Science in the post-renaissance period (1540- 1760) , Science

Science in the post-renaissance period  (1540- 1760):

We have seen above that  improved techniques as well as growing trade had  led to great voyages to many lands. These were made  in search of  spices, silver, fur, sugar plantations, slaves, gold and other commodities. The one to have very  far reaching effects was the voyage undertaken by Columbus in 1492, which, eventually, resulted in a lot of  Europeans going to America. There they cleared the land, settled down and started plantations of sugar and tobacco exploiting the hard labour of African people. The Africans were forcibly taken on board west-bound ships  to be  transported  to the new country and were sold there as slaves. The stealing, selling and exploitation of people as slaves caused terrible suffering. Yet, it was done unashamedly because there was great profit  to be made from the new colonies. Money was being piled up for investment in  shipbuilding, mining acd manufacturing other articles in Europe. 

These developments greatly strengthened the merchant class and over the next  two or three centuries they were able to replace the feudal lords and landowners  in authority over their regions. Society tensions, peasant revolts, religious wars and the  race to acquire colonies were all playing a role in  changing the feudal society of  the Middle Ages into a capitalist society of the eighteenth century  in some areas of Europe. The development of capitalism as a leading method ofproduction was accompanied by  the birth of a new method of  natural science, that of experiment and observation. 

In science, this period  from the mid-sixteenth century to the mid-eighteenth century includes ;he  first great  triumphs of  the new observational, experimental approach. This new approach together with'the development  in science and technology during tne Renaissance, amounted to a "Scientific Revolution". Technically, this period was of  steady advance without any revolutionary inventions. The increasing demand for iron  led  to development of new blast furnaces. The shortage of wood for iron-smelting led  to widespread use of coal. From then on. the centre of  industry was to move towards the coal fields. With  time, the demand for limited resources increased, forcing the search for new resources and techniques. Thisalso altered the attitudes towards change and novelty, which could not be shunned anymore. You may  recall that in  the regimented feudal society, new ideas and change were resisted. 

Posted Date: 9/27/2012 9:04:17 AM | Location : United States

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