After the Black Death the Jews, lepers, and outsiders were accused of deliberately water and air poisoning, and as a result they were attacked. Lepers were persecuted throughout Europe: anyone with a skin disease (for example, acne or psoriasis) was killed. The Black Death has also led to many rebellions in France and Italy. The church lost its leadership over the people. Tthere was a great population loss. Thus, lords began to compete for peasants, offering them freedom and higher wages.

During the 14th century there were two natural disasters: the Little Ice Age and the Black Death. In 1315 crops failed in France, and there were famine, epidemics, and cannibalism. English pirates were making raids. The Holy Roman Empire was in chaos, there was a little continuity in imperial government and the Roman Empire faced the civil war.

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Humanism is a system of thought which rejects religious beliefs, and values humans. Humanists were people, who wanted the revival of classical era and art to be an integral part of education. Humanists wanted people to be well-educated and to be able to think outside their discipline, and after some time they achieved their goals. Humanists’ ideas broke the political power of religion (the Catholic church).

Laura Cereta explains her intellectual interests by the fact that God gave women the gift of exceptional talent, and nature has lavished its gifts upon all people. So, it is for a person to choose what to do: follow the intellectual interests or just stand at mirrors, as many women often do. Laura states that there is a choice for everyone. Renaissance women were not taken seriously in their quest for educational opportunities, because at that time woman’s duties were to get married, , be unfailing to her husband and breathe life into a boy, and a man had to be well-educated. Those factors were unique to the Renaissance era.

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