The Renaissance Society

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The Renaissance Society
During the end of the Middle Ages the power of the nobility had declined somewhat. However, although they only made up between 2 and 3 percent of the population they still managed to dominate society. In 1528 Italian Baldassare Castiglione published "The Book of the Courtier" which became a handbook for European aristocrats. In it he described three characteristics of the perfect noble: they are born and not made and they must have grace and talent, they must learn both military skills, but also study the Arts and finally they were expected to observe standards of conduct.

In the Renaissance the number percent of the population that were serfs declined, particularly in cities. More and more serf were becoming legally free. Patricians whose wealth allowed them to economically dominate the town dominated the Renaissance town. Below them were petty burghers. They were the shopkeepers and artisans. The rest of the town was made up of workers who earned low wages and barely eked out an existence