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The Renaissance was one of the most important historical epochs, it produced a culture that created great works of art and provided the world, with the humanist view of life, which encouraged individualism and the use of reason. However, economic decline meant that there was less money for the arts and learning. The Spanish came to dominate the city-states and this meant that artists had less freedom of expression. Finally, the Counter-Reformation by enforcing Catholic Orthodoxy meant that artists, thinkers and writers were afraid to be as daring or original as they had been in the past.<ref>Mullet, p. 134.</ref> These factors led to the end of the Renaissance.
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