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and nonreligious (although not antireligious) scholarship inspired by classical Greek and Roman writing and culture.
Technological innovations also helped spur advances during the Renaissance. Inventions, such as the printing press, helped further new approaches to scholarship that challenged previously established institutions, such as the Catholic Church. As Europe rediscovered so much of its own past and reconnected with the natural world, education began a shift toward some nonreligious avenues and the classics.
Exploration and Territorial Expansion This new, more open way of thinking also encouraged Europeans of the Renaissance to think beyond their own physical borders. Developments in navigation and cartography led to the establishment of overseas colonies, expanded trade networks, and connections among cultures.
Nations that were once bound to their country’s borders established vast empires in other parts of the world, searching for gold, spices, and other goods. In these far-flung empires, exchanges of some greatly beneficial plants and animals occurred. However, the exchange of diseases would prove devastating to indigenous people. Another tragic outcome of exploration and colonization was the trade in enslaved Africans.
Despite the waning influence of the Church during this period, Christianity was still a significant impetus for such vast exploration. European explorers and missionaries attempted to spread Christianity to the native populations, even if it had to be done coercively.
Commercial and Agricultural Capitalism Changes in farming and commerce affected economic systems and also impacted social structure. For many Europeans, daily life still revolved around the changing seasons as they farmed and worked at the will of the lord in the manor. Agricultural developments and the growth of a money economy allowed for a shift to larger- scale farming over time. Advances in banking and finance contributed to the success of urban financial centers and the rise of a new economic elite class of merchants and bankers.
Struggle for Sovereignty Financial innovations during the Renaissance also helped pave the way for the modern state. Political leaders began to streamline tax collection and to use newly expanded military powers to redraw boundaries. This strain led to fragmentation throughout Europe and marked the beginning of centuries of struggles for territory and sovereignty.
1. Explain how colonization impacted both citizens of Europe as well as indigenous populations in other parts of the world.
2. Describe how the shift from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance affected the European economy.

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