The Modern World was established roughly during the 1300's and the Italian Renaissance is what started it all. Renaissance, which literally means "Re-birth," is a fitting title for this era of human development. This was the period in history where humans finally began to explore their surroundings, and themselves, and advanced human knowledge in ways they could never have imagined. They never had the intent of advancing society, quite the contrary: during this time period, people were looking to the past and using aspects of the Greek and Roman era to govern their lives. Unbeknownst to the inhabitants of Florence, Italy, their little hometown would be the birthplace of modern society.
Although the Florentines helped with a great many advances for today's modern world, their most prominent contribution was to the world of art. After all, without a birthplace, how could such creative masterminds such as Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Raphael, Donatello, Ghiberti, Bernini, Giottio, Durer, Botticelli, and countless others, have come to be? Their works are still being scrutinized, studied, poked, and prodded, even to this day. The talent displayed, the deep feelings produced, and the hidden meanings in their pieces have yet to be duplicated even in our modern world.
Art is not the only area of humanity that was advanced, but also elaborate inventions which would eventually turn out to be the predecessors of machines and inventions that weren't put into effect until the twentieth century. For example: the printing press. It was developed during the Renaissance by Gutenberg, but has evolved into what is now done with computers and robots. Michaelangelo's paintings and research of the human mind and body are still being explored. In his Creation of Man, "God" is seated in some sort of floating bed, but the shape of this platform bares a striking resemblance to the human brain. Leonardo da Vinci, aside from being an artist, was a remarkable inventor. Though none of them were ever actually made, written plans for the parachute, the helicopter, and military tanks were created without the knowledge that centuries later all those little sketches would become reality. Those who lived during this time period had no idea of the impact they would have on the future, especially since they thrived on the past.