Was it the most important period in human history?
In Western Europe the Renaissance return the knowledge of the wise ancients. It was due to paganism, and non-Christian hoards of 'vandals' seeking that knowledge. In seeking the knowledge, they destroy much of it out of ignorance. This resulted in the Dark Ages where such knowledge was forgotten. The Church was salvation not the classics.
During the Renaissance the arts, and early simple science began to come out of the dark and into the light. The classical authors such as Plato, Socrates began to be read with respect again. Thanks to the invention in 1439 of the printing press. Learning was no longer held hostage to the Church, anyone with the money could buy books and learn for themselves.
The availability, acceptance and use of Classical studies during the Renaissance encouraged people to use their minds. It also pointed out that the Church was not above breaking their own moral code. Chastity, illegal payments for advancement, and remission of sins came under the light newly liberated intellectuals cast upon the most major institution of their day. These classically knowledgeable people understood and protested the Church's "do as I say, not what I do" insistence.
All of this came to light as the Renaissance slowly gave way to the era of Reformation. Humanism, was born in the time between the Renaissance and the Reformation. Mankind was moving ahead again instead of simply obeying the Church and divine kings. In thinking perhaps in the invention of the printing press, and humanism that freed the Western European to revolt against the Church and divine kings. I find a reason as to, why the Renaissance was the most important event in history after all.