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Did the Sack of Rome in 1527 end the Renaissance in Italy

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Emperor Charles V was deeply embarrassed by the actions of his mutinous army. However, Charles knew that the Pope was in a weak position and he saw it as an opportunity to extend his control over the Papacy<ref> Chastel. p. 212</ref>. Successive Popes, eager to preserve Italian independence and their own had allied themselves with the French, to prevent Charles from upsetting the balance of power in Italy. Charles V now used the weakened position of Pope Clement to ensure that the Papacy was no longer able to resist Imperial interests in Italy. After the Sack of Rome, Pope Clement was too afraid of Charles V after the Sack to adopt a policy that was independent of the Emperor. This policy was to have momentous consequences not only for the Church but also for the history of Europe. In the aftermath of the Sack, the Popes were very reluctant to go against the wishes of the Emperor and after his abdication, the Spanish monarchs, who inherited the greatest part of Charles V territories<ref> Tuchman, p. 347</ref>. The Popes increasingly shadowed the policies of the Spanish monarchy especially when it came to the enforcement of religious orthodoxy. Prior to 1527, the Pope had been arguably just another secular ruler. After the Sack of Rome, the Pope under pressure from first Charles V and later Spanish monarchs such as Phillip II became more interest in clerical discipline and religious orthodoxy than previously. This was to have serious repercussions for Italian society and its culture<ref> Burckhardt, Jacob, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (London, Penguin, 1992), p. 112</ref>. The Popes insistence on religious orthodoxy meant that freethought and secular values were increasingly challenged in the aftermath of the Sack of Rome. The Inquisition became more active, as the Pope sought to stamp out every sign of freethought or ideas that were contrary to the teachings of the Church. The growing fear of Protestantism was also instrumental in the new climate but the fear of the Emperor after the Sack and the Spanish meant that the Inquisition became all-pervasive in Italian society. This was to have a devastating impact on the Renaissance. This cultural flourishing was premised on an attempt to reproduce the classical world. It was largely humanistic, secular and often overtly pagan and this was no longer possible in the aftermath of the capture of Rome in 1527. It became increasingly difficult for the humanist who were once so influential to express their views and instead of studying the ancient classics they were expected to study religious works<ref> Burckhardt, p. 120</ref>. No longer could they think and write freely as by the md-1500s they were intimidated by the inquisition. The new emphasis on religious orthodoxy meant that many noble patrons were unwilling to subsidize the works of humanists who expressed ‘pagan’ ideas.
[[File: Sack of Rome Three.png |thumbnail|200px|Battle of Pavia, 1526]] 
==Spanish Domination==
The Popes had long opposed the ambitions of the Holy Roman Emperor and the Spanish whom they believed correctly wanted to dominate Italy<ref> Duffy, Eoin, History of the Popes (London, Penguin, 2005), p. 267</ref>. The Papacy was pivotal to the Italian resistance to the ambitions of the Spanish. This changed after the Sack of Rome in 1527, the Pope was cowed and to an extent meekly followed the policies of Charles V, they also ceased resisting his growing control. This after the death, enabled Charles V’s, heir to established de-facto control over Italy, except for Venice. The Pope had bankrolled the armies that had been pivotal to the Italian resistance to outsiders and after 1527, this was no longer possible. The Papacy, had been practically bankrupted by the Sack and no longer could offer the financial support needed by the City-States to recruit armies, which were mainly composed of mercenary soldiers. By 1550 the Spanish Monarch, Phillip II was the dominant influence in Italy and not the Pope. The Spanish control lead to a loss of political and individual freedom and this dealt a blow to the Renaissance as increasingly artists and thinkers were unable to create the worked they wanted or to freely express their own ideas and opinions <ref> Burke, Peter. The Italian Renaissance: Culture and Society in Italy Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1999, p. 6 </ref>

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