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Jessika Richter
Jessika Richter
(Lund - Sweden)

The short and sweet: I have been a passionate teacher since 2001.  I first worked with the National Park Service in Washington (state), then moved to Australia where I completed my DipEd at the University of Melbourne and then taught at Hailebury  ...


Lesson 2.01 - The Printing Press

Lesson 2.01 - The Printing Press

While the Renaissance is most noted for its beautiful works of art, this period also intro­duced a more homely invention that soon reshaped the world—the printing press. Monks produced most  books, painstakingly copying them by hand. The manuscripts they created were often very handsome, with painted decorations and illustrations, they were also very expensive, and so were used mainly by churches and by wealthy patrons among the nobility. With the rise of universities in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, there was a growing demand for textbooks, Stationers in university towns kept a stock of these, which they copied themselves or lent to students for copying. A library of a hundred books was considered large, and the volumes were chained to shelves because of their value,

Most of the components of printing were known in Europe by the fifteenth century. Paper had been introduced from the East around 1200. Presses were used in making wine and olive oil. Block printing —utilizing a piece of wood with words and pictures carved out of it——was employed for making playing cards and religious posters.

The key invention in printing was movable type: individual letters that could be reassem­bled and used over and over again.  This, too came from the East, but was little used there because Chinese characters are too numerous to make it practical.  Movable type was in­vented independently in Europe, probably by Johannes Gutenberg some time in the early fifteenth century.  Gutenberg lived most of his life in Mainz, Germany.  Although exact records are not available, most historians would agree he was probably born around 1400 and died by 1468.   He produced a Bible in 1448 and a missal be­tween 1448 and 1452.  His greatest achieve­ment was the so-called forty-two-line Bible, or Gutenberg Bible, printed between 1450 and 1455.

Printing spread rapidly to the rest of Europe Italy, France and the Netherlands were noted for their fine printers, who were responsible for a number of innovations, Among them were italic letters type like this). William Caxton, the first English printer, pro­duced an edition of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in 1478.  This book often poked fun at the Catholic Church and contributed to people’s concern that changes needed to be made within the church.

By 1500 there were 40,000  recorded editions of books, printed in fourteen different European countries.  Although edi­tions were small in those days averaging fewer than a thousand copies, the total is impressive nonetheless. Most early printed books were copies of older works that had been popular in manuscript form. It was not until the Reformation, the era of religious change and reform, that printing became a powerful communications medium for the spread of new ideas.  

Assignment 2.01 - The Printing Press
Read the information above. Copy and paste the questions into a new Word document.

Use each link to respond to the questions that follow.


1. What was the basic idea of Gutenberg's invention?

2. How was printing done before Gutenberg's invention?


3.      During what time period did Gutenberg develop his invention?

4.      What were the original uses of Gutenberg’s invention?

5.      Explain the lasting effects of Gutenberg’s invention in the time period following the Industrial Revolution.


6.      Summarize the process of making the Gutenberg Bible.

7.      How many copies of the Gutenberg Bible were produced?

Where could you go to view a copy of the Gutenberg Bible today? 9.      Which invention developed during the past 50 years compares to Gutenberg’s invention of the 15th century? Write a detailed explanation of your choice including the nature, process, immediate impact, and long term impact of the invention

Once you have completed your responses, save your Word document under the heading Assignment_2.01. Go to the Assignments area and submit your work.


Lesson 2.04 - Renaissance Literature - The Prince

Lesson 2.04 - Renaissance Literature - The Prince
Probably the single most influential book of the Italian Renaissance was The Prince written by Niccolo Machiavelli. Machiavelli dedicated The Prince to the Medici family who were the rulers of Florence, one of the most powerful Italian city-states.  He advised the “prince” to be a patriotic tyrant who would use force and cunning if necessary.  His guide to how to rule a state was widely read by kings and queens who would rule Europe in the coming ages.

Machiavelli’s writings and thoughts helped to form many other people’s ideas about government.  Read more about this person to see if you agree with his ideas.

Click below to read a short biography of Machiavelli:

Assignment 2.04 - Discovering a Treasure of Renaissance Literature - The Prince

For this assignment, you will first read excerpts from Machiavelli’s The Prince.  Then, you will respond to what you read in a 750 word essay.

Read the following excerpts from the Prince. 

Click on this site to read Chapter 18 of the Prince:

* http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/REN/PRINCE18.HTM

Click on this site to read additional selections:

* http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/prince-excerp.html.

In a well-organized essay, evaluate Machiavelli’s arguments about the qualities of a successful ruler. Identify the main points Machiavelli supports and include a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of his vision. In addition, analyze the effectiveness of Machiavelli’s ruling style in both Renaissance and modern governments.

Go to the Assignments area to review the rubric that will be used to grade your essay. Write and save your essay in a Word document under the heading Assignment_2.04. Return to the Assignments area and submit your work.



Lesson 2.06 - The Catholics Respond

Lesson 2.06 - The Catholics Respond

In this lesson, you will learn about the Catholic Counter reformation as the Catholics respond!

In the 1500s, members of religions orders defended  the Church.   The Roman Catholic Church had a long tradition of reform.  In this time of crisis, it marshaled its forces and reasserted its authority wherever possible. The measures it took after the Reformation are usually known as the Counter Reformation (The term preferred by Catholics is the’ Catholic Reformation ‘)

The Counter Reformation was an effort on the part of the Catholic Church to do two things

First it tried to preserve, but with a new spirit, the basic beliefs and practices of Catholicism.

Second it attempted to stop or even turn back, the spread of Protestantism.

One measure taken by Pope Paul III was a council of Church leaders. This Council of Trent was called into session in 1545 and met off and on for eighteen years.  It refused to accept any Protestant doctrines, instead reaffirming all Catholic dogma and rites, At the same time it did introduce reforms.  It controlled the sale of indulgences, strengthened the internal structure of the Church, and improved the training of priests.

The Council of Trent also strengthened the Inquisition, the court set up in the thirteenth century to combat heresy. However, the Inquisition could function only where the Church was already powerful and had the support of the state. Thus it was used where it was least needed —where the Church was strongest

Another vital element of the Counter Reformation was a new religious order, the Jesuits. The order was founded in the 1530’s by St. Ignatmus of Loyola, a former soldier.

Jesuit missionaries traveled everywhere in Protestant areas they tried to win people back to the Catholic Church. In Catholic countries  they were noted for the schools they established to teach the faith to young people. Jesuits also traveled overseas  to Asia and to newly discovered  America to make new converts to the faith. One reason that the dominant religion of Latin America today, Catholicism, is due to the work of the Jesuit missionaries.

The Counter Reformation gave new life to Catholicism and preserved the basic tenets of the faith.  By 1600 most of northern Europe was Protestant, however within the Protestant movement various denominations  begin to form.

Assignment 2.06 - The Catholics Respond

For this assignment you will build on the knowledge gained through viewing the Protestant Reformation video in Lesson 2.05. Copy and paste the response questions into your own Word document. Visit each site and respond to the questions that follow the link.

The Condition of the Church (1400-1517)
Scroll to "Growing Conditions for Reform"

  1. What circumstances in the 14th century had undermined the credibility of the Church?
  2. What types of clerical transgressions of moral standards occurred?
  3. What was clerical pluralism?
  4. Which clerics were most likely to be guilty of the practice?

The Protestant Challenge

http://mb-soft.com/believe/txc/protesta.htm Scroll to "Protestantism - Advanced Information"

  1. How did the term "protestant" originate?
  2. How did Luther answer the following questions: How is a person saved? Where does religious authority reside? What is the Church? What is the highest form of Christian life? What sacraments are validated by scripture?
  3. What were Luther's views as to sex and marriage?
  4. How did Luther's message appeal to women?
  5. What was the effect of the Reformation upon education?

http://www.lepg.org/religion.htm Scroll to “The Demographics of Dissent” and “Doctrine”

  1. What common characteristics were shared by the early Protestants?
  2. Rank the top three doctrinal differences between the Protestant and Catholic churches. Justify your ranking in at least (2) detailed paragraphs.

The Catholic Counter-Reformation


  1. What theological positions and reforms were agreed to at the Council of Trent?
  2. What were the principal failures of the Council?
  3. What was the long term result of the Council?
http://www.lepg.org/religion.htm Scroll to "The Counter Reformation"

  1. What was the method employed by Loyola, the founder of the Jesuits, to combat Protestantism?
  2. What characteristics of the Jesuit Order were responsible for its success in the Catholic Counter-Reformation?
A 16th Century Dialogue
17. Use your knowledge from the video and completion of the questions above to write a dialogue   between a Protestant and Catholic during the 16th century. Identify your characters. They can be either important religious leaders (i.e. Luther, Loyola) or common church members. Their discussion should include accurate information about historical events as well as differing views on religion. A well-composed dialogue will be at least 15 lines in length.

Once you have completed the items above, save your Word document under the heading Assignment_2.06. Go to the Assignments area and submit your work.


Lesson 2.08 - Activity Log

Lesson 2.08 - Activity Log
Update and turn in your Activity Log.

Lesson 2.09 - Module 2 Test

Lesson 2.09 - Module 2 Test
Please make sure you have read all the material for this Module. There is quite a bit of information covered in this module. Take time to study and review for this exam. Print out all of the text material and your assignments. The Content of the Test : The Module tests that you will take in this class will consist of Multiple- choice, True, False, Matching, and Essay Questions.  The Module Tests you take in this class will mimic the format of the Final Examination.  Questions are weighted. Expect the test questions to be various levels of difficulty. There is only one correct answer so read the questions carefully. Study all the documents, assignments, readings, and printable notes prior to taking the test. The test is worth 200 points! You will have 45 minutes to complete the test. Good Luck!  
Assignment 2.09 - End of Module 2
  Be sure to complete your activity log in lesson 2.09 once you finish the test.