Key Social Hierarchies In Renaissance Europe

478 Words2 Pages
Key social hierarchies in Renaissance Europe included African slaves, wealthy merchants, and women. Profound changes hit Europe during this time period resulting in the entire structure of society changing, including social hierarchies. The changes in social hierarchies were an important aspect to Europe and played a significant role in shaping European society later on. Since the time of the Roman republic, a small population of black Africans lived in Western Europe. They were a commodity gained through conflicts of war. When the Roman Empire collapsed, Christian and Muslim merchants continued to import black slaves and a tradition was created. Soon the slave population grew, particularly in the Iberian Peninsula. Three percent of the Portugal…show more content…
Although the word “class” was not used in the Renaissance, the idea of a difference between the wealthy and the non-wealthy began to increase. For the first time merchants over seeing vast business empires could enjoy immense wealth and political power without being of nobility. However, the development of wealthy merchants did not change the hierarchy of the nobility. Even the poorest nobles out-ranked the wealthy merchants. Wealthy merchants still bought Noble titles and villas. Wealthy merchants seeked to marry their offspring to even the poorest nobles. The nobility continued to maintain its status by integrating the rise of the wealthy merchant. The debate about women gained popularity during the Renaissance. The perception that women were devious, domineering, and demanding started to change. Instead, women were looked at as brave, enduring, and wise. Humanist education brought on the idea of defending women and exploring the reasons why women had a lot of secondary status in society. For example, women were payed less than men. Rulers that were women were also looked at differently, especially Queen Elizabeth of

More about Key Social Hierarchies In Renaissance Europe

Open Document