The Renaissance is the period in European history that bridges the gap between Medieval times and the Industrial Revolution. It was a time where old certainties that had seemed absolutely immutable and unchangeable as the stars finally began to be chipped away. At first it was a very slow process, but it gained speed when the printing press started to make literacy more widely possible: you no longer had to be clergy or royalty to be able to read. This enabled a middle class to start forming, and of course that led to all sorts of innovations, new enterprises, and exploration of different continents, resulting in mixing of cultures. That was an ideal recipe for all kinds of new ideas to start fomenting. Without it the Enlightenment would have never come about, and we'd be looking at a very different world right now.
Where would you have fit into all this? Would you be on the cusp of all of this progressive thinking, or would you prefer to stand with the powers that be and see what you could do to preserve the old order? Would you have migrated to the cities, or waited for the Industrial Revolution to really kick in before considering that? Tell us a little about that and we'll see what your Renaissance name would be!
How much do you know about how car engines work? And how much do you know about how the English language works? And what about how guns work? How much do you know? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks is about more than providing great answers about how the world works. We are also here to bring joy to your day with fun quizzes, compelling photography and fascinating listicles. Some of our content is about how stuff works. Some is about how much you know about how stuff works. And some is just for fun! Because, well, did you know that having fun is an important part of how your brain works? Well, it is! So keep reading!