The Renaissance: A Very Short Introduction sees the period of the Renaissance as a time of unprecedented intellectual excitement cultural experimentation and interaction on a global scale. However, there was a darker side of religious discord, slavery, and massive inequality of wealth and status. The Renaissance stands as one of the defining periods in world history. Between 1400 and 1600, European perceptions of society, culture, politics, and even humanity changed in ways that affect not only Europe but the entire world. What were the key issues that defined the period, in its art, architecture, literature, advancements in the fields of science, trade, and travel?