In this video, I model how I compare the Italian Renaissance and the Northern Renaissance in my AP European History classes. The AP European History exam requires students to compare historical events by noting both similarities and differences. To compare the Italian Renaissance and the Northern Renaissance, I use the writings of Machiavelli (The Prince) and Thomas More (Utopia).
While Machiavelli's writing focuses on the individualistic and secular spirit of the Italian Renaissance, Thomas More's Utopia envisions a world without greed or social class, which showcases the more socially-minded and Christian Northern Renaissance perspective.
Although Machiavelli and Thomas More had different motivations for writing, they were both inspired by the classics. This focus on classical studies (the writings of ancient Greek and Roman writers) united Italian and Northern humanists. Noting this similarity completes the comparison.