
  • The Renaissance is seen as a period of rebirth from the Dark Ages of Europe to the more enlightened and progressive ages of Europe.
  • The century before the Renaissance was particularly dark with the Hundred Years war (1337–1453) devastating much of Europe, the failed Crusades and also the Black Death (1346–1353) killing about 25 million people, 33% of the population at the time.
  • However, some academic scholars feel the term ‘Renaissance’ is too vague and the ‘Renaissance years’ were not particularly enlightened. Some scholars feel that the Renaissance was more accurately part of a ‘Longue duree’ of European history.
  • The Renaissance period still saw real problems, such as religious wars, political corruption, inequality, witch-hunts and corrupt Borgia Popes. Most people who lived through the Renaissance did not view it as a ‘Golden Era’!
  • The Renaissance was a period of groundbreaking explorations, with the discovery of new lands outside Europe by famous explorers, such as Christopher Columbus and Vespucci.
  • The Renaissance was also a period of scientific discovery. Galileo Galilei and René Descartes (1596–1650) promoted a new view of astrology and mathematics, which challenged old Aristotelian ideas.
  • N.Copernicus began the process of changing the whole view of the world. He argued the Sun was centre of the galaxy rather than the Earth. This heliocentric view of the world was controversial because it challenged the existing teaching of the church. But, during the Renaissance, this heliocentric view gradually came to be accepted.
  • The Renaissance was most strongly associated with Italy, and Florence in particular. But most other European countries had their own Renaissance.
  • For example, The Netherlands developed its own Renaissance revival of painting, including Jan van Eyck. The artistic style of the Netherlands later had an influence on Italy.
  • The English Renaissance began later, in the late 15th Century, and was focused more on literature and music – less on art.
  • Key figures of the English Renaissance included William Shakespeare, John Milton, William Byrd (music) and William Tyndale (translating Bible into English)

Art of the Renaissance

Da_Vinci_Vitruve_Luc_Viatour

Leonardo’s famous portrait of the perfect man was based on Vitruvius’ De Architectura (1st century BCE) – mostly a treatise on architecture, but also the human body.

Creation_de_Adam

The ceiling of Sistine chapel was commissioned by Pope Julius II, and painted by Michelangelo.

“Without having seen the Sistine Chapel one can form no appreciable idea of what one man is capable of achieving.”

— Johann Wolfgang Goethe, 23 August 1787

Michelangelos_David

‘David’ by Michelangelo is one of the great masterpieces of the Renaissance. It symbolises the defence of the civil liberties of Florence, with the eyes of David turned towards Rome.

monalisa

The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci is perhaps the world’s most famous painting. Da Vinci worked on the painting continuously for over 20 years – striving to attain perfection.

  • Sfumare‘ was a new painting technique of the Renaissance; it means to evaporate or to fade out. It was developed by da Vinci and enabled greater depth and realism to be given to a painting.
  • The term chiaroscuro refers to the fine art painting modeling effect of using a strong contrast between light and dark.

Reasons for the Renaissance

Sandro_Botticelli-medici-family

Sandro Botticelli portrays the family of Piero de’ Medici in Madonna del Magnificat.

  1. The Black Death decimated the population of Europe in the 14th Century, but left survivors with relatively more wealth and ability to climb social/political structures. It led to a decline of feudalism.
  2. New political structures – with new men in positions of power, patronage of the arts was a way to secure greater status and prestige.
  3. This new political order led to the patronage of the powerful and wealthy Medici family in Florence, who could afford to give commissions to artists.
  4. Migration of Greek scholars and texts from Constantinople to Europe after the conquest by the Ottoman Turks (1453).
  5. Creation of the printing press by J.Gutenberg c.1440 allowed greater printing of books and the spread of knowledge to a wider range of the population. This was particularly important for printing of Bibles, including for the first time Bibles in English and not Latin.
  6. New secular/humanist ideas. Thinkers like Plutarch (1304–1374) and Erasmus (1466–1536) helped make classical texts and humanistic ideas more relevant and popular to a Christian society.
  7. Artistic genius of people such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael.
  8. Greater openness of the Church. In response to a decline in the temporal power of the Catholic Church, the Vatican sponsored more arts and reforms as part of the Counter Reformation in response to the criticism of Luther. Pope Nicholas V and Leo X  sponsored many Renaissance art projects as a way to bolster the church.
  9. Greater trade between Italy and the rest of Europe. Also, ironically, the wars between Italy and France helped spread Renaissance ideas.
  10. The Crusades led to the exposure of many European scholars to Eastern ideas; it also facilitated the growth of trade and commerce.

 

Citation: Pettinger, Tejvan “Facts of the Renaissance”, Oxford, www.biographyonline.net, 12th February 2016. Updated 26 June 2017.

Related

Famous Men of the Renaissance & Reformation

Book Cover