As you know, in the 15th-16th centuries there were numerous city-states on the territory of modern Italy. These city-states such as Florence or Venice were extremely wealthy due to commerce, trade, banking, diplomatic intrigues, and military campaigns they conducted. These city-states were the centers which attracted merchants from distant countries such as China or India. The constant presence of the representatives of other cultures, as well as a more secular rather than religious principle of the organization of social life, contributed to the development of a specific set of mind, which was more free and non-dogmatic than in other European countries, where the Catholic Church was still extremely influential. Many of the Italian merchants and bankers, out of their appreciation and interest in the Classic Age, Ancient Greece and Rome culture, patronized arts and science; for example, the Medici family was one of the most generous patrons of arts, and is considered to have played a great role in the emergence of the Renaissance. These factors made the society more prone to developing individualism and creativity, resulting into the true golden age of Western civilization.