The Renaissance is a period of transition, beginning the modern age in Europe. During this period, great changes in the economy, society, politics and culture would take shape, ultimately leading up to the modern age. At the end of the Hundred Years War, economic activity renewed across the region. Mainly in the cities and towns of Italy and Northwestern Europe, which became linked through land and sea trade. A rise in population was supported by this growth, which brought about changes to the social system previously developed.
There were also considerable changes in European thought and culture. Just the discovery that planets move around the sun would cause a great change in thought. The invention of movable-type printing transformed books and communication. Artists developed techniques of painting in three dimensions, and architects developed ways to make buildings more spacious and larger. Most importantly, during the Renaissance, a greater importance was placed on the individual.
Individuals and humanity in general needed to understand the world and to make it serve the needs of humanity. A persons future was not considered pre-determined, but was partly the work of their own free will. With so many major changes taking place during the Renaissance, it could not be a rebirth of a past society. Nor did these changes occur overnight, which negates the Renaissance from being a sharp break from the past. The Renaissance was a transitional period, from the Middle Ages to the Modern Age.